Submitted by Ricardo Sweatt Rodriguez
“I had the great privilege of spending time with Michael a few weeks prior to his passing. I received him at the airport in Houston on his Oracle tour in October 1997. We spent time in his hotel room talking (& smokin-out) and he made me this amazing apple/ginger juice (he traveled with a juicer).
Around that time the G3 tour was coming though Houston featuring Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson & Adrian Legg as the acoustic opener. Michael told me he was offered the opening slot of that tour, but he turned it down because they would not let him headline.
We also discussed Pat Martino’s album ‘All Sides Now’ which Michael was also featured on. Michael told me he’d had Joe Satriani (also on that CD) and Pat Martino at his home studio for some recording sessions prior to the release of that album.
In December 1997, I remember sitting in my office and the secretary walking up to my desk and handing me fax from Michael’s agency SRO Artists. I was deeply saddened when I read the fax as it was announcing Micheal’s passing. I immediately left work, went home, and played guitar to honor Michael and drown out my sorrow.
I was incredibly moved by Michael during our brief meeting. I’m grateful for his presence then and now.”