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(Jeff) Healey had a love of life
The Sudbury Star ^ | 03/08/2008 | Bill Steadman

Posted on 03/08/2008 7:36:37 PM PST by avg_freeper

Jeff Healey is dead. There is no more stark way to say it. Sadly, discussing the end of this man's life in less bleak terminology will not change the outcome. Jeff Healey is dead at the age of 41.

I first learned about Jeff Healey in the 1990s, thanks to my teenage daughters. Then he was an up-and-coming Canadian rocker who received great notoriety for his incredible guitar skills. Though blind by age one due to a rare form of cancer known as retinoblastoma, Healey learned the intricacies of the guitar, starting to play in his own unorthodox manner before he reached school age.

Healey was never known as a blind musician in our household, or even a great blind musician. Instead, he was simply a great rocker and a talented musician. Period. No hyphens, no hesitation.

Most of us have experienced discrimination or rejection by some group when a child. No doubt Jeff at some points in his life had those who dismissed him due to his disability, or made fun of his differences. As an adult, though, Jeff inspired many children and youth to live their dreams. He was the poster child for every person who felt inadequate and misunderstood, because Jeff Healey proved that living your dreams is not simply a far-off possibility. It can be a present reality.

Healey was not content to be atop the rock scene in Canada, and indeed throughout North America. In more recent years, he redefined himself and his musical interests by becoming a touring jazz musician. It was in that role I met him on St. Joseph's Island less than two years ago.

Healey had a love of life, and an ability to enthrall an audience, that cannot be taught. He stayed after the concert to interact with the patrons. You had a sense that he loved being in this small patch of northern Ontario. He did not need the advantage of sight to be able to see the unique nature and gifts of people in all parts of this land.

Jeff Healey had a way of seeing the positive in all that he did. When commenting on his then upcoming lung surgery in January 2007, just before the opening of his own jazz club in downtown Toronto within the theatre district, Healey quipped: "I've had 40 good years, you get a bump every now and then."

This latest bump ended a brilliant musician's life many years before it should have.

I was left musing about the fact that many people have the courage to "reinvent themselves" during their lifetime. Healey the rocker became Healey the jazz enthusiast. The guitar player also played a mean trumpet. In actual fact, both personalities were always part of who Jeff was. It just took courage to share both of these divergent parts to an audience that had stereotyped him into one genre.

The Lenten journey of Jesus was about the struggle to discern who he should be, and what he should do. People close to him wanted to make him into a ruler, a miracle worker, a famous celebrity. Jesus simply wanted to do what God called him to do - care about people.

He redefined religious authority when he moved from the power of the great religious leaders of his day to be an itinerant teacher and preacher who simply offered his gifts to ordinary people wherever they may be found.

Ordinary people like the folk of St. Joseph's Island.

Jesus never made it to St. Joseph's Island in person. I am so pleased, in retrospect, that Jeff Healey did ... and even more delighted I heard him.

Rev. Dr. Bill Steadman is Executive Minister of Financial Stewardship for The United Church of Canada, and a former minister at St. Andrew's United Church in downtown Sudbury.


TOPICS: Canada; Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: jazz
I did a search and didn't see any mention of this great musician's passing.
1 posted on 03/08/2008 7:36:38 PM PST by avg_freeper
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To: avg_freeper

I watched Roadhouse when I learned he died.

I watched it again the other when I found out about Patrick Swayze.


2 posted on 03/08/2008 7:39:01 PM PST by Southerngl
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To: avg_freeper

Not sure I’ve ever hear of him... but I like what I read here! Sad — but he’s now in a better place.


3 posted on 03/08/2008 7:39:11 PM PST by sionnsar (trad-anglican.faithweb.com |Iran Azadi| 5yst3m 0wn3d - it's N0t Y0ur5 (SONY) | UN: Useless Nations)
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To: Southerngl

great movie


4 posted on 03/08/2008 7:40:55 PM PST by al baby (Hi mom)
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To: sionnsar

Remember the song “While my guitar gently weeps”?


5 posted on 03/08/2008 7:41:24 PM PST by avg_freeper (Gunga galunga. Gunga, gunga galunga)
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To: al baby

It sure was! Great guy movie and then us gals have Patrick Swayze and Sam Elliot to look at the whole way. Yum Yum.


6 posted on 03/08/2008 7:46:38 PM PST by Southerngl
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To: Southerngl

And Kelly Lynch I like her


7 posted on 03/08/2008 7:47:41 PM PST by al baby (Hi mom)
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To: Blogger; xzins; Dr. Eckleburg; HarleyD; wmfights; Gamecock; Alex Murphy; P-Marlowe

If you can get some of his CDs you will enjoy them.


8 posted on 03/08/2008 7:50:41 PM PST by blue-duncan
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To: Kitty Mittens

You might enjoy this.


9 posted on 03/08/2008 7:51:24 PM PST by wizr ("Give me liberty, or give me death." - Patrick Henry)
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To: avg_freeper

I believe George of the Beatles wrote that song, but Healey’s version was exceptional...JFK


10 posted on 03/08/2008 7:53:13 PM PST by BADROTOFINGER (Life sucks. Get a helmet.)
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To: avg_freeper
I think his most successful song (and admittedly the only one I know but like very much) was Angel Eyes. There were several covers. It's a beautiful song that you can download from the net in no time.
11 posted on 03/08/2008 7:54:34 PM PST by torchthemummy (W's Margin Of Victory In Florida 2000 - 537 / FL House Bill Number To Move Up Florida Primary - 537)
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To: torchthemummy

I like “Angel Eyes” a lot too.


12 posted on 03/08/2008 7:57:42 PM PST by avg_freeper (Gunga galunga. Gunga, gunga galunga)
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To: avg_freeper
I've always marveled at guitarists who can play bettet than I in spite of their handicaps.

RIP.


13 posted on 03/08/2008 7:57:55 PM PST by South40 (Amnesty is a slap in the face to the USBP!)
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To: South40

I took my own advice and dowloaded Angel Eyes and am listening as I type. Great stuff - gonna listen to some other songs too. Then buy some albums to help out his estate while acknowledging I’m putting some dough in some liberal record companies coffer.


14 posted on 03/08/2008 8:05:02 PM PST by torchthemummy (W's Margin Of Victory In Florida 2000 - 537 / FL House Bill Number To Move Up Florida Primary - 537)
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To: avg_freeper

I was posted but a different article.

RIP Jeff Healy


15 posted on 03/08/2008 8:10:35 PM PST by RDTF (Go AEGIS!)
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To: avg_freeper

Beatles, white album. Yes.


16 posted on 03/08/2008 8:11:39 PM PST by sionnsar (trad-anglican.faithweb.com |Iran Azadi| 5yst3m 0wn3d - it's N0t Y0ur5 (SONY) | UN: Useless Nations)
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To: sionnsar

I’ve always liked Jeff’s cover better.


17 posted on 03/08/2008 8:13:09 PM PST by avg_freeper (Gunga galunga. Gunga, gunga galunga)
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To: RDTF

I did a search on “Jeff” and “Healey” and got nothing.


18 posted on 03/08/2008 8:14:08 PM PST by avg_freeper (Gunga galunga. Gunga, gunga galunga)
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To: avg_freeper

Roadhouse was on 2 nights ago, and it was very sad to see Healey and Swayze.


19 posted on 03/08/2008 8:15:13 PM PST by montag813
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To: avg_freeper

here ya go-

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1979431/posts

it doesn’t matter - this was a very nice article to post


20 posted on 03/08/2008 8:18:19 PM PST by RDTF (Go AEGIS!)
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To: avg_freeper
I too am amazed that I had not heard of this brilliant young musician's passing. He played the hard rock blues better than most. I have most of his recordings and love all of his covers of the old classics.
My favorite...and the one that just gets my feet to movin'...is "I Got A Line On You".

A great loss.

If there is a Rock 'n' Roll Heaven....you know they got one hell of a band.

Rip it up Jeff baby.

21 posted on 03/08/2008 8:19:32 PM PST by Bloody Sam Roberts (Great spirits will always encounter violent opposition from mediocre minds.)
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To: torchthemummy
Just purchased Angel Eyes also.

Thanks for the idea.

22 posted on 03/08/2008 8:20:00 PM PST by South40 (Amnesty is a slap in the face to the USBP!)
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To: avg_freeper

search feature has been hit and miss of late.


23 posted on 03/08/2008 8:22:39 PM PST by South40 (Amnesty is a slap in the face to the USBP!)
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To: South40
"search feature has been hit and miss of late."

Yep, tried another search and didn't even catch this one. Workin' out the bugs I guess.

24 posted on 03/08/2008 8:24:33 PM PST by avg_freeper (Gunga galunga. Gunga, gunga galunga)
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To: Southerngl

“The name is......Dalton”


25 posted on 03/08/2008 8:24:40 PM PST by RDTF (Go AEGIS!)
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To: South40

I just did also...GREAT musician and a GREAT song. Brings back many memories. Rest In Peace Jeff!!


26 posted on 03/08/2008 8:24:54 PM PST by justkillingtime
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To: RDTF

“I thought you’d be bigger.”


27 posted on 03/08/2008 8:26:05 PM PST by South40 (Amnesty is a slap in the face to the USBP!)
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To: justkillingtime; torchthemummy
RIP Jeff
28 posted on 03/08/2008 8:28:33 PM PST by South40 (Amnesty is a slap in the face to the USBP!)
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To: torchthemummy

John Hiatt wrote Angel Eyes. The only one who sung it better was Healey.


29 posted on 03/08/2008 8:29:52 PM PST by cpanter
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To: cpanter

Hiatt writes great stuff


30 posted on 03/08/2008 8:34:17 PM PST by RDTF (Go AEGIS!)
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To: avg_freeper

Jeff’s version of “Run Through The Jungle” was so good it was scary.

RIP, Jeff.


31 posted on 03/08/2008 8:51:53 PM PST by Slings and Arrows ("Those who surrender personal liberty for lower global temperatures will receive neither."--weegee)
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To: avg_freeper

“Remember the song “While my guitar gently weeps”?”

He was 1 when it was written.


32 posted on 03/08/2008 9:03:50 PM PST by EQAndyBuzz (Shouldn't the libs love a Hunter Thompson ticket in 08?)
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To: avg_freeper; South40

My understanding is that the default search is for keyword, and you have to use something like “title:” before your search to search by title. Pity really since I think most people use it mostly to check for duplicate posts.


33 posted on 03/08/2008 9:14:35 PM PST by SlapHappyPappy
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To: avg_freeper
Jeff Healey would come to London in the 80s and 90s and play here in the clubs and then jam with Pat Savage, who I use to hang out with. Both were exquisite guitar players but Healey had a great bite to him if he wanted. I remember being in Toronto in the 80s and being told about this amazing blind kid hosting blues jams but I never checked him out.
34 posted on 03/08/2008 9:58:05 PM PST by Blind Eye Jones
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To: avg_freeper
I bought his album See The Light in 1988 because of the single "Angel Eyes", and was pleasantly surprised to find that there were many tracks on it that surpass that song. Every track is a winner on that disc...it is worth adding to any collection.

God bless Jeff's family and friends.
35 posted on 03/08/2008 10:48:30 PM PST by LostInBayport ("Anyone whose tax bill goes up feels like it's an increase." - Mass. Governor Deval Patrick, 2/28/07)
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To: Southerngl

I was thinking the same thing...the Healey/Swayze connection...God Bless both of them.


36 posted on 03/08/2008 11:14:35 PM PST by Hildy (You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep cause reality is finally better than your dreams)
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To: avg_freeper

If you like that song, try to get your hands on the version that Kenny Rankin sings...you won’t regret it.


37 posted on 03/08/2008 11:15:20 PM PST by Hildy (You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep cause reality is finally better than your dreams)
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To: avg_freeper

I was very fortunate to have seen Jeff open for Bonnie Raitt at the Minnesota State Fair. Bonnie was headlining but I was there to see Jeff. It was the day after Stevie Ray Vaughn was killed and they had both shared the stage with SRV the night before. Bonnie was crying all night and played some of the greatest slide I”ve ever heard on a pink strat just given to her by Eric Clapton. Quite a night.


38 posted on 03/08/2008 11:34:19 PM PST by Manic_Episode (Some mornings, it's just not worth chewing through the leather straps...)
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To: avg_freeper

bookmark


39 posted on 03/09/2008 12:24:03 AM PST by GOP Poet
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