I had those videos digitised
The ones that sat in a slouching stack. “Yeah, I must get around to that," you said.
Too late – they’re mostly a flickering mess; First, foggy greys and popping shrapnel, then pink sparks and stripes rattle the screen - like the birth of rock and roll.
Your collar is up. Photo: P Rowe
Amid rolling distortion is that evening at Threadgill's you told me about. You joined Champ Hood and Marvin on a Music Wednesday. So, there you are, singing The Messenger: "Oh, lilac moon, azaelea sun, would you ever look at what you’ve done?”
You’re stretching out the lonesome, giving it maximum holler.
You’re having a lot of fun. Champ looks like an angel. You once called him Gabriel.
You told me: “There was nothing like singing with Champ in Austin - the audience adored him, the band adored him.......you know, I would always want to talk to him about Hank Williams, Don & Phil, Jimmie Rodgers, but he would
answer me with The Beatles, Mary Hopkin…. and those white boots she used to wear.”
Through the rolling static Champ plays a Doug Kershaw number, Marvin sings a bayou song, and a they play a jaunty Sweet Sue. Then there's you, singing your Texas numbers, knee-deep in honeysuckle, hummingbirds, and slow-moving rivers.
And then you vamp the opening bars of Hey Joe by Jimi Hendrix. You go around one more time for the fiddle player, who looks about 14 and nervous, like she's playing in the school orchestra and they are about to tackle 'Take The A Train'.
Champ throws back his head and laughs like little a kid.
You sing the hell out of it.
Then, gone in a shiver of static.