Twice Born A Vagabond
A Novel [Copr. 2008]
By D. DeWitt Thomas
We began talking about our plans of getting permission to use Hoffinze Pavillion at the University of Houston for a concert. George and John Bart, a friend who is a songwriter, have been contacting acts to fill the bill. Hank Yaweh, a recording engineer at ACA, is a student at the University and is a member of the Student Activity Committee. He can get the use of the facility at no charge by applying for certification as a student activity.
"So far, I have gotten several confirmations from various bands" he said. Clover, that's Huey Lewis' band, Tracy Nelson and Mother Earth with Powell St. John, and the Steve Miller Band have talked with me and have agreed to play." he concluded. One of the bands had cancelled on the booking so George suggested that Max call B. B. King who lives close by the neighborhood. He called and we had no problem getting a committment from B. B. King to play. With his definite committment, everything was all set to go. On the day of the concert, Jack, who owned Jack's Junk down the street, lent us his diaper van from his other job to haul equipment. That afternoon we drove to Houston International Airport to pick up the Mother Earth band who were flying in from Nashville. After we picked up Tracy and Travis, we headed for the venue
When we got there we saw a bunch of protesters carring signs out in front of the Pavillion. As we began to unload the van, we found ourselves surrounded by a group of born again spirit filled Christian people shouting about how we needed to purge ourselves of the evil spirit and find God. They were carrying signs about salvation and repentance. "Free yourselves from the bonds of sex, drugs, and rock and roll." they shouted. "Free yourselves from Satan and cleanse your immoral souls." they ranted. What a dilema I was in. I either had to give up playing rock and roll or go to Hell.
They were handing out leaflets and chanting about our evil ways. Great, this must be the free ticket to Heaven. But wait, I had already promised all of the musicians and the fans were waiting so I postponed my trip to Heaven. Hoffinze Pavillion looked nothing like what I thought Hell would be.
Once inside, I found Wizzard working the lightshow. He proudly held up the poster for the gig for which he had printed several hundred and plastered all over town on telephone poles. He insisted that I look at the psychedelic artwork that he had done. It was really nice work of a hippy mother nursing her little baby much like a Madonna and Child. The theme of the concert was Mother's Milk. As I was examining the poster, Wizzard began to project an old 16mm film of the Disney animation Alice in Wonderland onto the screen behind the stage. It was really a cool effect. The concert went off without any problems and B. B. King closed the show with "The Thrill is Gone". Everyone was satified that it was a success.
During the concert, a partner in the venture, John, had cleaned out the cash drawer and was on the way to the Hog Farm in Taos, New Mexico. Oh well, nothing ventured, nothing gained. He is a great songwriter though. "Jesus...God what a simple fate... to live you life with a perfect mate, and she cried, and the Devil she cried."
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