Jaco Incorporated

Why can't family, friends, and fans of the world's greatest bass player get along?

Robert Rutherford thought he had a pretty good idea. A way for Oakland Park, where he lives, to honor its most famous native son, storied jazz bass player Jaco Pastorius, by naming a small new city park after him.

Rutherford, an unassuming man in his early 30s (he won't give an exact number), is skinny, ponytailed, and bespectacled. He works in a local printing shop and lives just blocks from where his idol grew up.

The young jazz fan — an uncommon animal, to be sure — appears to have little influence with local city leaders. He does have a few web skills, which he used to produce jacopastoriuspark.org to promote his idea. The website has motivated 199 people to sign an online petition endorsing the park. Rutherford has also taken advantage of his position at a print shop to churn out some Jaco-themed fliers, guitar picks, and buttons.

photos courtesy of Tim Ravenna's collection
Robert Rutherford wants to turn this dirt lot into a monument to his fallen hero.
C. Katz
Robert Rutherford wants to turn this dirt lot into a monument to his fallen hero.

It's not quite a groundswell. But Rutherford, the well-meaning, worshipful fan, is hoping that his grass-roots campaign will persuade an uptight collection of city officials to name a sliver of a park after a man who, in the 1970s, briefly became a jazz god, forever changing the way the electric bass was perceived and played, and just as quickly was overtaken by mental illness and alcohol abuse and finally died at 35 after a beating inflicted by a Wilton Manors nightclub manager one night in 1987.

In other words, Rutherford probably doesn't have a prayer.

Or he didn't, at least until he got the endorsement of a key backer, who has unequivocally given her blessing to his efforts.

That angel, who has been instrumental in what little momentum Rutherford has been able to generate, is Ingrid Hornmüller Pastorius, Jaco's second wife and the mother of his twin sons, Felix and Julius, who have also made it plain that they want to see Rutherford's idea succeed.

But even with the support of Pastorius' own sons, Rutherford knew he'd run into resistance at City Hall, where at least one commissioner has voiced her opposition because of the famous musician's ignominious final years.

What Rutherford didn't expect, however, was that the biggest resistance to his idea would come not from squeamish civil servants but from a buzzsaw of criticism from Jaco's two older children, John and Mary, and the bass player's longtime friend, a man named Bob Bobbing.

Rutherford, it turned out, had unwittingly stepped into the middle of a feud between Pastorius family members and friends warring over the man's legacy.

And very soon, he got the message: Remember Jaco. Appreciate Jaco. Revere Jaco. But don't mess with Jaco Pastorius Inc.


Sunday afternoon behind Calder Race Track, the South Florida Jazz and Heritage Festival has infused a hot afternoon with chicory coffee, gumbo, and jazz.

A couple of horn players from CB Pope's Dixieland All-Stars file offstage in matching outfits of navy slacks and powder-blue shirts.

"That's got to be Jaco's kid hanging backstage," one of them says, nodding toward a tall, thin dude with wise brown eyes, his eyebrows, lips, and mustache as iconic as his father's. They stroll over.

"Excuse me... are you Jaco's son?"

Sure am, nods Felix, sporting two gold rings in one earlobe and a Caesar haircut.

"I played with your dad!" they both gush at once.

Dennis Clouse, probably in his early 50s, looks like he rides a hog. Mike Petrozzino wears bifocals and beignet crumbs on his blue polyester shirt. They stare in amazement at Felix, not just because he's six-foot-seven with snake-like arms but because he's the spitting image of Jaco.

Clouse and Petrozzino used to sit in on jam sessions at Pirate's World, a tiny Dania Beach club on Sheridan Street, they explain. Petrozzino pumps Felix's big hand again. "I'm honored," he says. Felix's twin brother, Julius, half a foot shorter but with a similar stark charcoal outline, elicits the same response from the two horn players. They sit and wait for the acclaimed outfit Way of the Groove — with Felix on bass and Julius on drums — to perform.

As the band stretches through two softly rendered Herbie Hancock numbers, it's impossible to watch Felix play and not be reminded of his father. Outlandishly long fingers work up and down the neck of the instrument, and the physical resemblance is uncanny.

"His dad was the same way — like the bass was part of his body," Clouse raves.

Nearly 20 years after his death, one of South Florida's most famous products is still the legend he himself always insisted he was. The first thing most people new to the legend learn about Jaco — pronounced "Jocko," which is also the way he spelled it until he was about 23 years old — was that he began to call himself "The World's Greatest Bass Player" before the rest of the music world had even heard of him. But the label stuck after he proved that it wasn't an idle boast. To many jazz fans, Pastorius, the brash Oakland Park kid who grew up by the Florida East Coast railroad tracks, really was the World's Greatest Bass Player.

Until he arrived, the electric bass had been a steady if unexciting backing voice in jazz ensembles. But Jaco turned it into a melodic instrument with the explosive power and subtle feeling to lead an orchestra. Some compared how Pastorius transformed the jazz bass to what Charlie Parker, another jazz icon who died young, had done with the saxophone. Pastorius himself encouraged comparisons to Jimi Hendrix, who redefined the guitar before his own life ended too soon.

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46 comments
jungjason99
jungjason99

Even if Jaco didn't get killed by luc Jaco would've evuntually die because of bipolar disease. And those people who threatened luc are hypocrites. Killing him cant bring jaco back

conrad
conrad

@jungjason99 Man stop with your shit Luc Havan is a bastard killer who ever pay for his atrocious crime. He kills an intoxicated man who didn't could defend himself. I'm hypocrite? And what about you? Give right to bastard murderers like him who never pay their crimes? This animal just did four months in jail cause he was known family of the greatest stupid politician in Florida, Mr Jeb Bush! And he's totally free, without any regreat,... this underraced and untalented fucking pig kill a pure Genius and a real talented man. He can't imagine how his crime is so horrible for people who know music and arts cause this bastard known anything! "He's doing his job doh!". Fucking pathetic moron go to hell with this cock sucker.

brad4143
brad4143 like.author.displayName 1 Like

Luc needs his head bashed in with one of jaco's basses, or maybe yet strangled with one of jaco's bass strings. Then and only then will justice be served. 

GotohellLucHavan
GotohellLucHavan

Holland people= Nazis???

 

Goovaert VanBanning have a name like a colonialist in South Africa during the Boers "domination" (of stupidity) and the Apartheid... Back in France nazi bastard and I will be very happy to meet you for a savage meethead. Goovaert what a stupid name for degenerate underraced people like this country of assholes lol

AntiGoovaert
AntiGoovaert

Luc Havan you're the scumest piece of rat shit on earth so fuck you, crawl into a hole and died like the bitch you are. You have killed Jaco you have to paid for what you did. Four months wasn' enought. Now you have to committed suicide if you don't want to rot in hell for eternity.

AntiGoovaert
AntiGoovaert

To the stupid boer monkey Goovaert Van Banning: All the France said fuck you to you and your dirty country son of a bitch! You're just a stupid colonialist who deserve to be slashed and bashed until death in Africa where you put your stupidity. So crawl with Luc Havan in to a hole and die old mother fucker of boers. All people fuck you! All Africans fuck you! And all France fuck you and your insignifiant country. You deserve to die WE pissed on your dirty pig face. DIE SCUM!

Julio Atitude
Julio Atitude

Hermanos yo soy Creyente, y como tal les digo que con las oraciones tambien puedes conseguir el castigo de Dios a tu enemigo, y veo que muchos al igual que yo odian a este bastardo asesino de havan, y creo que el mejor castigo debido a su NO arrepentimiento, sería el sufrimiento de los seres que el más quiere (si conocerá el significado de esta palabra), porque creo que la Ley Divina de victima por victima no es suficiente para este caso, este sujeto y los que de su familia apoyan su actitud o su defensa frente a este asunto merecen ser castigados de la forma más dolorosa.

Boogydj
Boogydj

Luc Havan 48Y. Boca Raton, FL real estate agentNewman Residential Inc 315 SE Mizner Blvd; Suite 214A33432phone: 5613478933

Scou
Scou

Idiots posting racist remarks and empty threats! Get over it, it's tragic a man died but it happens every day, over 20 years passed. Nobody will ever know what happened

mpolo739
mpolo739

You ignorant twat. There were witnesses who KNOW exactly what happened. They said that Luc Havan gave a drunk Jaco Pastorius a fierce and savage beating that eventually killed him. Now go back to Mental Midget Land you useless turd.

erin
erin

 @mpolo739  Check posting of the SS colonialist Goovaert Van Banning from Holland and you will understand where is the Mental Midget Land...

roge
roge

friends, family, and the worlds greatest bass player CANT GET ALONG because a 3 foot jackdonkey beat him so bad his teeth went through his lip, his eye essesntialy popped out, his shoulder was dislocated, and the list goes ON. WHY? because this little slant eyed fool out to destroy a homeless drunk mentally ill guy had to beat him into a coma (yeah luc you half pint pussy) did not "hit him and he fell on a curb". YOU KILLED HIM. NOW YOU DIE!!! 

Geo Loukin
Geo Loukin

luc you midget killer. i am an ex-military sniper. i know where you are. justice will be served within one year. enough said.

FLASL67
FLASL67

Luc Havan is scum piece of shit.  He should have served 30 years in prison. 

Goovaert van Banning Holland
Goovaert van Banning Holland

French men cannot hold their in their pockets. God created France, beautiful, but he made his biggest mistake by creating the french people! In Holland he would never ger away with it, people are put in jail for less!

AntiGoovaert
AntiGoovaert

Just see upside you have a post for you.

 

You and all your Holland country of nazis are just deserve to be exterminated for your stupidity and insuffisance. All idiots came from Holland it's not a surprise. Your and your family are just stupids like all people in your country. God create France, and the Godemichet create Holland and his people like you stupid animal you are. So keep your stupid words and insignifiant culture we don't need monkeys and stupid past colonialist like you in our continent so get out and die in to a hole. Die idiot moron!

sivad
sivad

All you idiot morons who live in fantasy world, it was EXACTLYhis intention to inflict as much pain and hurt upon him as possible. He couldhave subdued him and waited for the cops but he enjoyed beating him and now themaggot is walking free. I can’t believe the low life has not been taken out bya Good Samaritan. He will do it again and enjoy it again. 

LoBo
LoBo

Doing your Job? I always hated bouncers for being abusive. They won't go anywhere with that attitude. You should be getting out of jail by now. You've taken out from this world my hero you piece of bouncer...

Colton Barrier
Colton Barrier

Im sure it was not Luc's intension to kill him. He was simply doing his job. Take it easy and lay off until you hear both sides of the story. I knew Luc for a very long time and he is NOT a killer unless he is threatened.

GotohellLucHavan
GotohellLucHavan

Luc Havan Lie to Police said Jaco felt down. Being pardon? Felt for few contusions and a right eye pocket and savage brain damage? You can tell to your stupid friend that he's just a little piece of rat shit. He kill's the last 20th century, the greatest bass player in the world, like he kill's Mozart. Hey man! Your animal friend don't kill just a lonely fuck guy: he kill's a genius. What he was your friend? Just a stupid insignifiant bouncer who didn't know anything in arts or others. Jaco was a genius. Luc Havan was? Just an unsignifiant ratshit. For your "good" friend Luc Havan : Just say have a miserable life and go to hell for what you did big fat asshole!

Silver261
Silver261

 luc haven was a cheap thug who nothing but violence and drugs a cheap pimp whos only claim to fame was to MURDER  much loved jazz bass  player in his hour of need. my heart goes out to jacos family a true musical genius.this murder sickens me to the depth of my being.JACO IS DEAD LONG LIVE JACO PASTORIUS! .thanks for sharing your talent with us

impartial observer
impartial observer

I just read the biography of Jaco. Truly a sad tale. I also happen to work in the medical field. It is highly improbable that any person could sustain injuries from one single blow and fall that would result in the victim not being able to use his left arm again, his right eye dislodged from its socket, and several fractured facial bones. This is just what eyewitnesses said it was.....a savage beating. When Havan says "he probably would have recovered if he wasn't an alcoholic" further proves he is not being truthful about what happened. By all accounts, Luc Havan was a laid back guy that didn;t go picking fights, and Jaco by alll acounts could be obnoxious and out of control when drinking. I am guessing Jaco did something to make the man snap, but this is mere speculation. Did he spit in his face? I heard Havan was born in Saigon. Maybe a racial insult? Only God and Luc Havan know the truth. I sure wouldn't want to go before my Creator with blood on my hands

Mr.Walks
Mr.Walks

That is completely bogus to say! Unfortunately, we will never here both sides of the story, because one side is dead.....I can hear this Luc Havan guy saying "i was just doing my job". So were the Nazis...(Colton) are you waiting to here their side of the story? You think you have somebody's back by saying that. I don't know you (Colton), so i won't call you an idiot, but i will say, you are misguided.

Mr.Walks
Mr.Walks

Listen buddy, i've known and witnessed martial artists threatened and actually attacked by obviously weaker individuals and maintained some sort discipline and/or calm demeanor... maybe breaking a leg or a strong enough blow to the jaw just to immobilize or control the person attacking them, but never, ever, ever using their skills to kill a person...dude...one of my good friends who trained for yrs, told me there is no fulfillment in or thrill at all from hurting someone who is a non martial artist, especially one that is obviously inebriated, even early on in his training would never do that...it's like a grown man beating down a kid...what's the point? You don't need to be a martial artist to know that, only an animal would do something so heartless....So stop defending a criminal, He killed a father, a brother and one of the most inspiring figures of our American music heritage. (To Luc Haven) : Man, you fucked-up and will have karmic repercussions that will take many lifetimes to overcome.

Abc123
Abc123

Luc Havan, you are scum and deserve to be eliminated for taking Jaco from this world.

Neut Kiley
Neut Kiley

jaco blew it....that's all....just like Jimi, Belushi, Elvis, johnny CAsh....michael Jackson and all the other dope feens......so they are talented artists....well they are dead now...

I don't feel sorry for any of them.......you play with fire....you get burned....

brad4143
brad4143 like.author.displayName 1 Like

I still think it would be nice if Luc Haven got his head bashed in with one of Jaco's basses. Sweet revenge..or maybe strangled with one of his bass strings,

Tom
Tom

Hey Neut, don't you mean "you play with fire, you get murdered?"

I'm sure Luc was waiting for the day. "Wow I get to finally pummel the hell out of someone." Was Luc's life threatened in any way? If you were the bouncer, would you have KILLED Jaco.

Actually Jaco was really sick. I've lived with a bi-polar person for years and it's horrible what they go through. I DO feel sorry for Jaco. I'm sure you're insensitive for a reason.

As for Luc Haven...I pray you burn in Hell, which I am sure you will.

Mr.Walks
Mr.Walks

you're an idiot, period.

Srv8t9we4g57890hn985gq5908f7n
Srv8t9we4g57890hn985gq5908f7n

Just like Jimi, & Johnny Cash? Are you ignorant, retarded or just plain stupid? Jimi was far from being a "junkie". Obviously you know nothing about his death & the casual drug use of the 60's. And Johnny Cash??? Really??? He died of Shy-Drager syndrome, you moron. As for his drug addiction, he was clean the last 11yrs of his life, & before that, clean for periods of 5 years at a time. As for Jaco, Fuck off, ya rancid piece'o shit. He had mental problems.

Mr.Walks
Mr.Walks

i concur. i don't know why i even responded to Neut Kiley...you, Neut Kiley obviously know very little about any of the people you mentioned outside of what the mainstream media tells you...dude read some of these artist's memoirs or books written about them, then again it'll probably have very little influence on your narrow perspective. Grow-up, the world is much more interesting when you begin to free your mind, and then maybe, your ass will follow !!!

bonju patten
bonju patten

Luc Havan - you had a scummy job as a bouncer with so little power that you had to take out your frustrations on a drunk sick man and killed him. Jaco was a helpless man under the influence but I think it is you who was the sickest man that night. You got 4 years but it's your karma and your reality that you will serve a lifetime with his name on your head. You took the life of another human being who was weaker than you and who you thought was dispensable. Jaco was human - you are now a Realtor - the 2nd worst profession in the world next to being a lawyer. I don't think you can sink any lower and that you wanted to apologize to his family after you murdered him and walked out a free man. You condemned them and him to a fate that perhaps you have sidestepped but karma is a bitch, Luc good luck in dodging your eventual fate.

Nick
Nick

Whoever this guy is, he can't possibly sleep at night like the rest of us. Funny thing is, most of us never make the mistake he made. Who the Hell cares. Jaco Pastorius could have been some drunken, illiterate hassling jerk off the street, but last time I checked, that doesn't demand a summary death sentence. And it doesn't deserve some schmuck who can barely read to deliver it.

I don't really care who Luc Havan is. Really, he's beneath consideration. But if I ever meet him in person . . . all those caveats go straight out the window.

I'll kick his unholy ass till Sunday.

Kevin
Kevin

@ FredThis Havan-guy did not just kill a man with children. He, a useless bouncer, killed a musician and only got 4 months jailtime!This guy should get every cancer there is and have a verry long and painfull death.

OffRamp
OffRamp

I just wish Jaco was still here with us.

Thomas
Thomas

Good one Dave!! I'm with you bro-thanks for posting.

Fred
Fred

I find Luc Havan's comments in this article repulsive. You killed a man, Luc. This man had family and friends and deserved to live. You had no right to take his life, no matter how you try to explain it away; you are responsible for your own actions. Have some respect for those thousands of us that loved him, even with his illnesses. Stop making excuses for your cowardly act of brutality, and stop rationalizing your violence by blaming the victim (he hit me first, he was a drug addict, he was not eating right, etc). It's been 23 years. Grow up and apologize to the family at least. That is the very least you can do. Your "suffering" does not equal the loss of Jaco Pastorius--are you delusional? Why don't you do something like try and prevent others from using violence to kill people? Instead of selfishly focusing on your own self pity, do something good for those who are suffering.

nomore
nomore

Somebody needs to take out this Luc Havan monster.Better watch your back Luc....!

Chris Chasse
Chris Chasse

All I have to say here is shame on all of you who are trying to use Jaco to further your own careers and make a name for yourselves, you know who you are. You know that he would never behave like this on your behalf. Jaco is someone whom so meny people admire, appreciate, and respect and for you to use him like this is unforgivable. As to the family, be at peace with each other, and dont let fame and fortune come between whats really important. All the Respect,Chris Chasse

Chris Chasse
Chris Chasse

All I have to say here is shame on all of you who are trying to use Jaco to further your own careers and make a name for yourselves, you know who you are. You know that he would never behave like this on your behalf. Jaco is someone whom so meny people admire, appreciate, and respect and for you to use him like this is unforgivable. As to the family, be at peace with each other, and dont let fame and fortune come between whats really important. All the Respect,Chris Chasse

 
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