I can still remember hearing the wonderful song American Pie and pondering the impact that the words of Don McClean had on me as he uttered, "..the day the music died!".
Those words seem more than appropriate today as early this morning, my dearest friend and wife of my client of many years called to let me know that her soulmate, best friend and the funniest person she had ever met had passed away peacefully last evening or early this morning.
She was Gobsmacked by this sudden and all so unexpected occurrence and it I must admit that more than a tear came to my eye as well on this news. He use to refer to his lovely wife as Mother Theresa for her heart of gold, boundless love and total commitment to him and her efforts over many years to help him and his recovery from a stroke.
I cannot go too deep into this post as it is without doubt one of the hardest I will ever have to write, but at some point when I can deal with my emotions and the deep sadness in my heart, I promise to give him a memorial and proper eulogy befitting this man and what he meant to the world of music and the world of lyrics which along with his writing partner of decades, Vinnie Barrett gave freely as their gifts to us.
Today the music died and so did one of the greatest guitar players, musicians, writer producer and human the likes of which may not be seen for decades. He was the Sound of Philly, the Soul of Philly and the embodiment of all that was good about Philly. He along with his crew, Phil HUrtt, Carl Helm and Bunny Sigler made music that withstands the test of time and makes us remember why we got into this business in the first place.
If you wanted to know what he stood for and what he purposely incorporated as a theme and feeling into every song he played on produced and wrote, that word would be LOVE. Love is the Message, Love Won't Let Me Wait the respectful Love of music and I guess you might say that Bobby possessed a Mighty Love in his heart that came thought everything he did.
So today, I ask you all to please join with me in praying for a man who co-founded MFSB, the Salsoul Orchestra and who wrote, played on and produced the songs that we all grew up with as we say a sad farewell to the Great Bobby Eli the man who made everyone he came in touch with or helped, better in every way.
Please refrain from reaching out to his family and wife Vonnie Eli at this terrible time in their lives as they begin grappling with his loss just as I and the world of music now surely will.
Thank you Bobby Eli for the music, the magic and magnificence of your career as we have watched you rise and claim your rightful place in the History of Philly and the WORLD and This Time Baby the world will bow to your greatness.
One of the greatest guitarists and players ever, Eli Tatarsky aka Bobby Eli, has left our world for his home in Heaven at the age of 77 years old!