Joseph Joe Rizzo's Memorial

Joseph Joe Rizzo
(1952 - 2002)


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General Details

Name: Mr Joseph Joe Rizzo
Gender: Male
Age: 50 years old
Lived: Sunday, 23 March 1952 - Wednesday, 4 September 2002

My Story

A Tribute to Joe Rizzo

   The news hit me hard as I started to think about the times we've spent together, the good times, the bad times and all the times in between, when we were younger, in the days of peace and love, the rock n roll days, the days of protest, free love and along with the burning of bras, there was a burning desire to prove to the world we knew how to fix it, fix all the issues with just two words; peace and love. It was a time when everyone over the age of 25 was the adversary, the enemy, unless proven otherwise. It was the sixties and I was considered a hippy to most of the older generation, as my hair dangled down and at times and I had facial hair which encouraged their thinking. I never considered myself a hippy, because I didn't believe in all they believed in and I considered myself a leader and not a follower. So I was a non conformist even to the hippies. I was never into drugs nor was I into living in a commune which I felt downgraded one self and cultivated disease, both venereal and other nasty infections, I had no intention of having contact with.


   It was the mid sixties and I was entering my upper teenage years, a time in one’s life when you learn things your parents never mentioned, or at least my parents never did, a time when you had enormous energy and you felt, you could accomplish just about anything you tried, because you are not a little kid anymore, you can sit with the grownups at the dinner table at family functions and you didn't have to sit with your younger cousins, who to me, felt like they just stopped kicking s_ _t out of their diapers. No-no not me I was a grown up now. I was 17 going on 25, or so I thought. That is when I met Joe Rizzo another person like myself, with similar likes and dislikes, and oh yes, another musician and he became the keyboardist in the band I was in and we ended up playing for 8 years together.


   When I found out, 2 1/2 years ago, another member of the band has passed. This makes the fourth band member to leave his musical talents behind and head to the next journey, his afterlife. Of all the band members that passed Joe Rizzo, to me should have been the last one of us to go. He was too young to die, 51, and out of everyone that ever played in the band, he was the most honorable one. The man never took home a groupie and he always sent home his paycheck. You see Joe had to take care of his family since he was 17. His father left for a younger woman and left his mom with 3 young children, (Joe was the oldest), no income and a mortgage to fend for themselves. Joe's mom had a nervous breakdown, which left Joe at the age of 17, to be the man of the house and take care of everything, including his mom. Joe was in the band at the time and when we heard the news we knew it was time to make money, serious money fast.



   So in 1970 the band, the Koloring Book, started performing in local clubs and every party and function we could find. Within months Joe started to earn a pay check to keep the household going, while the rest of the band spent their money partying and buying useless stuff that probably ended in the Islip, NY landfill. By the time Joe and I were 20 years old we were making in the neighborhood of 25 to 35 thousand dollars a year, while the median income for the working man was 10 to 15 thousand. Every week when I paid Joe he never spent his money frivolously or on himself, he spent it on the necessary things a family man would spend it on. He managed to save enough to send his little brother to a music college while Joe, who had natural talent beyond words never, could afford to go as he was saddled down with running the household.


   While Joe was taking care of everything like a father would his mom would leave the house for weeks at a time and hussy herself around all the bars on Long Island. She never got over her husband leaving.  Because of the life he was leading he never found time for himself or to find his soul mate, he never married. Joe's entire life was hard and taking a toll on him as he, himself started acting neurotic and the other band members would begin teasing him, which is in despicable to me. Joe was probably the kindest person I have ever met, he sure gave more than he ever received on this earth, and on his birthday, I felt the need to pay a tribute to the boy, who had to become a man before his time. I miss you Joe and I know your siblings think the world of you. So until we have a chance to meet again, God bless you.


   Joseph Rizzo

   Keyboards / Vocals / Songwriter / Friend


   "True friendship consists not in the multitude of friends, but in their worth and value."



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From: Emanuelli
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Stopping by to say hi - Love you much my good buddy - You will remain in my heart forever




Date of Passing: 4 September 2002
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