Welcome beautiful people.
As another #MarchIsHealeyMonth draws to a close, we’re reminded of the special significance this month has held for us over the last 10 years. It is bookended by the anniversary of Jeff Healey’s death (March 2nd) and the date of his birth (March 25th). There is always an undeniable hint of sadness in this time of year, but we have made a conscious effort to not dwell on the pain. Instead, we choose to celebrate Jeff’s life and legacy, especially today on what would have been his 52nd birthday.
It’s hard to believe how fast this past decade has flown by. I know it’s cliche, but it feels like only yesterday that I first met Jeff… waaay back in late 1986/early 1987 (we could never pin it down exactly). The Toronto music scene was on fire. Many iconic venues of the past had shuttered their doors, like the Coq D’Or and the Colonial Tavern, but a new and vibrant crop had risen up to fill the need. There was The Diamond, The Copa, Rock and Roll Heaven… and Jeff was carving out his stake with a vengeance. The passion of those early days never really faded, but there was an added element of hunger back then. There was a palpable sense that there was no way Jeff couldn’t make it and that nothing was going to stand in his way. But that was just Jeff. I counted him as one of my dearest friends until the day he died.
Here’s a 21 year-old Jeff Healey ripping through the Freddie King classic, ‘Hideaway’ at Toronto’s storied El Mocambo!
Even as the years pass, Jeff’s legacy continues to grow. ‘Holding On: A Heal My Soul Companion‘ released as a supplement to the critically acclaimed ‘Heal My Soul’ was recently awarded “Best Canadian Blues Album” at the 2018 Music Express Awards here in Canada.
We just crossed over *170,000* fans on the Official Jeff Healey Facebook Page…
You have heard it from me before, but we have some very cool surprises in store for you. A couple of these projects have been literally years in the works and soon we will be able to share the deets with you all.
The support you’ve shown us at our web store has been overwhelming. Thank you. And for those of you asking about new merch… please stay tuned.
Which brings us to a very important part of the proceedings… All of YOU. Cristie and I want to you send our very heartfelt thanks for all your emails, comments, ‘likes’, and ongoing support. Without you, none of what we do would be possible. So Thank *You* for helping us to keep Jeff’s memory and legacy alive. You guys rock.
Back in 2008 shortly after Jeff had passed, our dear friend Mako Funasaka put together a wonderful tribute video from various footage he had shot of Jeff live and in the studio working on ‘Mess Of Blues’. He’s recently re-upped it to Youtube for all to see…
‘Like A Hurricane’
From Mako: “Here’s an old video podcast episode I did with Dave Murphy (JHBB) talking about Jeff which includes a performance of ‘It’s only Money’ on it. I always thought it was a nice little tribute to Jeff in Dave’s own words…”
What are we up to today? Since his passing, every year on Jeff’s birthday we have gathered family, close friends and colleagues to lift a few glasses, share some stories and especially, share some laughs. Jeff would certainly have appreciated that. The man did love a party. It has become an important ritual that we all look forward to each year, 2018 being no exception.
Dan Noordermeer, Pat Rush, Mike Daley, Rob Quail & on the phones, Philip Sayce & Jesse Barksdale.
(shot by Eve Kinizo – phone images cleaned up by Pat Rush)
So, wherever you are, whatever this fine Sunday brings you, take a few minutes and pop on a Jeff Healey CD, LP, mp3, Spotify Playlist… lift a glass or two of your favourite bevvy and remember.
Be back soon folks.