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Thread: Fred Weisz

  1. #1

    Default Fred Weisz

    It is with a heavy heart that I share the news that my dear friend and musical colleague for nearly 60 years, Fred Weisz, passed away this past Wednesday, March 16, in Everett, Washington. Fred was my oldest friend. We met in 7th grade in Passaic, New Jersey and had a lot in common, losing our fathers too young and sharing a deep love of music, lasting all our lives. We delivered the Herald News together after school and later had races with our Shop Rite cash registers, checking out customers during peak hours.

    Fred taught me my first guitar chord — D, as well as many other things about the aesthetics of music and musicianship, spoken and unspoken. He was a talented musician who cared about every note that he (and everyone else) played. We spent countless hours after school learning to pick and sing, listening to folk and bluegrass music which we loved so passionately.

    We played our first gig together with our first band, the Garret Mountain Boys, in between doo-wop records at a record hop at the YMHA in Passaic and had the amazing good fortune to know and learn from the late folklorist, musician and neighbor, Ralph Rinzler, who lived half-way between us.

    We made our first recordings together with the Even Dozen Jug Band in 1963 and played in Carnegie Hall and on the Hootenanny TV show. Fred played bass with Red Allen and Frank Wakefield on the first recording session I produced with Peter Siegel for Folkways in ’63, and also on the first recordings by Hazel Dickens and Alice Foster (Gerrard) where we got to play with Fred's number one hero, Chubby Wise. As members of the New York Ramblers, we won the band contest at the Union Grove Fiddler’s convention in 1964, played at the first Bluegrass Festival in ’65 and the Newport Folk Festival in ’66. Fred continued his musical career as a member of Goose Creek Symphony, and played "Fire on the Mountain" on the Ed Sullivan show with them, backing up Bobbie Gentry.

    Our musical and personal friendship continued through the ensuing decades and our last public performance together was on the street in front of the Metro Grill in Seattle, celebrating Fred’s 70th birthday.

    Fred Weisz had a tough life with many trials and tribulations, but through it all he always looked at the bright side and spread much joy to all who knew him. I don’t think I ever heard him complain about anything except being out of tune! His friendship was, and continues to be, a true inspiration to me and I will carry his spirit with me for the rest of my days.

    Farewell my dear Fred. I hope we’ll meet again someday. — David Grisman
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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Fred Weisz

    Dawg,
    I am sorry you lost your best friend. Having lost a few good friends and family over the years, I understand you heartache. You were very blessed to have a friend for that many years. I am sure you have many good memories of Fred and all the music you two have made. Keep him close to your heart and remember him fondly.

  4. #3

    Default Re: Fred Weisz

    What a fine musician he was, he will be missed by so many.


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    Registered User jim simpson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fred Weisz

    Sympathies, it is hard losing our friends. I'm sure he valued your friendship and kindness as you did his.
    Cabin Fever String Band, Bill Gorby and the Musical Mercenaries

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    Default Re: Fred Weisz

    Heartfelt post David..........thanks for sharing!

  9. #7
    Registered User Randi Gormley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fred Weisz

    Condolences to his family and all who knew him.
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    Registered User UlsterMando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fred Weisz

    Deepest sympathy.

  11. #9
    I may be old but I'm ugly billhay4's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fred Weisz

    Everyone's loss. Sad to hear.
    Bill
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  12. #10

    Default Re: Fred Weisz

    I'm sorry for your loss. It's never easy losing those old friends.

  13. #11
    Registered User Glassweb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fred Weisz

    I met Fred once up here in Bellingham in his Goose Creek days... for me it was like meeting a legend as he played on one of my favorite albums of all time - Red Allen, Frank Wakefield & The Kentuckians. He was a sweet, gentle soul and I hope that he is, now, indeed resting in peace. Sorry for your loss David.

  14. #12
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    Default Re: Fred Weisz

    Sorry to read of the passing of your old and dear friend, David. I well recall the photo of him in an early MWN, as part of the Garret Mtn. Boys.

    That part of NJ was home to lots of musicians. RVG of course had the studio in Englewood Cliffs, where so many of the classic artists recorded. When my mother was infirmed in Englewood Hospital, Dizzy was also on his last days there. I remember seeing Bill Cosby several times in the waiting room during that period.

  15. #13
    (not my heart rate!) 40bpm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fred Weisz

    My condolences David.

    Jan

  16. #14
    Expert on my own opinion Bogle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fred Weisz

    Rest in peace "Fiddlin" Fred.

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    Registered User Eric Hanson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fred Weisz

    My heart goes out to you, and to his family. Losing a close friend is just terrible.
    May you always find joy in the wonderful memories you made together, and shared in kind.
    Eric Hanson
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    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fred Weisz

    Sad news. My heart goes out to you, and all his family and friends. There have been so many fine musicians dying in the last few months, it's been tough for the musical community, and everyone who loves music. I've been trying to reel in my feelings some so as to not feel so much hurt, especially after the loss of Dan Hicks, whose music meant and means so much to me. But it's good to remember and commemorate people who have meant a lot to us. Thank you for sharing your remembrances with us.

    My mind is reeling with the image of you two playing on the street just a couple years ago. What a treat that must have been for passersby! There's something so fine about people with such joie de jouer.

    And thanks to Old Sausage for finding and posting that video, a brief but excellent tribute.
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    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fred Weisz

    Sorry to hear David, Very tough to loose any loved one, one with a special bond is extreamly rough. We all know the feeling, all the best that can be in this time of sorrow.

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    Default Re: Fred Weisz

    A very touching tribute. I would be happy if someone remembered me so fondly when I go.
    David A. Gordon

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    Default Re: Fred Weisz

    Dawg,

    Know that you and Fred's family and friends are in my prayers. Peace be with you, brother...
    Chuck

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    Default Re: Fred Weisz

    Thanks for this. Fred was part of the Denver Folklore Center scene in the late 60's and he and I shared a house in Boulder for a while. He moved on and we lost touch, but I often wondered what had become of him. I'm sad to learn now that he'd been living just a few miles down the road from me. He had a terribly difficult life, harder than most, but his musicianship was transcendent.
    Last edited by Black Flag; Mar-19-2016 at 11:20am.

  23. #21

    Default Re: Fred Weisz

    Condolences Dawg -
    My folks are from Passaic (Bresslour's Men's Clothing Store)....

    Losing this deep a connection to your incredibly musical life can't be easy.
    Keep on pickin' - it's the only way to stay postitive - but you already know that!

    -TS
    SF, CA

  24. #22
    Registered User fentonjames's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fred Weisz

    friends for that long are family. i feel for your loss. dive into your music as a tribute.


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  25. #23

    Default Re: Fred Weisz

    Dear Mr. Grisman,
    I was saddened to hear of the loss of your, and my, good friend, Fred. I knew Fred from the mid-nineties when he lived in Mount Vernon, when he gave me one of my first mandolin lessons. I just want you to know, as you may already, that you were an extremely important person to Fred, and he always spoke of you with the highest regard and feelings of love. I watched from the audience one night as you called Fred up to the stage to play a tune with you and your ensemble, and it was a huge moment for him. I really appreciate all the kindness and friendship you gave him unfailingly over the years, and I know he did too. Thanks for posting this heartfelt memory of your history and life together.
    P.S. I’m listening to the Even Dozen Jug Band CD Fred gave me as I write this, and it is a classic.

    In sympathy,
    Wendy

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  27. #24
    Fiddler & Mandolin Player Dave Reiner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fred Weisz

    David,

    I'm very sorry to hear about Fred, your lifelong friend and fine fiddler.

    Dave
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  28. #25
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    Default Re: Fred Weisz

    To both Davids, thanks for the fitting tributes.

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