Jeff Healey was a real guitar hero.

381937The late Jeff Healey, now he was a genuine, real guitar hero. I just cannot resist how much of a role model he can still be, for any youngster wanting to take up playing guitar or any musical instrument for that matter. Jeff Healey was Canadian born, (March 25, 1966) and passed away on March 2, 2008. Jeff Healey lost his eye sight at infancy, despite this handicap, he became an accomplished and world renowned Jazz and Blues/Rock guitarist & vocalist. Jeff Healey & The Jeff Healey Band rose to fame with his 1988 album “See The Light”, which includes the hit single “Angel Eyes”. A Grammy nomination was from this same album for the instrumental “Hideaway”. 

A unique guitar player Jeff Healey was, playing the guitar flat down on his lap, this is a perfect example that the music being created was far more important than the stereotypical or flamboyant guitar “pose”. As a blind musician, this was how Jeff Healey learned to play the guitar. Jeff Healey appeared on Ian Gillan’s CD/DVD “Gillan’s Inn”, released in 2006. (Ian Gillan is of course, the great lead singer for the legendary Deep Purple).

I can recall a moment in time, when I was at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York City, a short time after The Jeff Healey Band released “See The Light”. The two friends I was with at the time immediately recognized Jeff Healey sitting down, having lunch with a group of people. My two friends were not bashful, they each politely asked Jeff Healey to sign their Hard Rock Cafe napkins for them, without question or hesitation, Jeff Healey obliged. I was awe struck at how congenial, respectful and happy Jeff Healey was towards my friends at that moment. I never forgot that moment, never forgot how this famous musician took his time away from his own personal friends and lunch to accommodate two autograph requests. 

My regret is that I never asked for Jeff Healey to sign a Hard Rock Cafe napkin for myself. Instead, I sat at the bar, staring over at my friends having a shining moment with Jeff Healey. One thing I will never regret though, is the memory of seeing Jeff Healey as a real person, responding to my friends as a true gentleman, as a real guitar hero.

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