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| posted on 9/29/2007 at 07:07 AM|
I have been reading everyone's post's regarding Woody, and it got me thinking, and remembering several of my own stories of the Man, the Mule, The Brothers and the Road. I thought I would share...
This is a true story
Just so you know I am not full of **** , I used to go to a lot of Gigs. (ABB, Mule) All over the East Coast. From Maine to Alabama) I first met Warren and Woody in 1995 at a Mule Show in Massachusetts. There were maybe, 30 people at the first gig. It was right next to my hometown, so, when I met them, I was telling them good places to go to Eat etc. I was given the Shopping list for the night ( Peanut Butter, Jelly and Whole Grain Bread was high on the list) ,went to the grocery store for them, drove Warren Woody and Matt to and from the Hotel. Hung out, got to ask a lot of musical questions to Woody and Warren, and was invited to come up to the next several shows on the tour ( Boston, Maine, Vermont, Connecticut)
It was awesome, the guys were my heroes, I loved all the stories , but this particular one comes to mind.
I was at Warren and Woody's last few shows with the Brothers at the Beacon Theater. It wasn't pretty.... So a month or so later, cant remember exactly, I get a message on my phone from Eric Hansen. (For those of you who don't know, Eric was Warren and Woody's Guitar tech in the Brothers and the Mule before Brian Farmer) telling me that everyone was in Hoboken New Jersey at Water Music Studios, working on the next Mule Record (Dose) and that Matt Abts had ordered new Djembe's for the recording sessions from a company in Vermont. Eric asked me if I could pick up the Djembe's and come down to Hoboken to deliver them to Matt. Hell yes I could lol.
So, I hopped in my truck, picked up the drums and headed for Hoboken. I found the Studio after a few wrong turns, and walked in with the drums. Eric met me and took me upstairs in the studio. There are a couple of small bedrooms upstairs at Water Music, reminded me of a College Dorm sort of cause they were so small. Woody and Matt were staying at the studio in these rooms.
Anyhoo , we go upstairs, give the drums to Matt, say Hello to Woody, Brohde, EJ and the gang. Matt's checking out the drums and were all sitting around shooting the **** . And Woody and I are chatting a bit and we go into his room at the studio, and he had a few instruments in his room; A Electric Mandolin ( Very Cool), a Couple of Dulcimers, a Acoustic Guitar and a Bass.
Woody invites me to check them out, knows I at the time was a "attempting musician", so I am picking up the various instruments and noodling on them. They were all in various tunings which I had no clue about lol, so I didn't play much, but Allen was very cordial. I was sitting with his bass, and after about the third or fourth Bong Hit, I played the opening riff to Hoochie Coochie Man and it was then, that Woody told me that he and Warren had left the Brothers. (they hadn't announced it yet through the Press)
I was and wasn't that surprised. (The last Beacon shows were pretty hard to watch. There was a lot of arguing on stage, it was the only time I saw Warren, visibly angry at a gig to the point that words were spoken on stage)
After we chatted for several more minutes (and SEVERAL more Bong Hits) as to the reason's why, what the future held, I was treated to some first takes of a couple of tunes from the Dose record, and I was blown away that Woody and Matt were gracious enough to let me listen. I loved what I heard.
We went downstairs and told that it was time to head into the City to the Office. So , Eric, Matt, EJ and Brohde are getting into one car, and woody looks in my truck and sees my tapes in the car. (No CD Player in the car then) and tells them he is going to ride with me cause "He's got **** ing everything in here from the Beatles to Merle Haggard" LOL
Now, I am stoned. Let me rephrase that, i am **** ing STONED to the bejesus!! Woody loved his Green, and it was gooooooood stuff. So Woody hops in to the Truck, and I get into drive and I am just....crippled. He starts manning the tunes, and I am gonna drive, actually follow Eric and Matt in the other car into NYC.
Now, I grew up in a small College town in Western Massachusetts. I am not a city cat at all. Like, driving in a big city was a big deal at the time, scary. lol So , I have to tell Woody, "Look Man, I have NEVER, EVER driven IN NYC before, let alone baked out of my Gourd with one of the Best Bass players on the Planet in my Truck!!" and Woody just laughs it off, "It's gonna be an adventure, trust me"....
The idea is, we are gonna follow Matt and Eric in the car in front of us, and under NO circumstances let those cats lose us, or we're screwed. LOL
Off we go, and we're hauling ass. No **** , Eric's hauling ass and I am trying to keep up. The music is cranking, I am cherry eyed, and more than a little nervous.
The other thing about Allen Woody is this; He was funny, REALLY funny. He had a wicked sense of humor and went out of his way to make you laugh. And once you started laughing, he rarely would back off on making you laugh and just made you laugh harder.
And here we are, hauling ass in my Black F-150 in the tunnel into NYC, music cranking, stoned to the bejesus, and Woody and I are making each other laugh, HARD LAUGHING, trying to follow the other car.
We swerved in and out of traffic in the City, literally had people jump out of the way of my truck so they wouldn't get run over.." **** em, keep going....Jesus man, just don't hit the **** ing street meat carts, and if you do, they are worth Double the Points" Woody would say, then make another joke. I am now crying from laughing so hard, praying to all that is Holy that I don't kill someone, or we get into a accident ourselves, when finally we pull up to the Hard Head Offices in Manhattan.
We pile out of the vehicles, head upstairs to the offices and Warren and Stefanie are there, and the first words Stefanie said to me when we met was "Are you alright?!?!" LOL I am sure I was beat red, eyes watering, out of breath....."He rode in with Woody" someone said, "Ohhh ok" she says and starts to laugh.
I could go on and on...but needless to say....
I spent the next couple of hours at the offices chatting with Warren and everyone, then was invited back to Water Music, stayed the night at the Studios, and came back to Massachusetts the next day.
Woody was one of the coolest people I have ever met, and thankfully got to know a bit, more than just a bigger than life Rock N' Roll star. He was funny, outgoing and generous just to name a few qualities.
It was this and several other stories that were shared, laughter and tears in Nashville at his wake and Funeral in 2000. It's been 7 years now, and I know Rock N Roll Heaven is still rumbling to that unforgettably awesome bottom end. God Bless You Al, We miss You. Peace to all who read this post and shared the laugh See you on the Road.
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| posted on 9/30/2007 at 01:29 AM|
|Great story. Please check your PMs.|
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| posted on 10/5/2007 at 01:46 PM|
|Cool story, thanks.|
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