Remembering Joe


Volume CVIII, No. 10October, 2008

Jim Saporito

In 1980, Joe Cocuzzo and I played on the television variety show called “The Monte Carlo Show.” It was taped in Monaco. During one intolerably long rehearsal, summing up our collective boredom, I sighed, “Once upon some time.” Joe turned to me and said, “Hey, that’s a great lick. Can I use it?” Not knowing that Joe was a gifted songwriter and poet, I didn’t realize the importance of my utterance and what those four words meant to him. I said, “Sure,” and didn’t give it a second thought. Many years later, this poem arrived in my mailbox. Since Joe’s passing on July 31, I thought it would be a nice way to memorialize my friend and mentor by sharing this poem with all of you. I’ve always thought that this poem was Joe’s personal epitaph.

“Once Upon Some Time” by Joe Cocuzzo, dedicated to Jim Saporito

Once upon some time
There was this Cat, who played so fine.
With one stick in his hand.
He could swing any band.
With a cymbal and some beautiful time.

His clothes were finely cut.
He even walked with a bit of a strut.
But, he earned it all.
He’d been there after all.
And he carried it straight and tall.

But, things got tough.
And times were lean.
And we was pushed aside, 
by a drum machine.

The robots had come.
The non-feelers had arrived.
The goons who thought music
could be so contrived.

But, somewhere in Town.
This Cat’s laying it down.
And his pride, is still wearing the crown.

But, time went on.
And now, he is gone.
And the Cats came by,
To play one more song.

God bless all the Cats, who play so fine.
God knows he was one of them.
Once upon some time