A few days back, my good pal Joe Popp told me about Woody, that he likely only had a few days. That was hard to take, as I didn’t know his health had deteriorated. The last few times I’d seen him, he seemed to have been getting better. Jeff had been fighting brain cancer for several years.
In any case, I found out that he passed away last night.
Wow. Two in one week is a bit hard to take, but I guess that’s just part of getting older.
Joe set up this tribute site to Jeff – go check it out. Leave a comment if you knew him.
There was a bulletin that started running around MySpace a few days ago about Jeff, and this is what I put in it – my first memory of Jeff Wood.
I didn’t even know Jeff was in a band the first time I met him. I had gone up to Vinyl Fever to put up a poster and some flyers for a show Joe Popp had written a 15-minute rock opera for (JY2K) and I asked the guy behind the counter if I could put a poster in the window. He asked to see it, and I said we had some local musicians working on the show – Paul Reller and Joe Popp, to which the guy behind the counter starts laughing and saying stuff like “I thought you said you had musicians …” and “Joe Popp is a giant poser …” – and he just kept laughing and laughing like he was just amusing the hell out of himself. I couldn’t tell if the guy was being serious or not. But he finally handed me the poster and said “Ok, you can put it up. I know Joe, it’s ok.” I later told Joe the story and Joe clued me in on the joke – Jeff was in his band.
Just a few years ago, Jeff was in recovery from a surgery, but the Joe Popp band agreed to come play our Jobsite Rocks event, which was also a 10-year anniversary show for them. Jeff had asked about getting paid, citing his bills and needing to take off work to play the gig. We had no problems at all offering him money to play the show – but the real kicker was that guy turned around and spent just about every dollar we gave him on buying raffle tickets. So he basically just turned around and gave the money back.
That’s just the kind of guy Jeff was.
As every day passes, I realize more and more how short and precious life is and how we just need to squeeze every damn drop out of things while we have the chance.