I have just read the comments made by Joe about Brian Glasser in the recent interview on the site here. I just feel I have to reply in some way as a friend of Brian.
I cannot find words strong enough to express my disgust that Joe Zawinul has sullied Brian's reputation as a person like this. Despite his kind comments about Brian's writing and the book generally, his (Joe's) public lack of tact, his insensitivity, is totally unnecessary and merely discredits a great musician and composer.
What distresses me is that people reading the interview will probably go away with a low(er) opinion of Brian and a lower opinion, possibly, of the book; it isn't nice to think that the author of the book might not be a good person, that he might have tried to cheat or exploit Joe, or some such. We tend to think our heroes are great people (because we want to believe it) and tend to trust their word. Why would Joe diss someone without good reason? we would naturally think.
Well, let me tell you something. I've known Brian for over 20 years and he is simply a wonderful person, a magical person, who wrote his book for nothing, financially, but merely as a labour of love for a man's music he deeply, deeply admires, above all other music in fact. That Joe 'doesn't like him' implies, to me, that Brian in some way acted improperly in the preparation and the writing of the book, or was in some way disrespectful to Joe. This, I know, would never be the case. I know Brian too well.
I hope that those who have read the book will 'feel', sense that this is so. Hopefully too, the fact that a huge number of musicians spoke to Brian, face to face or over the telephone, will tell everyone that this is a nice guy, a kind person, a deeply respectful person of the musicians who assisted him. I would like readers and potential readers to know that many musicians went out of their way to help Brian reach other musicians and to help him simply by giving generously of their time. This, I think, speaks volumes for the man they were dealing with.
Brian is also the sort of man who would want to kill me if he knew I was writing this note. I will make no apology though, if he ever finds out: I just cannot sit by and witness one of the finest, most decent and most honest men who ever drew breath being attacked in public. I want people to sit down to read An Austrian In Birdland (the author's preferred title, think of it that way) safe in the knowledge that they are in the hands of a fan like them, who loves music and has no hidden agendas, but who is blessed with the patience and skill to do what most of us can't do: write a great book.