Busk for Jesse Morris + Benefit Show This Friday

The outpouring of photos and letters — including one from Jesse’s aunt — hasn’t stopped since we posted about the passing of the beloved “Punk Rock Johnny Cash.” In our original post, you can read many of the letters from his friends or just passerbys whose days were brightened simply by hearing Jesse Morris at the BART station. Jesse Morris and The Man Cougars were due to play at the Uptown in Oakland tomorrow night, and the bands in the lineup have decided to make the show into a benefit show for Jesse’s family.

Sluggo from The Grannies, who were scheduled to play with Jesse on Friday, sent us the poster above with this note:

The poster features a shot I took of him earlier this year. Before the show, i asked Jesse if i could photograph his set. He looked directly at me and somberly said, “I don’t like my picture taken.” There was an awkward silence, then he added, “Jus’ kiddin’ ” and winked.

The Grannies and The Undead Boys will be donating 100 percent of their door proceeds to Jesse’s family to help with expenses.

The show is this Friday, Nov. 11, at 9 p.m. at the Uptown: 1928 Telegraph Avenue Oakland. (BART: 19th Street Station).

This Sunday night, Radio Valencia will be doing a tribute show for Jesse. You can listen, call in, and join the Radio Valencia crew from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The studio line is (415) 875-9051. You can listen to Radio Valencia at RadioValencia.fm.

We also received a letter from Jesse’s aunt, Jeannie.

Dear Friends:

It is so poignant, reading all of your viewer’s comments. I am Jesse’s Aunt Jeannie. Jesse and his girlfriend came up to Ashland to visit this past summer. I could feel his sadness. But that’s not what I want to share.

Jesse Morris was glorious, absolutely glorious. He always has been. You’d look at Jesse and be intimidated. Two minutes was all it would take to fall head-over-heels in love with him. You’d find yourself with an excited anxiety, anticipating his return.

Jesse always made us laugh. I have a Jesse (girl) who is married to a Jesse (boy). One summer, all of them were hanging out at my house (his brother, Jameson too) playing pool, laughing it up…chillin’. I’d say, “Hey Jess!” and three people would turn around. We loved that.

Jesse’s talent was phenomenal. Everyone knows it. His imitation of Cash was obvious, it was his own songwriting skills that blew you out of the water. They were always from his heart, always.

Melancholy would be the best way I can describe Jesse’s other side. He’d show it sometimes in anger; he’d rant, but there was this tender melancholy about him that made you cringe in your desperation to make it ok.

I can say that Jesse’s passing has destroyed us. His brother, his mom, grandma, uncle, my daughter and son, Richie, and me. I’m not ready to let go of him. I’m not ready to let go of his charm, his humor, his tenderness…his glorious self. I can’t say -he’ll be missed. “Missed,” Jesse would say – That’s fucking lame. Empty, empty, empty. Empty and flat and far less magnificent is the world now.

Y’all grab your guitars, drums, basses, cymbals…pots and pans. Go down to the Bart station and do you best impression of my nephew. Record it so that everyone can see what asses you all are – and how much you loved him. He woulda loved that!

Thank you for appreciating glory.
Jeannie Azzopardi

If you are a musician and would like to busk in Jesse’s honor, please send us a video so we can share it here on Muni Diaries. And be sure to share the information about the benefit show and radio tribute.



  1. Jack

    I just put up my last recording I made of Jesse. He’s doing an original number. You can listen to it at ontheflip-side.blogspot.com I’ll miss him.

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