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Pastorius in coma following bar fight Print-ready version

Associated Press
September 22, 1987
Original article: PDF


Jazz-rock musician Jaco Pastorius, who has gone from stardom to poverty, has lapsed into a coma after a bar fight, authorities said yesterday.

The 35-year-old electric bassist is listed in serious condition in Broward General Medical Centre. He has been at the centre since Sept. 12, when he was beaten after being refused admission to a club, police said.

Pastorius toured with the group Weather Report, Herbie Hancock, Joni Mitchell and Blood, Sweat and Tears in the 1970s and was nominated for three Grammy awards.

His behavior was characterized by wild mood swings in the late 1970s. By 1982, he began to make headlines because of his volatile behavior.

Pastorius was placed on probation for two years for resisting arrest after arguing with his wife. He violated probation by riding, naked and drunk, on the hood of a pickup truck.

In the same year, he fell from a hotel balcony in Italy, injuring his left arm. A pin had to be inserted in the limb.

His brother, Gregory, said last week Jaco has been diagnosed as manic-depressive, a disorder aggravated by alcoholism.

Recently, Pastorius was penniless, sometimes sleeping in parks, The News-Sun Sentinel reported Sunday.

A judge declared him insolvent in August.

"A lot of people felt that he was the most influential bassist in jazz," said Art Lang, editor of Downbeat magazine. "He brought a sort of flashiness and a more, a lot of people would say, intense style to bass playing."

Shortly before the fight that landed him in the hospital, he had jumped onstage at a concert by the guitarist Carlos Santana concert and was removed, the newspaper reported.

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