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Could Jaco have been any better?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Fire-Starter, Dec 3, 2005.

  1. Fire-Starter

    Fire-Starter Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2002
    So I pick up an issue of Bass guitar, with Jaco on the cover, and it talking a bit about how he changed bass playing etc, and somewhere it talked a (small bit) about his life and not "so popular antics" I have read simular reviews before about his "so called personality problems" I say so called because I dont know for sure. Point is...it seems like if you have talent in what-ever area of life, but you tick people off, you limit yourself in the minds of people of "how great you are, could be, or could have been"

    For example, take football's T.O of the Eagles, people comment on "how great he is" but it is usually followed up by, how great " he could have been" if not for his attitude.

    They say the same thing about Randy Moss.

    We know Jaco was great, but, could he have been seen as greater in the minds of people had he not left bad impressions in the minds of some people? Should anyone even care what he did with his personal life when it comes to judging him as a bass player? or maybe its " Jaco was a great Bass player, just think of how great he COULD HAVE BEEN"

    FWIW, he will be great in my mind regardless, everyone has an attitude from time to time, some of are just bigger than others.
  2. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    Jaco was his own man, he wasn't ours. We can all be better... luckily most humans are motivated to grow personally all the time. I liked Jaco, I miss the man.

    I really liked what Mary had to say about her father....

    Tony Franklin linked to this today on his Yahoo! Group.
  3. Fire-Starter

    Fire-Starter Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2002
    Good link!
  4. Vorago

    Vorago (((o)))

    Jul 17, 2003
    Antwerp, Belgium
  5. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    Very good link. I truly feel Jaco could have been better, had he not had the disease he had, had he not burned himself up trying to escape it, had he not fallen down as hard as he did.

    I feel this because I have the same disease, so I know how it can devour you. I don't have anything like Jaco's brilliance, but I do have a creativity all my own, a drive to create that's been burned in me since I was a kid, and I've seen that drive turn into a twisted cancerous snake in my soul.

    I used to think I was creative because I am crazy, like many people say of Jaco. But I've now grown to understand things differently. I am creative because its in me to be so. I can't imagine what I might have acheived had that spark not been tempered by something else, had I not drowned my drive to express myself in dark tides of self-hatred, or sabotaged it with unchecked surges of meglomania. There is nothing cool or romantic about being insane, there is nothing fun about it, and it doesn't convey brilliance, it eats it, heart and soul.

    Jaco could have been better, so could I. So could thousands of people who live with mental illness. But what Jaco did accomplish was still so incredible that it was more than enough.
  6. FenderHotRod


    Sep 1, 2004
    WOW...That was a great link..Thanks for posting it.
  7. MarztekMilita


    Feb 10, 2005
    that is one of the most emotional wrightings that I have read in a while. thanks for posting James. that truely brought a tear to my eye towards the end

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    Tash,I thank you for sharing such a very personal aspect of yourself with us.
  9. Tash, Thank you for the honesty and truth of your post. In my mind the only way Jaco could have been greater is if he had been allowed to live longer, recover and continue his musical growth to inspire us all even more than he already does. That is one of the reasons I really hate when people start Jaco bashing telling all those horrible stories.
  10. You guys make me feel bad for considering saying, 'Yeah, he could have been better- all he needed was 6 or 8 more strings.'


    In all seriousness, it is a tragedy, IMO, that intense creativity seems to often be accompanied by(*searches for the word*)intense personal turmoil. I will not attempt to compare my 'talents' w/Jaco's, but I have it in me to be an accomplished graphic artist; I don't pursue it because I get very manic when I draw or paint. So I have a very pale imitation of a glimpse into that world...
  11. bassksun

    bassksun Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2004
    Las Vegas,NV
    Hello Tash. Thanks for sharing that. I've suffered and maintain a recovery from that insanity too.

    Would Jaco have gotten better? Was the music an expression of being sick? It's kind of like wondering would we have Jazz if it we didn't have slavery?

    What I really wonder is if Jaco would cash it all in to have just one good day?

  12. Kosta


    Mar 22, 2005
    Thanks for that inside input into how it actually feels to have such a mental disorder. Kind of makes you think. I hope somehow you get better and that you have the support you need from those around you.
  13. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    It depends on how you look at it - do we want everybody to be well-balanced individuals, who have rounded educations and are sensible and prudent in all they do....?

    No - we tend to celebrate people who are fanatically devoted to a craft or ideal, to the exclusion of all else - whether they are sportsmen,artists, entrepreneurs etc. etc.

    I think it's highly likely that such individuals are going to be isolated, over-committed etc. and experience some kind of "intense turmoil"...:meh:
  14. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    This is why I feel so badly for people who have such single-minded pursuits of excellence. I know it would sound ridiculous to say that Jaco should have gotten a hobby or something else to interest him besides the bass, and I'm sure it wouldn't have cured his problems, but he would spend every waking moment playing the bass, so it couldn't have been too healthy mentally to do it.
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I do agree - although the sad thing is that Jaco seemed to be alright with the single-minded thing - it was when he was introduced to recreational activities - like drinking and drug-taking, that it all fell apart...? :(

    But maybe "burn-out" would have happened one way or another... .?
  16. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    I'm not a real big believer in what-if's! Maybe if Jaco didn't suffer from Bipolar, he might not have had that inner demons that drove him to such greatness. As sad as it is to say, I think Jaco suffered for his art, and a lot of us have benefited from it.......we all have a destiny!
  17. Fire-Starter

    Fire-Starter Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2002
    I was kind of thinking the same thing, its very interesting how some people really stick it to him about how he lived etc, but some of the same people dont have a problem with copping some of his chops and ideas that he developed through his trials adn tribulations. what if he had of been ...."NORMAL" what ever that is..I think we are all a little left of normal from time to time, some of us just have a better way of covering it up. :meh:

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.

    I aggree and they live/lived a very similar life style(I'm speaking of his drug and alcohol abuse)and don't even come close to the talented being that he was.as we all know he was talented with out the abuse but again as we all know that fulled the mental illness he suffered from.in my book he will always be the Gem that he was and just that diamond in the rough that I believe had so much more to offer,we all go thru things and some times we're able to bounce back.
  19. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    There have been similar arguments over here about George Best who was a famous footballer who has just died - so most people are happy to celebrate his talent and what he achieved, but some people are unhappy about this as he died an alcoholic and they say he was hardly a good "role model for others"....

    I think the oonly thing about Jaco is that it makes me sad to think that he might have still been producing music, like a lot of the great Jazz players who have gone on playing and writing, into their 70s and 80s... :(

    So I don't think about whether he could have neen better, but rather that we might have had a lot more albums with more collaborators etc etc....?
  20. Great point. I think it is dumb to pick apart a person for personal issues, especially ones that they dont have control over. Everyone has personal troubles from homeless people to the pope. I can only begin to imagine how cool it would have been to see Jaco perform live! Unfortunately, he died the year I was born :(