Saturday, February 11, 2012

Box Of Chocolates

My mom took me around to the back of the armory in Birmingham and I shook Roy Rogers' hand through the tour bus window. Charlie Louvin offered to share his styrofoam cup of coffee with me. Jackie Wilson showed me the scars on his chest and belly where he had been stabbed. Brenda Lee strolled up to me and asked me the time. After playing our set at Curtis Hixon, I had to stand behind Jimi Hendrix's Marshall cabinets and hold them up in case he whacked them. Owsley Stanley offered me an apple backstage at a Grateful Dead show. Later I sat and listened to the band discuss warning the kids in the audience that the cops were busting folks all through the audience. The Lone Ranger shook my hand and gave me a mask at an air show in Birmingham. Tiny Tim told me that he would see me in heaven and, if there is a heaven, I believe he might. Elvis offered to teach me karate. Don Garlits called and invited me to lunch. He stopped on the way and asked if I would mind if we went by and picked up Connie Swingle on the way. A friend took me into Pop Staple's dressing room and introduced me and left us alone, saying,"You two will have a lot to talk about." We had nothing but it was a thrill being there with him. Janis Joplin changed her clothes in front of me just before going out onstage and getting herself arrested after a fantastic show. Eric Clapton gave me his Coricidin bottle, thinking that it was mine after playing my National Duolian. I was trying to sell it to him. He offered to buy it for Duane Allman but Duane declined. Ernie Lee let me play his J-200. B.B. King invited us to come up to his hotel room the day after a show for a visit.

I grumble about our celebrity culture all the time. I have little patience for Madonna's comeback or Lady Gaga's interview. I have always provided some truth to the theory that some god provides for fools and won't let the helpless starve or freeze. I have just stood there and some spirit has brought my heroes around to me, too.

Did I mention that Tom Waits strolled up and introduced himself once as I stood in the wings and watched Frank Zappa sound checking? He seemed like a nice guy.

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