Johnny left us September 12, 2003.
Not many people know that I actually met him years ago while working as a photographer at a large event in Washington, D.C. A lot of important people were on a stage…doing everything they could to stay important. But I saw this guy in black on the other side calmly refusing to participate in the ego jockeying that was taking place.
Somehow I caught his eye and he walked right up to me laughing. “Can you believe this,” he asked shaking his head. I was in complete awe for the next few minutes as Johnny chatted me up like we were old friends. I tried to act like I had casual conversations with music legends all the time. He was as genuine and gracious of a human being as you could ever imagine.
Years later when I met some of his family and friends in the context of another project —my impressions remained the same. My only regret? I was so star struck in the nation’s capital that evening, I forgot to take a picture of him…