Sunday, February 12, 2012
Third Stone from the Sun - Jaco Pastorius
John Francis Anthony Pastorius III (December 1, 1951 – September 21, 1987), known as Jaco Pastorius, was an American jazz musician and composer widely acknowledged as a virtuoso electric bass player.
His playing style was noteworthy for containing intricate solos in the higher register and for the "singing" quality he achieved on the fretless bass. His innovations also included the use of harmonics. Pastorius suffered from mental illness including a substance-related disorder, and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1982. He died in 1987 at age 35 following a violent altercation at a Fort Lauderdale drinking establishment.
Pastorius was inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame in 1988, one of only four bassists to be so honored (and the only electric bass guitarist). He is one of the most influential electric bass players of all time.
After sneaking onstage at a Carlos Santana concert on September 11, 1987, and being ejected from the premises, Pastorius made his way to the Midnight Bottle Club in Wilton Manors, Florida. After reportedly kicking in a glass door after being refused entrance to the club, he was engaged in a violent confrontation with the club bouncer, Luc Havan. Pastorius was hospitalized for multiple facial fractures and injuries to his right eye and left arm. He fell into a coma and was put on life support.
There were initially encouraging signs that he would come out of his coma and recover, but a massive brain hemorrhage a few days later pointed to brain death. Pastorius died on September 21, 1987, aged 35, at Broward General Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale and was buried at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Cemetery in North Lauderdale.
In the wake of Pastorius' death, Havan was charged with second degree murder but later pleaded guilty to manslaughter. Because he had no prior convictions, and accounting for time served while waiting for the verdict, he was sentenced to 22 months in jail and five years probation. He was released after four months in jail for good behavior
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