VIDEO The Welch Boys, "617" Directed by Joe Macon
I am happy to have been friends with Joe Macon. Joe was a champion that rose above his circumstances. He refused to pity himself. Despite his physical challenges, he lived a full, creative and productive life . In doing this, Joe inspired all that knew him.
Joe had a rare muscle disease. He first started experiencing the symptoms in High School, and they got progressively worse over his next decade.
Joe did not let this disease stop him. After he was diagnosed, he completed college and formed Immacon Movies, his own video production company.
Joe's hands would shake as he struggled to do the things that the rest of us do with ease. Joe had trouble eating, but he still managed to feed himself, only asking for help when he absolutely needed it. He drove himself around in his SUV until he could no longer drive safely. Joe operated a camera, and edited video. Joe went out to see bands play live... all from the confinement of a wheelchair. Joe was resolved to move forward with life. He was determined to accomplish, and thus enjoy his time here. He was going to chase his dreams, and nothing was going to stop him. He was an intense and creative person. He was a fighter. He was spiritual. He had a glowing smile, and a sharp sense of humor. Joe had multitudes of friends. Joe was close to his loving and supportive family. His personality was magnetic. Joe had an abundance of love, and a great understanding of life and what it took to be a good man.
His talents are evident in the many great videos that he worked on... but beyond his many life accomplishments, Joe's legacy will live on in the hearts of all who he touched.
I met Joe over the internet, and immediately felt a creative kinship with him. Over the years, I worked with Joe on several Welch Boys videos, as well as on my local rock TV show, Sonic Lobotomy. Joe also produced and directed videos for many other local bands including Darkbuster, The Ducky Boys, and the Unseen. Joe would work very hard for long hours and days to achieve a vision that he had in his head. He was intense, and he poured his soul into every project. Joe always gave 110%.
My favorite memory of Joe was the time that The Welch Boys took him on a road trip for a big show that we were playing at the famous New York club CBGB's. CBGB's was the birthplace of punk, and the place was closing down after 30 years. We had the good fortune of being able to open up for the Dead Kennedys for a sold out show the week before the club shuttered its doors. We invited Joe along for the trip. Joe had already seen my band play shows in Boston, and I wanted him to be able to experience a little bit of rock and roll touring. On the way from Boston to New York, we listened to music and joked around. When we got to the club, we set up the gear, and we absorbed the decrepit ambiance that was CBGB's. We were visiting a punk rock shrine, and we were in awe of the place. When we took the stage and played to the full house, we hoisted Joe and his wheelchair up on stage with us. Joe rocked out, with his head bobbing to the music, as we played to the capacity crowd. He was having the time of his life, and so were we. I'm glad to have had a chance to enjoy that experience with him. That's the way I'd like to remember him. Sitting beside me on stage, on top of the world, doing what we love.
Joe is gone now, but he is still up there on stage with me when I play, and he is still in the hearts and minds of all who were lucky enough to have been part of his life. God holds Joe in his hands now. I know I will see him again someday.
- T.J. Welch