died on my birthday in '97 (which I did not know when it happened). On that day
I was born as a musician, though I never made the connection till my own mother
pointed it out to me years later. I had only started to really listen and hear
Jeff's music a year after he died-it was then I even found out when he had died.
I feel his strength. At first I began grieving as if he were my own child, but
now the grief is turning into an explosion in my soul. I am learning from him. I
am learning as a musician what he seemed to know instinctively-that music is my
breath. I probably always did know it, but his life and his music reminded me of
I grew up in NY before moving to NC, and I was able to see Jeff perform when I was a teenager, when an older friend took me to Sin-e to see a singer who she could only describe as a vision (her father lived in the area and told her about "the young guy playing over at Sin-e that you'd probably think was cute", which was how she came to find him playing there). I have little memory of the experience now, but I do remember having to leave, because at that point in my life I was going through some rough times, and his singing was simply to much for me to handle. Now I regretfully wish I had stayed, for so many obvious reasons, but youth and troubles dictated that I was not ready to hear him fully. I will always regret that day. I left and made my friend drive me back to Long Island (where I was living at the time). I just couldn't handle what he had to convey.
Now, my husband and I feel so much joy, so much elation, so much sadness when we listen to his music, that it has helped open us to our own musical spirituality. Jeff has helped us come to that point.
I feel him everyday. My daughter has fallen asleep in my arms listening to Jeff singing, and my husband and I have listened to the emotions in his songs and have known, without a doubt, that we are not alone in our quest to create music that speaks of true life.
I wish I could say something more unique regarding my feelings for Jeff's work. But I fear I would only fail at it and become embarrassed. I am yet another "fan", who feels the loss, and is trying to learn through it all.
Jeff will always be luminous; one of the lights.
vocals for the band Black Polished Chrome
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