My Memories of Joe
(I wanted to share Pat Collins’ relationship with Joe Pallatin)
First, I would like to apologize to all of my 1969 classmates for missing this important milestone in our lives (the 50-year class reunion). It just so happened that my youngest daughter, Haley, will be getting married during this event, and fatherly duties call. In addition, I would also like to acknowledge a special recognition to very dear friend that will also be missing this important milestone, Joe Pallatin.
I was in Mexico when I heard the news about Joe's death. My wife Joyce had sent me an email explaining that Dean had called to report the disappointing news. My mood instantly changed. I became quiet and deeply sadden. It really caught me off guard. I sat for a while just thinking about Joe and how long it had been since I last saw him or even talked to him in person. It hurt, when I realized it was 1971 when I left La Mirada to continue my college education in Eureka, California Humboldt State University. It had been at least 40 years, and that made me upset.
Joe was one of my best friends (next to Deano and Steve Schneider). But Joe and I had a very special relationship. We had the special bonds of playing music together, as well as playing baseball together throughout high school. I just wish we had today’s technology back in the 60’s so we could have captured all those amazing music events our core group of musicians (Terry, Tony, Joe and myself) accomplished. I love playing music with these guys and especially Joe. He lived just down the street and I would routinely walk down to house in the evenings, and we would listen to music and discover new songs we could use in the band. For example, I specifically remember sitting in Joe’s room listening to Jeff Beck – I Ain't Superstitious, and how impressed I was that Joe, quickly figured out the chords to the song, and then began playing Jeff’s riffs. Another favorite of mine was the Al Kooper - Super Session Album with Michael Bloomfield and Steven Stills. I thought Joe played Bloomfield better than Michael. We routinely played Stop as an opening numbering in our gigs. During these early years, I realized what a talent Joe was. Not only could he play any cover, Joe was writing his own songs. Joe was a very creative and talented individual. I loved playing music with Joe and the band.
David Kearns (Bratton-Kearns)
Pat, very well said, and you expressed a lot of my own sentiments. Also remember listening over and over to Super Session. Great album.
Joe was a very special friend of mine in high school as well, and a particular favorite of my mom’s. She loved to feed him. I was sorry that we went our very separate ways after high school and lost touch with one another. And then, as our 30-year reunion loomed, several other classmates - Wendy Wayland and Christie Mueller, among others - began badgering me to attend. It was then I took on the mission of finding Joe and getting his sorry ass to the reunion. Thanks to Terry and Carolyn Fallon, I got contact info on Joe, got in touch and actually pleaded with his wife to encourage him to come...and was successful. Was so good seeing him, and particularly gratifying for my mom as I brought Joe over to the house so she could reconnect...actually one of her dying wishes as she had terminal cancer at the time.
Miss him a lot.
In 2011 I was contacted by my good friend Terry Fallon who told me Joe was in the hospital down here in So Cal. I had seen Joe a year or so before when he was playing a small gig with Chuck Kuhn here in Orange County. He looked great and it was good to see my old band mate lead guitarist.
I went to the hospital to vist Joe and see how he was doing. He was eating a meal and we talked about old times, the great opportunity we had in 1970 to get into a recording studio and record some of our original music and how it seemed that we could feed off each other when it came to creating a song. Joe looked down at his plate and said "the doctors told me I have stage 4 cancer". It was all I could do to hold it together. I mean, what do you say to that? We talked some more, not broaching the subject of his illness. When I left, I gave Joe a big hug fighting back my emotions and feeling so helpless. It was the last time I spoke to him. In a few short weeks cancer took my friend. He was an insperation to me early on as he help me learn the craft of playing the guitar. Together we wrote some good songs, played a lot gigs, and partied our share. I hope we will play music together in the after life my friend. God bless.
Thanks Tony for your memory of Joe. I never New you had contact with him after 1971, when I left Southern California for Humboldt State. I still live in Eureka today.