Our friend Charlie Daniels posted this today at charliedaniels.com
. A very nice memorial to Taz DiGregorio
, who would have celebrated his 68th birthday today. Buff
January 8, 2012 would have been the 68th birthday of William Joel DiGregorio known to all you folks as Taz.
Taz played keyboards in my band for over 40 years, and though I know he's gone, it seems occasionally when the band is playing some old tune that Taz and I played together so many times, I find myself half expecting to hear some run or pet lick he played at a particular time in a song.
We put in millions of miles together and have shared so many experiences, some mundane, some unique, but always together.
I remember the day we got put in jail in Jefferson Parrish, Louisiana for disturbing the peace, the night when we found out about the Skynyrd plane crash, being stuck in the snow on a Colorado mountainside, the time we took a picture with an Eskimo in Greenland, the night terrorists shot at our helicopter over Baghdad.
So many miles, so, many Taz memories, so many motel rooms, so many concerts. Good, bad, up, down or sideways, he was always there just stage right of me banging on those keyboards like nobody else could.
I loved Taz and he loved me, I know because we told each other so many times.
To borrow a phrase from the great Bob Hope, "Thanks for the memories".
I wrote this poem in tribute to our friendship, the music we created and played and the millions of miles we traveled together.
Remembering a Friend
I remember when I met you all those many years ago
At that crummy little motel just outside of Orlando
That's where we both were staying, 'cause the rent was really cheap
And you were playing with some other guys a night or two a week
That was way back in the lean days when nobody knew my name
I was in town with my Jaguars at a joint called the La Flame
You were just a kid from South Bridge and they called you Little Joe
When one of my guys had too much whiskey and I had to let him go
I went and looked you up to ask you and to see
How you'd like to quit that other band and come to work for me
You never hesitated you didn't even blink
You never had a second thought, you didn't even think
So I took you back to Tulsa and we rocked the Fondalite
We were young and wild and crazy and we must have been a sight
With our back-combed, puffed-up, sprayed stiff hair, cuff links and mohair suits
Our colored ties and Windsor knots and shined up Beatle boots
And we played it all, old buddy, from Sinatra to James Brown
We burned up a lot of stages, cranking up and getting down
And then we went our separate ways; guess it was meant to be
When I went to settle in one place to raise my family
Then you went in the Army and served a year or so
And I moved to Music City to work in the studios
But I was trying to be what I'm just not cut out to be
I was born to be on stage and that old road was calling me
So when I signed my first record deal and started lining up a band
Yours was the name that came to mind, so I called you up again
And once more you didn't hesitate, you just needed time to pack
So I took off down to Huntsville, picked you up and brought you back
So we took up where we left off, working hard and having fun
Knowing if we just kept at it, our best days were yet to come
And come they did in aces, working hard chasing the sun
And we just jammed on down the highway, taking each day as it come.
Ah the memories oh so many, all the days we've left behind
Like you hustling across the parking lot trying to make the bus on time
In that old blue denim duster that you cared so much about
With that old beat up cardboard suitcase with the iron cord hanging out
Or the night in New York City when we all went out to eat
It was snowing, but you were walking barefoot down the street
And the time up in New Jersey when you ran late for the show
And slid up to your piano just in time for your solo
Now I know that you have left us, but to this very day
I still stand on stage and listen for the riffs you used to play
But real love lasts forever, and true friendship never ends
I love you and I miss you, rest in peace, my dear old friend
What do you think?
Pray for our troops, and for our country.
God Bless America