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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Good bye, Eddie Berner

Eddie was the type of guy that usually falls through the cracks in today's world. He was afflicted with a high fever as a small child, his brain was damaged, he was institutionalized, he was released into a halfway house and his cognitive skills were child-like. Not the type of person that one would expect to have an impact on a large city like Chicago. But he did.

Eddie was the Chicago blues "superfan." And to the credit of the Chicago blues community, he was embraced and shown loving respect by the musicians and the club owners. Yes, he was not a regular guy, but he had a deep devotion to the music and the musicians; he was in the clubs almost every night until his health gave out, he drank his soda pop and danced and sang. So he became a beloved person, and an inspiration.

Eddie died last week; I missed the news because I was on a business trip. I hung with him a few times at B.L.U.E.S. on Halsted and at Bill's Blues Bar in Evanston. Eddie made people happy. That places him in a pretty small group.

There is a memorial service this evening at B.L.U.E.S. Eddie would be very pleased by this.

1 comment:

Joe said...

As a former longtime Chicagoan and a frequent visitor on the Blues scene there, you couldn't help but run into Eddie. He covered more ground than Walter Payton ever did. He was out when I first started going out. He was a character, but I learned pretty quickly if he was in the audience, great music was going to be delivered. His presence was like the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.

He was Chicago's Number 1 Blues Fan, indeed. He will be missed!