When I lived in Falmouth, MA, in the 1980s, I was close friends with Walter Joyce, who at the time was a pastry chef, and soon after taught karate for a living, before becoming a lawyer, which was the trade he was practicing when he died at work yesterday of a heart attack at the age of 58. Walter also played harmonica–he was in fact my student for a while–and he was one of the first players I ever heard playing independently from both sides of his mouth at once–simple stuff, but a very convincing proof of concept. We spent a lot of time hanging out together and talking about just about everything, especially music and martial arts, in those days.
Walter’s relationship with the harmonica, like mine, was lifelong once it started. So far as I know he was playing regularly with blues bands to the day he died. He had great wit and intelligence, and lots of talents. He had more, and more varied, careers than most people, and he attacked each one with zeal and skill. I was glad to know him, and I’m sorry he’s gone.
Most people’s deaths come too soon, and of course Walter’s did. You can learn more about him at his facebook page.