Saturday, April 09, 2011

Memory Safe #4 Gentle On My Mind

John Hartford. I almost forgot John Hartford. I saw him dance on salt at Alice’s Champagne Palace in Homer, Alaska many years ago. He laid down two sheets of plywood with mic pickups underneath and then poured salt on top of them so he could soft shoe around in his big cowboy boots. He played the fiddle and sang all the familiar songs: Tall Buildings, Gentle on My Mind...I don’t know what else. I barely remembered him today even though at the time I couldn’t believe that John Hartford himself would be playing at a bar in Homer, Alaska. He was not the only great to end up on plywood at Alice’s. David Bromberg, Jerry Jeff Walker, John Prine, even Taj Mahal – who I opened for with sheetrock mud still on my pants from work that day. There are only two reasons that any of them would be there: They really really wanted to be in Homer. Or somebody made them do it. Those are the only two reasons anybody is there.

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