Weeps and Iz got me started as well and I also am not embarrassed at all. But mention this fact on some of the other big ukulele boards and you are likely to get your head ripped off by the so-called traditionalists or "ukulele purists"--a term they actually use to describe themselves! I've been on uke boards for about three years now and, because I like to play Jake tunes, have witnessed a lot of really vicious Jake hating first hand. Doesn't make any sense. The man is an amazing musician on all levels, a generous and humble soul, and he is revolutionizing the world of uke music for many people. As for Iz, he will get ripped on the board because some folks claim he doesn't do the lyrics right for Its A Wonderful World and also because his version of Rainbow is popular, which somehow then makes it a bad thing.
i remember back in the day, to get my island music fix, I'd go to tower records and randomly pick 3 island cd's. One of the cd's was Pure Heart. When I listened to Europa, I was hooked. I don't see why people would hate on you if Jake got you to play the uke. Another song that got me was when I first heard Troy Fernandez play On Fire. He ripped it there.