My Tribute To JIMI JAMISON (R.I.P.)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


August 23, 1951 - August 31, 2014

I'm really getting tired of this. Another legend has left us. But even more so, another great human being has gone. Another one of the good guys. Why is it always the good guys?
I can barely gather the strength to write as I soak up a soundtrack of songs that have shaped my life.
Jimi Jamison was one of several singers that I grew up worshipping. His music, the songs he sang on, from his solo work to the emotion changed anthems and ballads of the mighty Survivor.
I grew up listening to Survivor. Thankfully I never grew out of that. There is rarely a week where some form of Jimi's vocals don't bless my ears.
In most cases the lyrics and music was written by others, but in every case, it was that emotional, powerful, dominating force that was Jimi's voice that made those songs come to life.
It's the singer, not the song...
I cannot live without music. At the various times of difficulty in my life I turn to the music I need to hear to make it better. Jimi Jamison was a major part of that. I know I'm not alone in that sentiment.
As I have stated before, I am in a privileged position to be able to talk to many of the artists that I grew up and continue to listen to, admire and yes…worship.
There is an unspeakable joy when that legend you admire also turns out to be a heck of a nice guy. Jimi was one of those. Beyond the call of duty always.
I can't even begin to count the number of favors he has done for me and this site over the years.
He was always first in line to contribute to the CDs I put together. He didn't hesitate at the idea to put together the tracks that didn't make his awesome album with Jim Peterik onto what would become the very first MelodicRock Records release.
Jimi signed off on using the song "As Is" for the last MRCD only weeks ago.
Jimi was one of the first guys I called when it was first decided to do a MelodicRockFest event. He and Jim Peterik were among the special guests at MRF1. He was amazing of course.
So he got a call for MRF2. And MRF3 with Mecca. I couldn't do an event without calling him and he was lined up to appear at MRF4 this year before Survivor duties pulled him elsewhere.
But I got to spend a lot of time with him over the course of those 3 events and you know what? He didn't take one cent for doing any of them. He didn't want a fee. He just wanted to be part of the event and help support the site. "Just tell me where and when" he used to say.
I can't thank him enough for his generosity, his time and his spirit that he brought to the stage.
The very first event I did in 2007, I was riding with Jim Peterik to South Bend to do some pre-show publicity and Jim pulled out a CDR and said "I've got something for you to hear".
It was the first take demo of the song "Crossroads Moment". Jim and Jimi were finally working together again. Jim was so excited. I was instantly floored by it. Another lyric that grabbed my heart, delivered with a vocal so clear and sweet that I knew immediately it would be an all-time favourite from Jimi. Since the first time hearing it, that song has become another important part of my life and I'm glad I got to tell him that.
Thankfully I, and everyone else that is a fan of Jimi - whether it be as a solo artist or with Survivor, Jim Peterik, Cobra, Target, Bobby Kimball, Mecca, Scrap Metal, One Man's Trash...we will always have those songs and that voice to keep us going. So many songs...
As I reflect upon a loss I find hard to accept, the music of Jimi will be playing all day. I expect that will be the same for many today as he is a guy that has touched the hearts of so many.
Mine was one of them. Love ya Jimi. Say g'day to Fergie for me.
~ Andrew McNeice, September 2014.