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Saturday, September 10, 2022

A Tribute to James Mazzeo: 1944 - 2022

"Deja Blue"
w/ James "Bandit" Mazzeo, ZUMA & Greendale Album Cover Artist - 2015

Remembering The Warmth & Love of Bridge School Concerts 
 (Click photo to enlarge)

Here is a tribute to the late James Mazzeo: 1944 - 2022, the artist who painted Neil Young's album cover Zuma, as well as, the Greendale album cover and stage set designs. 

I Met Mazz through Paul Ziegler back in 1995. Paul was always late so I ended up hanging with Mazz for hours watching him paint and just BS-ing. After multiple times of this, I started to see Mazz's personality and general being show up through his art. 

One day I was in SF, walking around in the wharf and stumbled into an art gallery. An abstract artist was on display and instead of saying my usual......"I could do that, just a bunch of colors in a random fashion.." .....I really stopped to look at the work, thought about Mazz and then looked a little deeper into the paintings that this artist had put her time into. When I told that to Mazz he said "Wow, that's the greatest thing you could have said", "not that you loved my art, but that I helped you appreciate art"

I was really taken back by the statement, we became great friends and spent 1-2 days a week together for the next 8 years, hanging out in one of the many spots where he lived, always discussing the promotion of Mazzeo!

I helped him launch his first website and was fortunate enough to take a road trip to LA when Greendale was being released and search for a gallery to promote the release of Greendale and also the works of Earl Green! What a fun night, totally surreal for me, same thing with backstage at the Greendale concert at Shoreline. 

Most memorable was driving Mazz to Neil's 60th birthday party which took place in the Redwood Room in SF. Something I'll never forget. 

Mazz was received love by everyone we met, all the time. He loved driving around Santa Cruz, pointing out all the places he used to hang when he was in his heyday. Easy to hang out with and talk about anything with. 

I will miss you Bro!

Jeff Trusso

Thanks so much for sharing the "Mazzeo memories" Jeff.

That's quite incredible about how you learned to "see" art.  We treasure our "Mazzeo memories" deeply as well, like so many other rusties who befriended Mazz over the decades. 

Our favorite "Mazzeo memory" was when he explained to us why his paintings took so long to complete.  The painting above --"Deja Blue" -- took him many, many months to complete because of the paint brush type he used.  He went into his studio and pulled out a brush that was tiny, tiny with very few bristles.  He said the painting was comprised of 100's of thousands of strokes of colors.  

Like you, we peered deeply into the painting to see each stroke.  Again, the revelation where there is more to the picture than meets the eye.

The Bandit. We miss Mazz madly !

More on  James Mazzeo: 1944 - 2022   (UPDATED: Statement by Neil Young).

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