It's the same in any lingo

בַּת-בָּבֶל, הַשְּׁדוּדָה: אַשְׁרֵי שֶׁיְשַׁלֶּם-לָךְ-- אֶת-גְּמוּלֵךְ, שֶׁגָּמַלְתּ לָנוּ
אַשְׁרֵי שֶׁיֹּאחֵז וְנִפֵּץ אֶת-עֹלָלַיִךְ-- אֶל-הַסָּלַע

How can one be compelled to accept slavery? I simply refuse to do the master's bidding. He may torture me, break my bones to atoms and even kill me. He will then have my dead body, not my obedience. Ultimately, therefore, it is I who am the victor and not he, for he has failed in getting me to do what he wanted done. ~ Mahatma Gandhi
If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, what am I? If not now, when? ~ Rav Hillel, Pirke Avot

This Red Sea Pedestrian Stands against Judeophobes

This Red Sea Pedestrian Stands against Judeophobes
Wear It With Pride

26 October 2008

Fare Thee Well Merl

I am sad to say that Merl Saunders has moved on to the great gig in the sky due to complications from a stroke.  He was 74.  He rocked us, loved us, and shined such a great light.  When they talk about being baptized in holy waters that's what it was like to be in a room where Merl rocked.  You couldn't help but feel good.  Like Garcia, and others, Merl was an avatar who channeled light from somewhere else, and couldn't help it.  

Merl, from my heart, it was a pleasure to have met you, and groove with you in the bars, theaters, in my car...I wish I had seen you more.  You comforted us when our pain was greatest, carved a permanent place for joy in our hearts, and worked for the healing of the world.  I can think of no greater legacy than that.  

Thank you.

The bio from Merl's MySpace page:

MERL SAUNDERS Hammond B3 player Merl Saunders has recorded with numerous renowned artists since the early '70s and has led many of his own dates in a variety of genres from jazz to blues to new age to rock. Born on Valentine's Day, 1934 in San Mateo, CA, Saunders began learning to play the piano at the age of 10. He was a classmate and bandmate of Johnny Mathis through junior high school. Saunders decided on music as a profession after seeing how much fun was had by audience and performers alike at concerts by such musicians as Cab Calloway. He apprenticed early on with Jimmy Smith for a time, and attended various music schools.

Starting in the 1960s, Saunders collaborated on and off with Jerry Garcia, and the Grateful Dead. He also began working as a jazz keyboardist in the early '70s, and since has performed and recorded with Harry Belafonte, Frank Sinatra, Lionel Hampton, Miles Davis, B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt and Paul Butterfield. One of his several albums with Jerry Garcia, Blues From the Rainforest, hit the Top 5 of the U.S. Billboard New Age charts in the early '90s.

Saunders runs his own label, Sumertone, which includes much of his catalogue, as does the Fantasy label. In 1998, Saunders released his 20th album as a leader, Merl Saunders With His Funky Friends: Live! (Sumertone), which includes guests Garcia, John Popper (of Blues Travelers) and Trey Anastasio (of Phish). In addition to his active touring schedule, the San Franciscan has also written scores for TV and movies, including Tales From The Crypt, Twilight Zone, Heavy Traffic and Fritz The Cat.

In early 2000, Merl Saunders became the first recipient of the lifetime activist award from a Florida environmentalist group for his environmental activism that goes beyond just the titles of albums like Save the Planet So We'll Have Someplace to Boogie and Blues from the Rainforest. Later that fall, Saunders released Struggling Man.

In 2002 Merl suffered a stroke and has been recovering with the help of family and friends.

Merl Saunders passed away this morning, October 24, 2008 from complications related to the stroke which he suffered in 2002. The family appreciates all the well wishes.

A message from the Saunders family:

Merl Saunders stood for music and love - his smile alone told you that.
We loved him very much - and we know that you, his fans, did too.
Sad as we are to lose him, we're very aware of being comforted by the affection
coming from all those touched by that smile and that wonderful music.
He was a special man, a beautiful companion, father, grandfather, and family patriarch,
and the proof of that spirit is in the way you've reached out to us at his passing.

From our hearts, thank you. And we know Merl thanks you too.

Keep on keepin'on,
The Saunders Family

In lieu of flowers the Saunders family asks that donations be made to the Haight Ashbury Free Clinic or The Rainforest Action Network.

And now you shall rock!

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