Somewhere along the line I decided that it's better not to rock some boats. Now I find that you have to do the right thing. Always. No exceptions. If your heart is pure you will always find the true path.
Sometimes I find it beyond my comprehension that a force like Elvis ever walked on the planet. I'm the first to dismiss celebrity culture and, yet, surely he was something different from the rest of us.
Who ever thought of sticking lead into hollowed out wood to make a pencil? How does Elvis sing when the needle wiggles in the grooves? What bird first decided to jump out of the tree and "fly?" What about that thermos? Man!
Are the planets all lining up or what? Things just seem to be going right. I worry about Egypt and I've seen some sad, stray dogs lately but, overall, life is going really well. Maybe I'm just letting it go well. This rock'n'roll is the thing, I tell you.
Okay, so I'm trying to be a grownup and trying to make a living. I'm selling real estate. This British kid, Pete Flynn, gets pushed off on me. He's come over on holiday and thinks he should move here and open a bar on the beach. I don't know any better and next thing you know, he's staying with me and we're deciding that he needs to be right down the street on Davis Island. Well, I'm still here on Davis Island and Peter is back home in Sheffield. His heart is still here, though.
Any time that I play in England, he makes a point of catching my show. He has journeyed into Manchester twice that I can remember and London at least once. He is a fine, true friend.
Tonight I'm back at Yeoman's Road, the joint that Pete opened right down the street all those years ago. I don't get to play all night in bars much any more. I'll make up for it tonight. My pal, Harry, is on the bill with me. Lots and lots of memories and stories that you really wouldn't believe. Maybe we'll tell them tonight.
I don't know the question but love is the answer. I promise.
Guns blazing, fringe flying I duck under storefront awnings to keep my hair dry. What about my powder, my dreams?
I know stuff that we're not supposed to know. I've had lots of my insulation stripped over the last decade or two. I'm happy, though.
Used up a lot of my bad luck while I wasn't paying attention and now I find holiness in laughing. None of my naughty thoughts leave me feeling guilty. In fact, they seem a little bit holy, too. Thank goodness my mom brought me rock'n'roll. All the secrets are in there when you know where to look. Pray for peace. Love hard.
When mom brought home the 45 of Letter From Home on King it quickly became my favorite. I had no idea what Roy Brown was going on about but I knew there was something dirty about it. I liked it.
Hank Ballard and the Midnighters put on the best show I had ever seen. It's still the best performance I've ever witnessed. The pure joy on those shiny faces let me know that it was filthy. I didn't know what those moves meant but I knew they were suggestive. Of what? I had no idea. It was magnificent, though.
I suppose that most of my sex education came through King Records from Cincinnati. Thanks, Syd. I still hold sex and rock'n'roll as most holy. Who needs drugs?
Give us peace on earth and end this dreadful, dreadful war.
My pal, Ed Brown, hoarded protein powder. He explained that once society toppled that obviously the canned dust would be the only means of exchange. He might have had a bit more credibility if his refrigerator hadn't been full of giant containers of mustard and his closets teeming with coat hangers. He was an artist and, as he was quick to point out, a genius.
Now I'm thinking that maybe 5 Hour Energy Drinks might be worth storing in the pantry. Of course now that we've shored up the British royal family I suppose society is on a firm footing for the time being.
The revolution in my head and my heart is gathering steam. I've got songs dying to get written and messages for you. Pray for peace. It's out there.
None of the pictures of Elvis are ever the same after he lost his mom. Ever notice? I'm lucky. My mom passed away just over a year ago and I had her for a good long time.
Now, though, there's a new hole in my heart and it affects everything. My losses are greater and my highs don't quite hit the backboard. Oh, I'm not sad all the time. The laugh just doesn't ring as long.
It would be really nice to work hard to be a better person. Sometimes you have to stand up and do what's right to keep everything from tumbling around you. I suppose that hurting other people is about the worst crime there is. Walk softly and don't carry any sticks at all. Keep love in your heart.
Being the hotshot never appealed to me as a kid. Oh, I idolized Big Daddy but I aspired more to Starvin' Marvin Schwartz. There was no bigger Elvis fan. Ever. I suppose I pictured myself more in the role of Gene Vincent. No, Benny Joy.
Well, be careful what you wish for, right? I have ruled the ranks of obscurity for decades now. For a critic to be kind about my so called career they have to resort to "cult artist" babble. That's okay. I still pull for the underdog.
I will say this. I've had the prettiest girls and the sweetest dogs and the kindest friends in the world. If you're lucky enough to know how lucky you are, you've succeeded wildly.
If you're gonna get any work done in moving the planet towards peace and love I guess you had better get your heart right. Let's roll.
Seems that I've made a conscious decision to stay at home instead of touring so that I can spend time with Jamaica. I just got home from a week on the road and it took an obvious toll on her. She's seven now and in the prime of her life. If I looked at the situation as some kind of trap or limitation it would make me angry or, at least, anxious.
Oh, I've never enjoyed playing more than I do right now. I love to travel and see folks on the road, too. It has been way too long since I visited Europe and I've never played California.
My dog, though, means the world to me and I love being with her. Somehow I have to figure out how to keep the lights on and the water flowing and stay around Tampa. Angel figures into the equation but honestly she doesn't care how much I'm gone. Harumph.
Some folks are just a little too intense for their own good. Count me in. I've always been this way. I've only known it for a little while. I can't play easy. I can't love a little. I'm hard to avoid, easy to get rid of.
Well, my Oklahoma high is wearing off and I'm settling into the reality of everyday life. It rains every day and I worry about the craziest things. Mostly other people. I see paradise just around the corner and it tortures my soul to see folks struggling. There's enough of everything for everybody and love would seem to be the obvious means of exchange. I love you all. I guess I'm really rich.
Goober and Floyd are working on a flathead six that they somehow got into the sheriff's office and I'm running through my song for tonight's show at the Crystal Theater in Okemah. I guess it will take us about an hour and a half to get there from Tulsa.
It's hotter here. And redder. And sweeter.
My love and appreciation for all things related to Woody continues to expand. America is proud of that great patriot and, finally, all of Oklahoma is, too.
Never a day off, I'm always at work. I wish I played five nights a week, five hours a night. I don't. Sometimes I only play out once or twice a month. Starvation is always in the mix. The songs, though, are always in the works. Why do I do this? I'm not asking you. I'm asking me.
I have to, I suppose. It's my job. Somebody's gotta write 'em.
Peace is at hand. It will break out when we love hard enough. I believe that.
Once I wanted to be Hank Williams. Then, after periods of James Dean, Parnelli Jones, Screamin' Jay Hawkins and Gorgeous George, I settled for Ronny Elliott. It's easier. A whole lot easier.
My life's in 4/4 time mostly. 3/4 every now and then. I have to wear a vest sometime to keep all the love in my heart. That heart, by the way, is connected to yours and Nelson Mandela's and George Zimmerman's. It's all us and we have to keep working to make things right. When something goes wrong we all have to pitch in to fix it.
Don't buy diamonds, collect marbles.
Rock'n'roll will save us all. Do you feel it? Put on a Little Richard record, any Little Richard record. See?
After returning home from a week of love in Oklahoma I find venomous blather about the Trayvon Martin- George Zimmerman case all around me. I figure that hate is kinda' like mildew. Shine a light on it for long enough and it fades away. Sorry to say that it always seems to come back.
This year at the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival I noticed that peace and love is wildly fashionable. I saw more young folkies preaching truth than ever. I'm not big on trends but I sure do like this one. I've always said that I come into fashion briefly every now and then. I sure hope that this is one of those times. For our sake. Pray for peace. Search for truth.
When it comes down to the wire I guess I really have only one fear. Loneliness. I mean I don't want to die and I don't want to hurt. I don't want to ever have a root canal. The only thing that really stirs the creeping unknown in my soul is being alone.
Oh, I enjoy my own company and I mean that in all the twisted ways that cross your mind. I want to share dreams and secrets, though, and I want to dish out lots and lots of love. Seems normal.
My flight to Memphis leaves a little after 5:00 in the morning. We're driving to Tulsa from there and then on to Okemah for the Woody Guthrie Festival. I love to play and, of course, I'm looking forward to seeing all my old friends. Truth is, though, I hate to leave. It just gets harder all the time to say goodbye to Jamaica and Angel. "I'll be right back," just doesn't cut it. They put up with me and I love them with all my heart.
Seems that meditation is really nothing more than being really still and really quiet so that you can hear your heart. I've followed such a strange, twisted path and, truth is, I should probably have been still and quiet a little more often.
I think I've got this last lap or two worked out, though. I'm off to Memphis on Sunday. Please tell me that it won't be Clown Night. Meantime you can buy up my music at CD Baby, http://www.cdbaby.com/Search/Um9ubnkgRWxsaW90dA%3d%3d/0, or at www.ronnyelliott.com.
I s'pose it's fantastic for the ones who find Jesus on their tacos or a pumpkin in the garden that looks suspiciously like the buddha. Seems to me, though, that the really lucky ones are those of us who see the miracles everywhere. The grains of sand on the beach could keep me fascinated for hours. Don't get me started about shooting stars, puppy breath or a baby's laughter. What about rock'n'roll or the sensation of romance?
They don't call me the human bomb for nothing, you know. Give us peace on earth and end this dreadful, dreadful war. Wave a flag of peace tomorrow.
Yeah, I remember when we got word that Berry Oakley had died. It was a year after Duane had been killed. Both on their bikes in Macon. Berry had worshipped Duane Allman. I had been working to get Berry a solo deal as a singer/songwriter when he called me and told me to hold off. They had started a band and he was really excited about it.
I didn't know Gregg or Duane then. I knew who they were. Tough guys from Daytona. My pal, Warren Novak, had traded Gregg a Dual Showman for a purple Triumph that he had come by to take me for a ride on. He was sure that they were onto something. They had just started the Allman Joys at that time.
I had met Berry when he moved to Florida to play bass for the Roemans. He was a skinny, sweet, shy kid. We weren't close but he was a good friend. I didn't see him for awhile. One night in Bradenton as we were packing up our gear after a Noah's Ark show a chubby, shaggy hippie came up, looked in my face and smiled. Psychedelic eyes sparkled through wire rimmed glasses and he said, "You don't recognize me, do you?"
I booked the Allmans to open a show for Cat Mother And The All Night Newsboys at the Electric Zoo in Pinellas Park soon after that. It was their first "real" show or, at least, one of them. They had played in the park in Atlanta and in Jacksonville but no official shows. I was promoting concerts for my record producer, Phil Gernhard, and I put the guys on the bill as a favor to Berry. I was playing with the Outlaws at the time and we played, too. Fine show. The ABB were so astonishing that Cat Mother discussed not even going on to follow them. Gregg took me out under a big oak on the side of the building and played me cassettes of the beginnings of the first LP. I worked lots of bills with them over the next few years, with Duckbutter, but I never saw them with as much fire and drive as that first night.
At the end Berry was looking to help find us a deal for Duckbutter. We had released one lame single on Paramount and we all knew that we had more. Berry was interested in producing us. He was doing better in dealing with problems that almost did him in after losing Duane. He had set up a little showcase for us in Macon. I had called to tell him that we weren't properly put back together to play it. He told me not to worry, that they had a little group with wives and roadies, and that they would fill the date. That's what he was doing in Macon.