I lost a long-time friend and patron yesterday.

Don Zimmerman was president of Capitol Records when I signed to the label in 1979. Though not a music-maker in the strict sense of the word, he expressed a genuine interest in what I was doing, and was remarkably insightful in supporting and guiding my career in its formative stages. It was “Zim” who pushed me to include my song lyrics on “Don’t Say No”, which I don’t think I would have done if left to my own humble devices. This simple gesture affirmed my beliefs as a songwriter. When he retired in the late eighties, Capitol became rudderless, and I came to feel his absence acutely as the years passed. He was really a “salt-of-the-earth” kind of guy: gracious, lacking in pretense, generous with his time and thought…a good guy to take out for a beer. I last saw Zim in 2009, when I invited him to a show I was doing in LA. Time stood still, which is what happens when like spirits reconnect. I will always remember him in this light: a man comfortable in his own skin…a gentleman who saw himself as “one of the boys”…a man I was proud to call my friend.

The sadness I feel speaks volumes about the man.