LIVE PHOTOS 1972-1982
My first band was actually called THE IMPOSSIBLES. We had a female drummer named Linda Ezell. Her cousin, W.H. Ezell, was the other guitar player who was definitely a big fan of ELVIS. The Impossibles did not last long. We eventually became THE IMPALAS. In this particular photo W.H. is playing a National Guitar. I remember it was red and had a hundred different sounds. His guitar had six knobs across the top. Of course I played a Fender Jaguar. W.H. was too cool. Like I said, he loved Elvis. He died his hair coal black and always wore a suit. Steve Bradford was the drummer. When we drafted Steve, he did not have a trap kit so we would borrow pieces of drums from the high school marching band. One night we need another cymbal and sort of found an unlocked window in the band room and sort of borrowed one without proper permission. That was the first time we were all expelled. After that my mother signed a note with Steve for his own set of drums. His payment was $8.90 per month. The bass player was Don Craig. His golf handicap was about an eight at the time. He later fought the law and the law won.
Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1980. Jay Boy Adams (with Goldie) and Woody Key on bass guitar. Woody is playing a 1958 Fender Precision Bass. We were out of bass players at this time. Woody was the guitar player but switched to bass until a replacement was found and then returned to his real position.
The BIG CHILI COOK OFF in Odessa, Texas, 1978. There was a guy walking around the crowd lugging a big sign "Texas Succeed" and a petition asking for signatures who had an armed escort in full uniform. When he made his way to the front of the stage I could not resist it. I had to have that hat! This photo appeared on the AP wire the following Sunday. Another bearded wonder seen leaning down between the bass amp and drum kit is road crew member Jerry "Wolf’ Huddleston.
We were touring with Joe Cocker at this time. On the last two or three songs of his show, Joe would invite me on stage to play slide. It was always a great thrill to get to play with him. He always had a kickass band. This particular tour is when we met another Lubbockite, sax player Bobby Keys. I am playing an early 60"s hardtail Strat.
The Mad Man himself. His back up band at the time was a group of New York session men called STUFF. I believe that is me standing right behind Cocker. Davis McLarty’s favorite drummer, Steve Gadd, played in this band. Davis would never miss a sound check or a Cocker performance. He watched every move Gadd made. One of Steve’s trademark licks was the part he played on Paul Simon’s song FIFTY WAYS TO LEAVE YOUR LOVER. Before the tour was over Davis could play all of Gadd’s licks note for note.
An unknown roadhouse somewhere in the USA. That pillow in the kick drum probably came from Danny Darling’s bunk in the bus. The Les Paul I am playing is the one that belonged to Eric Clapton. Through a broker, I traded him a "57 Strat for this flame top Les Paul. I wonder if he still has it. The gold top is behind the drums on a stand probably pouting.
This is a very early photo taken a the ROXY in Los Angeles. I am playing a Les Paul Custom. Probably the first and last time. I am using a capo and a slide bar, so I had to be having some fun. I remember this guitar was real heavy, it weighed about half as much as I did. It did not last long.
The Fox Theater, Atlanta, Georgia. with the Marshall Tucker Band was a great night. It could not get much better than in Atlanta with these guys. Danny Raines on bass guitar and barely visible on the right is Woody Key with the flame top Les Paul. I am strapped with Goldie.
Most of these photos have some sort of documentation on the back. Thank Goodness! This photograph is from Birmingham, Alabama, with THE ALLMAN BROTHER’S BAND in 1978. I never got the chance to hear them with Duane. What a shame! I am certain of one thing, I am playing my gold top Les Paul.
James Woodrow Key has the best set of ears of anyone I know. He is also a Don Henley clone vocalist. Man he can go so high. Woody can play James Burton or Albert Lea. He can play Duane Allman or David Lindley. The first band we played in together was BOOTHILL. We all jumped around on the different instruments but mostly Woody and I played guitar. It was in this band that we discovered the ALLMAN BROTHERS. The first song we worked up was Midnight Rider, We were the first band in Lubbock to do harmony guitar lines. We actually recorded it in a three track studio in Odessa, Texas. We also saw the BROTHERS in concert in Odessa. B.W. Stevenson was their opening act. It was the first show they did without Duane. I will never forget it. They opened with Statesboro Blues.
Billy Gibbons introduced me to the Les Paul sunburst. I remember once we were in George Gruhn's in Nashville and he tried to get me to buy a '59 sunburst. It was $1500.00. That was also about as much money as there was in the world. We later decided that it was too much because it did not have enough flame in the top. Of course if I had it today it would probably be worth about $30,000.00 or more. I finally traded an old Strat for the Les Paul I am playing in this photo with Eric Clapton. I wonder if the Strat I traded him was one of the guitars he recently auctioned in New York. I still have this Les Paul and I still play it.
We played Carnegie Hall November 27, 1978. Four nights before we were in San Francisco, Ca. at the Old Waldorf. I flew to New York for interviews and the band rode in the bus across the country. This show, to say the least, was a high light of my musical career. I managed to stay pretty calm until we arrived at the backstage entrance. When we got out of the car, there was crowd of people with promo photos, album covers, and bar napkins wanting autographs. When I got to the dressing room there were flowers, fruit baskets, and telegrams. The most memorable was from J. W. Williams and the flowers from Mary. It completely blew my mind. I was not expecting anything like that. None of our family members or close friends there for this special occasion. If I had it to do over that certainly would not be the case. The young man playing violin is Bobby Kahler from Tucson, AZ. He was seventeen years old.
Paul Culver and JBA at Shaboos in Connecticut sometime around 1978. We were playing "Superkicker" or The Tennessee Stud.
JBA, Danny Raines, and Woody Key in November at Carnegie Hall.