Feb · 06 · 2024

I’ve been spending most of today reading music contracts.  This is possibly the most hated thing I have to do.  Contracts and lawyers.  For me, it’s worse than taxes.  Anything that involves legal garbage that is thrust upon us in these united states.  AAAAAGGGGHHHHHHH!

What does this have to do with lost heroes?
So in my anguish of this stupidity we call law that’s supposed to somehow protect us, but really serves to only make life miserable and lawyers wealthy, I decided I needed some comfort.  I remembered a recent trip to Goodwill produced the Jim Croce Photographs And Memories Greatest Hits CD I had yet to listen to.  Pop that thing into the Mac, load it up and turn on the studio monitors.  Man!  This takes me back and actually brings a tear to my eyes.  I got this LP, vinyl mind you, for Christmas back in around 1974.  Of course this was in the midst of the golden years of music and I was discovering all of it.  Jim Croce was in excellent company with Chicago, Rush, Three Dog Night, Kiss, Aerosmith, Black Sabbath, The Hollies, Slade, Johnny Winter, Edgar Winter, Sly and The Family Stone, Jimi Hendrix, The Guess Who, Pacific Gas And Electric, Rare Earth, Doobie Brothers, Beach Boys, Beatles (of course!), Steppenwolf, Rick Derringer, America Grand Funk Railroad, Elton John, The Who, Cat Stevens… the list is absolutely endless and I could go on for hours.  So in the interest of making this not so long.

Jim Croce was an early hero alongside Chicago, Rush, and the Beatles.  I guess that just typifies the breadth of music styles I like in spite of what I might play.  What I like is GOOD music.  A rarity these days.  Originality combined with interesting musical elements and arrangements and melodies that grab my soul.  Anyway, Jim was in there.  I really liked him.

Jim Croce was not (of course) the first famous musician whose life ended far too soon.  But he was the first I can clearly remember hearing the news about his loss.  Oh I was alive when Hendrix, Joplin, Morrison, even Buddy Holly, died tragically.  But Croce was the first for me.  Listening to this album is wonderful after all these years of not hearing it (for some stupid reason).  And it makes me pause… today, especially today, we are and have lost SO many amazing musicians.  This is not intended to be a comprehensive list.  Just a list of some who have impacted me SO greatly in my own path and wanderings of the pursuit of music.

Jim Croce
Jimi Hendrix
Terry Kath (Chicago)
Neil Peart (Rush)
Chris Squire (Yes)
Alan White (Yes)
Jon Lord (Deep Purple)
John Wetton (UK, Asia, King Crimson)
Ronny James Dio (Rainbow, Black Sabbath)
Cozy Powell (Rainbow, ELP, many more)
John Lennon (Beatles)
George Harrison (Beatles)
Alan Holdsworth (UK)
Ronnie Montrose
Johnny Winter
Jeff Beck
Floyd Sneed (Three Dog Night)
Lynyrd Skynyrd
Freddie Mercury
Eddie Van Halen
Michael Jackson

Of course, many more.  With the lack of “good” original music these days, it makes one wonder, with the passing of these great musicians, is the music dying as well?

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