We lost a kung-fu brother this week.
I was very sorry to read in the New York Times about the death of Charles Neville, one of the Neville Brothers, one of the greatest bands to come out of New Orleans. Aaron Neville is one of his brothers.
Charles bought several of my DVDs and joined my website when it launched, 10 years ago this July. Each month, I would get a notice that he had paid his monthly fee, but I never really connected his name to Aaron Neville and the Neville Brothers. He remained a member until less than two years ago, and I wondered if he was in poor health. I knew he was in his 70s.
He called me on the phone a couple of times over the years, before I realized who he was. I talked to him like I do all of my website members.
The last time he called, he had forgotten his password to the website, so I created a new one for him. He said, "I haven't been on the website in a couple of months because I've been traveling, playing music."
Almost as a joke I asked, "Are you related to the famous Neville Brothers?" He replied, "Yes, I'm one of the Neville Brothers."
I almost fell out of my chair.
Charles Neville played the sax for B.B. King, Bobby (Blue) Bland, Johnny Ace and more. He overcame a drug addiction and eventually studied taiji and meditation, and that brought him to my DVDs and website.
He was 79 years old. I hope his internal arts and qigong helped him ride through the ordeal of pancreatic cancer a little bit. I was honored to think that he and I were connected, and that he supported my efforts and studied my material. In the video below, from 1994, Charles is in the white shirt with the saxophone.
Rest in peace, my man.