Drummer Jimmy Pagano Dies in Bar Fight at Fishtales (UPDATED)

Categories: Obituaries
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Local drummer Jimmy Pagano died early Sunday morning at Fishtales Bar & Grill in Fort Lauderdale. He was 54. He was trying to break up a fight on a night that he was playing at the venue. Tributes are currently pouring in on his Facebook page, and a special tribute page has been started, as well.

UPDATE: The fight began about 3:30 a.m. when a bar patron (more on him here) got in an argument about his bill. Witnesses tell New Times that bar employees threw the man out after he refused to pay.

The man reportedly returned to the bar later carrying steak knives. He got into another argument at the bar and stabbed Pagano in the neck. Pagano fell over, asking for help, while blood poured from his neck.

Other bar patrons approached, and the man stabbed
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Photo by Eric Barton
Fishtales remained closed Sunday as police continued to investigate the stabbings.
five other people. The man was eventually subdued, and some of the patrons continued to hit and kick him until police arrived. Witnesses say the man was severely beaten and taken to the hospital.

UPDATE: Police say the attacker was Brian Edward Krebs, a 38-year-old Fort Lauderdale resident. Krebs was still hospitalized Monday morning, so a more detailed police report on the incident won't be available until he's booked at the jail.

Pagano hosted a weekly Pro Jam music event at Fishtales, and promoted countless other events around the region and described himself on his MySpace page as "a 'deep in the pocket' style drummer with chops that are unique and mostly my own. My musical styles include (but not limited to) Classic rock, Blues, Southern, Funk, Country rock, Motown and Big band."


Eric Barton and Arielle Castillo contributed to this report. Follow County Grind on Facebook and Twitter: @CountyGrind.



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64 comments
Karen Turcotte-Jensen
Karen Turcotte-Jensen

It's a very sad day, I just found out that my friend was killed last week. Jimmy, We will always remember you as "Playing your heart out" on your drums! That is exactly what you did! The late night parties & talks of our children, will always live on... in the hearts of me & George Romano forever! God Bless You & Keep You Forever! You and your family are in our prayers... Love always... your friend, Karen

Linda Soukup
Linda Soukup

I went to Fox Lane with Jimmy and knew him quite well, we would alway hang out locally in Mt. Kisco at different places. I moved down to Fla. and spoke with Jim and am very sorry I never got over to the other coast as I wished to to see him again. He was a very great person and a good friend and I am so sorry to hear that this has happened.

Jsfineartist
Jsfineartist

I knew their family from the Deerfield Beach neighborhood. His Mom and Dad relied on him for many things. Their family was always around to help people, me included. I was very saddened to hear about his death this morning. His kids were always a topic, they were loved very much. Sorry to hear of the loss of their Dad. May He Rest In Peace. I will be praying for the family, his Mom, and brother. Sincerely, Janice Sanderson

 Janine (your barber)
Janine (your barber)

My Dear Jimmy, I can't imagine the reality of never being able to see or speak to you again..It just hasn't kicked in yet..For God's sake, it was only 10 days ago that you brought some magazines to me when you came for your haircut.. What are Larry and I going to do without you? Thank you for sharing you love for music with us and the motorcycle rides we took together and even the arguments we'd have over the silliest things..But most of all, thank you for being geniune.. Our hearts are broken and feeling empty.. You crazy son of a gun,please send us a sign that you'll be alright and will be waiting for us, no matter how long it takes for us to get there..I pray you're pain free and adjusting to your new life. And that you continue to bang on your drums all day..Just be happy Jimmy and kick back and enjoy watching just how much we've learned from you.. And about the scum who hurt you and took you from us, ,trust me when I say that all of you friends will do what ever it takes to make sure justice prevails..God rest your soul our dear friend and peace be with you.. You are in our hearts forever.. Our prayers are with your parents and brother.. Love you forever, Larry and Janine

Guest
Guest

Jimmy Pagano... the man with an everlasting dynamic smile!!!

Ccottoair
Ccottoair

I would also like to mention the people who got hurt while trying to save a mans life. My Prayers go out to you and a speedy recovery. You guys are also heros in my book.

Thank you for being Human.

Ccottoair
Ccottoair

I did not know Jimmy, but i would of like to know him. I only know what a wonderfull man he was though my husband who is very upset with what happen to a well known friend to many in the community. My heart goes out to his family and close friends. God will surely open the gates of heaven to him. To all the bar owner and clubs owners, due to this recent incident, I recommend more sercurity in order to protect the good people, that you profit from.

Kenny Vrocks
Kenny Vrocks

Senseless!!!! Why Jimmy? All He Ever Did was try to make work for other musicians.

Neil
Neil

Jimmy was one of my best friends. He will forever be missed and loved by all who had the pleasure and honor of knowing him. May peace be with you...

Bkfu
Bkfu

Too bad the "patrons" didn't kick and beat the bastard just a little harder. We can only hope he gets what he deserves through our justice system.

Deborah Jeanne Jencks Walsh
Deborah Jeanne Jencks Walsh

To bad! He sounds like he was a great person that loved his business!! After 25 years of tending bar, this is one of the reasons I am sadly retired from the business!

Imgesing
Imgesing

Sad, senseless and tragic... I pray for the close friends and family of a man who has tirelessly promoted others. As a drummer I have seen and heard of his efforts and it is sad that we all can not prevent events like this from turning this ugly; There are no winners. Life is such a precious thing. I wish you all peace.G.E.S.

Jacky Amar
Jacky Amar

RIP Jimmy, he was a good men, I was with Jimmy 2 weeks ago at Palm Beach Raceway where he booked my band to play at the event and booked us the week before that and the week before, he was dedicated to the music and helping musicians, we will miss him, May you rest in peace my friend....

Artie
Artie

i met Jimmy in Prison where we played guitar together with another good friend. I was amazed with Jimmy man...he had a heart the fuc**ing size of the planet...I will miss you my brother!!!!!! Rest in Peace!!!

Howard G
Howard G

It is hard to find someone who is as dedicated to the promotion of local musicians and music as Jimmy was. From his daily Facebook post to promote open mic nights to the countless times I walked into a bar only to see him behind the drums--his loss has been felt across the entire South Florida musical community.Over a damned bar tab!!!!!! To the others that were hurt that night- I wish you a speedy recovery. To Jimmy's close friends and family- my sincerest heartfelt condolences.I raise my glass to you Jimmy. Thanks for everything you have done in your short time on this planet.

Gaffneypro
Gaffneypro

Senseless and tragic.....Jimmy was an awesome guy.....RIP

Elaine Kremer
Elaine Kremer

Jimmy Pagano was "a kid" (relative to me) when I left Ft. Lauderdale. I remember his playing and how remarkably funky and mature it was "for a whippersnapper". I'm sure he was just hitting his stride in his 50's. What a terrible loss. We must all have faith that everything happens for a reason. Things like this are, of course, very hard to accept let alone rationalize. He will be missed. Ward Kremer

Elaine Kremer
Elaine Kremer

Jimmy Pagano was "a kid" (relative to me) when I left Ft. Lauderdale. I remember his playing and how remarkably funky and mature it was "for a whippersnapper". I'm sure he was just hitting his stride in his 50's. What a terrible loss. We must all have faith that everything happens for a reason. Things like this are, of course, very hard to accept let alone rationalize. He will be missed. Ward Kremer

Rick Santese
Rick Santese

Jimmy was a tirless promoter for the South Florida Musicians community. Many will miss him. He was always there to help somebody when they needed it. I am shocked and saddened by his senseless death.

Tony/The Fantastic 5
Tony/The Fantastic 5

This is truly a tragedy, Jimmy was a great guy, he did sound for us on Friday night. A top notch sound guys and an integral part of the music scene down here not to mention one of the nicest guys I have met in our 10 plus years as a band. Jimmy and his family are in our prayers.

Juan Ito
Juan Ito

This is a real tragedy. I remember playing at a bar where a guy was hitting on a girl who's boyfriend had stepped to the bathroom. There was a slight altercation but I can imagine it could have been much worse. I don't know the man personally but from one musician to another I pray that you are joining that big band in the sky and that we are able to hear your music when we pray for you and think of you. God Bless you and your family Jimmy.

Mybuffalogirl58
Mybuffalogirl58

My God that sucks! Such a great guy. Does anyone know when the funeral will be and where? Fishtails is such a shady, nasty bar hopefully it will close! No doubt the crazed lunatic bought the drugs he was on ..... there. Poor Jimmy wrong place at the wrong time. he will be missed by all.

JennySue0713
JennySue0713

I can't find the article where someone refers 2 FishTales as a seedy, shady place & they are right! They so disappointed me. I had 2 leave my bicycle there one night & I constantly called for 'the girl' who did try 2 hang on 2 it 4 me bit her shitty coworkers let someone take it! Pissed me the f off! I unfortunately been suffering with constant seizures so I hadn't been able 2 get my bike from there so they let someone take it. People can be really shady.... Sad but true. My heart & prayers go out to all his family & friends.... Truly I do. R.I.P.

y Thoughts & Prayers go out to Jimmy's Family. He was a Great Guy. R.I.P.

Gerrycoe
Gerrycoe

Isn't that how it usually goes? A guy trying to do good- to stop a fight, pays with his own life. Very sad indeed. My heart goes out to his family.

Talia Bonnie
Talia Bonnie

SO SAD WHAT A NICE PERSON MINDING HIS OWN BUSINESS ENJOYED HIS MUSIC WOULD GIVE YOU HIS SHIRT OFF HIS BACK FOR YOU. KNEW HIM THROUGH FRIENDS AN EVEN IF YOU DIDNT KNOW HIM HE WAS WELL KNOWN AS A SWEET GIVING PERSON. I HOPE THIS PERSON PAYS FOR THIS! RIP JIMMY...

Lu White
Lu White

I met Jimmy last year when a mutual friend asked him to run sound for me as a favor. He was so gracious and did a great job. The music community has lost a great guy today.

Gdhale
Gdhale

What a horrible shame when you try to do the right thing and you get caught up in a sinisterspathway!

David R. Mohr
David R. Mohr

Can't believe this! This is so Sad I only met Jimmy twice and spoke with him on the phone a couple more times. Friendly, down to earth. As long as he is remembered...his beat will go on.............My condolences to his family, friends and all whom he touched. (John 5:28)

Patrick4948
Patrick4948

Words cannot express my feelings of a man who dedicated his time to help others!I am at a lost of how another person could do this to another,,,And I am proud of the other to step in and try to defuse a escalating situation and put your life in risk for others - This is what kind of man Jimmy Pagano was.We have lost not only our friend Jimmy Pagano - But the fact we have to remember how he died in a manner of totally unexpectency and the sadness for his family and friends-I hope to sleep tight tonight.....but I dont see how I can.....God Bless you Sir!Good by for now but not forever.Patrick Fitzgerald - Former owner of The Dive Bar where Jimmy Played for us.

Ponies60
Ponies60

This is truly sad, and I certainly do not mean to lessen the severity and the sadness of what occured. But Reed Fischer, you need to back to your English classes. Did you read the fourth paragraph before you submitted this article?

You imply that the police arrived and joined in the beating of the perpetrator before transporting him to the hospital.The man was eventually subdued, and some of the patrons continued to hit and kick him until police arrived. Witnesses say the man was severely beaten and taken to the hospital.

The man was eventually subdued, and some of the patrons continued to hit and kick him until police arrived. Witnesses say the man was severely beaten and taken to the hospital.

Zeta Hall
Zeta Hall

There are no words, or metaphor, or stories, or creeds, that apply to this event.. There is just this period of emptiness , that we await the end of ... so we can proceed to celebrate Jimmy Pagano's dynamic life.. I'm so proud to have know, played music with, and shared ideas, and dreams with the man .. While I know we all have many emotions.. I do hope we will continue to perpetuate the love, and creativity that Jimmy intended each day, and not allow the action of that awful person to tarnish this wonderful higher vibration of love, and creativity that Jimmy Pagano stood for .. I , like so many have played music with Jimmy, and, we played together just last week.. How fortunate am I .. to have that as my last memory of him? Very .. ! I will now always remember looking back at him with a set of sticks in his hand, and a smile on his face.. Good bye Jimmy .. We'll sure miss you . Zeta : (

Steve Price
Steve Price

Jimmy was a great guy who would always go out of his way to bring me customers.always said hello and was excited about his work. This is senseless. What more could sayrest in peace my brother.

Uli Fesseler von Stargard
Uli Fesseler von Stargard

unbelievable. Heartbreaking. What a loss. Deepst, heartfelt condolences to all who knew and loved him.

JeanMarc K Taylor
JeanMarc K Taylor

That sucks! Same think happened to my buddy bobby at Cagney's in Davie! What is wrong with people these days!?

Carlette Harris
Carlette Harris

My Drummer Friend...Oh my God. I am fortunate to have been with Jimmy 2 weeks ago at Fishtales. When I got there I, of course, ran up to the stage to wave hello. When the band went on break, Jimmy come over and gave me a huge hug which I will feel forever and had his bright smile the whole time. To his family and many, many friends you have my heart and since there is a drummer in my family I will always love the sound.

Bob
Bob

I first met Jimmy back in 1979 when he first moved to Florida. After a short time we opened up a business together. Jimmy's passion was always to play music - even in the store we ran we set up the drums and guitars and jammed all night long. I remember the night John Lennon was shot in New York. We were jamming and received the phone call from a friend - we were all in shock. We lost track of each other for about 25 years and I came across his name on the internet so I called him up. It was just like old times. I let him know that my son and daughter were playing music and he invited us with open arms to come in and play. He had a heart of gold.Bob Moshen

Deana
Deana

I remember hanging out in the store in Rost plaza, good times. He will be missed :(

Susie Q
Susie Q

Jimmy will forever remain in my heart as a kind friend, who always had a hug and a smile for me and for everyone else too. Jimmy went out of his way to help others, or just to say hello, a special trip to have dinner with me at the venue where I worked, or a quick trip to stop and say hello before his night of promoting and helping other people began. And because when he made other people happy, he was happy. Jimmy gave more than anyone I know and he was always upbeat and happy. If Jimmy knew you had a dream, it became his dream too and he would do what he could to make your dream come true. Since the day i met Jimmy, over 10 years ago, I always knew he loved and cared about me. Jimmy died, living his life, just how he preached it, helping others. Jimmy kept the music alive, for all of us, for years. Had his beautiful not been cut short, he would have continued giving and sharing with all of us. I will miss this loving, wonderful, caring, big-hearted beautiful man. I just wish that i could get one more hug...

Michael Fabian
Michael Fabian

Jimmy Pagano was a friend from back in the NY days & again in FLA.He was one of the hardest working guys I know in the music business, not only playing but doing sound for others & also the man behind the Southern Hot Rod Association Battle of the Bands - Rock & Racing. Without Jimmy we never could have done this. OMG, this world is seriously F'ed UP!!!

Melissa jackson
Melissa jackson

I have known Jimmy for 11 years we would sit up all night talking for hours until the sun would come up and still talk through the day . He was such a caring man that would do anything for anyone . He helped me alot through tough times . I know He is gonna be so missed that this tragic event will put a huge dent in FortLauderdale . So sorry to everyone . such a sad day for lots of ppl

Jimmie D
Jimmie D

Our musician community in South Florida and beyond has lost a bright light today. Jimmy Pagano was my friend. He helped me when I needed it the most. Rest In Peace my Brother.

Albert McCausland
Albert McCausland

My heart goes out to all who knew and loved him. What a tragedy. I'm so sorry.

Gracie Boyd
Gracie Boyd

RIP Jimmy, my heartfelt condolences to his loved ones, family and friends. Jimmy can now march to the beat of his own drums....Unfortunately, I never had the pleasure of meeting Jimmy face to face. I tried a few times to get to different Venues just to meet him, but was unable to do so. I will miss his postings of his recipes, funny sayings and words of encouragement. I jokingly asked him to marry me several months ago, because almost daily he was posting recipes of Italian foods he had been making. His reply; "what are you gonna do with an old broken down musician"? He had a great sense of humor which I personally, will miss. Rest In Peace my friend, you're already sorely missed <3

Eddie Gresely
Eddie Gresely

Jimmy was one of a kind and a real champion for the local working musicians

Dguitarsmiami
Dguitarsmiami

You can't imagine how angry I am right now! Jimmy was my friend! I hope the piece of sh*t that killed him rots in hell! I swear if he gets let out, I will find him, and kill him myself!! I hope that piece of sh*t is really happy about it! Over a stinking bar tab! You piece of garbage! You killed a great person! He was one of the nicest guys I ever knew, and anyone that knew him has suffered a massive loss! See, that's the kind of guy that Jimmy was! He would give the shirt off his back, or intervene to try and diffuse a bad situation, as he did last night. He was trying to protect those he cared about and now he's gone! Jimmy, you are a hero. I just hope you know that! I will miss you. You were a great man.

Andrea Stiner Herrera
Andrea Stiner Herrera

To tragic for words, its sad, all over my facebook page and the pages of all those who knew and loved him I am friends with. WHY!!!!!!!!!

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