RIP Joe Dierkes (@Jazzbass19)

Continuing the discussion from Show Us Your Basses:

Well, as the title says, it’s time I told everyone exactly what’s going on with me :roll_eyes:

As some of you know (or have known), I have been diagnosed with terminal colon cancer since my hospital stay in October 2020. I had the ascending portion of my colon removed and underwent 6 months of oral chemotherapy. In the summer of 2021 I had a repeat CT scan which not only showed NO improvement, but an an actual increase of cancer metastasis.

This means that my cancer is spreading all around & through my entire abdominal region.

On Sept 25, 2021 I was told by my oncologist that I had the proverbial “less than 6 months to live” prognosis. Sparing you the details, I have been in Hospice Care since then, and have moved in with my son and daughter in law since 3-1-22.

So it is anybody’s guess when my ‘final departure’ will take place. I am living as comfortably as possible in a 10 x 13 foot bedroom equipped with a hospital bed, recliner, new Mac computer, and commode and am quite happy here. :slight_smile:

I gave away all my gear to my son and his brother in law and haven’t touched a bass guitar since my prognosis, as I’m sure anyone could understand.


Now that it’s all out in the open, I was considering buying that LAST Rickenbacker from Sweetwater as I mentioned in my reply to John. I emailed my Sales Engineer and received a price of “around $2,000” which I am now considering.

I have been a member of the Forums here for over three years, am glad to have made as many friends as I did, and would also seriously consider your opinions.

AFAIC, I came here to re-learn how to play bass correctly with some music theory, as well as to fix some ingrained mistakes I learned the hard way trying to learn the bass lines of my favorite bassist, John Entwistle (as everyone here well knows). :wink:

I’m just an old man trying to re-live his youth, and with @JoshFossgreen 's course, and with your help, I believe I accomplished that :+1:

$2,000 is a lot of money and could be used for other things . . . but I can buy this last bass if it is still there and noodle my way out as I wait for Reaper to arrive. (No, not that one! The ‘Grim’ one is what I meant :wink: ).

Please feel free to share your thoughts, and I’ll see you around the Forums!



So as i read this, i realize how much I’ve grown to care about the people in this forum.

I think that it is the privilege of the dying to do the things that make them happy. I’m not saying i have an answer for you-i simply don’t.

What i know for sure is life is too short.

Couple minor things here. Yes, it’s a lot of money-it is however a rickenbacker. So, given the need it could be translated into liquid cash quickly.

Conversely, it may also be considered the thing that made you happy at the end and become a treasured family heirloom.

I don’t know if i helped, i wish i had more to offer.
I’ve never seen you be anything less than kind here, and learning of this is terrible. But reality is.

Please take care of yourself, and please be kind to yourself. All the best from me and my family.


So sorry to hear about your illness. I know we have a big 0ver 50 community here so we can easily sympathise with you. If it helps makes the time you have left worthwhile then get it. Im in the UK awaiting a new 4003JG (long wait) so I hope your still around when it finally arrives.


I’m not really sure what to say. What even could I say? It sounds like you don’t really have (m)any regrets, except for maybe that Rickenbacker :sweat_smile: Maybe there’s a reason Sweetwater just has the one in stock, when so many instruments sell out almost as quickly as they get them. If having it would make your last days happy, I say go for it :slight_smile:

“Ay, Reaper, I know why you’re here, been expecting you, just lemme finish this groove. I’ll be with you in a minute.”


@Jazzbass19 Joe,

I’ve been wondering how you were doing but respect privacy over prying most times.

Thank you for sharing your story and for being such a great member of this community and being one of the driving forces here that makes this place so good.
I hope for nothing but peace and as pain-free as possible happiness for you and your family through this time. We here are better because you choose to spend so much time here. Thank you for giving all of us this. You’re attitude and mindset are one I hope I have and model if I’m faced with similar down the road.

Bring joy to yourself in any way that you want. Be a little selfish, you deserve it, because that selfishness/joy will spread to others. You’ve brought a lot of joy to this forum and I bet you do the same with your family, friends and loved ones. So I think you should bring joy to yourself as well and that Rick may bring a lifetime or two of joy to someone in your family or many years from now a total stranger, as you have brought joy to all of us “strangers”. See it as a gift to yourself and then it turns into a gift to others.
You can’t take it with you, but others can take you with them.


I have known this for a while and I have dreaded to read these words… knowing deep down that they will appear, and that that time will come… and nothing any mortal can do about it!

So sorry to hear what you are going through… the “wait” might be the worst, I don’t know… my wife is writing a book about “anticipation grief” right now, and before she told me about it, I had no idea such a thing even existed… what “sheltered life” we often are allowed to live, and most of the time we are not even especially grateful for it.

Joe, get that Rick and enjoy the heck out of it! Don’t worry about the money! But, if you do… think of it as something you borrow for a moment and then it goes back to someone else, who borrows that instrument for another, unspecified amount of time, before it moves on… bringing pleasure to whoever “owns” it at any given time. I say: go for it!!!

I enjoyed having gotten to know you here and it was always a pleasure discussing stuff here, or just exchanging trivial banter and (old man) jokes :smile:


Agree with everyone else, Joe. Buy that bass and enjoy it. And when the time comes, whoever you leave it to will have a nice thing to remember you by, a special instrument you enjoyed by doing something you loved.

Sorry to hear time is getting near as well; I knew it would happen before long but didn’t want to see the words. All I can say is you’ve been facing this amazingly well and I really admire that, and that you’ll be missed around here.


So many nice things all you folks have said to me: @howard , @joergkutter , @John_E , @alexmorrison14 , @Koldunya and @autumnsdad1990 . . . :slight_smile:

Thanks, but I might also be around a couple more months too! {lol} So you might have to put up with my antics for longer than you expected! Ok, I will seriously consider getting the Ricky and will stay tuned to this topic.



“Yes, I absolutely needed this Rickenbacker 4003 and a 300W Ampeg SVT with an 8x10 fridge to go with it. Why do you ask?” :rofl:

The Grim Reaper doesn’t have soft fleshy bits to protect his bones from high SPLs that will rattle him to pieces. This is science.


Being one of the people who were told this privately quite a while back, and knowing now that our prayers for a miracle went unanswered, I can only say “Go for it”. That’s why it’s called a bucket list.
You’ve been an outstanding member of this community, and I consider you to be a personal friend. Nothing would make me happier at this point than knowing you have your dream bass to noodle on during your last days.
Place that order, Joe!


First, an enormous (but gentle) hug.

Second, if it will cause you no hardship, then, yes absolutely get it.

Right now isn’t necessarily the best time for thinking - focus on feeling.

I would just echo other people’s thoughts on your kindness here in the forum and say thank you for your words and your impact in making this one of the best and most friendly places to be. That’s no small feat on the internet.

I’m rereading your comment to me yesterday about @JerryP ’s cover - happy to give you a smile. If a table opens up at that lovely outdoor bar, feel free to come sit with me. We can whoop at Jerome. :slightly_smiling_face:

I have many thoughts and feelings about cancer and cancer treatment; but they are boring and tedious, a lot like being treated for cancer. I have such deep respect for your openness and honesty about your health situation. Thank you for your trust in sharing, and giving us the opportunity to reach out to you.

Now go get that $&@#*% Rick.

P.S. There are a few doctors appointments I’ve been putting off - thank you for the nudge.


You bet, @kristine . . . :grin:

Yes, and you are right . . . if I had listened to my doctor and had a colonoscopy done as she recommended two years ago, I might have beaten this before it even got started.




Hey Joe.

I just wanted you to know that you were one of the first to welcome me into this group and your friendliness every time since has been greatly appreciated. Those random acts of kindness, acknowledgement and thoughtfulness means a lot to others, especially me. I may not interact a lot but I am here daily. We never know what people are going through beyond the words they leave in a post and when a person engages with others, as you have, they add a smile, a laugh and even some hope to their day. So thank you. Thank you very much.

In the spirit of this forum my advice is why stop at just one Rick. Lol.

Get what inspires you the most and play it with every ounce of creativity your mind can pour out. There was never any right or wrong way to play as long as it brings you joy and even some peace. After all, the bass is only a tool to make anything and reach everyone you wanted and needed.



Why, thank you very much for your kind words too, Rob @SubsonicRob ! . . :slight_smile:

“There’s only one left” is the short answer . . . and I may not even get that {lol} We’ll see.



Doesn’t @T_Dub live near the Rickenbacker factory or was that someone else? Time to plan a heist!

(or beg them for a goodwill bass for reasons)


Is it worth checking Musician’s Friend or other retailers?


Mine’s in April.
If you haven’t gotten one yet and you are 50+, then go get one, for you, for @Jazzbass19 Joe


It’s gonna be my 50th birthday present to myself. :slightly_smiling_face: :upside_down_face:


That’s breaking my heart Joe. Please take care of yourself and be well. What I find uplifting is the fact that you want to GAS a Ricky. Don’t wait go for it. Get some NuSkin gel and bandage ready and play the heck out of it, lol.

I enjoy your comments and input on this forum throughout my short time here and and quickly figured out that you are one of the respected member and well liked. The next time I pickup a Ricky I’ll be thing of you.

Btw, I’ve never own one so please be sure to let us know how you like it.


Joe, having only known and interacted with you for a short time, I can honestly say that you are first among many that always offer thoughtful advice, never became argumentative, and genuinely treated every new member as though they truly belonged. Life is too short. Buy the Ric, play the heck out of it, and enter the Pearly Gates ready to jam with Heaven’s band on your Forever Day. You are now my hero for facing this difficult time with grace and gratitude for the life you’ve lived. Your loss will be felt deeply not only by your family and close friends but by the friends you have made here. Godspeed Joe, Godspeed!