John Bassette, legendary folk musician, songwriter and cable-access host died last Thursday.
I knew John from Coventry in mid 80’s. He was using the moniker ‘Jon Bon’ and was a regular at the open mics at Arabica (also missed)He gladly lend his clear baritone harmonies to the spontaneous music parties that were ubiquitous at the time. His top hat, his bushy beard, and his red jacket were icons of an era when teenagers (myself included) could walk the streets of Coventry (in Cleveland Heights for those of you eagerly punching up Mapquest) every night, filling up on Apple pizza, Grumm’s subs, or a fallafel at Tommy’s.
For a short time, my brother Evan, myself, and John performed together as a trio, covering old standards and John’s catchy original songs. He was always on hand with a supportive comment or a warm smile.
When Alex Bevan came back to town (not as skinny, but just as fun) I took John to his first performance at Peabody’s Cafe. Alex had dedicated his classic ‘Springboard’ album to him, and I figured they should see each other. From what I understand, they were friends up to the end.
Goodbye John Bassette. You are already missed.