A SONG FOR JUNIOR

May 3, 2012

The first time I ever got a flat tire on my bicycle it happened in front of Jr Seau’s house. It was last autumn on the day of the biggest swell to hit Oceanside in years. Jr’s house had taken a beating the night before; waves pushing sand into his garage door, crumpling it like a piece of tin foil. He and his buddies were busy in his driveway bagging sand to prepare for the next high tide. I’d driven over someone’s house key when my tire farted and squeeked like a balloon, dumbing down to a depressing flat. And I’d met Jr. a few times at music related events, so he welcomed me without a double take into his driveway to contemplate the changing the tube and survey the damage and rescue of his beach house. He and his buddies took a much deserved break for small talk after bagging what looked like 100 bags easy. We joked about paddling out in the giant surf but no one had the balls. It was 10’ closeout after 10’ closeout with a nasty current.

 

I’d never changed out a tube before. I’d seen it done a few times so I wasn’t going in blind. Still, Jr continually made fun of me trying and kept recommending I go to the bike shop. He and his buddies kept offering me beer and I obliged. It was warm out and the giant swell had attracted people to the beach like it was a holiday. It felt good to be there. Jr busted out his Ukulele and entertained us with strumming and humility. He was well-known in Oceanside for his Aloha nights, family and friend gatherings with food, music and debauchery. I was never able to attend, but hanging out in his driveway that afternoon on that sunny day gave me the experience I sought.

 

He was a funny and foolish man, and was also very, very kind. Aloha was his style. And Mahalo was his genuine attitude.

 

The last time I saw him was at Jitter’s, our local coffee shop. I was lucky to be a part of an unofficial ukulele club that spontaneously gathered there to strum over morning coffee and vegan pastries. Andy Powers had met me there to share a new Taylor Ukulele and he and I, along with Pops Gilley and Jr, went round and round improvising songs and reviving a few classics on our big sounding tiny instruments. Jr was a giant man who could pick his big smiley teeth with ukuleles if he wanted, but he held it ever so gently. He himself a big instrument with a tiny sound, hunched over the Uke, focused on his fingering.

 

He always listened to music and stories in awe; the sign of a curious mystic. I imagine Jr has gone on to a more mystical plane because somewhere in his heart he felt it was a higher calling. And I can’t be mad at him for that.

 

The reason it hurts so bad when someone passes away is because we lose the ability to tell them we love them.

 

He was a cool dude, a music lover, and a friend to many. A great sportsman and an all weather surfer who never wore a wetsuit in the winter. He will be missed greatly, and always remembered.

 

Aloha Buddee! We love you.

COMMENTS (12)
  • Avatar of rmcarver26
    rmcarver26 said ...

    RIP Junior Seau! He will be missed by many! Thank you, Jason, for sharing this to those of us that never got to see this side of him and now never will. I am proud to say that my absolute favorite artist was also a fan of one of my favorite NFL players….you have good taste Mr. Mraz! LOL

  • Avatar of Ally
    Ally said ...

    J,

    I don’t believe we ever lose the ability to express love to those that have left us…from their mystical plane, the words & the music, only sound that much sweeter <3

    Condolences to all those that feel this loss.

    ~Ally Old Soul
    xox

  • Avatar of shorekimmy
    shorekimmy said ...

    No bad days, just a very sad one.

  • Avatar of GloriousMe
    GloriousMe said ...

    Oops, I mean hug. Otherwise that would be awkward.

  • Avatar of GloriousMe
    GloriousMe said ...

    It suck when good people die. I think they’re still around, but you can’t hung them anymore. They know you love them though. Aloha to your buddee.

  • Avatar of mrazfan1031
    mrazfan1031 said ...

    I believe that we should tell our loved ones that we love them each and every day. Thank you for sharing your feelings and your love. I love you Jason Mraz!

  • Avatar of 4meclara
    4meclara said ...

    Thank you. Another reminder that life is wonderful, but does go full circle. Can’t have one without the other… And sometimes silence strikes us. If everything is sound, and I fully agree to that, then I wonder: what is silence? Does it even exist? Is it only due to my sensorial limitations? After reading a few interesting and quite personal things about silence on the internet, I stumbled upon this: “Music and silence combine strongly because music is done with silence, and silence is full of music.” Marcel Marceau
    P.S. I am definitely going to read again Rose Tremain’s ‘Music and Silence’.

  • Avatar of SirDuke
    SirDuke said ...

    Love it every time you share these =) thanks. Oh, and can you please make a stop in Calgary, Alberta sometime? Pretty please? With a cherry on top? Thanks =D

  • Avatar of costellocrew5
    costellocrew5 said ...

    Mahalo for sharing. There’s nothing like being around someone who has the Aloha Spirit. Your story conjures up good Kailua memories for me, and also reminds me who I need to say ‘I love you’ to tomorrow. I am sorry that this kind man is gone for you and those who knew him. I do believe he is in a better place now -surrounded by the love he embodied on earth. May we all be so lucky someday. xo

  • Avatar of MarLuna
    MarLuna said ...

    It sounds like Archangel Michael has a new, much needed partner. I would not be surprised to find his spirit guiding surfers to safely and whispering courage to take the waves. Sweet is the spirit that remains in our memories and heart in a positive glow, for us to reciprocate as a gift learned and passed on. Mahalo

  • Avatar of dorothy
    dorothy said ...

    Ps ~ I hope you add a show on Maui while in Hawaii ~ pretty please

  • Avatar of dorothy
    dorothy said ...

    Thanks for sharing this Jason. Aloha <3

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