Monday, April 23, 2007

To The Memory Of George "Jazzbow" Rihan

George “Jazzbow” Rihan, co-writer of my music column, passed away April 14 at the age of “it doesn’t matter” (as he always told me). We met for the first time on April 13, 1942. He was on his way to work, passing the hospital where I was being born. Sixty-five years and one day later he was the one being born, this time into eternal life.

We met again in 1973, when he appeared on my radio show locally and we hit it off for the next 34 years. In 1981, the Citizens’ Voice asked if I’d write a music column for weekends. I called Jazzbow; we thought it would last five years, not twenty six. Still, we managed to come up with a new topic every week and George’s amazing memory of musicians he met, concerts he attended and nightspots he’d been to was startling.

I’ve never known anyone who kept a baton behind a living room painting. I was at George’s house and some piece of music came on that he liked. He reached behind the frame and pulled out a baton, which he used to conduct the band.

During the months of his illness, he would ask every week, “What’s in the column?” And Mrs. Jazzbow, his fellow musical enthusiast, would read it to him.

I will miss him more than I can find the words.

“The song is ended, But the melody lingers on.
You and the song are gone, But the melody lingers on.”


Anonymous maddrummer said...

I cannot imagine what it will be like to lose the friends I've rocked with.

May "Jazzbow" rest in peace.

April 25, 2007 7:43 PM  
Blogger David Yonki said...

A great nickname too.

April 27, 2007 10:09 PM  

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