RIP JOHN FRAGA!
From Johnny BEE:
Hi Kim, I was shocked and saddened to hear the news that John Fraga who was the original bass player in The Rockets. When the band started out in 1973 in Ann Arbor, Mi.
We'd play every night 7 days a week. John was with us all the way. He was a warm and wonderful human being who loved the band and would do anything to help further the band into a tight recording unit.
The band stayed in the bar room loop playing Ann Arbor, Detroit, and Toledo, for many years until a recording contract finally came years later. We where in the trenches, always working on original songs and trying to score a record deal so we could go out on the road.
That dream finally came true when Gary Lazar brought producer Don Davis to see the band. Don produced The Rockets first album for RCA Records in 1978. John was 69 and passed away last week from a heart attack. John always played the bass and was known for the BIG NOTE. Much love my brother. May peace be with you. Johnny Bee Badanjek
Susan Alexander just sent this poem in that John wrote for her when he was locked in a stairwell at a recording studio
Thank you Susan!
SHIT SHIT SHIT.........what horrid news. Very sad, Kim.
Keep us posted, eh?
what happened to him, he turned me on to being a non meater at the time.
John was one of my favorite bass players of all time to play with. He made a drummer sound so good. His big notes were so fat, wide, and warm you could drive a Mack truck through them. Always made things groove right in the pocket all the t...ime. Just simply the best. The world will miss him.
He had an ice cream truck in his neighborhood on the east side where he lived with his dad that was used for an undercover drug operation. He thought it was so funny that the song it played as it's jingle was "The Sting." His music will live on forever. It was great knowing and performing with you my brother. I will toast a RenShenFengWengYeng in your honor.
We all know about John's fat notes that kept The Rockets (and so many others) in the pocket and of his dedication to the music and culture. What I always remember though was a sheepishly little grin that came after a little dipping gesture he made while blasting out those big notes and driving whomever he was playing with to the big time. The little guy was a BIG man whose spot in Detroit Rock and Roll will always cast a GIANT shadow. Johnny Fraga, Motor City Rock 'n Roll Star, R.I.P.
~~ a great musician ~~ RIP John ~~
This is sucky news. I remember him from the Red Carpet days. ALWAYS a nice and totally cool cat!!
R. I. P.
I lived in his house on Audubon for a year back in 1975 and had such a great time with him. He taught me so much. I lost touch with him more recently until he called me out of the blue in July. We had a great chat and I promised to drop in the next time I was in Detroit. Sadly, I did not get back soon enough. I will never forget my friend John.
♥ John ~ RIP my dear!!!
Johnny Bee.....that is a really nice tribute to John. From experience, I can tell everyone that I am positive that some of best moments of his life were spent hammering out "The Big Note" right in front of the "Bee Bass Drum"
John was a great player and a warm and gentle human being.
RIP by brother....
"He will definitely be missed in the music and regular world......peace be with you John and say hello to everyone for us who are still here...."
john,was like my big brother,i never had.he was 14 years older,and tought me so much about music.he loved fats dominio,so one day he dragad us all down to the poncatrain to see him.we went early and he went straight to bar and found the horn section, lee allen etc.he was like a little kid.he had geat stories about fortune records,playing with catfish,lowell george,and of course the great bottom to the rockets.i miss him.
john fraga hi i wrote the story about fats dominio yesterday, i woulld like my name on it thanks jim hood
thank you for sharing your thoughts with my readers. RIP John
I was incredibly lucky to meet John Fraga when I first started playing blues in Detroit around 1984. John became my mentor (as he was to many, many younger musicians). In fact, he played "Fred" (his Fender bass with the hundred-year-old strings) on my very first gig! The four of us each made $50 that night at the Delta Lady in Ferndale.
It has been many years since I talked to John, but have thought of him often. Very sad to hear this news.
Godspeed my friend.
Ah what a bummer, I just heard this sad news today. I had the pleasure of performing with John briefly, he was in my group The Nairobi Trio for about a year. He was always up for the gig what I remember most about him was his gentle disposition. RIP
very nice !!
A friend for many years. I am bummed.
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