Tuesday, April 20, 2004

The Old Days

Saturday night, I was watching "Nashville Star" when the boyfriend got home from his gig. He sat and watched the second half with me, and we bantered back and forth about who we think is going to win. At 11:00, we flipped over to PBS to see who was on "Austin City Limits." It was Bonnie Raitt and one of her special guests was Roy Rogers. And she opened the show with "Love Letter" which was written by Bonnie Hayes. Well, hell! I had to watch that! It was like time-traveling back to a previous incarnation in my life.

Rewind to Valentine's Day 1989. I'm at Slim's, a club in San Francisco that used to be my primary hang. The show that night was billed as the "Sweethearts of Soul" with Bonnie Raitt, Bonnie Hayes and Lady Bianca. I'm dancing in my red cowboy boots and Bonnie Raitt (who has yet to take the stage) is dancing nearby with a short, kind of strange looking, troll-like woman with glasses, long hair and big headphones on...which weren't attached to anything. Okaaaaay. Anyway, the song's over and I start to make my way off the dance floor and Bonnie stops me and says, "You're a great dancer!" I was rather stunned so the best I could come back with was, "Well, gee, I love your singing!" When she finally took the stage, she announced she had a new album coming out soon and performed several songs from it, including "Love Letter" (written by her opening act). She also dedicated one song to a guy who had danced with her and "didn't believe I was Bonnie Raitt." That album would be "Nick of Time" which would be a huge seller, win a bunch of Grammys and put her on the level of rock royalty where she'd always deserved to be in the first place. She closed the "Austin City Limits" show with "Angel of Montgomery" which is one of my all-time favorite songs she does. That zoomed me me back to 1978 where I could be found dancing to that song in my flat in a teensy town in Humboldt County, California.

SIDEBAR: Those red cowboy boots had some memories, let me tell you. I was once standing outside a Bay Area record store (when they still were record stores) when Kim Wilson of the Fabulous Thunderbirds walked by and said, "Cool boots!" I was waiting for my boyfriend at the time who was shopping inside. There was an in-store appearance that day by some blues guys. Later as we were walking to the car, someone in the parking lot yelled to my boyfriend, "Hey, Pinetop Perkins wants to have his picture taken with your girlfriend!" (Me? Musta been the boots...) Fast forward 12 years...and my current (and last!) boyfriend is playing in a club here on St. Thomas...backing Pinetop Perkins. My life has a tendency to come full circle like that...a lot.

But back to "Austin City Limits." One of my oldest friends was in Roy Rogers' band for a decade. So it really was like old times to see and hear Roy perform, since I've been to a countless number of his gigs. If the only Roy Rogers you know is the dead cowboy--and if you like the blues--check out this Roy Rogers. He has numerous albums (and has also produced albums for other artists: John Lee Hooker, etc.) The dude can play.

It was fun to stroll down memory lane for that hour Saturday night. I sat back and thought, "Damn, girl, you've had some fun in your life!" Good to remember once in awhile...because it gives me hope that someday (hopefully soon) I'll be having some more.


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