I lived in S.F. and visited many of the clubs there that are long extinct. When Bill Evans died there was an impromptu (spontaneous) gathering of jazz bretheran (players and enthusiasts) at Bimbo's on Columbus Ave. in North Beach. First and last time I saw Stan. He had his huge, beautiful white husky there circulating with him throughout this saddened but exhilerated crowd...He played like Stan plays......pulling the soul out of body and heart from heart-beat...glorious, emotional and heart-breaking. I am sorrry to say - the man STAN was an often monstrous creature and lived his human life in hell and hindsight - but the jazz musician STAN was God's angelic spokesman for the purity of musical sound and a beneficiary of profound musical talent. I want Stan to be forgiven and happy in the ether of the afterlife but to know he has touched us with his musical, redemptive grace. I do love Stan from Stanley, Virginia.
Just want to clarify that the husky was in fact a yellow Lab, known as James! My dad and James were truly connected on a soul level!
Your words are very beautiful. I know he would feel very honored to read them. I have to admit, that I do take slight issue with "I am sorry to say - the man STAN was an often monstrous creature and lived his human life in hell and hindsight". I must contradict you here! While yes, indeed there was some monstrous behavior... I wouldn't go as far as to say his entire "human" life was lived that way. I think I can honestly and safely say that from my experience, he was equally as "angelic" in his close relationships. He may not have been the easiest person to grow up around(!), but there was always the flip side to that. Plenty of balance, if you will! My Dad had a very tortured and dark side, which I cannot claim to understand or explain, as I didn't walk in his skin. However, he was also very loving, giving and always there when and if you needed him, whether the need was just a reassuring hug or some words of advise. I must admit I miss that. More than the music. The legacy of music will always be here. He, the "human" Stan/Dad is gone forever. As we all will be when its time!
As far as being "forgiven"... I personally don't believe that any of us can sit in judgment of another. Forgiveness is something that is very personal and deep in the heart of all of us. Some find it... others not. I do believe that Stan had much to account for when he met his Maker. We all will have to face that when we make our final journey... yes?! Little bit of a frightening thought I'd say. (-"
Thanks for joining and for your contribution Daniel. I really appreciate it. This is why we have this forum!
Every bit of information about Stan is important. For me at least.
Of course the obvious is not always what it may seems to be.
A careful study and an open mind will go a great way in bringing us
a complete picture of Stan and his life. The music is paramount to me.
But I am also fascinated by the man.
Bev, when reading your words I can only be enlightened. Your thoughts
and experiences are invaluable. Thank you.
Admittedly, I am probably overly sensitive to criticism of his personal life as it truly has been blown so out of proportion. My eyes have always been, since my earliest memories, wide open in regards to him and his character defects. But since I was also privy to the 'other' Stan ("Nice bunch of guys"), I know who he was in his soul.. and that person was a truly beautiful person. Not that it is ever an excuse in any way, shape or form, I would like for all the people who believe he was a horrid monster, who happened to have a gift for playing the saxophone, to perhaps consider that his chemical dependency played an enormous role there. When Stan was clean and sober, you couldn't even imagine that he was the same Stan who could behave in such an ugly fashion. The sad part is that he had no memory of his bad behavior when he was sober. Blackouts... and they were very real for him. Also, having come from a quite poor, but proud and strict Jewish family, he was innocent and ill equipped to handle himself at the tender age of 15, finding himself suddenly living with very SEASONED, older musicians. No guidance there!
Having said all this... I hope that your experience here has not been soured and that you will continue to participate and bring such thought provoking subjects! I enjoy your company here Daniel. (-:
All my best,
AND my two cents... It is interesting to see what part of Stan, or any other artist to achieve a level of fame, that people focus on when it comes to their personal lives. Because although I know that Stan (as with every human being) had many layers, not all of which were good, I have never thought of any of anything negative when I think of him or listen to his music. And I certainly would never think of what he may or may not need to be forgiven for in the afterlife. Nor would I assume he lived his life in a hell. I would actually prefer to put a more positive spin on the life I thought he had, as of course, only Stan knows how he felt in his life just as we are all the only ones who truly know how we feel about ours. It is interesting indeed, what motivates people to think about the things they do or feel the way they do. And why anyone feels the need to place negative energy or judgements anywhere in this world, in any context on anyone, living or dead always boggles my mind. Speaking for myself of course, I would say that life is tough enough in actual reality so why add to that weight? And instead make life lighter by focusing on the positive in people and life as much as possible.... it's not always possible, I understand, but it is possible to always try :-)
All the best to everyone!
For me Stan Getz is a master when it comes to music and I bow my head for what he did by getting clean and sober and face himself and all the people he loves. This person is STAN GETZ - the man who managed to face himself, his life, his dearest AND walking on stage being who he was without any chemical help.
And forgivnes, well we should all ask for forgivnes for what we do or have done from time to time, it makes us better human beings, better friends, better listeners and the result is we'll receive more ourselves.
Thank you for posting this Daniel. We need discussions like this from time to time.
I am wishing that my mother, Monica Getz was a member here right now, as educating people world wide on on Chemical Dependency has been her life's work. She has had first hand experience of course, and in essence, this scourge destroyed my parents *marriage. (* not an invite to bring up subject of divorce!! (-"...) Perhaps I'll send her this thread to temp her to join!
I myself, cannot claim to be any kind of expert on this subject. My experience with it has only been growing up around a drug/alcohol addicted parent. What I can claim to know, is that chemical dependency not only stunted my father personally, but in the end caused his death by liver cancer at the young age of 64. Had he lived to a ripe age, who knows what kind of treasures would be coming out of that horn. The last few years of his life were clean and sober. He was at last finding himself and getting his footing back, after losing it at the age of 15. He was excited about composing and doing all the things musically that he had never had the mind capacity to do as the addiction basically ruled his life.
The "Monster" Stan that (so many) people refer to when the topic of Stan personally comes up, IS the "Addict" Stan. Alcohol/drugs affected his brain in such a way that he literally became a Jekyll-Hyde. I can't even begin to describe how completely opposite of that he was when he was clean. Before I had an understanding of how chemicals affected his brain, I, along with most people, found it completely incongruous that he could behave in such a way, and at the same time, Heaven itself would be pouring out of his horn. I think it must have been purely by the Grace of God that he was able to play the way he did while under the influence. Which only goes to show to me that the person making that music, was the 'real' Stan. Not the addict. And of course, some of his best work was made after he got clean and sober.
So Paul... I fully understand you wanting to turn up the volume on your ipod! And I want to thank you and everyone who has given of their time and spoken their hearts.
While this forum was created to honor Stan and his music, I believe that it can only help to heal all the ugly and sometimes completely not factual thoughts that people have about him. So,... SO much of the rotten jazz folklore has been pinned on him alone. That really hurts my heart as he is not HERE and has no voice. I feel it's the responsibility of those who knew him personally to stand up and speak the truth... even the not so pretty truth.
I will add that I don't for a minute believe that even one note of such beauty could have come out of that horn if he wasn't truly that beautiful himself in his soul.
Thanks again to all of you who have shared. I think this is wonderful! :~D