Sunday, October 08, 2006
charlie louvin and i at rodeo bar & grill
my friend had met charlie louvin last year at the rodeo bar -- and he had the oversized color photo to prove it. he was so determined to see him play live that he literally came in from a cross-country vacation in the desert, put his bags down in his apartment and jumped in a cab to meet up with his friends who were already there and waiting for him. i was not to be outdone. the other night after we'd had a lovely dinner and taken in a broadway show, i decided we'd end the night by taking in the top of mr. louvin's first set at the rodeo bar, if my friend was up for it. undaunted, he happily agreed.
it was a thursday night, mr. louvin's 2nd night in residence as it were, and the place was packed as usual. and why wouldn't it be a shoulder-to-shoulder nightmare? there's never a cover, there's no drink minimum and the food is fairly decent tex-mex fare, with lots of righteous western/southern atmosphere and cool music posters and such. i'm still wondering if the enormous buffalo over the bar is real. boo reiners was playing guitar with him and he was in fine form.
eventually, the set ended and i got to say hello to boo. i asked him if he thought it would be alright to say hello to mr. louvin. "oh, sure," boo drawled. "he loves girls." indeed, there was a well-heeled, well dressed older dark-haired lady who sat in the booth against the wall nearby, watching everyone approach him, her lips smiling faintly, her index finger pressing against her lips, her other arm folded against her midsection, her jacket resting gingerly on her shoulders. i remember thinking, its so nice to see older women be...well, older. it's just not what's done these days. no one wants to age gracefully. she was loveliness personified. she had to be with him. she just had to be.
my friend and i made our way to the stage and dodged some fairly manic fan that was completely jabberwocky to get this photo. it was worth it, to meet my hero. all i could hear in my head as i looked into my own camera's eye was him and his brother ira singing their ever-popular gospel song "satan is real."
as i introduced myself, i told him that boo played on my last recordings and in a flash, he gave me his card and asked me to send him some of my music. he was warm and genuine and accessible, not unlike my friend's grandfather. when i mentioned that to my friend, he said that they vaguely resembled each other. and he's right.
i floated home and had wonderful dreams about recording my songs with charlie louvin. or at the very least, hanging out with him in nashville long enough to bake him and the lady a pound cake.