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Jeff Healey R.I.P.

Jeff Healey in Toronto, Aug 17, 2006. Photo: Nick Soveiko.

Bad news in the family.

Jeff Healey with IG. Toronto, Aug 17, 2006. Photo: Nick Soveiko.Canadian blues guitarist Jeff Healey has lost his lifelong battle with cancer. He was 41. Jeff’s uniquely emotional playing earned him respect and admiration from fans and musicians around the globe. For the last few years he had been in ailing health and was a resident player at his blues club in downtown Toronto. He guested on Gillan’s Inn album and when the tour hit the city, came on stage to play on Sugar Plum and When a Blind Man Cries. Jeff knew first hand what the latter song is all about as he lost his eyesight as a child to a rare form of retinal cancer.

Wolf Schneider remembers:

I remember seeing him years and years ago when he was a teenage kid, getting led up onstage by his girlfriend to play a short opening set before a Tres Hombres (they were a ZZ Top tribute act in the early 80’s) show at Larry’s Hideaway, and my first reaction was huh, he’s certainly holding that guitar weirdly; my second was to pick my jaw up off the floor and pay full attention to what he was putting down. Just like with Jimmy Bowskill 20 years later, you knew you were witnessing amazing talent at an astoundingly young age, and i knew at that moment he had one hell of a career ahead of him.

Thanks to Glenn Miller, Tom Jory and Mark Brazeau for the info.

PS. Here are a few more bits and pieces of the magic that was a guitar on Jeff Healey’s lap:


You know, after watching all this you don’t need to know him to find what kind of person he is. His music speaks for him. He was one of those people about whom Leo Tolstoy wrote “he was too good to live”. Rest in peace, Jeff. You’re in rock’n’roll heaven now, jamming with Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, George Harrison and SRV…

20 Comments to “Jeff Healey R.I.P.”:

  1. 1
    Ger, Assen, Netherlands says:

    I’m really sad, such a young and remarkable person and musician. This disease is a catastrophe, my girlfriend lost her sister-in-law Friday the 22th of February because of cancer. It’s a horrible disease !!! I’m out of words now. I know Jeff was/is a good friend of Ian Gillan. A lot of strenght for everybody involved !!!

  2. 2
    mike says:

    Jeff was certainly a local legend here in Toronto.I saw him a few times,including in 1989 when played a triple bill with Jeff Beck & Stevie Ray Vaughan.I also saw him play on When a Blind Man Cries & Sugar Plum at the Gillan’s Inn show in Toronto on Aug 17th,2006.
    As the YouTube clip shows,IG certainly held Jeff in high regard.

  3. 3
    stefan says:

    My god…I had no idea he was ill…This comes as a mind blowing shock…I´m stunned…R.I.P….!!

  4. 4
    Reno says:

    First time i saw Jeff was in the movie Road House . Never knew he was ill . Another sad day in life. He will be sorely missed .

  5. 5
    Ali says:

    I met him in the year 2000 when i was just a kid. in finland, pori. he was just so sweet, i don’t even consider mentioning what a great musician he was. i’ll keep the picks and the set of strings he had given me for the rest of my life. may him rest in peace.

  6. 6
    Paul Surefelt says:

    Was mesmerized and moved by Jeff’s performance at Barrymore’s in Ottawa, Ont. Canada back when most people had not heard of him and was fortunate enough to see him perform a few times since then. I had tears in my eyes when I first watched the man play and I have tears in my eyes now. Rest in Peace Jeff. You’re in our hearts.

  7. 7
    AndreA says:

    I saw him in a concert here in Milan in early 2000s…It was a good experience for me so memories of him I’ll bring into my self..RIP Jeff in a better world

  8. 8
    Drdp says:

    This is such a tragic loss. I’ve been a fan since that (AWESOME) first ALBUM. Having learned that he was orphaned @ birth , lost his eyes to the Retinoblastoma @ the age of 8 months,Then he learned that it was a disease due to a mutated gene he had and that it would re-occur and probably take his life AND THEN to know before he died that his young son has the gene too……..This just SO sad. Sometimes you wonder why the ”higher powers” do what they do… Can’t wait until the new cd is out this month to do my little part to pay tribute to his memory. Drdp

  9. 9
    SEVEN-47 says:

    I’m sad to learn of another exceptional talent lost! My prayers and thoughts go out to Mr. Healey’s friends and family.

  10. 10
    Rafael says:

    Still can’t believe in it…. My God… He was a real man and Great Musician. I’m deeply sad and words is not enought in this moment. We can’t bring him back… Now i’m just take a guitar and playn his “Angel Eyes” .
    Jeff, you allways be the best!

  11. 11
    Tracy Heyder says:

    RIP Jeff….

    Not that it makes it any better for you, but at least a true illness that you couldn’t defeattook your life, unlike some of the recent blokes whom threw there life away voluntarily with a voluntary “illness”.

    You have long been and forever will be an inspiration to the masses for being a True Talent and human being.

    “Play on up there……play on”, and while you’re at it, kick Kevin in the Ars for me will ya?

  12. 12
    stefan says:

    Ahh…There you are Tracy ,I´ve missed you!! About Jeff….could´nt agree with you more!!!

  13. 13
    SEVEN-47 says:

    Tracy, Tracy, Tracy; Just can’t let that whole chemical dependency issue go. Anyway; glad you’re back. Wish I could have read some comments on the whole Russia gig from you.

    Rest In Peace Jeff; and say hi to Keven!

  14. 14
    Tracy Heyder says:

    Russia Gig?

    I’ll check it out. Must be worth looking into since you brought it up..


    Whiskey man here……….but I won’t ever use it as an excuse………


  15. 15
    Joanna says:

    I’m so sorry. Not long ago I heard him live, and now he’s gone…

  16. 16
    Joanna says:

    I’m so sorry. Not long ago I’ve heard Jeff Healey live, and now I learn he’s gone…

  17. 17
    Danny says:

    Will be sadly missed, fondly remembered and never ever forgotten.

    RIP Jeff Healey.

  18. 18
    Michi says:

    I never saw Jeff on stage, and I was ready to see him in Basel this April…..
    I alredy had to accept the bad news about Mel Galley, and now this….
    A very, very BIG loss…..

  19. 19
    Raj Tiwari says:

    Thanks for all the music. RIP Jeff…Keep on playing the blues up there…

  20. 20
    Andre says:

    Джэфф, в России-любим, помним, скорбим… Светлая память и пухом земля.

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