Saturday, October 22, 2011

Why I Love Willie...

Many years ago I met my husband. We were both in college and I was completely smitten. Our relationship was born out of pure enjoyment of each other's company. And  it was built on lots and lots of laughter. Hubby and I met because we both worked on the college media floor of the student union.  He was a photographer and I was not.  But I was in need of some photographs for my publication (which was not his publication).  Make sense? Anyway, I sort of stalked him. For the sake of my publication, you know?

Working late I discovered that the number of photos I had to work with did not come close to filling the pages I was required to have ready for the publisher the next morning. So, I shamelessly asked "Him" to supply me. What? We both went to the same school. It was a good cause.

He (hubby) was kind and quiet. Mysterious even. He was a little older than me...and so much more mature. He was paying his own way. I'm still so inspired by him. I was a lucky girl who was afforded my college education by the hard work of my father.  The only "work" I had done to earn my way was take high school seriously enough to do well. While at school I worked at one of the publications for very little money. I worked there because I enjoyed it. It didn't feel like work. (That is until the night I had to stay up all night trying to make something worthy for the publisher without enough photos to fill the requirements.) --Good Times.

Anyway, the fellow, who I would not have guessed would forever be a part of my life, helped me out and I was smitten. I remember the date of this encounter but won't share it here. Suffice it to say that I was smitten before our first date. That weekend I drove home (after the publisher left with the best I/we could do.)  When I say "we" I mean the others that I worked with on the publication.  I was not the only person at the publication working.  I was just the gutsy one that was brave enough to approach the person from the "other" publication for help.

When I came back to school at the end of the weekend the fellow had not left my thoughts. I spent as much time as I could at the publication from then on. I mean, I needed to be near by in case "He" was working. It was so coincidental that I was always nearby when people started to leave the publication for dinner. Eventually, after conversation (flirting) "He" was going out for dinner. --Did I mention he was a town student? I was a dorm student. My dinner options were in the school cafeteria, which wasn't a bad option...but he was going for pizza. I think I made a case that he should take me with him, if for no other reason than for us to finish our conversation. And he took me!

After that, he was really always on my mind. That was the spring that Willie Nelson released a record (Yes, back in the old days when records were big black vinyl discs. Discs as big as dinner plates). One day, in the middle of the day I was drawn to the record store like a zombie. I had to buy and hold the Willie album. But, I wasn't buying it for me. This record was for my own true love. The one that didn't yet know he was mine. After buying the record I drove to his apartment and rang the doorbell. What? I couldn't help it. I needed to give him this record to thank him for his help with my projects. And I guess it was obvious by my just showing up like that, with a gift no less, that HE was always on my mind. No need to fight it! Embrace it!

So, here it is so many happy years later and Willie came to my town. You already know I love live music. I got us pre-presale tickets. Yep. You can sign up for different "clubs" to get tickets before they even go on presale. And I got us tickets in Row B.

The show was amazing. The stage hands placed Willie's guitar on stage before the concert started. I think they did that so we could see how much the instrument has been played.  It is true that the guitar has been played so much that there are holes through the guitar's wood face. Pretty amazing.

Photo of Mickey Raphael from: MickeyRaphael.Com
Photo of Bobbie Nelson: By Jordan Montgomery
Willie came on stage with no introduction. Just walked out and waved while he strapped his guitar on. The rest of his band had already quietly taken their places.

As soon as the guitar was in place, Willie started to play and so did the band. They did not stop for 90 minutes. The first few songs segued right to the next. The entire band played their hearts out.

The "family" band includes Willie's sister, Bobbie, on the piano. Mickey Raphael plays the harmonica. Bee Spears on bass and Billy English on drums. Paul English also stepped onto the stage to play for a few songs.  (Paul and Billy are brothers.)  I learned that Paul has been with Willie since the '60s. He grinned boldly when Willie introduced the song "Me and Paul".  It sounds like the two of them have been "getting into trouble" together for decades! Paul grinned and nodded as if to say "That's right.  We did that".

Willie was the only vocalist and the only guitar player. As you can see it was almost an acoustic sound. The only thing that was electric was the bass.  Bobbie played a grand piano and she played a WICKED piano. I can't even describe how good. Old Time Religion good mixed with Blues and some Ragtime too.

Mickey Raphael on harmonica was something I'd never seen before. He played the entire time. And it was so good! The harmonica was a major part of the sound. Mickey's performance added that extra something that made the sound great. It reminds me of what Clarence Clemons sax playing added to the Springsteen's sound with E Street band.

It was a rocking evening!

**With the exception of Mickey Raphael, all photos were taken by Jordan Lee Montgomery (aka: Hubster)

1 comment:

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