Joe Zawinul and Jaco PastoriusTwenty years ago, on my fifteenth birthday, muso types (like what I am) were shocked to hear of the death of Jaco Pastorius, aged just thirty five. I hit the same age today, and cannot begin to comprehend what happened in his life to bring him to the stage he was at when he was brutally beaten by one Luc Havan. Not that his troubles in any way explain what that scum did to him. Rest in peace Jaco.

I guess it’s time to put 8:30 on, and quietly celebrate my birthday, count my blessings, and ruminate on a pleasant evening out with the UK Domino gang—thanks guys.

Update As soon as I wrote this, I discovered that Jaco’s big boss, the one and only Joe Zawinul, died ten days ago. I had no idea until today. It’s criminal that his death went unmarked in the mainstream media. Rest in peace too Mr. Zawinul. An extraordinary pair of musicians, each in his own way, the likes of which this world won’t see again.

Image courtesy of


  1. Happy birthday mate!

    At least here, Zawinul's death was covered by the Chicago Tribune, including its weekly listing of high-profile passages. He was quite an influence.Ed Brill#
  2. Ben…hope you had an awesome birthday! Indeed…Jaco is some great music to put on for the b-day. :-)Chris Blatnick#
  3. Thanks guys. Chris, the birthday has but just begun ;-) As I type it’s nearly 2am!

    I found a report about JZ on the BBC site, but it really didn’t get the coverage it deserved. Zawinul was a legend, no two ways about it. I think continental Europe “got” Weather Report and the Zawinul Syndicate more than the Brits. Hey ho. OK… bed!Ben Poole#
  4. Vot, only 35. And already three kids plus two Macs? And a wife to entertain? You'll be grandpa in no time. :-) Happy birthday, kid.Volker Weber#
  5. Congrats on the birthday - I beat you to 35 by a month :-) I'm telling everyone 35 is the new 22. ….if only :-/ Seems once you're over the hill you just gather speed.Brendon Upson#
  6. Happy birthday! I saw something about JZ on but he didn't get as much play as others who were less deserving. I actually met a 16 year old bass player this summer whose favorite is JP. We were each impressed that the other knew who he was!Don McNally#
  7. happy Birthday Ben!
    Here's to manny more.
    I just turned 35 too but am still 3 kids and 2 macs behind.Vitor Pereira#
  8. Happy Birthday, Ben. Many happy returns.Rod Westwood#
  9. happy 35th ben! :-)jonvon#
  10. btw, believe it or not i know a guy (fellow named jason) who plays a mean bass - he's quite good actually - who jammed with jaco's son a few years back. he was jamming with some friends and this one guy in the room turned out to be jaco jr (although i don't know what his name is). jason said he was a great musician, i don't remember if he said what instrument he was playing.

    anyway. small world. :-)jonvon#
  11. Happy birthday Ben!Per Henrik Lausten#
  12. Here in the US NPR did a nice story to commemorate the 20 year passing of Jaco;
    Ed Maloney#
  13. Thanks for that link Ed, there are some great stories on the site.

    And many thanks to all for the kind words; it’s harsh moving into that next age group bracket in on-line forms eh ;-) Ben Poole#
  14. Happy birthday mate!Bruce Elgort#
  15. Well happy belated birthday, sir. (Yup, I'm a bit behind on my rss reading) …Age is all relative, of course. 35 sounds rather young from here ;-)

    Cheers!Joe Litton#

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