Twice Born A Vagabond
A Novel [Copr. 2008]
By D. DeWitt Thomas
Chapter Thirty-six


After spending about two months in the hill country we finally finished the songs for the new record album and were preparing to head out of Kerrville for Andrus Recording Studio in Houston. I thought it was about time for a change of scenery so I took a cab to the airport and bought a ticket for LA. Lelan Rogers our producer had purchased the rights to the Elevators from IA Records and moved back out to California to produce his younger brother Kenny. Kenny has just gotten a hit record called "You Picked A Fine Time to Leave Me Lucille". I arrived in LA and called Lelan. He was not at home so I left a message and took a stroll from my motel room down Hollywood Blvd. It was about 8 o'clock at night when I passed by the Palladium Ballroom and noticed that my friend Johnny Winter was on the marquee. Cool...Johnny had made it big and his name was in lights. I wanted to go inside but I was short on cash so I went around back where Wally Hyder had his truck parked to record the concert remotely. I approached the roadie at the stage door and slipped him a fiver and told him I was a friend of Johnny's. He snuck me through back stage and I found a place to stand in the wings. There was Johnny with his white hair flowing all decked out in a white leather vest with western fringe and sequins. He sang "Rock and Roll Hootchie Coo" in his growling gutteral voice. Rick Derringer was there too from Chicago. What a jam and what a treat. I wondered what had happened to Uncle John "Red" Turner and Tommy Shannon who used to play in the trio at Love Street. I had heard that they got fired when Johnny signed his contract with Columbia Records and Johnny got $60,000 in advance on the deal. Tommy Shannon had moved to Austin and was playing bass in a band with Stevie Ray Vaughn call "Double Trouble". I saw Uncle John "Red" Turner, Johnny's former drummer, several months later leaning up against a car under a street light one night in front of a bar in Austin. He told me that he and Johnny had gone separate ways after they had played the Woodstock Festival.

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