An Open Letter to the Music Industry and Friends of Beato

One of the hardest things in life to do is to express condolences to someone for the loss of a loved one. Yesterday I learned, along with the rest of the world, that one of our shining stars, Mike Porcaro, was gone. Indeed, Mike was an iconic player coming from an equally iconic family and his talents will be sorely missed. Clearly, Mike’s passing was a great loss to the music community and although his contributions will live on in our memories things just won’t be the same.

Those of us who have been close to the Porcaro family have known of their brave journey with Mike throughout the course of his illness. We witnessed the pain, the courage, and, most compelling of all, the unity of the extended Porcaro family. Together, they lent unwavering support and fought Mike’s illness alongside him with everything they had. I am certain that his last years were rich with love, precious moments and, with no heartfelt words left unspoken.

How do you tell dear friends whose pain is unmeasurable that you are sorry? Your impulse is to say whatever possible to lift them, to comfort them. You feel weak and futile at the very moment they have turned to you. But, this brave family sees your heart. They try to make you feel more at ease when it’s you who should be strong for them.

The Porcaros are so endowed with strength of character that they should be celebrated as much for this as they are for their incredible and collective musical talent. I am not alone when I say how much I admire and love Joe and Aileen Porcaro.

I believe that God turns our hardships in to blessings. It may be difficult to see that right now. Mike is at rest and though no longer of this world, his legacy lives on and he continues to lift us with his music. In his last years, though very private, we learned about ALS, the disease that took his life. We also learned that fighting this disease is a battle that continues to be waged by brave families like the Porcaros and to finally rid us of this dreaded disorder more support and research are necessary.

May God in His mercy, bless and comfort Mike’s wife and children, his parents Joe and Aileen, his brother Steve and, his sister, Jolene, and their families.

Fred Beato

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