Doug Raney Memorial

Doug RaneyIt is difficult to describe my feelings of grief adequately in words. What is going through my mind evolves from minute to minute. I cry suddenly thinking about an unresolved regret or hearing Doug’s beautiful passionate guitar tone and phrasing on a recording. I laugh suddenly at something I remembered Doug saying. Or I sit in silence contemplating what I must do while I’m here in Denmark to bring Doug’s passing to a proper close for those close to him. I think of a future where we must honor and preserve what was great about Doug and try to understand and put into perspective his failings – that took from us way too soon – this beautiful, funny, astute, sometimes underestimated, complex individual that was heir apparent to a master with the same qualities.

As I write, I hear what he said to me 22 years ago the last time I was here on tour with him “Maybe you have to be stronger, man.” I was leaning on him musically and emotionally. It was something he learned how to do on his own and that I needed to do that. Life and music and a life in music demands that. We must all move forward, be better people, be stronger but also reach out to people when we need them while we are thinking about it. Don’t put it off for tomorrow. You never know what will happen tomorrow. And we must forgive others and ourselves for personal failings.

On Monday at 4pm there will be a memorial service at the famous Montmartre Club (Store Regnegade 19A, 1110 Copenhagen K, Denmark)where it all started for Doug nearly 40 years ago. After a tribute in words and music by his friends and musical comrades here in Copenhagen. 

There are some that may question the use of jazz club for a service but all I can tell you is that jazz club was Doug’s temple and his sanctuary. It was where he could commune with what he truly believed in: the art of jazz. It is not just music. That is a cheap explanation. It is what you bring to it and share with people. It is what you bring out of yourself things you didn’t realize you had. You start with familiar melodies and phrases but then you just let it go and hope for the best. Magic is a potential that comes together on it own time schedule. You don’t plan it. You just hope for it. And when it does, it uplifts all of us and has a lasting impact. That is what jazz is all about and what Doug, whether he realized or not, did for all of us.

I thank all my friends and extended family here supporting me here in Denmark, getting me through this very difficult time. There is so much to do that I couldn’t possibly handle on my own without their help and I’m grateful to them for their thoughtfulness and kindness. Also I”m very appreciative to everyone back home sending their condolences and notes to me about how much Doug meant to them.

We love you Doug. Rest in peace my sweet brother

Jon

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