The last time I felt so much grief was when I was a boy hearing of Terry Kath's (guitarist/composer/singer in the original Chicago band) passing. I remember the first time I heard Weather Report when I was around 8 years old in my room on my portable suitcase record player. Those little 6 x 3 inch speakers never made a sound like that! From that day to this day, and well into the future, Joe will be an inspiration to me as well as countless others around the world.
I'll always remember the first time I met him. Weather Report never made it to Dayton when I was growing up, and the only opportunity I had to see that band was in later years in Cincinnati, and by making arrangements through friends with the club owner because I was too young to be in a bar. By the time I met him in L.A. (with the Zawinul Syndicate), I had him built up pretty big. I went to every show at Catalina's Bar & Grill for a 5 days straight. Every show was different because Joe is like that-a master at improvising. I met him one of those nights because they (his son Ivan and some of the workers at Catalina's) made such a deal about Renee and I coming each night. He gave me a Zawinul Syndicate hat as a gift. Renee and I got the chance to thank him personally for sharing his life and music with the world. He had an incredible impact on us. We used to go on dates where we'd just put Weather Report tapes in the cassette player in the car and listen to that beautiful music and talk to each other about it.
I could carry on, and on...
We will never forget him!
Los Angeles, CA