To Fans Worldwide
by Marcia Higgs
On Saturday, October 2nd, 1999, the day of the event, I received a call at 4 o'clock in the morning. I saw that the call was coming from my father's hospital room and I freaked out!!!! I was terribly afraid that it might be the call I had been dreading!!! Anyway, I mustered the courage and answered the phone, only for it to be my father, telling me he had a plan that he wanted me, his keyboardist, Jawge Hughes and his bassist, Glen Jones to support him on, and without further ado, he began to relay the details. "At around 9 o'clock tonight, I would really appreciate it you, Jawge and Glen could come and steal me out of this hospital room and take me to the show, because I really need to have a talk with my fans --- even if it's with my last breath --- I WANT TO TELL THEM THANKS FOR EVERYTHING --- because, it is only because of them that there's a Joe Higgs!!! He paused for a moment --- I never said a word --- so he continued, "I would also appreciate if you could stand beside me on the stage --- and hold me up --- and make me look good --- because I'm not stong enough to stand alone."
I was speechless! I honestly could not believe what I was hearing!!! For him to want to say "THANKS" to his fans, was truly admirable, however, I knew that stealing him out of the hospital was not going to happen, but I didn't know how to say that to him. I didn't want to shatter what was left of my father's already broken heart. I didn't want him to hear me crying, so I covered the phone to mask the sound. I finally broke the impasse when I said to him, "It's gonna be alright; I will speak with Jawge and Glen when the morning lights and we will make it happen." He asked, "You sure you gonna try?" And I replied, "Oh yes, my Dear Dada, ABSOLUTELY!" He then said, "Thank You very much, Sweetheart --- I Love You," and hung up the phone.
At around 9:00 AM that morning, I called Jawge Hughes and relayed my father's mind boggling plan for us. When I was done, Jawge said to me, "Well, that's a very ambitious plan Joe have... an' I ah wondah' how we go' execute dat now?" I must admit, that gave me such a good laugh it was like a breath of fresh air, but anyway, Jawge decided that, we just had to pretend to want to steal Joe out of the hospital, while letting him know the SECURITY there was so TIGHT.
But at approximately 4:00 PM, my phone rang, and this time, the call was coming from the Nurse's Station to inform me that my father had just been transferred from the INTENSIVE CARE UNIT to the CRITICAL CARE UNIT, because, he had taken a down turn! I was shocked!!! Yet relieved!!! I felt like a billion pounds dropped off my shoulders, and then, I sat inthe car, and just breathe. That night, I did not attend the show, I just stayed by my father's bedside, in the silence, and watched his drips drip. Two things are very important for me to note here; (1) Even though Joe was in no shape to perform, his band went ahead, did the honors and recieved the award on his behalf. (2) "Jazz At Drew" sent Joe every dime of the sum that they had agreed to pay him.
Two days later, on Monday, October 4th, 1999, my father was taken back to the INTENSIVE CARE UNIT. He was still sleeping when I arrived, and obviously still drowsey from all the sedatives he had endured. Eventually, he opened his eyes. and I held onto his hand and tried to apologize for what didn't happen. He stoped me in mid sentence and said, "Don't worry about it, baby --- it wasn't meant to be, but as you can see, I am now officially Inspector Gadget!" I couldn't help laughing!!! After all that he had lost, he was still holding on to his sense of humor, and that made my day!!! Of course, he was much weaker now, his words dragging, and was having a tough time remembering things, but he knew what he still wanted, and he NOTHINH could stop him from declaring it one last time, "IMi dawta, I need you to promise me that you will tell my fans that I thank them for everything and that I love them --- and don't forget to tell Juicy and Ricky and Claudette that I appreciate everything they do for me." For the record, I had already delivered his message to Juicey, Ricky and Claudette, because they were right there, in Los Angeles, California. But, to the rest of Joe's Higgs' FANS, around the world, this heartfelt message is for YOU!!!