I'll be the guy to admit that I have no idea who this is, but I'm not an expert in blues. It's sad anyway, especially since you were acquainted.
Quote by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

Quote by Hail
*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
Like Kevatuhri I must say have never heard of him but the bio you linked to makes me wonder why I haven't heard of him. Great credentials.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
The longer I've been around the more I'm convinced that there are many many many people out there who can play at "legendary" levels. A lot of the notice is how badly you want to be noticed and a lot of it is just a crapshoot. I think there's a good many at "legendary" levels that just simply don't really want to be noticed at all.

Also, if you go out there and look at it, there's quite a bit of evidence that if you don't join into the satanic, secret society type of inner club, you will be actively suppressed (or even eliminated) at the highest levels of notoriety in the public music realm.

I'm not sure how much all of that is true or not, but I find those arguing both sides of things to be quite compelling. The rabbit-hole can go very deep indeed.

We certainly live in interesting times.
Joe certainly was a a master. RIP!
Scarred for life!

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I have a bit of time and I feel like writing something that others might find of interest. Its sort of random, but I find it sort of appealing that this is documented in some fashion in some random corner of the interwebz in a random forum for random readers in the obscure recesses of Musician Talk here at Ultimate Guitar. It's also marginally related to the topic at hand...

Around 2008 I worked at a small company doing a musically-related, social app for the iPhone in Silicon Valley. It was a pretty big hit at the time and kind of a hot property. The CEO of the company was a wealthy, really smart guy who was really successful selling a couple of previous startups. He was also, concurrently, pursuing a Music PHD at Stanford. Also, the co-founder and Chief Creative Officer was a Professor at Stanford and a PHD in Music (specializing in electronic and computer-generated kinds of stuff). Other members of the team were also in degree programs at Stanford where they all seemed to know each other from undergrad days at music programs at Princeton. In addition, we always had advisors and friends coming into and out of the office from Stanford/Princeton. So, musically-speaking, this was a pretty elite bunch of people I was working with.

Anyways, somehow, Ace Freehley, the lead guitarist from Kiss, was really interested in our App and perhaps doing some business with us (it never materialized). He was in the area to meet at Apple on some business with doing some iTunes streaming stuff I think. We got it set up so he'd come into the office for a couple of hours with his manager.

Our company was really small -- like 8 of us. Our office was just really one medium sized room with an adjoining conference room that seated maybe like 10-12 people, and a small hallway area. Personally, I wasn't all that interested in interacting with Ace very much, but boy was I EVER interested in watching the proceedings! LOL! I was really just a fly on the wall soaking it all in.

So, Ace rolls in at the appointed time with his manager. Without the make-up he was a medium-sized, middle-aged guy kinda getting a bit chunkier with age. Pretty much nondescript with longish hair. The main things I took away from his appearance was the black fingernail polish and big, satanish-sort of rings. (I might have taken a pic or two of him with my iPhone, if anyone's interested I might try and find and post it. I can't remember if I did or not, or still have the pics somewhere).

The meeting was mostly listening to a few of Ace's recent recordings and chatting. I don't remember much of the conversation. The tunes were ok, but nothing really memorable. I just sort of remember his manager trying to talk them up big and like they were going to become sort of new grammy-winning tracks (yah, right! LOL).

The one thing I do remember about the conversation was that after we listened to one of his songs, our CEO said something like "I really like what you did there with the tempo and counterpoint. You really harmonized the 3rd intervals at measure 4 with some nice melodic yada yada yada..." (you get the picture ). Ace just sat there a second and said something like "Ya know, I never, ever learned to read a note of music." [Me internally: BIG LOL]. It was sort of an awkward and surreal moment. A point in my timeline I'll never forget.

I think my main observation from the whole thing was that Ace was a bit of an over-the-hill guitarist who had some fame for a while and was trying to become relevant again. Sure he had talent. I wouldn't for a second take that away from him. But, I'd say there's lots and lots of players out there of at least his equal, and lots and lots and lots and more who are even better. He happened to be at the right place at the right time for what he was doing. At least, that's my best guess.

That's my story.