Thursday, October 15, 2009

Love Him All The Same

Journey with me now back to December 12, 1981, Iowa City, Iowa. In the mid-west you had to specify because we have things like Kansas City, Missouri. Today’s track is the first set from a recently unearth cassette of “T. Scot Bottom & the Rockabilly Funhouse” playing live at Gabe’s Saloon. I don’t suppose the group had been together more than a few months. Each player just sort of stepped up.

Scot hooked up with Mark Houseal first. Mark tells a hilarious story about how Scot gave him shit for hanging a “scrawled out note” of the ‘Musicians Wanted” board. According to Mark, Scot shoved Mark’s scrawled offering in his face and said, “Is this how you want to market yourself?” or something similar. Mark lived in town and had car that could pull a trailer, essential band elementals.

Mark comes from one of those families where everyone is the family is a gifted musician. After Scot and I left town (Iowa City) Mark went on the road with a traveling band called “Land Slide”. We are in close touch to this day. I remember the day we were leaving and we had just finally gotten packed up. We were in our seriously overloaded 1963 Dodge Dart. We just happened to meet up with Mark at our last intersection of town. We just looked over at one another, and when the light turned green, we pulled off into our separate ways. A truly amazing moment of my life.

Scot hooked up with Tom Drew, a KA photographer who was doing his MA at IOWA. He was a little older and drove; I think it was, a 47 Hudson. The back seat was as big as a movie theatre. Tom brought a cool Levon Helm style of drumming to the project. He could also sing, which was great for Scot who’s voice would get tired by the end of a set. Tom is still a photographer and does a lot of cool work of Detroit way. Last time we saw him was at a HUGE bash he was throwing for his wife, Donna’s (who did a lot of the TSB & the RBF graphics.) 40ish birthday. Can it have been this long?

Last to come on board was Todd. A little picture of his face got attached to something sticky and suddenly, ‘the Todd Head’ began appearing here, there, and everywhere. Todd was a great big adorable kid. He had a personality kind of like Jethro’s, without the corn—he had a delightful aim to please. Looking back, I think he did a pretty solid job signing on to a project that took on music the was not at all of his age. Todd was great. Funny and really very respectful of being included in Scot’s project. Mentorish.

I’ve included extra tape between songs so that you can get the full ambience of the evening. Scot takes off with a very delicate version of Conway Twitty (at least lyrics) tune “Ruby, Ruby.” Mark took on a lot of the lead duties for the band with his keyboards, as Scot was really just working out a lot of these songs on guitar. Scot’s version of a lead at this time was to strum a note or two, very rhythmically. Hey, it worked.

Today’s artwork is a piece I tried to use the other day, but couldn’t get to turn. Today it turned. I’m so glad because I think it’s just about as perfect as piece as you could get. It has it all. Sweet message. Lovely central symbol. Great romance. It is a pen & India ink drawing done on a thin cotton rag paper and colored with transparent acrylic washes, done in 1998.

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