Jeff Healey, 1966-2008: While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Jeff Healey, the blues/rock/jazz guitarist who gained fame in the late-80’s with the song “Angel Eyes” passed away yesterday from cancer. He was 41.
The Canadian-born singer-guitarist had retinoblastoma, a form of ocular cancer which first developed when he was one year old, leaving him blind for life. He began playing guitar when he was three, developing an idiosyncratic style of playing, with the guitar laying on his lap, which, ironically (as his disability was surely seen as an impedement) allowed him more freedom in chord structure. In recent years, Healey has stepped out of the limelight and embraced jazz music, another love of his.
I cannot say that I was a fan of Healey’s, in fact I did not know much about him at all. But when I went to the internet to listen to “Angel Eyes” tonight, I was instantly transported back to the age of 9 when this song was popular. His guitar solo in “Angel Eyes” is one of such depth, not only does it leave an imprint on your memory somewhere, but it has a texture and shape that you can almost see, feel and taste it.
But there can be no more fitting tribute, and no better way to exhibit his sheer talent and flair on the guitar, than to post his version of the Beatles’ “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” Enjoy.