Musician Tributes to JJ Cale Begin to Pour In–Band of Horses and Tom Petty/Mike Campbell

Jul 29th, 2013 in Music


Musicians are beginning to pay their respects to the masterful JJ Cale, who passed away last week.  Below are fine examples from Ben Bridwell of Band of Horses and long-time Tom Petty guitar-player Mike Campbell.  Clearly Mr. Cale, you are sorely missed.

Ben Bridwell (Band Of Horses) (emphasis added):

JJ Cale is my hero. John Weldon Cale was still making great music well into his 70’s, which makes it even sadder to hear of his passing. To lose a dude as cool as Cale is not only a loss for fans of great music, but a loss for those who rail against egoism and pompousness. The fact that he was still creating incredible albums in his 70’s that rival any of his earlier work adds an extra sting for his many devoted fans. I beg you to check out his 2009 album Roll On.

Just the other day, I was wondering when we might get a new batch of J.J. Cale songs. Sadly, that is no longer possible, but the great news is that we are left with a trove of incredible records to carry on with.

If you are new to J.J. Cale’s music or want to educate yourself further, I’ve added this playlist of some of my favorite J.J. Cale music. This is my personal mix tape that I made for myself a couple years ago:

Some of the tracks weren’t available, and I skipped some of the obvious big songs for my own enjoyment. If this gets people riled up enough to whine, “Where’s ‘Cocaine’?” then that’s just funny as hell.

I once interviewed Mr. Cale for FILTER Magazine. That was the most nervous I hope I’ll ever be. He was so incredibly cool, smart, and sweet about doing it. Let his answers resonate in your soul here:

Also [below are] a couple J.J. covers our band has done. If anybody has us covering “Don’t Go To Strangers” from Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa in 2012, please post it!

Leaving in the Morning:

Thirteen Days:

I’m forever indebted to Sam Beam for turning me on to J.J.’s songs.

Roll On J.J. Cale,


And from Mike Campbell (pictured at top, on the left and playing with JJ Cale and Tom Petty), long-time guitar player in Tom Petty’s band (emphasis added):

“Losing JJ Cale is losing an American musical treasure.  Always under the radar, he has been, and will always be, a huge inspiration to me and the band.

Luckily, I had the pleasure of playing with him several times.  He was always gracious and treated me like a friend.

Whenever I listen to music, it is nearly always one of his records.  He had a gift for the sweetest groove, the sweetest guitar phrase, and the coolest lyrics- understated, but deep.  “I’m not a homeless man – I’m a gypsy by trade and I’m traveling this land” is one of my favorites.

His guitar tone and touch were magical in their simplicity.

I will miss him terribly, but I cherish all the music he left for us.

Thanks, JJ, we love you.

-Mike Campbell, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers”

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