One of the best things that's happened since I began blogging here has been the amount of awesome stuff random people send me. Stuff I don't think I'd ever have seen otherwise because the internet is like a non-stop expanding galaxy and it's impossible to find everything.
Stuff like this video.
I had no idea who Jeff Healey was before this. Big shame on me.
But watching this guy tear this blues song up on the lap guitar (and the vocals to be honest) I was pretty mesmerized.
Upon further review turns out Jeff was an incredible fuckin human.
For starters, his real name was Norman. One of the strongest names a male can be gifted with. Not sure why he decided to go by his middle name instead of Norman. This seemed to be his only flaw. Probably because he was Canadian.
JeffHealey.com - Canadian music icon, Jeff Healey, was born in Toronto on March 25, 1966. Blind from early childhood due to retinoblastoma (a rare form of eye cancer), Jeff Healey’s guitar playing virtuosity and soulful voice saw him rise to prominence in the entertainment world in the late 1980s and ‘90s selling millions of albums worldwide.
Getting his first guitar at the age of three, he developed a unique style of playing. Placing the guitar flat on his lap, and playing it like a lap steel with his hands over the fret board, gave him the flexibility of fretting with all five fingers and the power of pulling notes with the strength of his whole hand.
For over two decades, Jeff enjoyed a successful music career that spanned rock, blues and traditional jazz. Grammy nominee and Juno award winner, he was a radio personality, a jazz historian and world famous record collector (owning a collection of 1920’s and ‘30’s jazz 78s that would ultimately top out at over 30,000 records).
With the Jeff Healey Band, he recorded five studio albums and contributed to the soundtrack of the cult classic film, Patrick Swayze’s Road House; a film in which Jeff and the band were featured prominently. Over the years, Jeff’s reputation as a player and a person led him to perform and record with such incredible luminaries as Stevie Ray Vaughan, B.B. King, John Mayall, Eric Clapton, the Rolling Stones, Lenny Kravitz, George Harrison, Mark Knopfler, Ian Gillan and many, many more.
A childhood cancer survivor, Jeff took every opportunity to help support Sick Kids Hospital, focusing on Daisy’s Eye Cancer Fund (a Childhood Retinoblastoma Research foundation), which has made great strides and has even helped the amazing progress of his own son’s Retinoblastoma treatment. One of the many ways he helped support the Fund was through his annual ‘It’s a Very Healey Christmas‘ charity show at his club, Healey’s (opened in 2001, it was one of two nightclubs that would bear Jeff’s name in his home town of Toronto).
Jeff Healey passed away on March 2nd, 2008 after a three-year battle with sarcoma cancer. He was 41-years-old.
Really sad story. 41 is insanely too young to lose somebody this gifted.
Even sadder I had no idea who this guy was until today.
Which shouldn't have been the case seeing as Stevie Ray Vaughn used to invite him to go back to back with him
BUT EVEN MORE EMBARASSING… Jeff Healey was the man, the myth, the legend behind "Hoochie Coochie Man". The legendary song made famous by Roadhouse
All-time movie. All-time scene. All-time song.
This one is on me.
So thanks @BDickMickC for putting me onto this gem of a musician.
p.s. - what a fuckin 80s jam this is
p.p.s. - here are some more from the (Norman) Jeff Healey Band