Remembering BFB’s Jack Hayward
Jack Hayward joined BFB in 1979 and was a dear friend until he finally succumbed to lymphoma in 1998. Jack met the band at a turning point in his life. It was a time when he was seeking a new direction from his former occupations as a LA County firefighter, and later as a black belt martial arts instructor teaching in his own karate studio in Los Angeles.
Jack wanted to live his dream of being a musician in a “tight” group with other players who truly shared the same vision of working hard at being the best they could be. He initially came into the band as a synthesizer keyboard programmer and sound effects specialist. But his positive energy and contagious enthusiasm led Jack to also feature his talent as a lead vocalist and frontman.
At that time, Cory played Keyboards and Jack also played keys programming his Minimoog (the world’s first portable synthesizer), and the massive Oberheim OBXA, with it’s classic lush 8 voice analog polyphony, as heard on Van Halen’s “Jump”. Those were the Rock N Roll “party down” good times days of playing seven days a week, rocking ‘till it was “last call” with the band’s last set ending at 1:45 and a capacity crowd still wanting more music.
Big Brother Ernie Joseph reflects, “We were super tight with the dual keyboards sound, and Jack always got the crowd going fronting the group. Jack was a real team player, extremely humble, and hardworking. He was hungry for getting that tight sound, and with his sense of humor, he was also fun to rehearse with… and always so enthusiastic on stage.”
It was a sad day when Jack called his BFB band bros, asking them to come for that last and final visit at the hospital. He knew that he had one more day. But even then, Jack was so positive and in good spirits.
Jack Hayward lived a full life. And in the end he realized his dream of sharing the joy of music and bringing love to us all.