Did Jaco have some type of disease?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Mind Eroded, Aug 5, 2003.

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  1. I was watching his video "Modern Electric Bass" he kept doing weird twiching in between his licks and shaking..alot of it seemed involuntary, and somewhat strange. Now before i get shredded up on this thread for saying something bad about Jaco..i personally think hes awsome, theres no question about it...though im no expert on him or weather report, i just wanna know if anyone else noticed that too...
  2. if you do some research you'll find he had some serious drugs problem at this time.
  3. dragonbass


    Feb 17, 2003
    ........................................EX-Sadowsky Guitars Builder..........................................................
    It's what you call Alcoholism.

    It's what happens when you drink to much and waste a perfectly good talent.
  4. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    iirc he also was addicted to some drugs, like coke.

    i've also heard that he was diagnosed with a mental disorder.
  5. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Jaco was Bi-polar manic depressive.

    which is a mental condition,worsened by alcohol, when you have rapid mood swings ranging from being totally passive one minute t o maddeningly depressed the next, I have known people with it, it is quite a hard thing to live with.

    Mary pastorius(his first born child) writes about this disease over at the jacopastorius.com
    webpage(or maybe it is ingrid's jaco page..I forget)

    He was also Obsessive complusive from what I've heard, but I can't confirm that.

    "modern electric bass" was filmed during a pretty bad time of this life when he was pretty dependant on drugs and alcohol, and pretty much living on the streets.
  6. Nick Gann

    Nick Gann Talkbass' Tubist in Residence

    Mar 24, 2002
    Silver Spring, MD
    He also had obsessive compulsive disorder, IIRC.
  7. I appreciate the info...i really enjoyed the video..the guy is amazing but i just couldent get passed the way he was acting on it..bothered me the whole time..i figured it was something along the lines of drugs/alcohol.
  8. It was said that Jaco was kept in a hotel to straighten himself up for the video shoot, and to keep him out of trouble.
    His Daughter Mary also suffers her Dad's affliction(s), and certainly writes of it on one of the Jaco sites.
    She also has noted of clueless people coming up to her recounting her Dad's past exploits with amusement on their parts.
  9. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    The disease was called addiction.
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    She writes about it on the Jaco site :


    Here's the relevant part:

    The truth is that my father was mentally ill. He was suffering from a severe chemical imbalance, manic depressive illness. He didn't do anything to catch it or cause it, although he definitely aggravated it with many things. His warped perceptions of reality and all of the bizarre behaviors that went along with them can be attributed to manic episodes that sometimes reached psychotic heights. Some people can't or don't want to believe this. Some people have put him on a pedestal and can't accept him being "flawed". Some people, on the other hand, think my father was a ****up who couldn't get his **** together, thus birthing the manic-depressive "excuse" to tidy up some messy memories.

    Well, I promise you, this illness is legit. It is severe, and I know this first hand. You see, in addition to inheriting my dad's long arms, huge lips, and flair for fashion, I also inherited his chemical imbalance. Since he can't give his own account, I would like to expose you to manic-depression through my own personal experiences. I want to write this, especially for the people who are out there suffering through it alone, because I've been there, and I know how validating it was for me to identify with someone else who has gone through it and lived to tell.

    The first time, it struck out of the blue, without warning. All I knew was that I wasn't me anymore. I was completely detached from myself. Disconnected. Nothing seemed real, except for the very real presence of something new and foreign within my being that didn't belong. I'd heard the term "manic-depression" tossed around a couple of times when my dad was alive, but I didn't know what it meant. It was never discussed. He certainly never mentioned it, so no connection was made.

    Unlike my father, my initiation into the world of mood disorders was clinical depression - not mania. There are no words nor language to accurately convey the madness, loss, and empty terror that is clinical depression. I think of it as a place. It's the place you are left to wander, aimlessly, after everything you are has been stripped from you, and your soul has been seized by invisible marauders. I vividly remember when I realized that this must have been the place where daddy lived. This only intensified my ever-present, ever-growing terror.

    I had no clue as to why this torture had befallen me. I wasn't functioning at all. Work and school weren't even in the realm of possibility. I couldn't eat or sleep. I would wander about the house crying, sobbing until the day came when I couldn't even cry anymore. I sat, paralyzed, as everything else in the world kept right on going without me. I didn't know who I was anymore. I was terrified 24-7, consumed with a fear of unknown origin. I was afraid to leave the house. I was afraid that someone would look into my eyes, see the insanity, and lock me away (remember Frances?). I had no feelings. I was a zombie. I was nothing. I could faintly remember that I used to be someone that existed. I had the pictures, the clothing, and the notebooks to prove it - but she was gone. She left in a hurry and forgot her stuff.

    The illness seems to feed on itself, taking on a life of its own (or rather, usurping the host's) the longer you are in it. After two solid months in hell, my psychotic breaks were the norm. I could no longer distinguish between dreaming and reality. After that, I decided that I must be dead. How else could I have kept existing in a completely lifeless state? Ironically, I think these twisted thoughts helped keep me alive, because if I were already dead, I couldn't kill myself. I was consumed with death. Something was trying to kill me from the inside and I couldn't fathom ever being alive again.

    Fortunately, after some traumatic experiences with some inept doctors, my mom called the doctor that treated my dad in Bellevue, and he referred me to a doctor in Miami. It was November, 1988, when I was admitted to the Neuroscience Center at St. Francis Hospital, where I was officially diagnosed - bipolar affective disorder. I wasn't magically cured, but at least now I knew what was wrong with me - and that there was a treatment.

    I was given lithium and anti-depressants. These little pills saved my life. But, even with medicine and a newfound knowledge on my side, it still took a long time to recover. It's hard to shake that sick feeling. I have been taking lithium ever since. I would love to stop taking the meds and see how I function without them, but I can't take the risk of getting sick again without a safety net. I know what this illness is capable of. I know what it did to me. I saw what it did to my father.

    I've had two more episodes since the original, despite what a good girl I am. I take my lithium every day, I don't drink, smoke, do drugs - I don't even drink coffee! And I still get sick. Granted, not nearly as bad, but it still happens; and, even though I'd already been through it, the second time and again the third, it still kicked my ass. Each time I thought I'd never get better. It's the nature of the illness and intellect can be futile.

    I'm trying to convey the strength of this disease. Once it's back out, it's in control, and it's a battle to take that control back. You can fight the symptoms, but I personally believe that all you can really do is wait for the episode to run its course, and try to keep yourself alive in the meantime. But, during that meantime, medicine is definitely the first line of defense.

    I can't express the gravity of manic depressive illness enough. But, as serious as it is, I must stress that it is not necessarily a permanent condition. Episodes are cycled in and out of, according to individual chemistry. There are people that respond so well to lithium their episodes cease entirely. Others need a combination of therapies. There is no one formula. There are many successful treatments available. So, whether you're sky high or in the depths of hell, you can even out.

    There is no doubt in my mind that my father would have gotten better. It would have taken a long time for him to recover after the chemical warfare that wreaked havoc on his brain for so many years, but he didn't even get that chance. He should have had a lifetime to heal and learn. Yes, my father kept making mistakes - everyone does. Unfortunately, if you are living in the throes of manic-depressive illness, your mistakes are going to be on a much grander scale and with far greater consequences.

    However, manic-depression did not kill my father. This, too, I cannot stress enough. My father was murdered by a man who beat the life out of him, using his bare hands. There is absolutely no justification for the savage beating my father received, and yet his killer served only four months in jail. We live in a society that condemns the mentally ill and condones violence towards them. It's disgusting. I can't help but to wonder how many sick people, my people, are murdered in the streets and nobody ever hears about them because they aren't famous.
  11. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    ...and understatement of the year goes to Wrong Robot!!!

    Just bog-standard depression is "quite hard to live with", my dad had a break down about ten years ago and that was pretty harsh I can say!

    bi-polar manic depression is way more severe than that.

    I'd say the mood swings are more like ranging from believing you are on a par with God one minute ("I'm the best living bass player the world") and being suicidal the next, all the while psychotic.

    I had a freind in school who was (and still is) diagnosed paranoid schitzophrenic. That's pretty much the level of insanity we're talking about here. A serious mental condition that prevents you living a normal life in any shape or form.

    By all accounts Jaco did booze, coke and probably any and every pill he could get his hands on... no wonder he was twitching - he was probably paranoid beyond belief as well.

    The tragedy is not that "such a great musician was afflicted so", but that so many 'ordinary' peoople are fkd in the head and nobody really gives a damn - including myself.

    The friend I mentioned ealier, well I dont see him and more because I cant deal with it at all. He's insane, impossible to talk to, paranoid, he doesnt wash so he smells, he's still does drugs -a frikking harsh reality, but what can you do?

    Hmm, this is just an angry reaction IMO, it's just irrelevant nonsense.
    Society doesnt conmdone violence against mad people specifcially, it condones violence against all people. As an example take violence against women.
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I think this is a bit harsh on Mary in the circumstances - I mean if your father was beaten to death for being "tiresome" and the person who did it, was let off with 4 months in Jail - wouldn't you be entitled to feel angry about it? :(
  13. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    Yes, perhaps it is a little harsh. And yes she does have a right to be angry - just as I have a right to say she's talking rubbish. She also has a responsability, many people will read that website, so maybe she should edit her paranoid ramblings somewhat?

    It had nothing to do with Jaco being insane really did it?
    He wasnt beaten to death because he was insane, he was beaten to death because he was out of his head and being a pain in the arse. Jaco He was off his head so more than likley he hurled bucket loads abuse, started the fight and lost it. Obviously, he didnt deserve to be beaten to death, but "sh1t happens" to people who get wasted all the time, illness or no illness.

    It could have happened to anybody, it wasn't personal, the killer wasn't picky, he'd have kicked the crap out of anyone who pissed him off at that moment.

    Socierty does not condone violence against sick people, her people... that is just rubbish. sorry but it is.
  14. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I'm not sure - do bouncers kill people every day - do they get away with it or let off lightly?

    I would also be disgusted if this was the case - surley if people are just "off their head" then bouncers should be able to deal with this without killing them or there would be dozens of murders at every club in Brighton, every night of the weekend? :meh:
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    To be fair to Mary if you read the para above, she does say :

    "However, manic-depression did not kill my father. This, too, I cannot stress enough. My father was murdered by a man who beat the life out of him, using his bare hands."
  16. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    Well, I've been assaulted by a bouncer, a couple of times as it happens. The last time there was a fight in a club and I got dragged out by my neck and lost my voice for a couple of weeks. Incidentallty I wasnt fighting was just standing by the door, three of them grabbed me, i dropped my beer and as soon as my feet touched the floor again I threw my hands in the air and said "I'm walking outta here" - to whcih the bouncer replied "walking out are ya?" and punched me in the ribs a couple of times, before openinb the doors with me - I narrowly avoided a ham-liek fist in the head as I rolled out on to the pavement. If he'd have caught me, I've have been in hospital I expect.
    I wasnt drunk, or obnoxious, just stood in a club!

    Basically, the majority of bouncers now are pretty rough - and the last ten years has seen clubs go from seedy underground places to big corporate business. A massive change of tone and attitude.

    If i remember rightly Jaco was trying to get into a late night drinking club, in the early 80's... the club he was in was probably right dodgy!

    On top of that he didnt die on the street, he died in hospotal in a coma didnt he? So there's no proof the bouncer intended to murder him, is there? So he may have got let off on manslaughter, Jaco may have gone at him with a bottle - or so he might have said in court... you get my point here?

    Look from the jury's viewpoint: Jaco was a clicically insane drug addict, who was off his head - and I'd personally find it hard to believe not very abusive, possibley even violent - the guy beat him up (wrong, but it happens, you dont mess with people if you know whats good for you, fact) and he died in a coma. Heck the coma could have been brought on partly by the mountains of drugs and boose he most likely consumed.

    I'm, not saying bouncers kill people all the time, or that they get let off lightly, or that Jaco deserved it. No way.

    Just that I can see how this scenario occured and that it is definitley not an open and shut case.
    From this evidence cannot prove that the bouncer intented to kill him, or that Jaco didnt try to harm the bouncer in some way. You just dont know.

    Just caused he was a great musician doenst mean he wasnt also an ******* at times... look at miles davis, mingus... any mroe for any more?! :D
  17. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    Again this not literlaly true is it, it's a poetic exaggeration.
    He didnt he beat the life out of him, he beat the consctiousness out of him and he died in hospital. There IS a difference.
  18. With all these mental medicines and other placebo's people will be yo-yo's on and off the crap there doctor sold them. Even though this is off topic, ADD is just another way to stop being creative. With all these other drugs stropping ADD and crap, kids don't do anything, they just sit there and be quiet even if they were doing something very orignal or creative. Stupid drugs.
  19. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2000
    SF Bay Area
    Come on Howard, surely this kind of quibbling is beneath you.

    No, there is no difference worth talking about. If Jaco died as a direct result of what that bouncer did to him, it doesn't matter one damned bit whether he expired on the spot or in the hospital. If a mugger shoots you in front of your house, the paramedics come and whisk you away, but you don't formally expire until you reach the emergency room--I ask you, who is seriously going to say, well, the mugger didn't actually kill Howard, he just shot Howard and Howard died in the hospital? And even if someone did want to try that on, as ridiculous as it would be, what on earth would be the point?
  20. BaroqueBass


    Jul 8, 2000
    Salem, OR
    manic depresion is the gateway to true genius. :)
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