Monday, November 5, 2012

Jack Da Hat Leaves the Stage

It's really hard to believe that Jack Da Hat, a talented entertainer, nice guy and the coolest cat I ever knew, is gone. Details are sketchy, but it sounds like he left us last Friday, taken by an aneurism. More details will surface, but it won't make me feel any better.

I got to know Jack from performing with him and also watching his show. As part of Hayward's Sycamore 129 Blues Band--a modern reformation of the legendary Dawgs, he would slide in and share with us a few of his New Orleans style songs. He'd drop by during our monthly rehearsals--you could tell when he arrived by his knowing smile beneath one of his fine fedoras, and the scent of Old Spice. Jack Da Hat was in the house!

My last chance to play bass behind his stylish lines was this October 7th. Nobody there had any hint that we were enjoying Jack for the last time. He did his great song, "That Night." Hear it here.

Jack Da Hat sang in the San Francisco Bay Area for decades, sometimes with his backup "Jackettes," and always with some good musicians behind him. Jack Luna got his nickname from Carol Doda, the famous "lady" of San Francisco's Broadway, the story goes. He got it because of his ever present hat--and from the way he wore it with confidence and style.

Jack had a chopped gray '59 Rolls-Royce that he cruised around in. It was low to the ground and unique--and suited him perfectly. With his colorful shirt, slim pony tail, sunglasses and ride--he was the best.

And now--he's gone. There is something wrong with that. I don't understand, and it hurts.

I found out about Jack yesterday afternoon, and he's been on my mind since then. Where do our friends and family go when they leave us? Why do they have to go so soon? You can tell me it's natural--the circle of life and death--even "God's will," but it always shocks me when another person I care about vaporizes. You can't help thinking that someday, it'll be your turn to leave people behind wondering and missing you, too.

We sure miss you already, Jack.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a waste of a once wonderful car.