Norton Buffalo ~ We Love You Buff!!
When I called Steve Miller to discuss a routine business matter on September 1st of last year, I mentioned that Norton Buffalo was in the hospital with pneumonia. Steve reacted very strongly… “What? What’s going on?” I explained that Buff had posted the following on his FaceBook Page:
“Yikes!!! Guess my R&R was a little different than I’d planned … day 2 in the hospital dealing with this pneumonia in my lungs. It looks like I’ll be here a couple more days. Oh joy!!! Keep me in your thoughts and prayers.”
Steve was very concerned about Norton and ended the call abruptly saying “I better give him a call and check on him!”
I felt strongly that Norton would recover and I sent him a note affirming my belief:
“There’s a wish that I send~
In this electronic letter~
And the wish my dear friend~
Is that you will soon be better~
And I know~
You are about to begin to heal~
And I contend~
You soon will feel~
The compassion, concern, and the Love~
In this electronic letter~
Get well soon Buff!!”
Norton responded graciously and thanked me for the support, but as time would tell, all of the best wishes and prayers could not keep our dear friend from returning to the non-physical. The news of his health kept getting worse:
“Norton Buffalo discovered that my last update was a bit premature. I was told, Wednesday nite, that my pneumonia was caused by a cancer in my lower right lobe (lungs). The doctors still have more to discover. I am keeping my heart and mind positive and focusing healing light inward. Please turn up the decibel level on those thoughts and prayers a couple notches!! Love and Blessings to you all.
September 5, 2009 at 1:49am”
“Norton Buffalo Lisa and I are up in Montana. I am being treated today and tomorrow by an amazing healer, Doc JC Hugh MacKimmie. I need all of your prayers, healing energy and support as I begin this path. Every cell in my body is devine and leading me toward full healing, I send out my blessings and love to you all. harmonically, Norton I will be putting up a page on my website to keep everyone up to date on all of this.
September 7, 2009 at 8:49am ”
“Norton Buffalo Thanks to all of my FB friends for so many prayers, notes of encouragement, networking and healing connections. I’m at home enjoying the beautiful weather and the close companionship of my darling wife Lisa and my father. I am meditating and visualizing full recovery. My body and spirit are filled with the energy and g…
September 13, 2009 at 12:39pm”
“Norton Buffalo is back home from the hospital once again. Resting and trying to build my strength. So blessed to have Lisa as my guardian angel by my side. We have lots of new furniture in our living room … Please help me by Visualizing my right lung as healthy pink and happy, breathing in sweetness and beauty of life. Blessings to you all!!
September 24, 2009 at 4:56pm ”
“Norton Buffalo had a remarkable, life changing, Native American healing ceremony at our home last night, surrounded by a beautiful circle of beloved friends and family. … Now I’m relaxing at the hospital while I take in my first chemo session. Thanks to Warfield & Shiloh, Laurie and Freebo … Words cannot express my gratitude. So much to be thankful for!
October 1, 2009 at 12:42pm”
“Norton Buffalo has been away from computers … Busy enough just poking along day to day and trying to stay focused on my healing. amidst the good days and not so good days, I am feeling so blessed and thankful for each precious moment. Thank you all for your calls, notes, cards etc. For more details and updates please check my website @ http://www.norton-buffalo.com
October 11, 2009 at 6:35pm”
“Norton Buffalo Dearest Friends of Norton, For those of you who don’t already know, Norton passed away peacefully on October 30, 2009. He was surrounded by his loving wife, family and close friends. His battle was brave in every way and he was an inspiration to all that were with him during this time.
November 6, 2009 at 10:53pm ”
Norton’s passing came a mere 8 weeks after we learned of his illness. I count this as a blessing that he did not linger in pain and suffering but rather made a speedy transition back to the source energy from which he emerged. The pain of missing his physical companionship is eased with our fond memories of his gentle spirit and the soothing sounds of his heavenly music. I am honored to have counted him among my friends. Steve released the following statement to the public:
“Monday, November 02, 2009
Rest In Peace Norton Buffalo
There are some people who pass through this world who are so unique and special they defy description and Norton Buffalo was one of those people. There will never be another Norton. For 34 years Norton was my partner in harmony and a principle soloist in the Steve Miller Band. He gave more than he took and brightened the world whenever he played his harmonica or sang a song. He went out with his boots and spurs jangling’, he had a unique and wonderful musical voice and had love in his heart for everyone he met.
Thank you Buffalo for the love and beautiful music and if you don’t see me in heaven, I’ll be in hell… Put in a good word for me please and be sure to say hi to Les Paul and T Bone Walker from all the guys in the band. So long partner, rest in peace, I love you dearly and hate to see you go.
Steve visited Norton along with the rest of the band to pay their last respects and share their love with him. Kenny Lee Lewis took this picture during their visit.
The outpouring of sympathies spurred the following:
“Norton Buffalo Tribute Concert
Musicians and friends are coming together on Saturday, January 23rd, 2010 at The Fox Theater in Oakland to honor and celebrate the life of Norton Buffalo.
Norton Buffalo appeared on more than 180 albums performing with numerous artists over the course of his storied career and spent 33 years as a member of the Steve Miller Band. Join us on January 23rd at the Fox for a benefit concert with many of Norton Buffalo’s friends, including The Steve Miller Band, The Doobie Brothers, Bonnie Raitt, Huey Lewis, George Thorogood, Elvin Bishop, Roy Rogers, Charlie Musselwhite and The Knockouts.
100% of net proceeds from this concert benefit the Buffalo family.”
Steve has graciously asked me to travel with him to the event to pay our respects to Norton’s family, celebrate Buffalo’s life in Music, and comfort his friends and fans with our assertion that Buff will live on in our hearts. We love you Buff!!