Too many deaths too close to home

Too many of my favorite people have died lately. Two of them were brothers. Yesterday, the great bluesman Johnny Winter from right here in Beaumont, Texas, died in Zurich at the age of 70.

My brothers passed away within two months of each other, one in May the other two weeks ago. Another fabulous R & B favorite of mine and contemporary of Winter likewise died in May. Jerry LaCroix had been popular in this region for years before he joined with Edgar Winter’s White Trash. As a matter of fact, I imagine both of my now deceased brothers had heard LaCroix in southwestern Louisiana nightclubs when he played with the regional favorite, the Boogie Kings. I also remember one of those brothers saying he saw Winter play back in the early 60s in one of those Louisiana clubs.

LaCroix — whom I interviewed for a newspaper article about the Boogie Kings in the mid-90s — would go on to replace vocalist David Clayton Thomas in Blood, Sweat and Tears. After a short solo stint, LaCroix toured as vocalist for Rare Earth.

I want to write about my brothers. They were interesting people. They may not have been as rich and famous as rock stars but their lives were rich in other ways. I’m sure they had enough fame to suit them as well. But I find it a difficult task to write a fitting tribute to them. Maybe I should start with an unfitting tribute. Nonetheless, I don’t feel up to writing about mo’ dead folks right now. I don’t feel the need to explain to anyone, except myself. I hope I will understand.