Me and Mr. Jones

I feel sick. I just found out that an old friend, someone I haven’t spoken to for years but always told myself I would “get around to” contacting some day, died on October 5, 2001.

He was known as Aldo Jones, and I met him when he was a member of a fantastic band called “The Ben Vaughn Combo” that I used to follow around Philadelphia like mad in the mid ’80s. I met Aldo during a break between sets on the first night I saw the band in 1986, and from that point on I never missed a show. It was so easy to love the Combo as a whole, but even easier to love Aldo as an individual, so when the group disbanded in 1988, I remained friends with Aldo. We listened to eight-tracks (!) in his huge old car, played darts in his living room. Nothing “special”. But then again, it really was.

A few months ago, my mother told me that she read in the newspaper that Aldo had leukemia, was awaiting a transplant, and later in September there would be a musical benefit to raise money for a bone marrow donor program. I considered going to the benefit, but because I don’t live in the Philadelphia area anymore, I decided I would just get in touch with Aldo on my own “some other time”. Years had passed since I last spoke to him. I knew he’d moved out of the country, but vowed that I would find him again. And then I found this article on the internet today. Some other time? Right.