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  • Writer's pictureThe Smithereens

DENNIS REMEMBERS JEFF FOSKETT (1956-2023)

I first met Jeff Foskett at a spirited backstage hang at Nassau Coliseum in January 1989, when he was playing with The Beach Boys. Brian Wilson performed a guest solo spot with the band that nite (with Andy Paley on guitar). Jeff was quite happy to make my acquaintance, as he was a Smithereens fan. We’d run into each other a few times after that, but we really bonded when I found myself in the backing band for him at a late 90s Beach Boys convention in NJ. Simply stated, he flipped for my drumming. No brag, just fact.

 




We stayed in touch and he duly endeavored to find opportunities for us to share a stage together. He even lobbied to have me sub on a Brian tour. That didn’t come to pass, but he tapped on me to play various gigs in the UK and USA (with Billy Hinsche, Probyn Gregory, David Marks, Robbie Scharf, Gary Griffin and others). Man, were those fun shows, usually private events, where we played a bunch of our favorite tunes and just tore it up.


And then there were countless Brian shows, where Mr. Foskett graciously found space to “let me run wild” in my subdued fanboy mode and bask in the aura of the man we admired most. Jeff made it happen every time, including a chance to sit in with Brother Bri in Red Bank.

 



Jeff was a super cool guitarist and a gifted vocalist. His solo albums are well worth checking out, especially Voices, the last one he issued.


A lot of us knew that Jeff was not well, so his passing was not a surprise. Still, it was a shock to the system to so many of us who knew and loved him. I can’t begin to tell you about all of the many, many great times we had together. Maybe I’ll get to it someday when I dig out the pictures and the memories are sparked. Oh, and the stories he could tell. Damn, it’s all just beginning to sink in as I write this.

 

Thanks, Jeff. You knew what it meant.


DD 

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