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Arlington, 2009

Arlington, 2009

Ahoy, fellow Elks. To begin my report on the Arlington show, all I can say is that it was.....interesting. While I feel the need to be entertaining and present all things in our world in a positive light, the secret journalist in me demands that I be truthful, so you'll get the straight skinny here. The show fell on the same weekend that the Texas Longhorns played Oklahoma U. at the Cotton Bowl, so truth be told, attendance on Saturday was down by about 30%. I'd say that a guitar show and a college football game share the same demographics, so we were missing just a few people, but some great guitars made it about 15 feet into the door and we were grateful for those that did attend. We have to admit though, that hanging out in a room full of guitars for a weekend is still the coolest job in the world and Lee and I have avoided many 'a grass cutting just by being associated with this particular profession. Enough babble already, onto the happenings in Texas!

  • Photo 1. Lee and I were in back of the venue, taking a break when we see this guy walking quick and loading this BMW with brown cases. We thought this car looked like Eric Johnson's, so Lee said to the fellow, "Hey Son, what are you doing to E.J.'s car and do you have permission to be skulking around the parking lot of this here guitar show"? The guy sheepishly looked at my 6' 4" partner and said, "My name's Junior, and I'm Eric's valet. He bought some axes at the show and I'm just loading them up and then I'm going to drive Eric back to Austin". Lee looked at him for a minute and figuring he wasn't too seedy- looking said, "Alright, but hurry up and get on with your loading. We gotta make sure there ain't no funny business going on around all these celebrity's cars". The guy kept on loading guitars into the car and when it was quite full, turned to us and said, "The next time you howl at me while I'm loadin' guitars, I'm going to come over there and get straight "Cliffs of Dover" all over you and that sneaky midget standing next to you" and folks, with that, he got in the car and drove off. Funny thing is, we never did see Eric Johnson get in with him.....

  • Photo 2. Wanna know what Tony Iommi does when he's on vacation in America and not on tour with Heaven and Hell? He hangs out at guitar shows and flashes devil horns.

  • Photos 3, 4 & 5. This is Duane Allman's 1957 Goldtop, used during the period between "Statesboro Blues" and the "Layla" sessions. We were told that during its life, it has been refinished 4 times and is instantly recognizable by its unique inlays. Although it was a pleasure to see and hold such an iconic guitar as this, one would think that it should be in the Smithsonian Institute as a tribute to both the contributions of Southern Rock and the legacy of Duane. Alas, that is not the case and the first person with 1.4M will be the new owner. Or so we were told.....

  • Photo 6. This is Blind Chitlins Mak, the youngest boy to ever have the blues. His father is Kelvin Mak, a well- known face among guitar dealers and collectors and he lives in Canada with his son, Blind Chitlins. Rumors swirled all weekend that 'ol Blind Chitlins might make an appearance at the show, but his public outings are very rare, as he has school and probably a soccer practice or two to contend with. Lee and I were extremely honored to find this storied and legendary Bluesboy in our booth, playing his new song, "I May Be Too Young to Love You, But I Ain't Too Young to Beg" and I hatched a plan to "use" Blind Chitlins in a scheme to be detailed later. I felt bad at the time, but hell, he can't see and we were on a mission to finally discover the true identity of the Mysterious Mr. E. To be continued.......

  • Photo 7. During the show, an attempt was made to break the Guinness Book of World Records for the "most guitarists playing the same song at the same time". Dave "Babyface" Crocker led two room fulls of people in that manic, but playable classic, "Louie Louie" and we almost broke the record, but seeing as how I'm a bass player, I insisted on playing air guitar and we fell short by 1 player. As they say at the corner liquor store, "It be's like that sometimes".....

  • Photo 8. Here we see the people that couldn't get tickets to the Texas/ Oklahoma game. Can't watch football- let's go look at a couple of thousand guitars.....

  • Photos 9 & 10. Here are a couple of shots of the Gibson trailer. Regardless of the rumors about the state of this company, Gibson continues to produce some of the finest guitars on the planet and you can tell the Chinese I said so.

  • Photo 11. Lee and I heard that the spectre known as the Mysterious Mr. E. was going to be at the Arlington show and we were dang bound and determined to get a photo of this elusive figure. It's said that no one has ever seen his face and lived to tell about it ( with the exception of his evil henchmen, Chuckenstein and Wayneburger). So, on Sunday, we saw what appeared to be the evil, shadowy figure arrive in the Rumbleseat Music booth and Lee, grabbing his camera hollered, "I'm going in, Son. If I don't make it out, you can have my truck, everything in my vault is yours and here's my bank account number". Now, I love my partner like my own brother and I said, "Psst, hey Killer. I've got a better plan that just might work and you can keep your truck. For Pete's sake, it's got over 150,000 miles on it with two bald tires". So, I stopped Lee from his suicidal mission long enough to tell him of my plan and after getting his approval, here's what we did: Since we had the blues legend, Blind Chitlins Mak in our possession, we decided to send him over to the Rumbleseat booth, posing as an innocent child in search of an autograph. You can't hurt a kid, right? So, I tell 'ol Blind Chitlins, "Hey Playa, you see that guy in the boots over there? He used to play with Air Supply and I sure would like his autograph. "I'm All Out Of Love", get it? I think he's secretly the Mysterious Mr. E., hiding from his pop- stardom past and I have to get a picture of him. And I'll be Tom, Dick and Harry if Blind Chitlins didn't walk right over to the Dark Master himself, bold as a pit bull and ask for an autograph. The room fell silent as as the evil Overlord of the Depths looked down upon this boy; We knew that darkness incarnate had descended on the room and certain doom awaited this helpless, small guitar-boy. It was at that moment, as we all held our collective breaths that the Slayer of Souls pointed to the bathroom and said, Oh, Mr. E's in the can, baking brownies- I'm sure you'll find him there and we all watched as Blind Chitlins, whose life was miraculously spared ran off with pen and paper in hand. Open mouthed by this unexpected act of mercy, we all looked back to see only wafts of smoke as the Devilish One disappeared again.....

  • Photos 12, 13 & 14. This is our boy Paul VHGuy's band, Xes Whiskey. If you want to hear what Eddie Van sounded like when he was 24, then go see this band. Lee and I rumbled up to Diamond Jim's Saloon on Saturday night to see the boys play and as we walked in, we soon discovered that the guys had blown the P.A. in the club. Undaunted, Paul and his crew proceeded to lay out a set of old Van Halen and Ozzy instrumentally and folks, that house was rockin' with no doubt! Paul's a class guy, a helluva guitar player and we have never and I mean never seen him without a smile on his face. He's playing for the joy of playing and there ain't nothing wrong with that in our books. Look for Xes Whiskey at Jimmy Wallace's Dallas Guitar Show in April, 2010. They'll take you back to 1978, when was right with the world.....

  • Photos 15 & 16. This is Ghost Duck Lake, located right outside the Arlington Civic Center. If the light is just right and the temperature exacxt, you can faintly see the outlines of the ducks that were killed in the Great Duck Massacre of 1870. The thing is, they don't go "boo", they go "quoo".......

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