I’m almost at a lost for words, this time, to write an obituary, once again, for a fantastic musician who I was lucky to consider a friend. I’m in my office, aka our spare room, lying on the air mattress that we use when out-of-towners come to visit, with my beagles, listening to the new Bill Orcutt record, and thinking about Jack Rose, and how Jack Rose passed away today.
Jack was just here, in late September, as he played a show I booked on my birthday, and he stayed the night. I had the next day off so we drove around town in search of records, soul food, and rare bourbons. He was stoked because he found a Verlaines record at Underground Sounds for $7. We also had a great lunch at this soul food joint way out where Broadway ends at Shawnee Park with Kris Abplanalp and Neil. We went to Old Town Liquors, and Jack bought a bunch of good and obscure bourbons, then he left. Needless to say, it was a really good hang.
Aside from the many other times I saw him play, another fond memory was when Jack played a show I booked in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, with Major Stars and Miminokoto at the Palace Tavern. The place was way too crowded, and Major Stars nearly brought the house down with their blistering, super-loud and awesome opening set (Wayne Rogers, you are the man, and I’m glad New York’s Finest didn’t haul you away that night). Jack played second, just him and his guitar, and delivered the same sort of intensity at 1/4 the volume. Even though I’d seen him many times, that was the night his playing really clicked for me. And despite all the chaos of probably 200 people in a space made for 50, noise complaints from the neighbors, and the two bartender/owners who seemed like they were ready to kill me and Todd P., it was totally worth it.
Anyway, Jack Rose is gone, and the world has lost a singular talent. And people who knew him lost a fun, fun-loving, laid-back-yet-intense guy, who was no bullshit artist, but the real deal. Rest in peace, Jack.