My Frame of Mind

These are my thoughts, however I may quote those who are smarter and wiser than I am.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Heartfelt Farewell…At Last.

Today the world said farewell to a legend…
Etta James.
No, I wasn't there, however a friend from the ol' days was. He went from playing with my BFG in all the hotspots of Sacramento to the streets of LA, around the world with Rod Stewart, Tom Petty and yes, toured At Last with Etta James.
Our friend Jimmy Z was there today…he and the the Roots Band paid tribute as well as…
well, some well knowns. Here is his recap. Unedited.

It's been a busy, sad 2 days with Etta James' viewing last night and her memorial service this morning. Jessica was with me and it was awesome. The whole Roots Band was there and we played At Last and some other Etta songs. 

Rev. Al Sharpton and Maxine Waters did the eulogies. Sharpton nailed it.

Stevie Wonder played piano and sang and then played a harmonica solo that was so incredible. Pristine and flawless.

President Obama sent a heartfelt, poignant letter that Rev. Sharpton read to the crowd.

Christina Aguilerier sang At Last and did her usual heavy handed approach but people seemed to like it.

So good to see Lupe De Leon, Etta's longtime manager. Etta's husband Artis. Meredith from the office.

Sons, Donto and Sametto. All the kids and grandkids.

Pat, Etta's longtime friend and nurse.

Rudy, make up man to the stars and Etta James.

Thelma Jones and Gary Ballen.

But the best part was playing with my brothers in the Etta James Roots Band probably for the last time as a group. And sending Etta off in style. Josh Sklair, Bobby Murray, Dave Mathews, Reggie McBride, Lee Thornburg, Nick Lane, Mike Olmos, Chet...and all the other alumni members in the crowd.

There wasn't a dry eye in the house.

We love you Etta and you are and will be missed immensely.

As Rev. Sharpton said, " She is irreplaceable."

From one of the local news reports:
"The genius of Etta James is she flipped the script," Sharpton said, alluding to her struggles with addiction, which she eventually overcame.

"She waited until she turned her pain into power," he said, adding that it turned her story away from being a tragic one into one of triumph.

"You beat 'em Etta," Sharpton said in concluding his eulogy. "At last. At last. At last!"

The assembly roared to their feet, and did stand to applaud performances by Wonder and Aguilera, who filled the sanctuary with their voices.

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