The Rolling Stones Owe it All to Black Music, Professor Says
Yeah. Soon after I first heard the newly released Rolling Stones "King Bee" coming across the dial one warm night in the far away desert, and I found out later this was a white English group, I was saying the same thing to myself.
Anyway, everybody knows that now. But at that time, way back then, I didn't particularly mind.
What I'm struck with today is that even reading about music for me is like a taste of that little lime-blossom dipped pastry that French guy wrote about so long ago. The mention of Paul Oliver's name brings back a warm summer day also in 1964. Well, it was warm as the Indian Summer of the Bay Area would allow. I was browsing through the remainder tables in front of City Lights Bookstore and had come across a small pile of Paul Oliver's biography of Bessie Smith. This was a thin paperback book, with a pen and ink drawing of Bessie on the cover, reduced to a dime. I felt awful finding those, but scooped up three or four copies to share with friends. I was trying to pump myself up to the thrill of the hunt when I looked up and straight into the eyes of Chris Strachwitz, and judging from his expression, he felt about the same as I did, and he also had more than a few copies of the Oliver book.
I was very sad just now to read of Sam Myer's recent passing. "The Deacon of the Delta." When I used to drown in promo records, I'd have to find my own things to listen to for myself. A half hour drive down the canyon and I tossed a nickel into a meter, because I knew the Melody used CD store would not disappoint. I emerged with a recording of Anson Funderburgh and the Rockets (featuring Sam Myers) live at the Grand Emporium. I hopped back in the car, slipped in the disc, and turned on the aircon and eased away from the curb, with the idea that I could continue on with my many errands on a trip into town. Well, no -- that music was so good, I mean these guys are awesome (no other word!), I pulled into the lot where they had the farmer's markets, and what came on but "Wild Cherry" with the spoken intro "For my friend who brought me the tomato out of his garden, thanks. This one by special request."
Well, this is pretty damn timely and good, I thought, but because that concreted area was a money maker for the city and so patrolled frequently for cheap sneak thief offenders, a black and white (actually a white and blue) appeared and circled the lot, and that vehicle was known to reappear regularly. So the parking meter became my jukebox -- I dropped a few more nickels in, a few minutes allotted for each stamped picture of jefferson, listening to the disc all the way through. I chilled, the air con blasting in the one one oh temp, and that was June 27, 2003 (I just found the receipt tucked into the plastic cover for the disc).