R.I.P. Jeff Healey

  • I love Jeffs music. I never saw him live, I always meant to make the short trip to Toronto to see him :(

    He will be missed!

  • Wow. Truly a tragic story when you read all he went through. All this and a new cd in April - his first since 2000!!!



    Despite long battle with cancer, Jeff Healey's death still shocking, bandmate

    Sun Mar 2, 10:01 PM

    By Michelle Mcquigge, The Canadian Press

    TORONTO - Acclaimed jazz and rock guitarist Jeff Healey was remembered Sunday as a musician of rare ability who had a wicked sense of humour and a generous nature as fans and bandmates mourned his death at age 41, following a battle with cancer.

    Bandmates of Canadian rock and jazz legend Jeff Healey were among those shocked by the news of his death Sunday.

    Healey died Sunday evening in a Toronto hospital surrounded by family and a bandmate, Colin Bray.

    Bray, the bass player with Jeff Healey's jazz Wizards and the frontman's long-time friend, said he and many others expected the guitarist to rally from this latest illness.

    "I don't think any of us thought this was going to happen," Bray said in a telephone interview. "We just thought he was going to bounce back as he always does."

    Healey had battled with cancer since the age of one when a rare form of retinal cancer known as Retinoblastoma claimed his eyesight.

    Bray said Healey had been hospitalized for a week and that his advanced lung cancer made his final hours difficult.

    Healey had undergone numerous operations in recent years to remove tumours from his lungs and leg.

    Bray and fellow bandmate Gary Scriven remembered their frontman as not only a world-class musician but an incredibly strong person with the capacity to motivate those he worked with.

    Scriven called Healey inspirational and praised the boundless enthusiasm that allowed him to continue performing live only four weeks before his death.

    "He drew his strength from somewhere, I don't know where, but it spread among the band and flowed into the audience," Scriven said.

    Healey rose to stardom as the leader of the Jeff Healey Band, a rock-oriented trio that garnered a Juno award, international acclaim and platinum record sales with the 1988 album "See the Light."

    But Bray and Scriven said Healey's true love was jazz, the genre that dominated his last three albums with the Jazz Wizards.

    Healey's guitar prowess was characterized by a unique playing-style that saw him lay the instrument across his lap.

    It led him to share stages with such rock luminaries as George Harrison, Stevie Ray Vaughan and B.B. King, but Bray said jazz allowed him to exercise his other instrumental talents such as trumpet and drums.

    Healey's love of jazz also led him to host radio shows on the CBC and a local Toronto station where he spun long-forgotten numbers from his personal collection of over 30,000 vinyl records.

    But Bray said his "best friend" saw himself first and foremost as an entertainer and said Healey seemed to derive therapeutic benefits from playing live shows.
    Recalling Healey's weakened condition at his final performance on Feb. 2 in Sarnia, Ont., Bray said Healey seemed to draw strength as the set progressed.
    "At the end of it, I can't believe how much better he looked. It was like blood to him."
    Healey's death came weeks before the release of his first rock album in eight years.
    "Mess of Blues" is slated for a North American release on April 22.
    Healey is backed on the album by the resident band at Jeff Healey's Roadhouse, the blues club he founded and named after a 1989 Patrick Swayze movie in which he appeared.
    The album features two live tracks recorded in the last few months of his life.
    The Grammy-nominated musician is survived by his wife Christie and two children; daughter Rachel, 13 and son Derek, 3.
    Funeral and memorial arrangements have not yet been announced.

  • This is very sad.

    Jeff Healey once sat in for a whole set at one of our drummer Stefan's gigs with his band Die Vier Glorreichen Sieben (that's German for The Four Magnificent Seven), because he knew all the songs and thought it was fun. A great story, and proof that he was a great personality, especially given his disability.

    I listened to the free cover CD of German Rocks Magazine just the other day, and it includes a wonderful version of The Band's "The Weight" by Jeff. So I thought I'd post it here as a tribute to the man.



  • Born & bred in Toronto & Jeff Healy was a BluesRock fixture thru the 80's & beyond....Still has a great club on the strip.

    Saw Jeff in a small biker club in 1987 before the release of See The Light & was amazed by his creative laptop slide playing.he was given great props from some very respected artists & often talked about in the same realm of Stevie Ray.

    Sadly missed & an amazing talent while struggling with his loss of sight & relentless fight against his cancer but never waivering from his ambition to out perform.

    We will continue to pay tribute to him Live with our rendition of See The Light....

    Sad day in ole T.O......God Bless the memory of Jeff!

  • Wow, this does comes as a shock.

    Jeff was great. I only got to see him live once, but I was like two feet away, and he was simply brilliant. Sad...

  • Jeff was powerful, man. He played with so much intensity. It meant everything to him. Heart and soul.
    very sad.

    He stood musically for why we all dig Glenn. The gift; the passion.

  • When I saw the news two days ago i was almost crying. Excellent musician, with lot of strenght and a superb musician. I have almost all jeff cd's, a superb musician very inspiring and with lot of feeling.
    He played with one of my idols, Ian Gillan and Steve Ray.

  • he'll be missed.

    looking forward to hearing this.

    is this the same version on the new cd Mess Of Blues? his death must have been sudden since his website still has a space for tour dates.

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