Marvin Etzioni Shares “goodbye old friend,” a New Song Written for his Old Friend, Don Heffington

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Old Friends Don Heffington & Marvin Etzioni

By MARVIN ETZIONI

Don Heffington passed away this morning. If Don heard the news, he might quote one of his own songs by saying, “That’s Hollywood.” 

We first met in 1982 through a mutual friend, Steve Fishell. They were both in the Emmylou HarrisHot Band. I had never heard Don play drums before, but as soon as I met him, I knew he would be the drummer for Lone Justice.

Marvin Etzioni and Don Heffington.jpg
photo of marvin etzioni & don heffington
circa 1993 at Big Mono in Atwater Village, CA
courtesy of laura heffington and josh grange.

At our first rehearsal together with Heffington, we played “Sweet Jane.” His kick-drum turned into a giant heart, his snare cracked a solid back beat,and his hi-hat was a metronome with soul. Heffington understood both the Bakersfield sound and the Velvet Underground, and could play themboth authentically. 

In the last few years, he released a solo album, Gloryland, on which his songs and voice take the commanding center stage. In fact, there is a tribute album of Don’s songs in the works with Sheldon Gomberg at the helm.  

Don was multi-dimensional as a drummer, artist and human being. He was the older brother I never had growing up. 

A few months ago, he contacted me.He was in the hospital. He shared whathe was going through. He said,”I like talking with you man.”

That’s a compliment of highest order coming from Don. We got to say something we usually didn’t say to each other: “I love you.” 

Here’s a song I wrote for Don. Recorded at home March 24, 2021 —the day he passed away.  

Marvin Etzioni, “goodbye old friend”
Written in honor of our friend Don Heffington

goodbye old friend
words & music by marvin etzioni

goodbye old friend
it’s me again
i’ve come to say
in my own way
goodbye old friend

we’ve had our fun
in the sun
and now the sun is gone

another song
another show
we played ’em all
from here to tokyo

goodbye old friend
this is not the end
i know we’ll meet
someday again

i don’t know how
i don’t know when
it’s getting late
ain’t that a shame

goodbye old friend

marvin etzioni
peer music

Marvin Etzioni & Don Heffington in Lone Justice, 1986

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