Obituary: Local performer Jesse Morris loved by Bay Area music community
By Anna Shoriak
Jesse “Jaundice” Morris, or “Punk Rock Johnny Cash,” 27, was found dead in his home after committing suicide on his birthday, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011.
Morris was a talented musician best known for his Johnny Cash style vocals. Many recall hearing his syrup-laden voice crooning out classic Cash covers at the 24th Street Bart Station.
“I consider it a job. Just like some people might work in an office, I work at the station entertaining people. I get to do what I love, and I can make a living at it,” he said in an interview on BART.gov.
“People stop and listen, they tip and they smile.”
Voted “Best BART Musician” in 2008 by San Francisco Weekly, Morris was an iconic figure in San Francisco’s street music scene.
“Mom was proud,” Morris said, in an interview after his win, “her son is the most famous panhandler in San Francisco!”
Morris struggled with mental health issues and addiction.
A benefit show featuring: The Grannies, The Undead Boys and Neutral Boy was held for Morris’ family at the Uptown Nite Club, in Oakland last Friday. Morris’ band, Jesse Morris and the Man Cougars, had been originally scheduled to play.
Morris leaves behind his loving family and friends and an unreleased 7-track country album available for download here: http://tinyurl.com/c73gj7x .
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