Joe Minozzi was the old friend of mine who ended up as the villain on an episode of Intervention, which I posted about here. He contacted me when he got out of jail a few months ago, and was mad about all the posts I made laughing at his intervention appearance. I explained that shit was funny, which he had to admit, and so we were cool.
He just moved to San Francisco a month or so ago, and wanted to hang out, but I was apprehensive about this, as I try not to hang around with people who are still doing hard drugs. He claimed he wasn't doing dope anymore, so I was considering it, as he was a fun guy, but I have my kids and stuff to be concerned with. Anyway, his sudden death would seem to contradict the "clean" thing.
Anyway, a bunch of posts popped up on Facebook today saying things like "This was Joe Minozzi's eight grade picture" and "Joe Minozzi really loved this Nirvana song," which I'm pretty sure indicates he just died, and knowing him pretty well for almost twenty years, it's pretty likely it was from a drug overdose, or something else caused by drugs, though I guess he may have been hit by a car or something.
It's sad when people don't make it out of that lifestyle. Joe was a fun guy pre-hard-drugs (though not necessarily a nice guy), and of course he was still that person on the inside, but being a hardcore drug addict for a long time makes you do assholish things, and he certainly did a lot of those, as chronicled on that episode of Intervention. But that's the nature of the game. You can't win forever with drugs - eventually you will become the stereotypical junkie and do the things stereotypical junkies do.
So I'll choose to recall a few of the times before things got so bad instead. Like the time that me and Smiley convinced him to jump off the bridge between Sea Bright and Rumson... three times. How? We told him only a pussy wouldn't jump off the bridge. After he did, swam back to shore, and walked back up, we told him only a pussy wouldn't jump off again. We probably could have kept it up all night if he hadn't cut his foot on something at the bottom of the river on the third jump. It took us three hours to force him to go to the hospital and get a tetanus shot. He had no fear.
Another thing that makes me laugh - we used to hang around with this guy Nick, who we called the Flying U-Nick, and without getting into a very long backstory, it used to really piss Nick off when we said the phrase "Oral Sex with the Grandmother." It grossed Nick out, but because Nick was such an exaggerated personality, he would just get very upset. So Joe, who knew this, would respond to anything Nick said to him with "Ahh, sex with the grandma!" It was the perfect mixture of desire to rile Nick up and contempt for trying too hard to do so. Another time, high with an accoustic guitar in his hands, Joe improvised a song to Nick (which really pissed him off - "Oral Sex with the Grandma... Whooaah-oohh!"
So, with a tiny bit of regret that we didn't hang out during the short time he was out here in SF, some sadness that he never managed to turn things around, respect for the good humor in which he took jokes about his mom being a stripper (which she was), and a lot of laughter at his antics, R.I.P. Joe Minozzi.