Paco De Lucia, RIP Maestro

Fell asleep on the couch last night. Woke up to head up to bed but checked my iPad first and saw the extremely sad news. One of the guitar world’s heroes has passed away.

Paco De Lucia IS an amazing legendary guitarist. A flamenco guitarist who crossed many boundaries which furthered the genre’s cause. He played with Al Di Meola and John McLaughlin in THE Guitar Trio, marking his crossover into the jazz/fusion world. His long hair and rock look, coupled with his amazing guitar chops, piqued the interest of the heavy metal and rocker guitarists. And his association with greats like Los Romeros gave him notice in the classical realm.

I was lucky enough to see him in the 90s in San Diego. We had front row seats(directly in front of the Romeros) and will never forget that show!

RIP the guitar world has lost a giant…

(Paco is not the one pictured in the video capture below, he is on the left of your screen)

RIP Deacon Jones, NFL Great

DJI never met Deacon Jones. I never really saw him play…I was too young. He was, however, one of the characters of the game of football, as well as, one of the best defenders of all time. I was really sad to hear the news that he passed away on Monday.

A member of the Fearsome Foursome, Deacon Jones was a larger than life celebrity off the field, an American Icon in my opinion.

Rest in Peace, my friend

RIP, Ray Manzarek, May 20, 2013

So sad to hear that Ray Manzarek, keyboardist for the Doors passed away today.

They were one of my earliest Rock influences.

Peace to Ray and his family, friends & fans!

Iron Maiden’s Clive Burr, Tribute, RIP

Clive BurrSad to hear the news that former Iron Maiden drummer Clive Burr passed away on March 12. He had been living with Multiple Sclerosis since the mid 90’s.

Wether you get Iron Maiden and their crypt keeper looking mascot Eddie, there is no denying their influence on Heavy Metal music. Clive was a big part of their early success.

Here’s to you Clive, RIP!

RIP Jack Klugman, The Odd Couple

A sad note this Christmas, on the 24th actor Jack Klugman passed away at age 90. Some may remember him as Quincy, M.E. but, to me he will always be Oscar Madison, the slob from the Odd Couple.

I loved this show as a kid, good clean fun. However, I have to say it was the theme music that I could not wait for each episode. Remember back in the day all TV shows had a theme song, not just a 10 second clip like shows get today. Each show was identified by its theme. Before I knew any rock bands, my love for music as a kid was fueled by what my parents listened to and TV…so the connection was there. Some other favorite theme songs were, Happy Days, Barney Miller, Sanford & Son…the list goes on…..

RIP Mr. Klugman thanks for being a part of my early music influences!

RIP Ravi Shankar Renown Virtuoso Sitarist

Not the post I was planning on writing this evening.

2012 has been a brutally tough year with the deaths of many legendary musicians.  Just last week we lost jazz pianist/composer Dave Brubeck and today(Dec. 11) the sad news of Ravi Shankar’s passing.

Ravi Shankar is an amazing musician known for many things, however, there are two highlights on his resume. First, he was a pioneer in introducing Indian sitar music to the Western world. Second, not totally detached from the first was his influence on the Beatles especially guitarist George Harrison. Trained in the Northern Indian tradition of Hindustani music the sitarist was a crossover  in the 1960’s Western pop culture. As mentioned he was an influence on the Beatles and also played the legendary Woodstock Festival. With his amazing talent and global appeal Shankar became an icon of Indian culture. The Indian Prime Minister said of Shankar on his passing, “National treasure and global ambassador of India’s cultural heritage”.

Shankar has two daughters who are also renown musicians. In the tradition of her father, Anoushka, concertizes throughout the world on the sitar and has pushed the sitar further into the Western realm with her collaborations. I was lucky enough to see the two play together at a San Diego concert near the turn of the millennium. Norah Jones, pop vocalist with a smooth voice inherited her fathers musical genes if not his cultural side.

Shankar died right here in San Diego. For those of you curious who are not from here, he actually passed in La Jolla which translates to the jewel. An amazingly beautiful city on the Pacific Ocean fitting of such an ambassadors final breaths.

Lets Take Five for Dave Brubeck, RIP Dec. 5, 2012

Sad day in  the music world! Jazz legend Dave Brubeck passed away on December 5th just one day shy of his 92nd birthday.

A pianist and composer, Brubeck was known for writing in odd meters. Two of his most famous compositions are, “Take Five,” and “Blue Rondo A La Turk.”

One of the first jazz tunes I ever performed was the aforementioned “Blue Rondo A La Turk.” It is a piece penned in an odd 9/8 meter; 2+2+2+3 alternating with measures of a compound 9/8 meter 3+3+3.  The rhythmic drive of Brubeck’s music was rare in jazz, but, easy for listeners to feel and relate to the strong beat.

For a young musician like myself who grew up influenced by Heavy Metal and Hard Rock genres the composer’s music was a natural fit. Any fan of the Progressive Rock band Rush would be familiar with the odd meters Brubeck employed.

Godspeed to Dave Brubeck, Rest in Peace and thank you for all the music!

San Diego Super Chargers Win Big on Junior Seau Day RIP #55

It was a dramatic and hot day for all us Charger fans at Qualcomm Stadium.

Dramatic! Before the game the late, great Junior Seau’s uniform #55 became the 3rd number in team history to be retired, joining Dan Fouts’ #14 and Lance Alworth’s #19.

Hot! It was mid 90’s without a cloud in the sky at kickoff, but, that didn’t keep the Chargers lightning from striking! Titans fell to the Chargers 38-10 in a game that wasn’t really ever close from the beginning.

Musical tribute this week…San Diego Super Chargers

We Lost an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award Winner Today – RIP Marvin Hamlisch

That’s right, Marvin Hamlisch was one of only eleven to ever win all four prestigious awards not to mention he also won multiple Golden Globes, as well.

Unfortunately, the composer passed away today at age 68.

Locally, Hamlisch’s name was synonymous with the San Diego Symphony’s Summer Pops, as he was the principal conductor.

Another huge musical loss in 2012, RIP Marvin Hamlisch!