Best wishes on your 70th Birthday.
Though we never met, and I never had the opportunity to see you perform, I am thankful to have walked the earth at the same time as you. Most of all, I am just grateful to have your music in my life.
I have a friend from high school who claims that I dressed like you for all of 9th grade. I think it was more that you blew my mind so completely that it was visible from the outside. All these years later I can still be surprised and wonder-struck by your music.
You are surely the greatest guitarist of all time, as well as a great songwriter, a wonderful singer, and a pioneering master of studio recording. The ramifications of your premature death will never be fully understood. Thankfully, due to bootlegs and a steady stream of reissues and posthumous releases, we have a better idea of what might have been. Somehow I think I know that whatever else you would have accomplished, it would have been beautiful and profound.
On July 17, 1970, you played your last concert in NYC at the New York Pop Festival on Randall's Island, less than five miles from where I grew up on the Upper West Side. Perhaps the sounds of your "public saxophone" drifted on the winds into a five-year-old's bedroom...
Rock on, brother.
Here's a sample from that concert: