I am happy to announce that we have added a few new features since last we spoke. Perhaps the coolest is my somewhat short but still kind of cool interview with the most famous widow in rock and roll, YOKO ONO, who is currently enjoying a string of number one dance club songs... There is also a review of our first HEARTS OF THE SOUTH fundraiser concert, which was a great success! .... Spartanburg, SC Southern Rockers SILVER TRAVIS are featured in a beautiful four page spread in the September issue of Easyriders Magazine, the European edition. Easyriders is the worlds number one biker magazine. We are proud of the boys, and have printed the English translation (the magazine is in German) their interview. Keep an eye out for a ton of reviews coming soon including the Jimi Hendrix Winterland boxed set, Marshall Chapman's Big Lonesome CD and They Came To Nashville book, A Skaggs Family Christmas II, CD's and DVD's from The Southern Boys Band, Swampdawamp, Johnny Winter, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, and many more.
I am certain that 9/11/01 was the most upsetting day of my entire life and I feel sure most of you feel the same. I remember I was getting ready to drive to the Gritz office where I worked at the time when my wife Jill called me into the den and said there had been some sort of terrible fluke accident and a plane had hit the WTC. We sat together and watched as the second plane hit. I turned to her and said "We are under attack."
The whole day we sat glued to CNN, watching as the story became more and more unbelievable. I'll never ever forget watching as the towers fell, one, followed soon by the other. And seeing the trapped people leap from the top of the tower to escape the fire, one couple holding hands as they jumped. I have never shed so many tears in my life... Even today, that footage brings up all of that emotion.
When my pal Scott Greene went with a group to help clean up the rubble, I was so proud of him. I am a wuss. I could never have done it, but ol' Scott did. God bless him and all those who helped...
Let's all remember those who died, not only in the attacks, but all of those firemen, EMS, police and others who walked right into hell to try and save a life, even if it meant losing there own. Real life heroes one and all. God bless America. - Buffalo
Back in the early to mid seventies some of my most prized possessions were my collection of 8-track tapes. I have to laugh now when I think of how far music has come since those days, but at the time, my 8-tracks were gold, baby.
Sure, they were prone to easily breaking. Of course, my Dad and I formed a little business for a while for the sole purpose of repairing broken tapes. Dad had figured out how they worked, and would separate the two halves of the cartridge, find the break in the tape and splice it. My job was to glue the two halves back together. We made a buck on each one we repaired. of course, if those pads at the top of the tape cart wore out it was all over but the crying.
During those years there were dozens of tape stores that sprung up. In Spartanburg, where I lived, there was one called Tape World on East Main. Many weekends would find me and my pal Larry Whitfield making the rounds to Cheap Joe’s, where we would buy rock and roll t-shirts, and on to Tape World, or one of the other stores that sold the 8-tracks. I guess it was just a more relaxed time, law wise, because the tapes we bought every week were bootlegs. Of course, I didn’t even know what a bootleg was. The tapes were a couple of bucks, or three for five, at a time when the record company issued tape cost about $5.50.
Larry and I would ride all over the county, and many times down to Myrtle Beach, blasting our 8-track mayhem through a Panasonic tape deck and JBL speakers in his ‘73 Chevelle Malibu. Now that car was the bomb. Bright orange with a black vinyl top, road huggers and mag wheels, a Thrush muffler and power to spare. I learned to drive in that car - among other things involving smokes and Boones Farm.
I can still picture the two tape cases in he back seat. Mine and his. They were black imitation snake skin, with faux red velvet interiors. One of our most prized tapes we called “Ed-All-Led.” It contained four songs each from Edgar Winter, The Allman Brothers and Led Zeppelin, including “Ramblin’ Man,” “Frankenstein,” and “Black Dog.” Larry and I used to go bowling, but more often, shoot pool. Many times we would gamble, using our tapes as money. The Ed-All-Led tape changed hands a dozen times.
Other tapes I remember as favorites in the case were the first Marshall Tucker Band album; Seals and Crofts “Diamond Girl” (“Dust On My Saddle” was a favorite); Uriah Heep “Live” (synthesizers a plenty); Billy Preston’s “Everybody Likes Some Kind of Music;” there was plenty of Alice Cooper, including “Billion Dollar Babies” and “Welcome to My Nightmare;” The Jackson Five’s Greatest Hits; Leon Russell’s “Carney” and “Hank Wilson’s Back;” Lynyrd Skynyrd “Pronounced;” “Still Alive and Well” by Johnny Winter; Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid;” the first KISS album (which sent us to Greenville Memorial Auditorium to see them open for Black Oak Arkansas on their first tour); lots of “Top Hits” compilations. One in particular had Jonathan Edwards’ “Sunshine,” Steely Dan’s “Reeling in the Years,” and “Long Train Runnin” by The Doobie Brothers. Oh and the r&b compilation “Super Bad” was enough to make Don Cornelius grin.
As time passed, I got my two all time favorite albums on an 8-track, “Layla and Other Love Songs” by Derek & he Dominos and The Allman Brothers Band’s “Fillmore East” album. Oh yeah, that’s what I’m talking about.
So at home I would spin my vinyl LP’s and 45’s, but when me and Larry took the “Screamin’ Demon” out for a drive, it was 8-tracks a plenty. Great memories. The only thing that bugged me was when a song would fade halfway through so the tape could change channels, and then fade back in. The most annoying song to be assigned this curse was “Frankenstein” on Edgar Winter’s “They Only Come Out at Night.” That masterpiece was meant to be played loud, without interruption. In a couple of years we would hear it that way in the car when cassette tapes became the next big thing. But no matter how many formats come and go, my 8-track memories will remain some of my most unforgettable musical experiences.
David "Honey Boy" Edwards, the oldest surviving Delta bluesman whose roots stretched back to blues legend Robert Johnson, died early Monday, August 29, 2011 from heart failure in his Chicago home. Honeyboy was 96.
I had the privilege of meeting Edwards several years ago at Merlefest. It was a chance meeting for sure. I was running from one stage to the other and had just spoke with Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Cassady. As I approached the side of the Doc Watson stage I saw him sitting, holding his guitar and talking with his friend and fellow bluesman Roy Bookbinder. I spoke with Roy first, thanking him for personally placing a concrete marker on the otherwise unmarked grave of Carolina blues legend Pink Anderson. Roy introduced me to Honeyboy. Of course, as a real music fan, I already knew all about Edwards. I felt like I was meeting royalty. And I was. He was super nice, and later that afternoon, he played a set that just blew me away.
Honeyboy was born in 1915 in Shaw, Mississippi. His father bought a guitar for $8 from a sharecropper and Edwards learned to play in 1929 and started playing professionally at age 17 in Memphis.
In 1945 he moved to Chicago and played on Maxwell Street in small clubs and on street corners. By the 1950s Edwards had played with almost every bluesman of note - including Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter, Charlie Patton and Muddy Waters. Among Edwards' hit songs were "Long Tall Woman Blues," "Gamblin Man" and "Just Like Jesse James."
Edwards won a 2008 Grammy for traditional blues album and received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement award in 2010. His death represents the loss of the last direct link to the first generation of Mississippi blues musicians.
Edwards was known for being an oral historian of the blues and would tell biographical stories between songs at his shows, Frank said. He was recorded for the Library of Congress in Clarksdale, Miss., in 1942.
Edwards earned his nickname "Honey Boy" from his sister, who told his mother to "look at honey boy" when Edwards stumbled as he learned to walk as a toddler. He is survived by his daughter Betty Washington and stepdaughter Dolly McGinister.
We will all miss Honeyboy. The last man standing as far as Delta Blues beginnings go. One of a kind. One of my true heroes.
-Michael Buffalo Smith
Hi Tribesters. Time once again for Buffalo’s Top Ten. Remember the rules - there are no rules. These are the ten tracks from past and present, any genre, that are rocking my world this week. What do you think?
Greetings from Spartanburg, South Carolina! We are very happy to present our new online issue of UNIVERSAL MUSIC TRIBE for August, featuring three new interviews, new articles and reviews.
One of the hottest bands touring this summer is The Tedeschi Trucks Band, and we are happy to present an exclusive interview with Susan Tedeschi herself, one of rock's finest vocalists and guitar players. Susan tells us all about the new band with her husband Derek Trucks and much more. We were thrilled to attend the band's concert last week at Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium, and we have a review with some really killer photos from the show.
Chuck Leavell is musical director for The Rolling Stones, a former member of The Allman Brothers Band, a conservationist, and author and most recently, a screen actor. Read our new interview with Chuck.
Eerie Von was the bassist for the gothic punk metal band Danzig, as well as a professional photographer. He now ads visual artist/painter to his resume, along with "country singer." I'll give you Misfits fans a minute to wrap your heads around that one. UMT had a blast talking with this true rock and roll icon. Oh yeah, we wrote a review of his awesome book of photography as well.
Read an account of my "Happy Birthday," trip to the set of Billy Bob Thornton's new movie Jane Mansfield's car, and read a review of Boxmasters drummer Bubba Bruce's hilarious southern fiction novel Show Bidness.
Be sure to read about our new non profit organization Hearts of the South. While it is still in its infancy, we have big plans to help a lot of people in the future, especially musicians.
All of that plus new CD reviews,spotlight videos and much more. Remember, we are always adding new material, so please visit us on a regular basis. And feel free to drop us an email with any questions, suggestions, or random chat.
I am happy to announce that we are starting a non-profit 401 C 3 that will be used to provide aid to uninsured musicians in the south, as well as to bring live music to children soldiers and others in hospitals throughout the south. It has been a dream of mine for ten years now. I myself have received so much help and aid over the past couple of years, I feel it is my life's work to "pay it forward." What we need is to raise the money to pay our start up costs and legal fees to get this all underway. Anyone who makes a donation of any size will receive a thank you and will be listed on our website as a charter contributor. TO DONATE CLICK HERE. For more information on the organization, read on...
HEARTS OF THE SOUTH is an organization that brings together some of the finest musical talent from the South to assist fellow musicians (and their family members) who find themselves in need of hospitalization or surgery without benefit of insurance.
HEARTS OF THE SOUTH organizes concerts, both large and smaller scale, to raise money to assist. We also organize auctions, sporting, celebrity and art events to raise funds. We also seek help from other charitable organizations when appropriate.
Besides helping musicians, we have enacted our “Healing Through Music” program. With this program, we assemble small groups of talented musicians to visit hospitals and bring music to patients and residents of facilities such as St. Judes Children’s Research Hospital and Shriners Hospital for Children, along with The Fairwold School, The Angelus Day Care Facility, and various Military Hospitals to entertain the Wounded Warriors.
A few of our long term goals include the building of a Southern Music Hall of Fame and Museum that will channel funds back into the organization and therefore help more people; a series of compilation CDs by various artists to give as premiums during fund drives; an annual celebrity golf tournament; an annual HEARTS OF THE SOUTH Southern Rock Concert event; and more.
Our primary mission is “helping and healing through music.” It is more than just a job for us, it is our life long dream.
HEARTS OF THE SOUTH was originally conceived in 2001. Well, the name and logo anyway. At the time I was owner and Publisher of GRITZ Magazine, a publication that celebrated Southern music. In the week following the 9/11 attacks, I felt an urgent need to assemble a compilation CD featuring all of the Southern Rock friends I had gotten to know, sell the CDs and hopefully help in raising money for the families of the World Trade Center victims. Ray Turknet designed a beautiful CD cover and logo, and we had an amazing group of songs donated to the project.
We had everything ready to go, and just as we were going to press with the CD we hit a snag. One of the artists started questioning every small detail of the project, and then informed us that unless we paid him we could not use his track. Sadly, his was our lead track. By the time we worked through all the details several months had passed and the whole project was shelved. I never quite got over that.
Now, ten years later, my dream has finally become a reality. Teaming up with life long friend (and fellow event coordinator) Tim Shook, we are launching HEARTS OF THE SOUTH as a non-profit organization in 2011. Our primary goal is to help others, especially uninsured Southern musicians who have fallen on hard times. While helping everyone who needs help is an impossible task at this point, we vow to help as many as possible, by way of benefit concerts, benefit art shows and functions and by connecting them with other charitable organizations who may assist.
We also plan to carry live music and other entertainment to those who are confined to the hospital, whether it be children at St. Judes or Wounded Warriors in the military hospital. And we vow to use all of our established celebrity connections to bring surprises and joy to those who need it most.
We hope you will join is in our mission to help others through the wondrous gift of music.
Our Sincere Thanks for Helping. Michael Buffalo Smith, President
The night before, I had gone to hear Silver Travis rock the weekly Music on Main event in beautiful downtown Spartanburg, SC, and even managed to kick out a jam or two with my old buds and Justin McCorkle, son of the late George McCorkle from The Marshall Tucker Band. It was a large time.
The next morning I packed up the car, and along with my buddy Tim Shook, headed due West for a special visit with Billy Bob Thornton and other friends on the set of his latest film in Cedartown, Georgia. If you are looking for it on the map, it's close to Rome.
Now, I can go no further without giving the hugest shout out possible to a man among men, an amazing musician, a fantastic humorist and author, and one of the kindest souls to ever come out of the fine state of Alabama - one James Michael Bruce, aka “Bubba.” A man seen pounding drums behind Billy Bob, The Boxmasters, Unknown Hinson and many others, and a man who had picked me up just a few weeks ago at my house to ride with him to Anderson, SC to pick up a 1960’s Shure Vocal Master P.A. system Billy wanted for his movie. A man who goes out of his way to see to it that everybody is happy, including one grateful Buffalo. Bubba is the man. Just sayin.’
We met up with Bubba somewhere near Cumming, Georgia and followed him another gazillion miles to Cedartown and straight to the set of the movie, Jane Mansfield's Car. The movie takes place in 1969, and the film crews had rebuilt Cedartown’s Main Street in true ‘60’s chic, with a cool record store (advertising the new Kingston Trio record in the window), hardware store, a wedding shop and a keen looking movie theater. The classic cars lining the street had me slobbering on myself like a kid in a candy store.
When we first got there, Bubba introduced us to a few folks right quick like, and then we hopped on a golf cart and were driven out to the set. Bubba’s wife Joani, a sweetheart who does all the hair for the movie stars, was doing a cameo role as a waitress in the diner, and had just finished filming when we got there. I followed Bubba into the heart of the beast. Dozens of lighting folks, audio folks. gaffers and all were hard at work. I am sure there was a best boy some where. Ever see that on movie credits? Wonder what you have to do to be a “best boy?”
With a “Quiet on the set” direction, we all got quiet as Marcel Marceau at a golf tournament. One of the audio guys that I recognized from his work with The Boxmasters handed me his head phones. I put ‘em on, and there was Billy Bob, on a monitor, filming a live scene. I was grinning like a stuck possum. Billy's character, Skip Caldwell, was in a conversation with a British chick, and she was cussing to beat the band. His character was telling her, “Honey, you’re gonna have to quit talking like that. People around here don’t go for that kind of talk.” Hey, it was the deep South in 1969. I believe he hit the nail on the head.
Just moments later, Billy Bob came dashing out from the restaurant scene onto the street and darted right up to me, smiling and shaking my hand. I introduced him to Tim, and he asked if we wanted to ride over to his trailer. We all got into the truck with his driver. I heard the driver talking with Billy and kind of ascertained that he was a local cop. He was a great guy, and when he heard we were from S.C. he was telling me that he used to work in our area and loved it. I wanted to talk with him some more, but we were quickly out and over to the trailer.
A bad storm had hit and it was lightning and raining. Billy Bob made the comment, “Well it’s a bad wind storm, at least we’re in a trailer.” We all chuckled.
Inside, I was so pleased to see the one and only Chuck Leavell and his lovely wife Rose Lane. Apparently Chuck had played piano in a street dance scene the night before. Oh, and Bubba had played the role of a cop, running down some hippies. Booo! I know Bubba, it’s a character. That’s why they call it acting, right?
Now, I may lose the chronological order of the sequence of events at this point, as there was a lot happening all at once. One thing that stands out most is my daughter Hannah calling me from Hawaii right in the middle of this mayhem or Hollywood and lightning and rain to wish me a happy birthday. Made my day. I love that kid. And to hear my grandaughter Zoe say “happy birthday” tickled me to death.
One thing I do need to say is that from what I gather, the story is about a family from Alabama and another family from Great Britain and the culture clash that occurs when they meet in Bama in the 1960's. The movie also stars John Hurt, Frances O'Connor, Kevin Bacon, Robert Patrick, and many other A-listers. It's a real star-fest. Oh, and one of my favorite comedians, Ron White is in the movie. "Tater Salad."
At certain points during the night Billy would have to ride back to set, do the actor thing, or the director thing and return to home base. At some point he and Chuck left to shoot a scene in the barber shop with Robert Duvall, who plays the role of Jim Caldwell. Now there’s another gem of a man. I have met Duvall twice in the past, but tonight my meeting him would be short, but sweet. All I can say is Bobby Duvall is not only one of the finest actors ever, he is a kind and humble man. I like that.
When Chuck was gone with Billy, I spent a good deal of time talking with Rose Lane about the old Capricorn Records days. She worked there, and actually, that’s where she met her husband. They married in 1973. And boy have they had a life so far. From Chuck playing as a member of The Allman Brothers Band, to his many years as musical director for The Rolling Stones, Rose has been there. Chuck and Rose also done major work in forestry and conservation, and Chuck has a new book out that he gave me a copy of called Growing a Better America. I have already started devouring it. I am totally in their corner on this one. Chuck also co-founded the definitive website for conservation, which I highly recommend - The Mother Nature Network (http://www.mnn.com).
I was also happy to see J.D. Andrew and his wife there. J.D. is Billy Bob’s partner in The Boxmasters, a great songwriter, producer. engineer and musician. The Boxmasters have some great new music I the can, coming soon. Stay tuned to The Tribe site. We will be the first to let you know when it drops.
At some point we walked down to the set where a beautiful catering spread was laid out. The food was excellent, from the brisket to the green beans and some really good salad fixins. Mighty fine.
Another thing that happened was that J.D. came in with a box of 50 t-shirts that advertised the movie for Billy to sign. He whipped out the Sharpie and sat there and signed them all. They would be auctioned for charity. I swear this guy never turns anyone away. Just this day I saw him sign God knows how many autographs and pose for God knows how many photographs. What a trooper. Anyone who thinks this movie business is all glamor and easy should follow - or try to follow- Billy Bob Thornton around for a day. Good luck with that.
Like I said before, there was a whole lot happening in a short period of time, and at one point I was in Billy’s trailer while he changed out of his movie costume and into his regular BBT duds. I got a little one on one time with the man of the hour, which is always cool.
There was another time when it was Billy brought an actor in who is staring in the movie. A tall gentleman with a strong Irish accent. Billy introduced him as Ray Stevenson, and the three of us had a nice visit, talking about movies and even more about the important things in life, like enjoying the “moments” that just happen in life. Those that are not and could never be planned. They just are, and you have to grab them as they come by. All I could think was, I am having one right now. I recognized Ray from somewhere, and when I asked he said maybe The Book of Eli. Sure enough. I loved that one. Denzel Washington and Gary Oldman. Ray played a skinhead with a bad attitude. He was a bad ass. It wasn’t until I Googled him later that I realized he had just appeared in the new Thor movie (he was great) and had stared as yet another comic book hero, The Punisher. Wow. He didn’t look like the bad ass in his 1960’s garb and huge smile. What a nice guy. It was a joy to meet Ray.
There was one point when Tim went to the set with Bubba to watch some filming and I stayed at the trailer. Actually, that’s when the aforementioned conversations with Billy and Ray happened. Tim said he had a ball, and was tickled when someone saw him in his fancy black shirt and asked if he was one of the chefs from catering. They wanted to compliment the cook. Nope. Just a guy from South Carolina enjoying a little Hollywood in his own back yard.
We had so many great conversations, lots of laughs, saw old friends and made new ones. Then somewhere around 1:30 am, it was a wrap for the day. Billy’s significant other and daughter were in town, so he had plans with them for Saturday. Me and Tim would stay in a motel near Cedartown before driving back home the next day.
The people of Cedartown were great. Met some local law enforcement and they were too kind. One officer expressed to me just how thrilled they were to have had the crew and stars in town. But the circus was now over, and the film crew would move to LaGrange for more filming on Monday.
We said our goodbyes, and put the ol’ Honda in the wind. It had been a great birthday for me. One I won’t forget. •
Billy Bob and Chuck Leavell.
THE MAN WHO WASN'T THERE- Billy's costume for Jane Mansfield's Car
Chuck and Rose Lane Leavell, Billy Bob and Bubba Bruce.
The crew shooting outside.
Billy and Ray Stevenson. (Cameo by Ice-T)
Chuck with Tim Shook.
Ray Stevenson and Buffalo.
Billy Bob with Cedartown Police.
Bogus cigs created for the film.
Billy's dressing area, filled with gifts brought to him by various folks.
BOXMASTERS REUNION - Bubba, Bud, Buffalo and J.D.
THAT'S ALL FOLKS! Too Much Fun!
There are no words to express how I am feeling tonight. What an unbelievable two weeks. First, we lost my friend Frankie Toler. Then Phillip Walden. Then the great Steve Popovich. Then our new friend Richard Arnold was killed in an accident. Now, The Big Man has left the building. Do I have to say his name? A true hero of mine. Clarence Clemons has died at the age of 69.
Bruce Springsteen has issued the following statement about his friend.
"Clarence lived a wonderful life. He carried within him a love of people that made them love him. He created a wondrous and extended family. He loved the saxophone, loved our fans and gave everything he had every night he stepped on stage. His loss is immeasurable and we are honored and thankful to have known him and had the oppurtunity to stand beside him for nearly forty years. He was my great friend, my partner and with Clarence at my side, my band and I were able to tell a story far deeper than those simply contained in our music. His life, his memory, and his love will live on in that story and in our band."
As for myself, I am still in shock. I knew it didn't look good after the stroke, but The Big Man was a fighter, and it was looking as though he might pull through.
I have been a fan since the mid-70s, but never got to see Bruce and Clarence until September, 2009 in Greenville, SC, thanks to some box seat tickets my friend Tim Shook scored for myself and Scott Greene. What follows is my review of that spectacle. The first time I saw Clarence live and the last. It's my tribute. God speed Clarence. We sure as hell are going to miss you.
Bruce Springsteen Rips It Up In Greenville
Sep 17, 2009
Bruce Springsteen, who will celebrate his 60th birthday next week, on September 23, blew the roof off of the Bi-Lo Center here in Greenville last night, September 16, 2009, in what was one of, if not the, finest shows I have ever seen.
You see, I was introduced to Bruce’s music in 1977 by a writer friend from up north. named Dave "G-Man" Gordon. On his recommendation I went to Horizon Records and bought Born to Run and it was all over for me except the rocking.
Ever since that day in ‘77 I have been workin’ on a dream to see The Boss live. The closest I ever came was being five feet from him in a bar in Huntsville, Alabama’s Space & Rocket Center. Bruce was sitting there alone, in a ball cap, drinking a Bud. I turned to my wife and said “That’s Bruce.” She said, “What would Bruce be doing here at a bar in the Marriott?” Well, as we found out later, he was there to film a TV promo. I was having my CD party that night, and Bonnie Bramlett was there. She told me later, “You should have invited him to jam with us.” Okay. Blown opportunity.
So last night was indeed a dream come true. After being turned down for press credintials and losing all hope, my good friend Tim Shook hooked me up with tickets in a private suite, and let me tell you, that is the way to see a show! Chillin’ in a big, comfy chair, sipping Aqua Fina and rocking out. Thanks Tim!
Scott Greene went with me, and although he is not a die hard Boss fan like me, he seemed to have a whale of a time his own self.
Bruce sauntered out onto the stage at 8:15 and played for a solid three hours without a single break. The fabulous E-Street Band were all there except Bruce’s wife Patti who normally plays. Soozie Tyrell played violin; Jay Weinberg, the 19 year old son of Max Weinburg who is busy with his job on The Tonight Show, played the heck out of the drums; Charles Giordano is now on organ, following the tragic death last year of Danny Federici; Nils Lofgren was on guitar; and originals Garry Tallent on bass, Professor Roy Bittan on piano, Little Steven Van Zandt on guitar and the real star, “The Big Man” Clarence Clemons on sax.
Bruce was screaming “Greenville! Greenville!” From the first notes of the first song “Tenth Avenue Freeze Out” I had a "you know what" eating grin plastered across my face. I felt like a kid again. Bruce does that to you. Not only is he the hardest working man in show business, he is the master of drawing the audience into the show. And after a smoking “Badlands” and my favorite song from the Born in the USA LP, “No Surrender,” Bruce jumped off the stage and began making his way through the crowd while singing “Hungry Heart.” He was getting hugs, pats on the back and smiles from Upstate fans like I have not witnessed since the hey day of Elvis.
At one point Steve Van Zandt held up a poster from the audience that said “Greensteen!” I vote we change the name of our city to that after last night. At least for a week. Hear that, Mayor White?
Man oh man, was the band ever rockin.’ Every song was a highlight, but if I were pressed to spotlight just a few, I would name the dramatic reading of “Outlaw Pete,” complete with the red western sky and cacti backdrop, ending with Bruce in a big ol’ cowboy hat; the happening electric version of “Atlantic City;” request time, including a brief version of Hot Chocolate’s “You Sexy Thing,” “Satisfaction” with all the energy of The Stones themselves, preceded by Bruce’s tongue in cheek statement, “We’ve never played anything by these guys before;” a Shoals soulful “Raise Your Hand;” Bruce’s Irish smoker, “American Land;” “Johnny 99,” with a fun guitar “duel” between The Boss and Little Steven; of course, my two all time favorites, “Born to Run: and the show closer “Thunder Road.” I was convinced by the end of the show I was not going to hear my favorite Bruce tune, but he did not disappoint. “Thunder Road” never sounded better.
As a special treat for us South Carolinas, Bruce brought The Swingin’ Medallions (a band formed at Lander College in Greenwood in the ‘60s) to the stage to join in on their mega-hit “Double Shot of My Baby’s Love.” The Beach crowd was dancing in the dark.
Toward the end of the show, Bruce screamed, “Greenville! Greenville! You have just witnessed the heart-stopping, pants-dropping, house-rocking, earth-shaking, booty-quaking, Viagra-taking, love-making - legendary E - Street - Band!” And did we ever. One for the books. Everything I had always imagined a Bruce show would be like and more.
Nearly 24 hours later I am still buzzing. Not from substances or beverages- I do none of that these days thank you very much- just from the sheer joy of the music and the energy Springsteen brought to the Upstate for the first time ever. Hopefully he will return soon, and bring that wailing Big Man with him! Do I have to say his name? •
Tenth Avenue Freeze-out
Working on a Dream
You Sexy Thing
Raise Your Hand
This Hard Land
(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction
Waitin' on a Sunny Day
The Promised Land
Born to Run
Double Shot of My Baby's Love (w/ the Swingin' Medallions)
Detroit Medley: “Devil with a Blue Dress,” “CC Rider,” “Good Golly Miss Molly,” “Jenny Take a Ride”
Dancing in the Dark
David "Frankie" Toler, 59, former Allman Brothers Band drummer passed away Saturday, June 04, 2011 at 2:00 PM in hospice care in Bradenton, Florida after a prolonged illness at the age of fifty-nine. Frankie is survived by his wife Marsha, their daughter Ajakayle and his brother Dan Toler. Frankie Toler’s health had been in decline for several years and it prevented from recording and going on tour, but after receiving a liver transplant two years ago he had been able to play at some band rehearsals.
Frankie came to national attention in the 1970's when he appeared on Dickey Betts & Great Southern's album Atlanta's Burning Down and he toured extensively with the band. Later, Frankie was asked to be the drummer for The Allman Brothers Band and he appeared on their album Brothers of the Road. When Gregg Allman began planning his solo album he only had one drummer in mind for his new band “Frankie Toler”. Frankie recorded two albums with Gregg and toured extensively as the drummer with The Gregg Allman Band.
Frankie also played and toured with the Marshall Tucker Band from 1992-1994 and he played on their album Walk Outside The Lines. Frankie with his brother Dan recorded two albums as The Toler Brothers Band and together they toured extensively throughout the country in the early 90's. In 2005 Frankie recorded an album with a legendary ensemble of Southern Rock all-stars as the Renegades of Southern Rock and in 2009 Frankie played drums on the Toler -Townsend Band’s first album.
Frankie Toler’s older brother Dan Toler, who was the lead guitarist for the Allman Brothers Band, the Gregg Allman Band and Dickey Betts Great Southern Band, spoke today of his younger brother, "Frankie was absolutely the best drummer I have ever played with in my entire life. He was a part of my life for the past 60 years and to lose him now is just devastating. But I did have the opportunity to grow up with one of the best Rock and Roll drummers in the world and it was truly a gift from God. I was blessed to have known him."
As a personal note, I would like to add that while I never met Frankie face to face, we enjoyed many great phone conversations and I found him to be a truly nice, fun guy with a genuine passion for music. Godspeed Frankie. I'll see you in the light.