Stinky Twinky and Shimpei 'Dead Eye' Ono both passed away yesterday. Stinky Twinky,the 22 year old cat I named a new Jump Blues instrumental after,passed away late last night/early this morning. The little stinker was known for being old,crabby and loud as hell. When I first moved in she hated everybody and would take a swing at you whenever you tried to pet her. Her nails were extra long and sharp,too! After a while she took a liking to me and became my little stinky buddy. She still hated everybody else though. She got her nickname 'stinky' after years of hiding out in a dark,dingy room under the kotatsu (a table with a heater underneath and a blanket on top regularly used in Japan). Whenever you would scratch her you could smell the grime breaking loose. After she had a bath she didn't stink anymore but the name had a good ring to it so it was changed to 'twinky'. After a while she started to stink again and the two names were combined. When she passed away one arm shot up giving everybody the finger. I met Shimpei 'Dead Eye' Ono on April 21st of last year. I was playing at The Baron and on the bill was Max Blues. Mac came up to me and introduced himself,he was short a bass player and had just bought a bass of his own. We went on late and my drummer had to split to catch the last train home. Mac suggested that Shimpei fill in. Eventually the bass player left as well and Mac grabbed his new bass and sat in. We jammed forever on a bunch of old Blues numbers having a blast. Later they backed me up a couple times at Rock Factory and we remained friends. At one of those gigs Mac told me about Shimpei's condition and how he had already lost one eye. I was going to make an eye patch for him but we could never find the right material (couldn't retain any moisture). Max Blues played the L.A. Jones Tokyo Tour and Shimpei was at his peak. I never heard him sound better. Backstage he was running around like a typical hyper-as-shit drummer. What a riot. He was just plain fun to be around. Eventually his conditioned worsened and during the Glen Terry Tour he could only play a few songs. The last time I saw him was at Rock Factory. Despite being in obviously bad shape he insisted on playing a few songs,that was the kind of Spirit he had. He managed to play OK,played great considering his condition -it was clear that he was in severe pain. During a recent gig at The Fiddler Mac told me he had spoken with the doctor and it was just a matter of time. He passed away yesterday at his home in Tokyo. Gone but not forgotten. We play STINKY TWINKY every gig,ironically Shimpei was the first drummer to ever play it,and it's being recorded for an upcoming CD. Max Blues had just finished recording their latest CD before Shimpei's condition started to deteriorate. There's also some video from the L.A. Jones Tour when Shimpei was at his peak. With a bit of effort all these will be released soon,the best tribute of all.