Jaco (2015) Movie Script

MAN 1: You gotta understand
that this was 1976.
James Brown, Stravinsky,
Jimi Hendrix, Elvis Presley,
Frank Sinatra,
all of these people were making
music at the same time.
Everybody wore it as a badge,
it was a war crime to be different,
musicians owned the music business,
MAN 2: This guy approaches me.
Then he said, "By the way,
I want to introduce myself."
"My name is
John Francis Pastorius III.
I'm the greatest bass player
in the world."
And I said,
"Get the fuck out of here."
MAN 3: I'm saying to myself,
"Well, I'm might be selling
this little white kid.
I'm gonna have to show him
what to play and everything.
I have to tell him that,
you know.
I... The only thing I wanted
to say was, "Slow down, man."
MAN 4: He could play Fields.
Blues Fields, that people
hadn't played in 30 years.
MAN 5: Good Lord, no one was
fucking with John Francis Pastorius III.
You kidding me?
You know, many come and few
are chosen. He just had that.
WOMAN: He had a mystical face.
You know, contact with the great mind,
the divine mind,
that permeates us all.
MAN 6: We were all like,
"Man, Jaco!"
And you know, it was like
going to a game
and you're rootin' for,
you know, Michael Jordan.
MAN 7: There were people who broke
the bones in their thumbs
so that they could bend their
thumbs back like Jaco could.
MAN 1: Oh, it's just
the sound of it.
MAN 2: The sound? I said,
"What the fuck is that?"
MAN 8: That's a bass player
doing that.
MAN 5: And not in your lifetime are
you gonna find another one like that.
MAN 3: Good evening.
Welcome to Oakland Park,
Florida, where I grew up.
I had the fortunate experience
of growing up with everybody
that played music.
I know where I stole every note.
And I was raised by the best
musicians in the world.
Thank you, Jesus and God.
MAN: Had to be '83 or '84...
How do you feel today, Jaco?
- Okay, Jerry.
- All right.
You know, a lot has
been said about you.
But the main thing is that people
recognise the fact
that you're able to play
with real sincerity,
every style of music.
Not only every style, but you can
play all parts of a given piece
at the same time, on this one
instrument, the bass.
Now, because of this, a lot of
people have gone crazy
trying to duplicate what you do.
People who have become great fans
of the bass
and given it quite a bit of attention.
How do you, uh, feel about that?
- Give me a gig, you know.
He said, "Well, heck,
you know, give me a gig."
And ironically,
at that particular point,
he couldn't get...
He couldn't get a gig.
What drove you to this point?
It was all over him.
You could see it,
that he was a man who had trouble.
But getting it out
was, was very important.
Even, you know,
in the shape that he was in.
It wasn't just notes.
It had feeling,
it had meaning to it,
it had character.
You can't really teach that,
This is stuff that he learned to
play when he was in his heart.
ROBERT: Jaco, four letters.
Who is this guy?
And once you actually
heard him play,
you know, it was like
getting slapped in the face,
you know, just bam!
FLEA: Everything changed
when he started playing,
it was never the same again,
he shredded everything
that came before him
and it will never be done again.
He just changed the rules
of what's possible on the bass
and what can be done.
That, that dude was the greatest,
you know.
I mean, we all say
that he's our Hendrix.
JERRY: Remarkable talent.
The delivery system was that,
yeah, the chops were there,
but the support he needed
was pulled away.
For whatever reason.
He was already an artist,
you see,
and being an artist,
it's hard to, you know,
it's hard to go back.
JACO: I grew up in Florida, where
there was no real musical prejudice.
There was all sorts of music.
Everything from Cuban music
to symphonic music, everything.
Like, everything
you wanted to hear, you could hear it.
And everything was here.
I really wasn't influenced
that much by bass players.
To tell you the truth,
I didn't even know who the bass
players were most of the time.
The main thing was just the music itself.
Whatever was like hip then,
that's what I was checking out.
Mostly, like, all 45s.
Please don't love me
And please don't step on toes
It's not too smart
To walk on hearts
So, baby, please go slow...
We moved to Florida
in around '58, '59.
There was never a bad record
in our house.
Nat King Cole, Tony Bennett,
all the big bands.
That was all I would listen to.
But, baby, please go slow
And don't be so dark
I'm serious
You could learn to fly...
Jaco used to come up and watch us.
Believe it or not, we're working
in Charlie Johnson's Crab House
and his mother brought him
in for dinner.
And I got Jaco up on the bandstand
sat him on the piano.
He sang the whole
Come Fly With Me album.
Sinatra album.
That is the first time
that I ever thought,
"Man, like, this guy
is gonna be something else."
He just sat there like nothing
and sang the whole album.
Jaco used to go to bed at night
with little transistor radios.
He would listen to Cuba.
He would get Cuba on that radio.
He was obsessed
with good music.
He served papers.
He had 250 papers a day.
In the off season.
He was a worker.
He was a worker.
So one day he went out
and bought a full set of drums.
All the money he saved.
Jaco was born
John Francis Pastorius III,
but my mom didn't
want to call him John
'cause that was,
you know, my grandfather.
And it wasn't
going to be Jack.
And she says she came up
with Jaco.
My mom had a really
horrific childhood.
Her mother took everything that was
wrong in her life, out on my mom.
She was the middle
of nine children.
My mom wanted to be
the homemaker, you know,
She wanted to take care
of somebody.
My dad did not want
to be taken care of.
They would go out to dinner
and everybody wanted
to buy Jack a drink.
He was an entertainer.
And so, it became pretty evident
when we moved to South Florida
that we were gonna live with my mom
and my dad was gonna float around.
My dad, you know, sent money.
A couple of times where it lapsed.
Clothes got passed down
and you know, I can remember, you
know, pancakes and Kool-Aid for dinner.
You know, it was life with mom.
Las Olas Brass was based on,
you know, the Tijuana Brass,
Herb Alpert's thing.
Soul tunes and anything Motown.
But back then, Florida was,
South Florida was
a cracker town, man.
You got the nice white side
over here, on the east,
and to the west was
what you now call the hood.
We would go ride our bicycles
over into, you know, the hood.
And I remember,
we used to sit on sacks.
BOB: In the neighborhood there was
this club... There it is.
You know, it was like, two houses
put together. And a fence around it.
And everyone's howling in the street.
You know, they got
a couple of neon signs.
It's like a makeshift night club
in the middle of this neighborhood.
It was wild, you know.
And I'm thinkin', "Okay,
you know, I don't wanna"
act like I'm frightened
or concerned about this."
We're kids, you know.
But he says, "Park there."
He directs me to park
over weeds, in this field.
And he goes, "Listen, man, I'm gonna
get ready to play and be cool."
This place was wild.
It's a total black club, of course,
and he's already got this like,
jive thing,
"Hey, baby, what's happening?"
And you know, it's, "Oh, hey, Jaco."
It's like he practiced with the band,
you know.
I mean, he knew the tunes.
Jaco was looking for
the best musicians,
searching out the hottest cats.
He loved guys like Little Beaver,
Frank Williams and The Rocketeers.
These guys aren't on records
on the stores,
they're been played
on black stations only.
Like on WRBD Radio,
it was a black station.
By the way, Jaco got
three dollars that night.
Three dollars.
JACO: That was it.
I just started that simple.
I just went and bought a bass
and I was working at night,
just making like
I could play it, you know.
R&B or maybe some rock 'n' roll
or whatever.
Just to get some work,
you know.
Have some fun.
And I had no ambition
whatsoever in life, at all,
except for just, um, play tonight.
That's it. I'm gonna go play tonight
over at this club, you know.
Can't Turn You Loose...
I love, rot gut, stomp, kick,
blues, rhythmic blues.
Over the years, I was know as
the king of Blue Eyed Soul.
See, up to then people toured,
that's what you did,
you toured year round.
I toured 48 to 50 weeks
a year for 25 years.
And if you walk off with any energy
left then you didn't give your all.
I mean, you had to be the best
amongst the most exciting,
the baddest that ever lived.
It was hell on any musician.
They just didn't believe when you
come into band that you could cut it.
Because they believed they were
the baddest kickers in the world.
They could chew
a little kid like Jaco up.
And he comes in
to audition, of course,
the band put charts in front of him
from what I gather,
he didn't read much at all.
All that mattered to me
was can he play a field.
I just give him a chord and say
"I'm gonna count to four,
we're gonna play a blues."
Play some lead blues right now.
'Cause the old folks
The old folks
Keep on dying, yeah...
He was straight,
he could play fields, blues fields,
that people hadn't played
in thirty years.
If he heard it one time,
he could play it authentically,
but not only where the notes right,
the field was right.
And that was the one thing
that impressed me.
I knew it, I knew somebody in
the band gonna teach him to read.
RANDY: Jaco had two pairs of
corduroy jeans and three t-shirts
and everything he owned fit
in his Fender bass case.
The tux was way to big for Jaco
so he left all his clothes on
and put the tux on over it so he's got
two layers of clothes
to make his tux fit
He kept all his money
and cash and put it in his sock
and he put it in his
Fender bass case.
And uh,
he spent very little money.
If we ate in a restaurant,
he ordered the cheapest thing
on the menu.
Usually a hot dog.
That's what he ate.
Put the rest of the money in his
sock, kept it, and sent it home.
He was, he was a great road father.
I was instantly
comfortable with him.
You know, he had
that kinda power over people.
Instant charm.
He was a junior,
I was a sophomore.
And he and I just sat
on a beach bench
and just talked
for a couple of hours.
Both our fathers were Jazz musicians,
both our families had broken up,
the fathers drank to much,
you know, I, I didn't have
to put on any errors.
He had it figured out mathematically.
That when I was a senior
in high school,
"You know what, I think it's time
for us to have a baby."
He had places to go.
GREGORY: When Mary was born.
The day she was born,
Joc and I went to the hospital
and where looking at her
through the glass.
She's in there in a bassinet.
Jaco looks at me and goes, "Gregory",
I got to do something on that electric
bass that's never been done before."
And he pointed at Mary.
I was like, "Well, okay I get it."
You know, he's got
to support this kid and...
I mean, you know,
he was a working musician.
But, working musician around town,
that's, that's tough.
And so, it just, the way he said it,
I got to do something
that's never been done before.
Well, he did.
That voice,
was the voice of music, it was
the singer and the horn.
It's not the rhythm section.
The rhythm section is there
doing the work to support it.
We're the, we're the
setting of that ring.
We made that diamond
shine brilliantly.
In the right setting
the gem is beautiful,
in the wrong setting, you can't see
the brilliance of it.
So, our job is primarily
to support that stone,
but he was able
to become the stone also.
First thing, was to learn
to melody to every tune.
- Um-hmm.
- Which I feel is like ultra important.
- Uh-huh.
- The melody is always designated
let's say to a horn player
the piano or the guitar.
- Um-hm.
- But it's nice to play
it on the bass, too.
Certainly. And a fretless bass.
The fretless, I, I took
the frets out of my bass
after I was, you know,
getting into jazz a lot
and to have that,
that upright sound, you know,
so I had an upright.
Took me years and years
to get enough bread to get it.
One morning when I woke up,
in the corner the base
is in, like, a hundred pieces,
you know, 'cause the humidity is so
bad, I mean, the upright just blew up.
I said, "Forget it, I can't afford
this any more, so I went out",
got a knife,
and took all of, you know, frets
out of my Fender. That was it.
And the rest is history.
Careful, don't cut yourself.
Don't cut me.
It's closer to the the, the sound of
a voice, the flexibility of a voice.
The inflections. This, this adds to,
to sort of a
metallic tone to the,
to the quality to the sound.
That's right, it's less metallic.
Using a fretless bass
gave the instrument
a resonance
not to similar to a cello.
That resonant rich warm tone
that sounds like a cello.
I think, every bass player
in the world having heard that
was... their world
was suddenly re-calibrated.
What about harmonics?
That's something that you,
like you pioneered.
I mean, this must have had harmonics
on them forever, but you have like,
almost like you went to a mine
and you know, gotten gold out of
something that wasn't there before.
Well, when I was first playing
a friend of mine
I saw him just tuning his guitar with
harmonics which everybody does and uh,
so I was just doing this,
it sounded like music to me so I
just kept, kept exploring it.
That's all there was to it.
He explored the harmonic range of,
of the instrument by,
by playing harmonics
that uh, gave the bass
suddenly a symphonic range.
Which again was ming blowing.
I think they gave me
a cassette of Jaco playing.
And I'm listening to this wondering
who in the heck is this?
Nobody plays like this.
I was hard to describe.
Jaco, married to Tracy with his
two kids John and Mary.
Definitely a family man, almost
like uh, like uh like a farmer.
His own personality
is so in much what he does.
You're not even aware
of the influences.
You're hearing something new.
What I heard was him.
And that's one of the most important
elements that a musician must have.
Jaco had developed his own sound.
There's days in my life
When I drift through my mind
Thinking about the good times
The kind I left behind
Next, I'm aware...
This was I think, 1974.
My band was Blood, Sweat and Tears.
He was doing a residency down there,
a Bachelors III in Fort Lauderdale.
The softball team for Bachelors III
asked me to play
and center field was a blond woman and
she had her mid on and her hands on her knees.
She went, "Badder, badder,
hey, badder, badder!"
I just said, "Who are you?"
And she said, "Oh, I'm Tracy."
I said, "Well, how are you
affiliated with this group?"
She said, "Well, I work at the club."
I said, "I never saw you at the club."
She said, "I don't hang out
much, I just kinda go home."
And she was really cute,
really, really sweet girl.
I said, "Are you married?"
And she said, "Yes."
Uh... Pause.
"To the greatest bass
player in the world!"
This fellow shows up, thin guy
with kind of plastic glasses.
And he said, "I'm
Tracy's husband, Jaco."
I said, "Oh. I understand you're the
greatest bass player in the world."
He said, "I am."
And I went, "Okay."
And then of course, the arrogant
New York side of me came out.
And I said, "Well, why don't you get
your bass and just play a little bit?"
Just play."
He played Donna Lee, that's a
Charlie Parker song with a solo.
He played it with the facility
and the phrasing
and nuance as a saxophone player.
He wouldn't go...
He'd go...
Which I had never heard
before in that instrument.
And I said, "You know, look, I'm
gonna try and get you a record deal."
I brought Jaco to New York
and he lived there with me while
we were doing this album.
Luckily the head of A&R
was a bass player.
And I thought, you know, there is
no one that's gonna hear this who plays
a stringed instrument
that isn't gonna go,
"All right. Let's just start all
over and figure out what's going on."
And Jaco had a tremendous
sense of loyalty.
His friends in Florida
meant a lot to him.
And he wanted to keep them
involved as much as possible.
He comes to my house
and he says, "We got signed!"
As soon as he said "we" like we was
like Simon and Garfunkel or something.
He said, "Come on, you gotta
fly up here to New York."
And he says, "Do not come
up if you're not gonna deliver."
He didn't tell me a lot of
what we were walking into.
My first day there, I walk
into Columbia Studios,
Hubert Laws is the first one I see
and then I turn and there's Lenny White
sitting by the drums,
and Jaco's eyes have lit up
'cause he knows he's found home.
This is the level that he belongs on.
Word got out really fast
around the New York scene.
Jaco was able to handpick
whoever he wanted.
If you look at the pictures,
from that recording,
my hair was all over my head
and you know, it was wild.
And basically, what would happen is,
we would go play, take a take,
and go outside and play basketball.
I mean, we could have
done this on bicycles
with microphones and he
would have played it perfectly.
I don't think there were
a lot of takes on anything.
And there were no expectations.
This wasn't a hit record,
pop radio, sort of thing.
My goal was to bring Jaco to as
many people as humanely possible.
To just have them listen
and recognize this genius.
And then from there, whatever happens, happens
but that's the goal of a first record.
And that's what I wanted to happen
and I'm absolutely confident
that's exactly what happened.
Everybody was interested
in working for Jaco.
I went over there with Ronson.
"We've got to see this guy, you know."
And Jaco just sat us up there
in Bobby's house playing...
Kind of like a performing
seal or something.
Enormous ego, but innocent.
He was 21 years old at that point.
He knew about dope,
he knew about all that stuff.
He was too clever for that.
He would sit on top
of a hill and meditate.
He had it all down, you know.
I'm just about to do
All American Alien Boy
so he said, "I'll do that."
He was totally immersed
in whatever he did.
In my case, it was the record
I was doing.
But like three months later, he was
totally immersed in something else.
Well I was born
On the line
And I was raised
On the line
Oh, I was schooled
On the line
And I was fazed
On the line
And I was used
On the line
And I was dazed
On the line
Just had to split
Off the line
'Cause I was crazed
Off the line
But I remember
All the good times
Me 'n Miller enjoyed
Up and down the M1
In some luminous yo-yo toy
But the future has to change
And to change
I've got to destroy
Oh look out Lennon
Here I come
Land ahoy-hoy-hoy
All American Alien Boy
All American Alien Boy
All American Alien Boy
All American Alien Boy
All American Alien Boy
All American Alien Boy
Hello. Tonight's South Bank Shows are
filled with American jazz band,
Weather Report.
NARRATOR: Josef Zawinul
was born in 1932.
And he grew up
in a village in Vienna woods.
His music still draws on
his memories in Austria.
There was a guy,
he played the piano and
he played something, uh...
I never heard even
the name... Jazz.
But there was something
about the name jazz...
And I was kind of ego
tripping on this.
You know, I said, J-A-Z-Z,
somehow I saw,
I saw my name in there.
NARRATOR: Zawinul began
with Wayne Shorter
in Miles Davis' great
band of 1969.
At that time, Davis was
gathering a number
of the most talented
young musicians around him.
Men like John McLaughlin,
Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams
and Chick Corea.
Together, they were forging
a completely new kind
of electronic jazz.
In getting into the 1970s,
and we knew there was
a hell of a change happening,
and that we would be
somehow responsible for it.
When we went to Florida,
we were leaving a theater
and walking down a street.
Someone from Florida
walking with us said,
"The guy Jaco is right behind
you, he's right behind you."
Jaco brought his album
and he'll throw it
as a Frisbee to Joe...
And say, "Hey Joe,
check this out! Ba!"
You know, throw it like that.
And Joe, um, got it.
Then he said, "By the way,
I wanna introduced myself",
"My name is
John Francis Pastorius III,
I'm the greatest bass
player in the world."
And I said,
"Get the fuck outta here."
I mean, that's the way
I said it.
That evening after
we finished playing,
I can hear music coming
out of a room,
I kinda stop, and it's Joe's room.
You know, I peep in
and I... I didn't see Jaco,
I saw his back, his back was to the door,
but I could hear this recording and I go,
"Wow, who's that?" you know?
So Joe said,
"Come in, come in.
I want you to meet this guy.
He's a bad motherfucker."
So he introduced me to Jaco
and listened to the record.
It was incredible.
I started putting two and two together,
you know? [LAUGHING]
Here's this phenomenal
bass player Joe's interested in,
what are my chances of
my being around much longer?
So I just kind of went for the other
gig and just worked out perfect.
All of a sudden, here come
the news, Alphonse Johnson,
gonna quit the band
because he's gonna make
George Duke and Billy Cobham, a band.
It was July, 1975 exactly.
We just came back from Boston,
Cannonball Adderley had died.
It was a very hard thing for me.
And I wrote a song which
is called, Cannonball.
I had this little melody
in the beginning,
which I thought this guy's
tone would be perfect for
this kind of thing, you know?
So we started writing
this particular tune.
And in the beginning,
he was busy, you know?
So I just stopped the band
for a minute
and I said, "You know what?
We already know you can play."
"Forget about that.
You are here with us now,
you know better now.
You have a beautiful tone,
use that tone."
And what happened at that
point is on the record.
Joe told me he wanted that
Florida sound on Cannonball.
- That Florida sound.
- Yeah.
For Wayne and me, he was the third.
You know if you have a triangle,
this was three forceful personalities.
Totally different
and nobody giving an inch.
Joe, when we finished
that tune, he called his wife.
"Maxine, Maxine, please
tell so and so to cook tonight,
"blah, blah, bring a lot of food
and wine and this and that.
"We're having a banquet tonight
because we're gonna celebrate.
A new guy has come, a genius."
And Jaco right there told Joe,
"I need to talk to the
managers of Weather Report."
And Jaco talked to them,
"Okay, I wanna know if I can
put one song in the album?"
And they laugh at him.
They guys were telling
him on the phone, they said,
"Hey Weather Report
out of recording...
Those are the best writers
in the whole world!"
I said, "That's right but I want
to put a tune in there."
And that's uh...
He knew how serious it is
to leave a piece of your soul
in a recording 'cause
it's gonna stay there forever.
It's not about bass playing.
He was being a storyteller.
We said we played music
with hills and valleys
and streams and confrontations.
People think that playing jazz is
just a couple of chords, you know.
They call Earth, Wind and Fire jazz,
and they call Kenny, cheap jazz.
It's not, it's deeper than that.
Jazz is a challenge to
improvise and be in the moment.
That one moment equals eternity.
The sound of the music
that is produced
is really the greatness
of the human being.
We were just new, it was fresh,
there was nothing like it.
You know, and we were all like,
"Man, Jaco, man! It was like..."
It's like going to a game and you're
rooting for, you know, Michael Jordan.
You know, it's impossible or
difficult not to like someone who
uh, we all identify
with at that point.
You know, we're all rooting for him.
It pushed the envelope.
It pushed you to do your best.
And I think, uh, in doing that,
it helped push that whole era
in reaching and there
was no boundaries.
It was like, "Wow, if he could do
that, then maybe I can do this."
I'm gonna take you there, baby.
Got ya!
There was a musical movement going on.
And we were in it.
So google it, baby.
A lot of promotion,
sold out shows across the country.
Uh, people going crazy.
It was really exciting.
'Cause prior to that,
that didn't exist.
You know, rock was rock
and jazz was jazz,
there wasn't a lot of fusion going on.
Back then, you went
to see Van Halen
and then you would
go see Jaco Pastorius
with the Weather Report
or Stanley Clark with
Weather Returned Forever.
It was the outrageous
You know, like playing
all this crazy shit.
And I was a kid
and I was just like,
"This guy is the coolest
motherfucker that ever lived!"
The so called jazz police
were having fits.
These same people that were
going to Ozzy Osbourne concerts,
were now coming to see
Returned Forever and
Weather Report.
And you go out there and you play
everything at 99 miles an hour,
as loud and as fast as you can.
The band hired me pretty much,
just purely on the strength
of Jaco's recommendation.
Jaco and I were half
the age of Joe and Wayne.
We were the kids
and we were the elders.
And yet Joe and Jaco
would compete like brothers.
He could go toe to toe with Zawinul
where anyone else would fear to tread.
- Thank you.
- How you doing?
- That's Peter Erskine!
- Jaco Pastorius!
- Joseph Zawinul!
Joe Zawinul would come and say,
"Oh man, we are the greatest band
in the world, man, you know.
"I mean, like please,
everybody's playing this stuff,
but we play it the real deal,
we play good stuff."
And Jaco considered himself the
greatest bass player in the world.
So he had the greatest bass player
in the world getting
the greatest band in the world.
Oh man, those two...
were like two cobras.
Two cobras in a very small cage,
with no where to go but they have
to make this relationship work.
That's what it was like
watching them on stage.
And I can remember,
Zawinul with his speed
and in between the cracks, there
would be Jaco with something sick.
And I remember sitting there, hearing
this conversation come in and out,
that's when I realized,
"Man, this is like a boxing match."
It would always surprise me when
I'd hear him criticize Jaco.
"You know, Jaco sounds
like a trombone sometimes.
You know, teen talents,
this is not really a
Weather Report song."
Jaco hated that.
He didn't want to hang around for
any of that so he would disappear.
Jaco respected his jazz elders.
And yet, he wasn't above
ruffling their feathers.
In these photos, you can see
Wayne in the background.
He was drinking, had his cigarette,
he's just watching,
Wayne never said anything,
Joe was doing all the talking.
Jaco used to say, me and Frank
Sinatra, we're Sagittarians.
I'm a Sag, he's a Sag.
He met my mother
and said, "You're a Sag!"
My mother said, "I'm a Sag, too!"
And she always talked about courage
and guts to get through
the damn day and everything.
And, um, she would say this about Jaco,
"That child", she'll call him "that child".
"That child", she said,
"that child, he knows
what he's talking about."
Then she'll say, "He's mighty
wild though, ain't he?"
His identity in music
and theater was coming out.
That's what Jaco had, a history,
not just a library but a history,
of being open and not shutting
out many kinds of music.
The bass almost became incidental.
For this next song, I have
to go into a rather funny tune.
This is a song about a daydreamer.
And daydreaming can get you into a
lot of difficulties sometimes,
if not used properly.
It took me a long time to find a
rhythm section that could play my music.
So I went through a lot of players,
I'll put them on the record
and take them off.
So it was until my sixth album,
that one of the guys in this section,
Ruskunkel, the drummer said to me,
"Joannie, you know, you're gonna
have to play with jazz musicians."
I heard this guy, he played
what he was gonna play
and I said, "Well, could
you play this note?"
And he went, "I'm not playing that.
That's not the route of the chord."
I said, "Well, it will be
when you play it. I mean..."
And he rebelled on another
issue and finally he said,
"There's this really weird
bass player in Florida
you'd probably like him."
I said, "Well, would he play these
things I'm asking you?"
"He's already doing
that weird stuff." Right?
So I sent for Jaco,
excited on seeing him.
I'm traveling in some vehicle
I'm sitting in some cafe
A defector
From the petty wars
That shell shock love away...
I'd set up this architecture in me,
he just kind of instinctively,
played figuratively...
You know, you're inviting another
painter to join you on your canvas.
It's very conversational.
It's just as natural
As the weather
in this moody sky today
In our possessive coupling
So much could
not be expressed
Jaco came into work one night
and he said, "Look at my neck."
And I looked at it and on this side,
there was a bruise and a redness
and a hollow like that...
It looked like it had
been made by a pipe.
And he was driving home the night
before from the studio,
straight up Sunset Boulevard
to this motel where he was staying.
And the cops pulled him over.
And I don't know what he said to
that cop, but the next thing he knew,
the cop had his pistol
shoved into his throat.
You know, deeply because the impression
of it was still there 24 hours later.
Or 20 hours later.
And while the cop had
that pistol at his throat,
he said I said to myself,
"It's not my time to die."
And he apparently seemed to
know when his time to die was.
I mean, this was side to him that
not many people knew about.
I remember he took me up to the bar
in Keio Plaza to have a drink.
And so we get the Sake
and we have a drink
and he starts crying.
And I said, "Well, what's wrong?
What's wrong, man?"
And he says, "Well, listen,
I'm gonna die when I turn 34."
"And I would like you
to look after my babies."
So I said,
"You got it. You got it."
Sometimes you see things
you don't wanna know.
Especially about yourself. And
this was one of those times for Jaco.
MARY: My vision of my dad
in my mind's eye always
goes to that period.
He has no shirt on,
he's in corduroy
cut-off Levi shorts
and he's barefoot
and his hair's long
and he's tan.
He was so young when I was born
and he wasn't famous yet.
If he had gigs, you know,
outside Calypso bars,
whatever, we weren't so...
I had him there every day.
- He would point out,
you know, bird sounds...
- Wind blowing through leaves or chimes.
He heard music in everything.
It's a gift and I mean,
it's a burden, too.
My father was my hero.
And still is my hero.
You know, every dad
should be their son's hero.
He bought like a Yamaha,
what was it? 750?
- And we'll just jump on and
ride all the way up the coast.
I would never tell him,
I'm scared.
And I'll be holding on, terrified,
but holding on,
that's what I miss the most.
I mean, he was a great dad, man.
I mean, but I know
he wanted to be there more.
You know, I remember postcards
he'll always send to John and Mary.
Every postcard, he'll either
point out the historical fact,
or he'll post a question,
get the kids thinking.
Almost every morning, without fail.
He knows his important
part of the routine
when we travel, to find postcards
to get stamps for those postcards.
Any city we went to,
no matter how tired we were,
we were gonna hit the streets,
we were gonna see
the best that Florence
or Rome or Milan had to offer.
Venice... "Come on,
let's ride in the gondolas."
"Let's go on the canals."
When are we gonna get
a chance to do that?
Um, we had fun.
I never saw him on those first tours
act high or drunk,
it was all good times.
Um, but it was present.
He was like a kid, you know,
he would do things,
like hide on the bus
while it's moving.
And Zawinul will be looking for him
for 30 minutes and nobody could find him.
And then he would give up and then
Jaco would come out laughing.
And these are the kind of things
he would do, just very playful.
Going on stage, "No prisoners!"
was the last thing you would
hear him say. "No prisoners!"
March, 1979, 200 singers,
musicians and technicians
and 70 tonnes of equipment
to arrive at
Jose Marti airport,
Havana for the Havana jam.
Okay, Havana here we are.
It's really happening for
the first time ever.
Looking out the window
of this car,
I'm feeling more like Christopher
Columbus than Kris Kristofferson.
The Havana Jam, Kris Kristofferson,
Rita Coolidge, Stephen Stills,
Billy Joel... It was odd.
Billy Joel and Jaco giving
each other attitude.
With all the bands kind of there to
support each other,
yet were dissing each other.
It's gonna be a face to face
confrontation between people who
had best only heard of each other
over 90 miles of Caribbean water.
For three nights, the stage
of the Karl Marx Theater
here in Havana, Cuba
will be shared by American
and Cuban musicians
in a unique cultural exchange.
First of its kind
since political, economic
and philosophical differences separated
our country 20 years ago.
That distinctive pulse at the heart
of Cuban music is an African heartbeat.
I think you'll hear it in the work
of the astonishing Tata Guines.
Jaco was like a kid getting the
autograph of Tata Guines.
Many of the patterns that Jaco played
on the bass were really Congo patterns.
You know, Jaco's whole Florida beat,
his whole Caribbean thing, it's that.
Coincidentally, I mean,
the Havana Jam was the first
sign of things going wrong.
Jaco got into a thing
with one of the musicians
who was the Fania All-Stars.
I think these guys were
also from Puerto Rico.
And I don't know if there was some
Cuban, Puerto Rican musical dynamic,
but the guy definitely was
giving Jaco short shrift.
I mean, Jaco almost got into a fist
fight. I think Joe had to break it up.
And then Jaco lost face
and I think, uh,
part of that mechanism of his losing
face and this whole humiliation thing,
and it played out
and This Trio of Doom,
which had tremendously successful
rehearsals in New York.
It was the buzz talk of the whole
trip, The Trio of Doom.
The Jazz, rock, whatever you want to
call it were equivalent to the three tenors.
Tonight, we have visiting Tropicana
of a group of American artists...
It could have been great.
But once Jaco kind of went into his
little self-destruct mode,
which unfortunately
occurred during their set.
The concert was pretty
much considered a disaster.
I mean, Jaco was just not himself.
Playing Portrait of Tracy,
and turning the bass up really loud,
just not playing the tunes.
Tony never forgave him.
And it was an odd pattern. I mean,
whenever Jaco would lose face somehow,
there would be this odd acting out.
I don't know what the dynamics are,
you know.
My dad was psychiatrist
and he tried to help Jaco.
Maybe my father didn't
pass along too much
of that wisdom to me but...
You know, there was some
complicated stuff going on.
Watching the dry cleaner
Do it
Like Midas In a polyester suit
It's all luck! It's just luck!
You get a little lucky
And you make a little money!
He played in Santa Barbara.
Jaco came out on tour.
He came late for rehearsals,
shoved my mike off the center,
widened his space, powdered the floor,
and you know, took long solos
where he danced around a lot.
On bass, Jaco Pastorius!
In Santa Barbara where we filmed,
his wife and his mother showed up.
I don't know what those women
did to him in the back room...
But it was a good thing because when
he came out that night and took his solo,
he opened up by quoting,
I was High and Mighty.
It was starting to fall apart.
Jaco and the kids and Tracy
and fame, and all that.
It was just you know,
some things changing.
Jaco took the fame hit.
I can't imagine walking, you know,
out or doing something,
then all of a sudden, all these
people congregate around you,
and wanna know you and talk to you
and be part of you know,
what's going on.
I just... It frightens me.
Suddenly, he was entering some kind
of challenges that didn't exist before.
Certainly, Tracy's relationship
was home for him.
And it pained him
and it saddened him that
that relationship ended,
you know.
I think that was
a huge loss for him.
You know, failure in the life of a guy
who had experienced so much triumph.
He was conveying his inner
self on his canvas.
Everything came out
on the instrument
as if he was
on the psychiatrist couch
and revealed everything
about who he was.
CONRAD: So tell me, what happened with
that little tour with Johnny in the summer?
Did it open up any new things for you?
JACO: No. No, I'm just doing
my own thing, you know.
CONRAD: No, I mean... But have
you got a project happening?
JACO: I don't know, you know, 'cause,
I mean, I'm still just the side man,
you know?
CONRAD: Right.
CONRAD: So is Epic, are you
hanging it up with Epic
or are you gonna try
to renegotiate with them?
JACO: Oh, they're such assholes,
man, you know, like uh...
CONRAD: Do have a contract where they've
got an option on your next record?
JACO: Yeah, but that don't
matter to me, you know?
All this legal shit
in the record business
has got to change because
it's 100 percent rip off.
I will never put up
with any of that shit.
I will never get ripped off like that.
Because I don't care. I'll just
come home and play baseball all day.
- Which I do when I'm home,
you know what I mean?
And play basketball and Frisbee
and just have fun, you know?
The key issues in his life
then were family upheaval.
Big changes in family.
And also,
dissatisfaction with
his established work.
What was on record so far for him,
left him dissatisfied.
He had married Ingrid and
moved up to Deerfield beach.
We would get together at 4:00 a.m.
And he wanted to be recording every
morning when the sun came up.
He obviously had compositional
ideas that were...
There's a lot of hints
of those on the first record.
Okonkole y Trompa,
it's just a masterpiece.
It's almost classical music.
He had things to show people
that they'd never heard before.
They were in his head for quite a while.
People realized that this is...
We don't know what this is.
Show us.
I mean, there was
a buzz on Jaco, of course.
Here's a guy that could
write, that could arrange,
that could play.
He was a collaborator.
It was apparent to some of us that
this guy was really something special.
And in addition to being
something special
had the potential really, you know,
to break through and cross over.
We set out on, really kind of a quest
to get Jaco to come to Warner Brothers.
It was a start level deal,
make no mistake about it.
And because the record
business is a business,
expectations, you know,
tend to follow the deal.
If you sign an act for $75,000,
your expectations, you know,
are at one level,
if you sign an act
for four times that...
He said, "You know what dub is?"
And I said, "I believe I do. Yeah,
I know, it's like the old reggae",
the guy dropping
the fader, talking over you..."
He goes, "Yeah, it's gonna be
a little different than that."
He said, "We're not gonna let
anybody hear anyone else's parts."
Whatever happens, let's see if it fits."
It had a life of it's own.
It really grew powerfully.
It's very rare that any record
has a piece on it like this.
Pablo Picasso Guernica,
Jaco Pastorius' Crisis.
I mean, they are of the same cloth.
He wanted to open the record with this.
I mean, there are a lot of
people at the company,
if they'd heard this track, they'll
just pull their hair out and said,
"Wait a minute, we can't even have this.
"This is crazy. It's a cacophony.
It's a atonal. Nobody
can follow it. It's scary."
I'm shaking right now
as I think about it.
I was kind of scared of the idea
of it opening the record.
They pleaded with him.
They said, "Any of it
to him about that."
"We can't get this album onto radio
if that's the first track."
I think it really made him very happy
to think of this going on a record.
I would say that he was venting.
He was venting little bit
of personal frustration.
And then he realizes
that it's the only way
to start a record like this.
You know, it's to make people
wonder what's coming.
And then what comes is so different.
The Word of Mouth album
was so revealing of Jaco as a person.
It was almost
embarrassing to listen to it,
it was so intimidate at times.
And it was the most courageous
things ever done, it was the most
daring thing he's done.
It's Jaco's internal thing,
to real cure with euphorias.
There were some people
that were less than
thrilled about this, they
thought, "Aw, wait a minute."
"This is like the switch arrow.
"He signed this guy to make these
big hit fusion records and now
he's doing this thing over here."
I know how comfortable
he was with the concept.
How good he felt about what he
was doing, that it was right.
Label had never
quite really acknowledged
the master work it was.
And it hurt Jaco deeply to tears.
It really did hurt him.
I remember Jaco, really needing
Joe's approval.
And we would call him on the phone.
And play the tape,
with the phone held up.
All the time.
And it was often,
the end of the day session.
Because Joe will be cruelly dismissive.
I kind of wanted to say to Jaco,
"Let's not call Joe today."
Joe had a fighters instinct
or a boxers instinct.
He had a Myles instinct
that through his,
you know, glass chin
or a soft spot in the belly.
They knew how to find it pretty quick.
The final tour began with Joe,
listening to the Word Of Mouth album.
He wanted to wait for
that perfect moment,
to play the music for Joe.
And he thought
after lunch flying to Tokyo,
will be the perfect moment.
Joe takes off the headphone
and I hear him say,
"Nah, that just sounds like
some typical high school
big bam bullshit."
That's what Joe said about
Liberty City.
And I couldn't believe it.
That was Joe's way of
slapping down the son,
who's like
threatening his reign.
In a sense.
That fucking music
was on the highest level.
John and Mary, that...
Joe would love to write
something like that.
I think there was a point of
fear by Joe in
feeling like the son
had taken over.
Where do you wanna go from here?
I got it, I got it,
I got it, I got it.
Ti ri ta ta ta ta
Ta ta ta
JACO: In 1982, our men took off
from Weather report.
We've been together a long time,
just like anything else,
you gotta have space, too.
Playing in Weather report didn't
allow me any time to do anything
- on my own.
- Uhm...
So I said to myself, "Forget it,
Jaco. You gotta get to work."
And I don't care what Joe thinks about.
'Cause I know,
I can get the job done, man.
And that's it.
Jaco would come up and just
stay with us, crash with us.
We were just playing in a club.
And right down where I lived,
from where I lived
called 55 Grand Street.
The problem for me,
at that point was
that I was totally out.
You know I was really high a lot.
So much so that Myles, actually
tried to put me in a rehab.
And when Myles tries
to put you in a rehab,
you know, you got
a little bit of a Joan.
And the nick name of 55 Grand,
was 55 gram.
Is it that what
you're talking about?
Yeah, so you know,
you know what, there was,
there was lot of condiments
flowing through, you know.
People were doing what they wanted to
do. I mean, there was nothing really
out in the open, but you know,
if you're there late enough
probably there was.
I mean, Jaco would hang
for a day, go straight
through days and days,
never stops hanging.
It was like dumb asses
just hanging down the street.
I said,
"Create the Hang Dynasty club."
So if you hang for three days,
you'll be a member of this club.
You know, if you didn't hang
for three days straight,
you aren't in the club.
So, everybody passed the test.
So we had a band.
You know, at that point,
that was normal.
It wasn't that far out
for the musicians.
But Jaco's playing, became an extension
almost of his behavior off stage.
Sort of John Belushi kind of man.
People almost felt
cheated if they didn't,
you know, well, Jaco really
acted like Jaco tonight.
They got their money's worth out
of him. But meanwhile, now he's gotta
be wreck the next day.
And so I think,
there was some pressure.
It didn't occur to me, not to be
with him. We were just kinda like
brothers in a way,
you know we just, we well...
We were in the same boat.
He was a cult figure of sorts,
I mean,
what stuck me at one point was...
"Man we're playing like an old
Bebop tune from the '40s,"
for these young people
and they're freaking out
going crazy and I thought
isn't it fantastic.
The frustrating thing
to me was,
this thing was up and running
from note one.
We sold out, wherever we played.
And all the luminary
musicians came
to see what was going on,
you know, it was working.
It made everybody feel like a
rock star, playing a jazz tour.
The Japanese adored him,
I mean, we're talking
20,000 seats.
There were people, who broke
the bones in their thumbs
so that they bend the last digit
of their thumb back like Jaco could.
I've seen unbelievable things.
But the things I saw early,
were the same things
I saw later that knock me up.
It's his ability
to communicate music to everyone
including the average person.
He had tribes of people waiting for
him, in every city that he went to.
Even if they didn't know
anything about his facility,
but at the same time
he was leaving Weather Report,
starting his own career path
with his album
The Word of Mouth band.
He was essentially
leaving a family.
Ingrid gave Jaco, these magical twins,
that he was amazed by.
The concept of twins was spiritual
and incredible to him.
And pondering their birth
was astounding to him.
Unfortunately, that was happening
at the time when he was
sort of run raveling
and Ingrid, uh,
being so, after they're born
being so
protected of, his children
didn't watch Jaco around them
and so he didn't have
much of a relationship with them.
'Cause at the time
he was not in a place to
be responsible parent,
and that caused some amount of pain.
I said, "What's happening, man?
What's wrong?"
And he said,
"You've ever been married?"
I said, "No."
He said, "You have any kids?"
I said, "No."
He said, "I can't tell you what's wrong.
'Cause you wouldn't understand it."
I guess that was his way of let me
know that there were problems.
Before the Japan trip,
I go to the airport.
I turn a corner and here is Jaco.
And it was the moment which
was driving is that moment
in the film Taxi Driver,
when the camera pans
and then begins to pan up.
You see the body of De Niro,
you know it's De Niro,
but then, when you see
the shaved head with a Mohawk...
I had that same...
creepy, frightening feeling.
And I went,
"Hi, Jaco."
He's got pieces of electrical tape
on his face,
with the crew cut.
At some point, he changed into this
blue Seminole dress.
And he's walking around the plane
like he was Sun Ra or something,
one of these mystical elders.
A lot of musicians were kind of amused.
They're not quite sure
about the make of it,
those of us who've known him longer
are alarmed.
Um, and so, there's a balance
of this emperor's new clothing
and nobody saying anything.
And we were whispering,
"What do we do?"
Something definitely is wrong.
I'm an electric bass player.
Jaco was not doing
so well at that time.
How's that going?
You got another one?
Things are not going well.
What's up in the future for you?
Well, more records.
It's champagne, but looks like beer.
- More records, I'm sure.
- What kinda records?
Well, we're working
on a new studio album.
Which album? We are done, bro.
What we gotta do is get it
and mix it.
There definitely was a feeling
of uncertainty.
That never reared its ugly head,
during Word of Mouth.
Label has zero interest
in the record.
And I didn't know,
what options he had.
Do you ever see tapping
of the commercial market.
We are.
- I'm commercial.
- Not commercial yet.
Jaco is very aware, that
he could have easily
just gone pop
making some
records and "Bam".
I'm not selling out man.
Hey, man.
I'm not selling out.
You know, we're tapping
the commercial market.
I mean, are you're referring to
the pop music, top 40 market?
Well yeah, If they ever come
around and get smart, sure.
Like Chuck Mangione.
Impossible, he plays
out of tune.
Chuck Manicoti, I don't
dig him at all. You know.
Yeah, that's the man, he's a very
nice cat, he does way too much coke,
and a mother fucker.
He eats too much pasta
and fuck him, he wears a hat.
When he was in the midst of
recording for Holiday for Pans.
The Warner Brothers decided to
rip up, literally rip up,
Jaco's contract.
It was like a huge rejection.
He knew that he was on to
something really special.
He just continue
this downward spiral.
People didn't understand
there were forces and conditions
and beyond his control,
that were grabbing hold.
And it was too easy to just
describe to substances.
Hey dad. It's Jaco.
You there?
- Daddy!
- Yeah.
So nice.
I don't know,
I haven't heard from you.
Where you at?
- New York City.
- Where at?
Well, we're here. Jame's house.
Well, I called there last week.
- Sorry... [MUFFLED]
- Nobody answered.
- Can I tell you one thing.
- What's that?
Who loves you?
Who loves you, kid?
Look, things happen whether
people are good or bad.
It's always the convergence
of many elements or components
coming up together.
You know, it takes
fore fingers to the thumb
to make that solid.
But you need to make impact.
Or to make stranglehold.
He's like at this video,
they want me to do this video.
I told them I wasn't gonna do this
with out you. But we gonna do this.
And he was in bad shape.
But he was so real and then
he wanted to leave some thing.
I don't know if somethings
gonna happen to him,
but it was in the forefront
of his mind to help other musicians.
To help leave something for kiddies.
Um, that's what he wanted to do.
Be p-ba-be-bop-boo.
What you do?
- Okay.
- Way better something like that.
That's better than I do.
Any advice to musicians.
Young and old. New, beginners.
Just your minds open.
Keep an open head about music.
When I first came to New York,
everybody just wanted to play Jazz.
They didn't know about rock and roll.
They didn't know about funk.
They didn't know about nothing.
All they wanted to do is Jazz.
Now New York is cool.
They're playing everything.
Where I grew up, in Florida,
everything was here.
So I was fortunate enough to be
exposed and be able to play all
different types of musicians.
I played in a country band
for an year, I had a ball.
I love country, western, too,
if it's was good. I dig it.
Whatever it is, just keep
an open mind about everything.
That's my own advice.
- And keep listening.
- Beautiful.
Keep your ears open.
You have to support your music
or your art with your life.
And how they intertwine...
If your life doesn't
have enough stability,
then your art is gonna suffer.
You're not gonna be able to get
those tomatoes to the market.
If you have a flat tire,
you're gonna be on
the side of the highway.
Um, so he was in that kind of...
Stage where this was going on.
Hi, Jack, I'm sorry for calling
so early, but this is Carey.
And I just saw Jaco on the street.
And he's doing some crazy things.
I don't want to tell you this, but
he needs some sort of help again.
He almost got himself killed
by somebody a little while ago.
So I just don't know
what to tell you, you know.
I hope you could help.
Between the street door
and our security door inside, there
was a little six foot space.
Some mornings he'll
be there waiting for us.
Obviously he's been up
from the night before,
and he knew it was a safe place.
He was comfortable here because
he was around musicians.
Saying, "Hey, let me show
you something on my drums"
or, "Let me show you something
I'm working on the piano."
Come here check this out."
Here's something I wrote, you know,
Weather Report never recorded.
He would kind of jolt
and say, "Man, you know why",
"why is this or how could
this be for this guy that was
"on top of the world
"and reinvented the instrument
and left such a strong mark on music."
The senior in my band, Anthony,
they were walking down
a street in New York,
and they saw Jaco,
sitting on the sidewalk.
And they were like,
"It's Jaco Pastorius,
sitting on the sidewalk drunk,
playing Louie Louie for change."
When Charlie Speaks of lustre
You know someone...
I went to an art opening in Soho.
And when we came out there was a
little club across the street
with a cardboard
signed magic marker said,
"Jaco Pastorius tonight."
So I went in and I
found him at the bar.
He sure cheated me,
he asked me to jam with him,
but he trailed the cord
of the microphone
over the keyboard
so that it got in my way.
And I flip it off while I'm playing,
and he would flip it back on.
And he was playing
way out the chord.
You know, it was,
not good, nothing was
good about it at all, it was,
you know...
You know, when he was
kind of praising me too much...
You know what I mean, like,
and then, sure cheating me
too much, it was very
skitsy behavior, you know.
And that's the last I saw of him.
DR. KENNETH: In July of 1986,
I committed him to Bellevue.
Jaco was in the hospital
for seven weeks.
He was admitted in late July and
discharged in about mid September.
This is almost exactly 25 years ago.
When he came in,
there was this grandiosity and
kind of oppositional behavior.
And he was certainly
in danger of provoking
somebody that could
be dangerous to him.
And this sort of
scaled down over weeks.
While he was on the unit,
he was very engaged
with other patients. He could
reach other patients in ways
that other people couldn't.
I recall, there was this woman there,
very psychotic patient,
who had cut herself,
all over the body
in response to some delusion.
And she was very withdrawn
and very inaccessible,
and Jaco really reached her,
in terms of making some kind
of connection, some kind
of contact with her.
Jaco had that capability.
His diagnosis was bipolar disorder.
The classical form
of bipolar disorder,
is weeks to months of depression.
And days to weeks of mania.
Jaco, had what you'd call either
rapid cycling or mixed state.
Where the features
of mania and depression
alternated rapidly
or mixed with one another.
That interacted with
the exposure to alcohol.
He was not at the point where
he looked like just another
drug using musician.
It was not like that.
Who is to say that
the chemical imbalance
is a fault of nature?
It could be that
the chemical imbalance ushers
in action, that would not
have been taken
if you're living without it.
He was an explorer.
I see him in an image of Jaco,
like Johnny Parker,
Coltrane, Myles.
It's the same thing
I saw in the comic books.
OPERATOR: Hallo, collect
to Jack from Jaco.
Hey dad, it's Jaco.
Live and loud, in Florida.
Love you.
Jaco, returned to Florida,
after he was treated.
He was intermittently compiled with
the medication that's not unusual.
He was going through a phase
that a lot of bipolar
patients go through.
And that's why they're ambivalent
about their treatment.
And struggling with
accepting the illness.
And that's what was going on
in the year after he was
discharged from Bellevue.
One day,
I look up and it's daddy.
he doesn't have a base,
I don't think he had a shirt on.
And he's hanging out
with some fellows.
I assume they were hanging out
here, too, to whatever degree.
He had an acoustic guitar.
He had some albums,
you know, some of his albums.
And I realize that,
"Man, he's hanging out here."
I mean, he could have
stayed anywhere.
The thought of,
my dad, Jaco Pastorius,
sleeping in a park is absurd.
And I don't think we'll
ever know exactly why.
He was in a constant state
of motion, at all times.
He was like trying to grab
a cloud or a wind.
One day he would've choosed
to get better.
But that choice was
taken away from him.
He didn't die on the streets,
from a blown out liver,
or a heart attack or anything.
He was killed.
The song is called
Mr. Pastorius, it's on your
last album Amandla, right?
I remember, he came to a gig,
I had in Fort Lauderdale.
And the owner ran out,
and said, "I'm gonna call
the cops, right now."
And Jaco hadn't done anything.
All he did was he just walk
into the restaurant.
And so I told the band leader,
I said, "Look, that's my brother."
"I have to take him home.
I can't let him go to jail."
I put his sticks down.
Got up, got my car keys,
I got Jaco, and I said,
"Come on man, let's go."
So we get in my car.
I said,
"Okay, where do you live?"
and he says, "In the park."
And I said,
"what? In the Park?"
"Yeah, I live in the park.
Just take me to the park."
So we're driving in the park,
then he grabs my hand,
he starts crying.
Then I said,"What's wrong man."
He goes, "I don't wanna
be here any more."
And I said, "What do you
mean by that, Jaco?"
"I don't wanna
be here man, I've had it."
That night he went to see his hero,
Carlos Santana.
And the incident happened.
I found about it very quick
because my ex-girlfriend,
dated one of those assholes
that beat him to coma.
And this was pretty tough,
very tough
for me to hear.
And, it was very sad. I remember,
at the funeral.
The boys.
Ingrid, looked at me
and she just walked away.
She couldn't take it.
Everybody was walking
away at the end
of the funeral, man.
Julius and Felix,
they are looking at me.
They said, "Uncle Bobby",
when daddy Jaco's gonna
jump out of the box?"
And man, I remember,
it took like 20 minutes,
talking to them to let them know that,
"Daddy Jaco's is with the angels now,
he's not gonna jump out of the box."
Just thinking about what he has said,
and then watching
his life unfold after that.
Everything he said, came to pass.
Not too long, afterwards
I was flying in Italy,
after the concert,
you know, got on
to the front of the stage.
Meet some fans. I went to
the stage right where there's
a stairway that's lead off the stage,
and I started to go halfway down,
to say hello to someone, I think,
this fan came up to me.
Very emotional.
Just said, "How could you do this?
How could all of you let this happen?"
I said,
"Well, we all tried to help and..."
There wasn't good enough
answer for him.
You know.
We're influenced by life.
Whether we like it or not.
It's not necessarily music.
That makes us play a certain way.
It's the life we live.
It's our experiences.
It's our upbringing. It's what we
experienced as kids
before we were even
really conscious about
our own personality,
or what we are or what
we wanna do with life.
That's the stuff, that torment that
go inside us.
That is what comes out in music.
Everybody gets their own burden, man.
Everyone gets their own
special beating in life,
you know what I mean?
He just took this energy and he
turned it into, what he turned it into.
You feel it in every note,
you feel his nervous system.
You feel his joy,
you feel his neurosis,
you feel his suffering,
you feel it all.
Where do you go after Jaco.
It's not too much more
soul and feeling,
and vibe.
You know, that are original stuff.
There's not too much
you can do with that.
Where's he at?
Usually right next to
Johnny Parker.
How do you spell Pastorius again?
Capital "P" as in...
That is, uh... Ha...
The Music's just
a byproduct of his life, man.
And you can hear his sound every day.
Be it, Sting for the Police
or Flea from the Chili Peppers.
It's amazing, how many people
are so close to his music.
And are so,
appreciative of what he gave.
In a short amount of time.
It is an honor to play here,
in the Yankee stadium,
New York City.
Thank you, for coming here
and supporting heavy music.
I had the good fortune of seeing,
Jaco play four times.
It was an amazing moment for me.
Jaco, to me, was punk rock, you know.
He was fearless.
You know, you can try and label him
as your own and say,
"Jaco is pure Jazz."
But there are some Jazz musicians
that are punk rock.
All of us stand on Jaco's shoulders.
No one could have missed
that section of DNA out.
You know, you needed Jaco,
to get to this point.
The things that I know that
he's written blow my mind.
And no small part has influenced me,
in a way, especially the way, I
put together the instrumental songs.
Whatever the genre can take,
the genre can take.
So stretch it, pull it,
bend it, it won't break it.
I just remember him being amazing,
I remember the back flip,
I remember the great bass playing,
I remember just thinking,
this is what it's all about.
This is what I aspire to.
He's the greatest
electric bass player to ever play.
There's nothing else like it.
I mean, I'm thinking, am I missing
anyone as if I'm missing something.
Is there anything close
to it on the note, on the bass.
Not to me, man.
MAN: Come on, Jaco.
One, two, three, four.
One, two, three, four.
MAN: Jaco has no idea.
Ooh, bad...
Two in a row, not bad. Very good.
You won't believe this,
Jaco is playing in this club,
he walked down the stage
balancing his bass
in one hand.
And everybody
was holla and screaming.
He's balanced it
all the way up to the stage,
as the other guy played, took the
cord out and started playing.
I said, "No." He was like a Roman God.
He has these boots, man,
these boots up to here.
And then he put a lot
of talcum powder in it.
I mean a lot.
He walks up to the stage
and borrowed the bass
from Rocco.
He just played his ass off.
And after he finished,
he started building,
building, building...
Then he jumps and when he jumps
all the talcum powder went
So it was like a magic trick.
We were cracking...
I said, "This guy is out of his mind."
They ask me, what is it like
to play with Jaco.
I came up with a description one time.
Kind of like jumping out of an
airplane, naked at night on an LSD.
Something like that.
It was exiting, you know
it's like "Wow!" It's a ride.
With a parachute.
I would wake up and go,
"What's going on?"
And he said this is not a normal
thing, please, it's just...
You just back off or let us be.
'Cause it's gonna happen every day.
This is like Charlie Parker
walked in the house.
This is terrible,
'cause this is very heavy.
Even now, I can't play
the bass a little bit.
I still cannot articulate
like he does.
Every single note.
Everything is so perfectly executed.
When Jaco plays,
it sounds like he knows
every single note he's playing.
There's no way
that he can play a wrong note.
And it's fretless.
So fuck that guy.
Big time.
We were playing at his house one time,
and he was playing drums.
Tk-tss... Tk-tss...
You know, he starts
playing the Teen Town beat.
And he says,
"Let's play Teen Town.
And I said, "Jaco",
I don't know Teen Town."
He looked at me and said,
"You don't know Teen Town?"
And I said, "No, I don't know
any of your songs."
And there was this pregnant pause.
And he
loomed up out of the drum stool.
And he was so much taller than me
and I'm standing up.
And he's like, I'm thinking,
Oh, my God. I'm about to get my ass
whipped because I don't know Teen Town.
A lot of us bass players,
can't get beyond the bass.
We're playing the music
that's on the bass.
He was playing music
that was in the air.
The music that was in his body.
I found it was love.
This one's for Jaco.
Oh, yeah
I feel you JP
Let's go!
Been at the bottom but then
I got back up to this ring
And I beat 'em up 'cause
I never been an average
Of flicking and I need to
Get up and pin this thing
With all the fault and
I don't know what the matter is
I'm packing my bag
To see whose fault
I'm harass and blast
The people trying bury my class
And grass the Bebop
But I'm the last
To see dope
But I'm a bit weak and low
The people who back like
A freak show when he
Shows magazine troll
By all means souls so we grow
Just pass the lead yo
After all my angel
Bet to pay to
Love but I woke up quick