The news broke via social media last night that longtime lawyer, local musician and front man for rock act White Buffalo, George Adelo, had died at 64. This comes mere weeks after the drummer for his band, Jimmy Varela, passed during a performance in Pecos.
"It's just kind of a shock and these things are very hard to process," Adelo's son George Adelo III tells SFR via phone from Pittsburgh, where he currently lives. "He contracted a nasty form of strep and died from complications from the infection."
Adelo III had been visiting with his father about a week ago, but said it appeared his health was faring better. "We just really thought he'd make it through," Adelo III says. "He was a fighter, but it was one of those infections that was very serious."
Local guitarist Roberto Capocchi recalls first coming to Santa Fe from Brazil and the kindness Adelo showed him as a friend and lawyer. "He helped me set up my business when I first moved here [and] was very generous," Capocchi says. "He looked over my sample contracts to make sure they were tight, things like that, and helped me meet people in the local scene." Similar stories have been popping up online throughout last night and today.
For Adelo III, who followed in his father's footsteps to become a lawyer, this isn't surprising. "He helped a lot of people as a lawyer—he would take on these clients knowing they weren't capable of paying because he felt like they were wronged in some way and he'd want to help them," Adelo III says. "He had a lot of love and it came out in a lot of different ways, and he … was the kind of person that can only be from Santa Fe. It's that Northern New Mexico thing; they don't make them like that anymore."
Memorial information is not currently available, but SFR will update this story with any new details that come our way.
Editor's note: This story has been slightly altered from an earlier version at the request of the Adelo family.