Cuando Vuelvas a Mi

The ink hadn’t dried on my diploma before I left Las Cruces. I wasn’t rebelling against my family or any expectations they had for me, I just knew that to do what I really wanted to do, I had to get away. I’d been at the auto parts store admiring a souped up early 60’s Ford pickup that pulled in to the parking lot, thinking I wanted some glass packs and chrome rims for my own truck, when I watched the driver and his pregnant wife, dirty baby on her hip, walk in to the store. The couple was maybe fiver years older than me and were beat up and tired, counting out change and some wrinkled ones to buy some fuel additive. You could tell at one time they were the cool people. Continue reading “Cuando Vuelvas a Mi”

Jesse “Guitar” Taylor

Ponty Bone told me one time, slightly paraphrased, “Jesse Taylor always did the exact thing you wished you had done, be it help a little old lady across the street or tell the cops to fuck off. No matter the situation he always took the most fearless and honorable route.” We were overdubbing his accordion on a song I’d written, not really about Jesse so much as inspired by a piece I’d read on a Lubbock music website’s memorial page. The remembrance was written by a childhood neighbor of Jesse’s who recounted hearing him practice guitar across the alley while the other kids played baseball. He said Jesse was dedicated to becoming a great musician because his absent father was a guitar player and he wanted to be ready if he ever came across him. Those words deeply struck my imagination and I wrote the first verse about the runaway father waking his kid to impart some final wisdom before hitting the road. Continue reading “Jesse “Guitar” Taylor”

Beginning of the Beginning

Jason and the Scorchers got me kicked out of my first band. We all went to see them at the Pan Am center in Las Cruces in the spring of 1987. The University was hosting a lot of great shows at that time. Sure they had ZZ Top and Van Halen in the big basketball stadium, but they’d split the building in half and put on shows by people I found more interesting like Joe Ely, Foster & Lloyd, The Alarm and Joe King Carrasco too. I knew a little about the Scorchers before the show from sparse MTV sightings and a few magazine articles. The punk rock meets honky tonk ethos was exactly where my 15 year old head was at. My bandmates on the other hand were in a different place. The guitar genius Eric Johnson opened the show and blew their minds with a dazzling array of fretboard pyrotechnics, which in all it’s brilliance left me completely cold. When the Scorchers hit, I’d ditched my bandmates for my older cousin and his punk rock friends, it was pure joyous rock’n’roll mayhem. Continue reading “Beginning of the Beginning”