Posts Tagged ‘Jerry Jeff Walker’

R.I.P, Jerry Jeff Walker

October 24, 2020

Scamp Walker has left the building.

Jerry Jeff finally got off of that L.A. freeway. But he had to get killed to do ’er.

“L.A. Freeway” wasn’t one of his songs. That was a Guy Clark number, like “Desperados Waiting for a Train.” Likewise, a lot of the songs I remember him for came from other musicians. “London Homesick Blues” (Gary P. Nunn). “Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother” (Ray Wylie Hubbard). “Jaded Lover” (Chuck Pyle). “Night Rider’s Lament” (Michael Burton). And “Railroad Lady” (co-written with Jimmy Buffett). Etc.

“Mr. Bojangles” was the first actual Jerry Jeff tune I heard, by far his most famous, and I heard it from the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.

I got to say howdy to Jerry Jeff, briefly, at the Dirt Band’s 20th anniversary bash at Denver’s McNichols Arena, the same show where I met John Prine. Jerry Jeff was off the sauce then, or so we heard, and not at all the same fella who was so hammered he nearly fell off the stage during a concert years earlier in Greeley, when I was still pretending to go to college.

For my money, Roy Blount Jr. wrote the definitive Jerry Jeff story (The Early Years Edition).  Here’s a sample:

Not long ago Jerry Jeff telephoned my home in Massachusetts to report that he would be appearing in nearby Hartford the next weekend. My wife and I were out; our friend Rose took the message. “Where exactly in Hartford are you going to be?” she asked.

“I don’t know,” said Jerry Jeff. “Where exactly am I now?”

You get the picture. Religions have been founded on less. And Jerry Jeff was certainly one of our “high” priests Back in the Day®, with the live album “¡Viva Terlingua!” (recorded with The Lost Gonzo Band) containing most of the hymns. “Ridin’ High” was a close second.

Throat cancer nearly did for him a couple years ago. He managed to churn out another album (“It’s About Time”), but recently his voice went, and soon Jerry Jeff followed it, wherever it went. Peace to him, his family and friends, and his fans. Let’s sing him out with “Mr. Bojangles,” from the Dirt Band’s 50th anniversary show.

Welfare check

May 11, 2020

Herself chats with her mom jailhouse style,
on the phone, through a pane of glass.

We swung by the Dark Tower yesterday, bearing gifts.

Herself the Elder had requested huevos rancheros for Mothers Day. So we ordered up the takeout from Weck’s and ran it on by.

“You’re spoiled!” exclaimed a staffer. Dern tootin’. As spoiled as one can be in an assisted-living facility under lockdown in plague time, anyway.

Ain’t nothin’ a couple sacks of mulch and a cat statue can’t fix.

Afterward we continued a ongoing backyard-cleanup project. I’m a lifelong asthmatic with a personal, portable plague of allergies, the most severe of which is to yardwork.

But the space was starting to look like a tumbledown Tinkertoy tower of rusty playground equipment, a bullet-riddled ’63 Rambler American on blocks, and a three-legged pit bull with bowel issues would actually constitute improvements.

So, yeah. Yardwork.

Up north, where the yards are 35 acres, my man Hal forwards a Colorado Public Broadcasting piece about how gig workers there — including him — are getting the runaround from the plague-jiggered unemployment system, such as it is.

“This is exactly what happened to me when I applied,” he said. “I apparently need to call there. But of course cannot get through.”

Well, you can always get through here, bub. What’s going on out there in Greater Dogpatch? Are you digging holes and filling them in again? Redistributing wealth? Fetching takeout to shut-ins? As the Year of the Plague drags on toward Memorial Day, we want to hear how our readers are getting by. Wag your tales in comments.