Friday, September 12, 2014

I wanted a better lunch menu so I quit.

I'm writing this about a near future past, one that I will never forget and always love.

I left a job after 18 years.

I left a boss that was kind, fun, fair and loved music.
I had good times, hair pulling out days and sometimes late nights but mostly long commuting which I get back now. Three hours worth at least which doesn't include when nothing was going on, but something made it all go cattywampus.
I got that word, cattywampus from Johnny Whiteside in LA.
Best voice mail: tie between Johnny Whiteside and George Varga - we called back so many times trying to figure out the song on his VM; we probably looked like stalkers. The goal was if we guessed it right, he'd call back.
I wore tee shirts, dresses, sandals, overalls, jeans, glasses, heels, sweaters and as of late, a tutu.
I got hollered at by my grandmother for not wearing make up to work.
We've had the same desks since 1996.
We have piles of files. And everything stays put.
We spied on Richard Jewel's lawyer's office which was across the street from the old office.
I answered the phone faster than Sarah would. (Andy Griffith)
I could out multi-task anyone.
I called it shelving airplanes. Ask an air traffic controller and watch them yawn.
I misspelled, I would forget to attach photos or some cases, send them to someone who still had dial up and get yelled at... damn Yankee.
I was my own co-worker.
I could pull a miracle of sorts out anytime, any day for anything and every time.
I told some; "don't give me that." they said "ok" back.
I worked for a legend, a story teller, a music lover and a non technical genius. I taught him everything he knows and I learned everything he knew.
I could roll my eyes with a straight face. He could glare with a smile on his.
We had an understanding that we wouldn't talk to each other for hours.
He had a steel trap mind and mine was trapped.
I have heard every story from Capricorn Records twice.
I've seen photos of ZZ Top back when they were a blues band.
I've seen a photo of Gregg Allman and Willie Dixon next to each other.
I've heard the Jimi Hendrix story.... have you?
I have seen every photo and the story behind it at least once.
One time, John Mayall called my home and my father in law, some man with an English accent wants to talk to you.
I've peeled off artists off the ceiling, the floor and got them to see the light.
Christmas season meant going through all 300 tapes/cd/albums at once. I've heard Tom Waits sing "Silent Night" it could raise the dead. I just pretended I was working at the mall.
I could spot a newspaper stand at the beach a mile away. In the middle of the ocean.
I couldn't go anywhere without a call about something. Which meant I had a secure job, right?
I held the office together while he was sick and every time I had a cold.
I never called in sick.
Nothing fazes me. I've heard it all. Every excuse in the book. You can't fool me.
We stopped giving each other birthday cards... which is fine. I hate getting old. And I think he does too.
I've gone through 3 sets of dogs: Scarlet and Beau, Django and Sonny Boy and now Deano and Tony.
He's gone through a dog, one old cat and now Ferdinand and Isabella. They know their way to the office. They could walk to it.
We've had our share of funerals, no weddings and a baby or two. Not us, them.
The winter of 2010 was bad or was it the tornado of 1998? Or the heat of 2006? Oh it was the water drought a few years back - couldn't do nothing. All of his flowers died.
I screwed up a lot. I still screw up. I will always screw up.
He got mad, I got angry. Not at each other but at the computer.
I can't remember past yesterday and he can't remember much past tomorrow. But ask him who opened for who in 1977 and he will tell you the seat, the set list and that he still has the tee shirt.
My marching band camp stories from high school couldn't hold a candle to his tall tales And I was the one that opened up for Chuck Berry.
Did I complain? Sure. Did I cry at my desk? OH YEAH. What do you think I'm doing now? (oh wait this is in the future... dang it)
I would tell him the news, sometimes grim sometimes happy. I felt like Diane Sawyer.
He always said thank you at the end of the day.
Things happened, nothing was guaranteed.
I have had 25 different people going in 25 different directions.
I've hung out back stage, back alleys, on the side of the stage, in the front, by the bar...etc.
I left the best phone messages to a few press folk. I bet they can recall.. .I said I love you in the end. That was meant for my husband whom I had probably just talked to or was answering an email. I told you I could out multi-task anyone.
I Google everything and he still uses the Atlas.

Best of and Maybe if's: I might be missing some here:

The BEST phone greeting goes to William Bell. Hands. Down.
Most polite greeting goes to: Johnny Sandlin.
Kim Wilson. That is all.
Chip Taylor. That is all.
The best interview schedule goes to Dave Alvin - who on one day did SEVEN interviews for me - he wasn't happy with me after that.
Best phone fight: I will leave that alone. Yes we all head butted but it was always for the good.
Cool dude:Joe Ely. (well it was all because of the Clash)
The Laugh-a-rama Trophy goes to Billy C Wirtz
Best photos go to Black Top Records, only because they had cool cars
Longest running contact at a label goes to Peter at Stony Plain Records
Client who almost had to stop show because of hecklers but husband kicked them out instead: Chris Smither at Blind Willies
Loudest show: Big Bad Smitty at Blind Willies
Most unique band name: Dave's True Story
Most imitated voice: Larry Sloven at Hightone Records
I worked with many legendary luminaries: Al Kooper was my fave. Truly was a hoot.
I have actually talked to David Fricke.
Charlie (the door man) at the Star Bar
I have been told to stop calling all the time. So I whispered over the phone, so they couldn't hear: Stop ignoring me all the time.
Worst news in the AM delivered: Robert Palmer died.
Best news in the AM delivered: Jame Armstrong was attacked and will live to tell about it.
Most fun client. ALL OF YOU
Watching Derek Trucks grow up.
Going to Sean Costello's wake. That, my friend, was hard.
Best pick up line used on me: at the Olympic Park by Rufus Thomas he said something to me and then Andrew Mitchell's grandson proposed to me.
Watching the crowd at the Olympic Park from the stage. It was amazing to see so many folks crowd into one small space.
Client with the best breaks: tie between Randall Bramblett and Ike Stubblefield
Client with the best hair: Johnny A
Buddy Miller. Julie Miller.
Giggler of all Time: Bonnie Bramlett.
Best Double Take: Jimmie Dale Gilmore in The Big Leibowski.(psst! he was Smokey)
Craziest tour dates - probably Big Sandy and his Fly Rite Boys or Slobberbone or some one else... they all were.
Chuck Prophet's story about Alex Chilton blew all of ours out the window. It was too humbling.
Reverend Horton Heat was fun to work with.
So was Tom Russell. So was Ramblin Jack Elliott. So was Greg Brown.
Trying to call Greg Brown where American Gothic was created was fun. Find the barn on the map.
Best Dead Client - Roy Orbison. (he never complained)
Coolest name: Chips Moman.
Twice I had to call Jerry Reed to see if he was dead. (he laughed both times)
I saw a 7 year old Diana DeGarmo sing in Augusta GA - sang "CRAZY" and she was that good then.
The longest time between CDs goes to Geoff Muldaur - 19 years.
After that record, the Flatlanders beat him by about a decade
Coolest call ever that called in: Robert Palmer or Yoko Ono's assistant; still I was unfazed.
I was the IT girl, the mail room chick, the phone answer-er, tour publicist, office liar and a life saver.
When I felt like a Yorkshire Terrier in the first world war: Devon Allman did an Australian travel blog with and I would wait on him at 6AM my time which was later that night in the near future for him to get the files on my phone, turn around and send them to Relix editor, wait for him to post then email it out all who's involved then wait for Devon to be done with sound check and do it all over again. Amazing what an iPhone can do.
I lived on two time zones, at least three cities at one time for about 7 days. Living in the future is great; I tell you.
OH and during that time I was working with Eric Bibb who was in Finland.
I had five world clocks on my phone. I had no clue what time it was in Atlanta.
Always smile on the phone.
Be funny. Works all the time.
Never second guess anyone, always double check yourself.
Show biz is part crazy, half nuts and always there when you need it.
I learned never be afraid to call anyone.
Call til they call back.
Nobody is easy to work with. Everyone else is crazy we're just half way nuts.
All personal assistants are the best. We can handle anything. Just not ourselves.

Life was lived and learned here. Work was important but it all rolled into one. I will carry all this into my next journey... just you wait....