The invisible man died… and I didn’t even know his name. A couple of smart bottoms I told about the invisible man’s passing didn’t quite get it.

They wore the expressions of sarcasm and asked me how I would even know if the invisible man died for sure. I, in turn, flashed them my unamused expression and explained that he wasn’t really invisible – the title was just a nickname for a guy that touched so many people’s lives. I’ll bet including yours, and yet nobody knew him and his sightings were almost as rare as Big Foot’s.

His name was Rod Temperton and it’s likely that his music has crossed the path of your ears more than once in your lifetime.

the invisible man

(Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)
from boom

I don’t think I ever attended a wedding during the 80’s and 90’s and didn’t’ hear, “Always and Forever”, written and composed by the invisible man when he was part of the group Heatwave.

The same could be said of his next song, except that this one is still being played at weddings pushing forty years later. I’d never have admitted to liking the song back when I was in high school. That’s the sorta thing that could’ve got a kid beat up in my blue collar hood, but I tapped my toes to it.

That song was Boogie Nights and it laid the foundation that the invisible man would use to become one of the most dominant songwriters of all time.

I guess if you are famous, or even an invisible member of the music industry this year; “The Year the Musicians Died”, your spine should be tingling with the presence of the grim reaper creeping up behind.

Rod Temperton was only sixty-six years old, but the cancer took him quickly. His estimated 125 million net worth couldn’t give him even one more precious day.

It didn’t matter that he was obviously a shy or humble man. He wrote a lot of songs for a lot of people. He had a God-given gift… and yet I have no idea if he knew that or God above.

The invisible man wrote “Master Jam” when Chaka Khan was singing lead, “Baby Come To Me” sung by Patti Austin and James Ingram, “Give Me the Night”, by George Benson, “Sweet Freedom” by Michael McDonald, and “Off the Wall, “Rock With You”, and “Thriller”, by Michael Jackson… and those are just the highlights.

The invisible man had an impressive resume… if he was applying to write songs and music, but resumes are for humans – other folks created like all of us and are passing – one day closer to our last with each one.

I have no idea of where the invisible man will spend eternity, but he’s living out his nickname now… along with a lot of other great musicians and songwriters that aren’t coming back in their flesh.

I love music and I admire talent, but the passing of the invisible man reminds me that how we’re measured by this world means zero.