Robert Trujillo Financing Jaco Pastorius Documentary Film

Jaco Pastorius

We’d heard rumors about this, and now a report has come out via USA Today confirming what we’ve been hearing: a film about Jaco Pastorius has been in development, and it is being financed by Metallica’s Robert Trujillo.

Trujillo, you may remember, has another tie to Jaco, having purchased Jaco’s Bass of Doom a year ago, years after it had been stolen from Jaco and resurfacing in 2006.

Trujillo has cited Jaco’s influence on him many times, telling USA Today’s Marco R. della Cava, “Jaco was my hero growing up. Hearing him was like hearing Eddie Van Robert TrujilloHalen doing ‘Eruption’ for the first time: You thought, ‘What instrument is that?’… Jaco had an edge that far exceeded his jazz persona. He was funk, he was rock, he was soul. And his whole attitude was punk.”

The movie, tentatively titled Jaco, was taken on by Trujillo two years ago and is being directed by Stephen Kijak. Kijak’s credits include the 2010 film Stones in Exile, about the Rolling Stones creation of Exile on Main Street. Trujillo reportedly recruited Sting, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea, Carlos Santana and others for the film.

One of the more interesting stories Trujillo told della Cava is that he had hoped to help Jaco out during his later years.

“I wanted to rescue him,” he said, “but I learned that Jaco didn’t want to be rescued.”

Trujillo says he hopes to premiere the film at the Toronto Film Festival in September.

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  1. I saw Jaco live 3 times and was schooled each occasion as a fretless Bass player. Having read the book, I think the movie will make a compelling artistic drama. Good luck film makers.

  2. This is a long time coming…

  3. really good.. jaco is live!

  4. Mr Trujillo just went up a couple of notches in my book.

  5. Why does every film about a musical great has to have Carlos Santana in it? Just asking.

    • I think it is because he’s played with so many people (or at least hung out with them), he’s able to talk about them all!

    • True. Oh, and I just realized: Jaco was thrown off his stage the night he died, that is a story worth telling. Guess I was a little too hasty there, I just feel he can get pretty overexposed sometimes. :P

    • He wasn’t thrown off his stage the night he died, unless you mean that figuratively Karl.

    • Really? I recall reading that he got onstage uninvited at a Santana gig and was ejected from the premises.

    • Wasn’t that Jerry Lee Lewis? But That was not the night he got beat up.

    • Wikipedia states that it was after being ejected from a Santana show that he went to the club where he would meet his demise. I presume that it’s true, but who knows.

    • Karl Boson Jag ser för övrigt först nu att du är svensk…..

    • En trevlig sak att vara! Jag såg det på ditt namn men tänkte att övriga basister också skulle vilja förstå något. :)
      Dokumentären lär ju ge klarhet i om det var en Santata-konsert eller inte!

  6. I just hope they don’t do to Jaco what “Walk the Line” did to Johnny Cash… Jaco was a great musician with an incredible work ethic and focus, he wasn’t a strung out punk. Hell his own brother said Jaco didn’t even drink until he was 25, and that he was the straightest kid ever. I cant wait to see it! I hope they tell the truth!

  7. that son of a…capitalist! Trujillo only wants to make money, as always… as evidenced by the comment of misha, or the case Metallica napster… they destroied napster first and then (when they understood that today it all works like this) put their songs on their website for free… this is called a monopoly. All that trujillo wants is to be rich! (P. S. yes, I’m an old metallica fans). and now I ‘m so curious to see how they will be able to ridicule and to commercialize the life of the best bass player ever. luckily jaco is not here to see it!
    hope is not like I think, reeealy hope. rip JFAP, and thanks for everything you have done for us!

    • I think it is too early to call any of this Marfi. First of all, this doesn’t seem like the sort of film which is done for money (profit). While we bassists are thrilled this is happening, the general population probably won’t embrace it as much, even though Jaco is more than worthy of the attention by the masses. Bottom line, I doubt it makes much money regardless of its greatness. The Metallica vs. Napster thing happened thre years before Trujillo joined the group, so it is unfair to lump him in on that. I believe Trujillo is doing this as a labor of love… he’s a big-time Jaco fan, as we mentioned in the story, and this is his way of doing something to honor Jaco’s legacy. Until the film is out, let’s give him the benefit of the doubt. Everyone will be able to fairly judge the film on its merits when it is out. Lets keep our fingers crossed that it’ll be great.

    • okay, so let’s wait and see. thanks for clarifying. hope you’re right, man! sure you know much that i do… so i think i can believe in you. anyway excelent job and post. but misha’s comment is right, isn’t it?

    • According to all the reports we’ve seen, the Pastorius family wanted to get the bass back (it was stolen years ago), but weren’t successul. My understanding was that they weren’t able to afford the asking price, so Trujillo bought it with the offer to the family that he would give it to them for the price he paid. I don’t have any inside scoop on this – this is just what’s been published. To me, this sounds like a better scenario than someone holding it who is motivated by making a profit. Hopefully it’ll return to the Pastorius family soon.

    • well said Corey, exactly my sentiments!!! Let us all hope that this turns out to be exactly what Jaco and his close family deserve. A real blood & guts expose of his traumatic life but also concentrated on his neverending influence on all bass players around the world! He never died in a strange kind of way, he just showed us the infinitie possibilities of the beauty of innovative bass playing!! Long live the KING!!!

  8. Tried to write this biopic 3 years ago. Was told that due to family squabbles, chances of getting the rights were slim to none. I guess money really does talk. He has a good director, I hope they tell a credible story, not just put together a concert flick.

  9. Been wondering for years if someone/anyone would take this on…greatly looking forward to the release.

  10. Spectacular news! I wish the best for all involved in the making. Okay, so yes, Santana will have some positive and insightful things to contribute, but as I see it, to be legit, the film must include first and foremost, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, and Pat Metheny. There’s also, Joni Mitchell, and a host of less famous cohorts who know the real deal… Again, I wish the filmmakers the best, and can’t wait to see a masterpiece on the master — a chronicling of the phenomenal 20th century musical genius much of the world has yet to discover. Real fans will be the judging…

  11. just wondering how much will his family get out of this production? would be great to see… none the less… every one loves Jaco, like family… Bob Marley, Frank Zappa… kinfolk where I come from.

  12. There will never be another Jaco. Hope the film does him justice, warts and all

  13. I hope whoever ends up making the film consults Metheny. It might not be all the film it could be if Metheny doesn’t have some kind of direct influence on any film about Jaco.

  14. Might want to include some past members of Weather Report…Wayne, Peter, et al.