A Book on Jacos's Life

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Warwickthumb, Oct 15, 2001.

  1. Well I guess this would be the proper place to put this thread. And I'll try not to make this post to long. I just finished a book called Jaco : The Extraordinary and Tragic Life of Jaco Pastorius : 'the World's Greatest Bass Player' It was a fanominal book. I already knew Jaco was truly one of the greats, but to read about his rise and fall is totally diffrent. I was only eight years old when Jaco left us. So I never had the oppritunity to see him perform in concert. I could almost say this book changed my life, but it didn't. It did, though, change the way I look at life, and how I play the bass. One example is I thought i had failed many times in my life. But to read about how the greatest bass player became in a way the worst bass player ever by the end of his life, almost brought me to tears. Well I'd like to hear what you guys who have read the book thought about it. The anniversry of his death is coming soon:O(
  2. Bass Guitar

    Bass Guitar Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2001
    I was amazed to read about his life, and saddened to read about his drug use which eventually led to his mental instability and death. I read it a few years ago, and still have a copy, and it really made me appreciate the musicians from his era a lot more - it was interesting how drug use was so prevalent - for example, I never knew that John Schofield was that heavy into drugs when he was younger until I read that book. The book supposedly has inaccuracies so I wouldn't believe everything in it.
  3. The book does'nt so much have inaccuracies, rather it's a little bit slanted, but on the whole very good, and certainly a must-read for any serious bassist. Also, Jaco did not develop his ill health through drug usage, it was always there, the drugs brought it to the surface.
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I think Marty's right - this is why Jaco's family are a bit upset about the book. On the official website,run by Jaco's children; Jaco's daughter explains how the family know that Jaco really was manic depressive, but that at the time, this wasn't recognised - she knows because she has this herself and has been successfully treated. The tragic thing is that if this had been recognised in his lifetime, Jaco's story might have turned out very differently. :(
  5. Well the book was written from what I gathered a friend of Jaco. I didin't know there were inaccuraces in it. What were some of the inaccuraces?
  6. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    The book's author, Bill Milkowski, is a well-known writer of Jazz/music(many features in mags like Guitar Player, Bass Player, downbeat, etc).

    I'm not too sure what's "inaccurate" with the bio; Pat Metheny does 'go off' on the book in the liner notes to the re-issued Jaco debut disc...check 'em out(if you have the re-issue).

    IMHO, the book is a quality read; such a joy at the beginning turns downright depressing at book's close. It ain't pretty...life, unfortunately, is never neat.

    Also, In A Silent Way: A Portrait Of Joe Zawinul offers some more Jaco & Joe 'fun' in the Weather Report days.