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Some of the great industry people I once knew well or met since I started in music at age fourteen (eleven if you count my classical music training on trombone).  May we all meet again in the great Rock Hall in the Sky!

 

 

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Super Cool!

Jimi Hendrix

 

Met him a couple of times in New York during the late 1960s and shared a bottle or two together with some friends.  Undoubtedly the greatest guitarist and artist ever, Jimi was also a really cool guy off stage too!  He wasn't full of himself or overbearing like some others I've met.  He had no illusions about himself, either.  Though he laid down some of the best vocal tracks in recording history, he thought that he didn't have a good voice!  Hard to even imagine.   Jimi was not only Rock's greatest artists, but he was one of it's greatest premature losses!  Hate to think about it, so "'scuse me while I kiss the sky!" 

 

 

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Greatest Rocker Chick Ever!

Janis Joplin

Janis in a word: Craaaaaaaaaazy (but in good way)! Never knew anyone like her before or since. Intense energy, talent, and beautiful in many ways. Another much-too-premature and needless loss! Thanks for that SoCo in the back of your limo last time I saw you in the East Village, Jan.  That was one time I'll probably never forget!

 

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Jimi and Janis having a light moment together.

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Mr. Intensity

Jim Morrison

 

Don't think that we exchanged more than 200 words the few times we met. If you ask me, I'm not even sure I even know what the hell we really talked about!  Whatever he said in his own special way seemed to be really intense, though!  It was hard holding prolonged two-way conversations with a lot of people back then.  He didn't seem to me to be a thoroughly happy person to me, but I did detect some innate goodness in him and was a poet and artist extraordinairre.  Funny thing is that when I heard the news about his death in the summer of 1971 I was deeply affected, and it took me a while to get over it.  Sort of like I lost a family member.  Don't know why because I didn't know him that well, but I guess it was because he was the third young person that I knew who had a profound influence on me -- and on an entire generation -- that died within such a short period of time!   Made me wonder who was next!  I also beleive that he was seeking peace from whatever tormented him, and I hope that he finally found it. 

 

 

Needs NO introduction
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Greatest poet of our time . . .

John Lennon

 

Despite all of his great fame, and the controversy that had always surrounded him, John Lennon was just a down to earth, likeable, and very approachable guy.  Met him a couple of times in the 70's, and could not even believe how relaxed and nice he was to me and some of my friends.  He was undoubtedly the greatest poet of the Rocking world throughout the latter part of the Twentieth Century.  His lyrical genius really made us think about life, and the world around us.  As part of the immortal Lennon-McCartney writing team (even though they wrote the Beatles songs mostly separately), he was responsible for changing the music, popular culture -- and the world as we once knew it!  Things will never be the same again.  He may never pass this way again, but his legacy will always surround us.  Imagine?  Thanks for the music, and thanks for teaching us how to love, John.   Oh, and thanks again for the take-out food last time we were all together!   

 

 

 

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True Gentleman

Alistair Taylor

 

Many people don't know the name, but Alistair was Brian Epstein's personal assistant from 1960 till Epstein's death in 1967.  He then became General Manager of Apple Records and Apple Corps, Ltd. (The Beatles holding company) and continued working for the Beatles until 1969 when they official split up.  He accompanied Brian Epstein the very first time that Brian saw the Beatles at the Cavern in November of 1961, and he was there as the band disintegrated in 1969. He saw it all… He was an integral part of it all.  He was a loyal and wonderful companion and tireless worker for the Beatles, and their nickname for him was "Mr. Fix-It." 

 

Met Alistair several times at Beatles fan conventions, and was on the same bill with him and other Beatles' associates.  He was always such a pleasure to work with and speak with, a true gentleman in every way!  He seemed to enjoy every minute of life, and this showed when he was speaking to thousands from the big stage.  His heart was huge and his love for Brian Epstein, the Beatles, and their fans seemed endless.  

A lot of Beatles' history was lost as he died peacefully in his sleep on the morning of Wednesday, June 9, 2004 after a short bronchial illness.  According to those who knew him best, his entire life was about service to others and giving to others.  Especially to Beatles fans around the world. 

He actually made me start to blush -- imagine? -- last time I talked to him after performing in an all-star tribute to George Harrison in the Hyatt Regency O'Hare hotel in Chicago in August of 2002.  He told me that he thought that I 'was great' -- Alan Parsons said the same thing -- after doing a covers of "I Got My Mind Set On You," and "Here Comes The Sun," the latter being a duet with Freddie Scott.  Quite a compliment from such a distinguished gentleman!   

Beatles fans all over the world are sure gonna miss him . . .  and so will I!   He definitely was one of Rock and Roll's premier good guys!

 

 

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Steam, early 1970s

Today we miss passing members of Steam, Tommy Scott and John Faster.

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Soul Sender

FREDDIE SCOTT

R&B/Pop artist Freddie Scott, singer of the record, "Hey Girl" written by his good friends Carole King and Gerry Goffin, and many other charted hits over the years, was my best friend for over 20 years until he passed on 6-4-07. He lived a good life and went quickly so he had a lot to be thankful for.  Other good friends of his (besides me) included Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, Tony Orlando, Felix Cavaliere, Billy Joel and too many more to mention. 

 

He was a very giving and loving person, and was surrounded by an aura of goodness unmatched by anyone else I ever met or knew!   We played many places together, and wherever he went he brought the house down with magnificent soulful vocals and a stage presence that had to be heard and seen to be believed!  He was, in a word, incredible!   What can anyone say about somebody who had the voice of an angel and a personality to match?  He brought much love into this world and will be missed by many.

 

For more about one of the most incredible men I've had the pleasure to have known and loved, please click on the link below . . .

 

 

Freddie Scott tribute page

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Johnny Maestro

On Wednesday, March 24, 2010 a golden voice was silenced as Newsday sort of put it. Johnny passed away at age 70, and he never let on in public or complained that he was battling cancer. In fact, he was courageously performing as recently as two months before his passing, in pain, and was being radically treated for the disease but one would never know that because he never missed a note. He was not only a great talent and good friend, but a quiet, decent, unassuming, and charitable man in real life. One does not expect that from someone who is a legend in his own time. I also admired the fact that he was also very much a good family man like most of the rest of the members of his band, the famed Brooklyn Bridge. More than one time I have seen his wife, children and even grandchildren attending his concerts.  His recording career spanned five decades starting with The Crests in the late 1950s to a solo career in the early 1960s. In the late 1960s he formed the Brooklyn Bridge with a number of talented singers and musicians from other bands including Les Cauchi, Fred Ferrara, and Jimmy Rosica, all great guys in real life as well who are still in the band today!  His voice could bring just about anyone to tears, and carry you away in a dream to what seemed to be much happier days! All I can say is that his songs and pure tenor voice coupled with the tight and powerful backing vocals and music accompaniment of his band went unparalleled in the music world. He was definitely something special to me, and I felt privileged to know him and call him a friend. I know that there is a very special place in that choir of angels up in Rock and Roll Heaven for him! For more about Johnny please click on the below link . . .

Johnny Maestro Remembered

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