Thursday, April 9, 2009
I was in Tulsa to meet a client. I drove by the Cain's Ballroom and even though the light was bad took a couple photos.
It reminded me of a few things. First, there was the time I tried to sneak in to a certain concert years ago at the Cain's when a teenager. I did not make it. Second, I remembered how the father of one of my friends told me that back in the long ago he used to skip school to go down to the Cain's and watch some sort of show that Bob Will and His Texas Playboys played during the day. He later became a prominent guitar teacher in the Tulsa area where he asked Eric Clapton if Jimi Hendrix's guitar was in tune to which Clapton replied that he'd played one of Hendrix's guitars and it was out of tune. Clapton also told him that Hendrix grabbed the guitar from him and it sounded fine in Hendrix's hands.
Third, Texas Playboys guitarist Eldon Shamblin told me how longtime promoter and former owner of the Cain's Ballroom, Larry Shaeffer, would scope out Eldon's 1954 Stratocaster everytime Eldon played at the Cain's and inquired about purchasing it.
Fourth, Eldon told me that sometimes it just wasn't the same (and maybe a little unsettling) going to the Cain's to work on a touring group's piano after having played there for so long as part of the Texas Playboys and for a short time with Leon McAulife's band. As I get older I sort of understand what Eldon meant. He told me that for him performing was like sitting down for a good dinner. He loved his work as a guitarist so much that even though the piano work was enjoyable it just never gave him that feeling of good sit down dinner. And, to go to that spot where you got a lot of that feeling in your life and to be required to do work would be a little unsettling.
Posted by Steven Langer at 11:46 AM