A man walks into a bar… Springsteen is playing.

 A man walks into a bar and sees his friend sitting beside a 12-inch pianist. He says to his friend, “That’s amazing. How did you get that?”

piano-4The man pulls out a bottle and tells him to rub it and make a wish. He rubs the bottle, and a puff of smoke pops out and tells him that he can have one wish. So the man thinks and says, “I wish I had a million bucks.”

The genie says, “OK, go outside, and your wish will be granted.”

The man goes outside, but all he finds are ducks filling the sky and roads. He goes back in and tells his friend what happened, and his friend replies, “I know. Did you really think I wanted a 12-inch pianist?”


New job. New apartment, and a book.

I feel good today if just a little uninspired. Word of my past troubles have reached friends at home and two old and dear friends have reached out.

One was my old manager, Fred Puglia. I forgot how much I missed this man. He took a bunch of 20 something, flannel wearing, longhairs and put us in suits with new haircuts and booked us some of the best shows I ever played.

One sticks out in particular. Sam Moore.

e9260f8db6663925a1a6aa9a452ffa77.1000x1000x1Sam was ½ the duo of Sam and Dave. His recording of Soulman, Hold on, I’m Comin’, When Something is Wrong With My Baby, I Thank You, as well as a handful of deep cuts, made me want to put together a band with a horn section.

I was playing with a band called The Wild Hairs and it was going nowhere. We played a lot of Tom Petty, John Mellencamp, Rolling Stones.

I talked with the band leader and told him what my plan was and if he wanted to do it with me. I pulled out a piece of paper with a song list on it. “He said wow! This looks great.”

Cool I’ll do some legwork and see if I can find some players. I grabbed the drummer (We’ll call him DC. Great drummer, horrible band-mate. Pain in the ass from the word go.) I’d play bass and my buddy in the Wild Hairs could play guitar and I was going to attempt to steal my partner in crime George Ozier from his band. His gravel Joe Cocker/Greg Allman style would fit my sound perfectly.

I got together with the Wild Hair band leader and he suggested “Instead of horns, let’s get a keyboard player! We could do some Tom Petty, John Mellencamp and Rolling Stones. I got together with the Wild Hair band leader and suggested “Instead of horns, let’s get a keyboard player! We could do some Tom Petty, John Mellencamp and Rolling Stones.

I said I was cool with it but I’m going to put together a horn band anyway…And boy howdy did I ever..

Fast forward a few years and Dr Wu’s Rock n Soul Revue had become a force to be reckoned with. Decked out in suits, three horns (four when George picked up a valve trombone) and a set list that didn’t stop. A one two punch in the face. Great music, great sound, great band. 1…2.. Ba ba baaaaaaam “THEY CALL ME MISTER PITIFUL!” Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Sam and Dave, the Temptations… 60’s Memphis soul played by a DrWusquarerock band with a bad-ass horn section.

So Fred gets us a gig as the band for Sam Moore. A hero of our band. We played all his stuff. Hell Sam played the White House and Madison Square Garden with Springsteen. He and Dave hated each other but when Jaco Pastorius (The greatest bass player of our time) needed a singer, He called Sam and Dave.

We had rehearsed the show backwards and forwards. We knew Sam’s set like the back of our hand. He played Soulman in a different key that we did. Sometimes switching keys is easy, This one was not. I had to relearn the song with different chord shapes. And different licks. It was tough but I figured it out.

The night of the shows we were playing for an audience of thousands. Hot August night. Plowing through soul tunes with the Jesus of Soul Sam Moore.

I wanted to get a recording but video cameras were a no no. So the bass player Doug Evans and I set a camera on record and put it behind our amps. We’d get audio if nothing else.
We are doing the last tune. Soul Man was raving up (in the key of A major) Sam says his thank you, and walks off the stage. We go on a bit more and end the show.

Unbeknownst to Doug and Me, Sam and his wife were standing by our recorder. We could hear them candidly talking. I can hear Sam say, “Well they aren’t bad”

Unbeknownst to Doug and Me, Sam and his wife were standing by our recorder. We could hear them candidly talking. I can hear Sam say, “Well they aren’t bad”

Dr Wu’s Rock N Soul Revue “Not bad” `S. Moore

I fooled him. The next show I played with him we did videotape. Sam was looser and was tossing in ad libs, having a skat vs. Pat, our sax player, Thanked us over the mic with a huge introduction, and then ending once again with Soul Man. (in A major with a key change so now i’m in B flat major) He’s ad libbing Sly Stones ‘Dance to the Music’  and he turns to me and says “I wanna hear some guitar to make it easy to move your feet!” HELL YES! I’m thinking.. I got soul! I’m not bad, let me lay a cool blues lick on you.

“…and he turns to me and says “I wanna hear some guitar to make it easy to move your feet!” HELL YES! I’m thinking.. I got soul! I’m not bad, let me lay a cool blues lick on you….”


I grab that G string and I knash down on it with my pick… I play that note with all the soul and heart I got…in the wrong key.

It’s a note that will haunt me forever. I jumped back into the right key immediately but my first musical interaction was in the wrong key. A split second probably 10 people in that crowd heard but I heard it, the band heard it and Sam heard it. Luckily I have video evidence.

I met the Fixx also.


A teacher of mine has come back into my life. He was great. Spoke nothing but sarcasm and took me to see concerts. ZZ Top, Journey, The Firm (A really bad band that featured Jimmy ‘Led Zeppelin’ Page and Paul ‘Bad Company’ Rogers)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHe played Stevie Ray Vaughan in study hall. Long before he was big time. He took me to Chicago and St Louis for the first time and was probably a hug influence on becoming a musician. He always had music around him. I’m blessed to be back in touch.


I’ve written a book. I’m self editing at the moment, then I’m going to have someone else edit it and put it on the market.

The working title is ‘Depression for the Undepressed.’ A book for those who want to understand what it’s like going through life with it. I’ve interviewed some people I know and everyone of them has been so honest. Their stories will explain why we do what we do. Suicide, anxiety, PTSD, coping, and its effects on us and those around us. It’ll be awhile before it comes out. Writing it was the easy part.

The voice sync is off but luckily it’s shaky and you can’t see him anyway. Hear and feel my pain.

 

 

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One comment

  1. How well I remember the birth, and the success, of Dr Wu….and I was there on that hot August night that you played with Sam Moore! I still pop my Dr Wu CD in from time to time, just to hear you boys in your glory and relive the wonderful memories! I am not sure what you are going through, my darling friend….but know that I am here for you, anytime….to talk, to listen, whatever you need. I love you, dearly….Gilly

    Like

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