The Man in Black was a man THIS idiot neglected.  I wised up and got his quintessential boxed CD’s about seven years ago.  Never saw the old mean, convert, idol, father, and just one Freakin’ bad ass, live.  Yes, idiot. 

Never saw Ray Charles live either.  F**K.  Can I have a pinch of idiot with my Vodka please?

In the 70’s, I did see classic live shows from Chicago, Black Sabbath, Three Dog Night, the original Lynyrd Skynyrd, the old drunk Aerosmith, Frank Marino and Mahogany Rush and the original Foghat.  I even saw Van Halen open up for Black Sabbath in 1978, I think it was.  Yet, really, probably most important to me, in many ways I will not go into, was when I saw Stevie Ray Vaughan, BEFORE he sang, with my big bro’ and friends, down on Sixth Street at Steamboat in Austin, circa ’79 or ’80. 

Yea man, just him, his hat and one bad motherfreakin’ three piece that came to kill as Double Trouble.  They were the backbone to one rhythmic trance that took hold once you locked-on to the stage.   Some fine tail trolling in front of these teenage eyes wouldn’t distract from Stevie.  I think.

I saw Stevie.  But I haven’t seen Merle.  Nope, no Haggard.  I intend to defer that two-ounce shooter of idiocy this time.  The Merle man rolls through my region, I am there.

According to a new GQ Magazine article with writer Chris Heath, in 1951 Merle partook in two memorable things:  He bought his first pair of cowboy boots and he lost his virginity in a whorehouse in Amarillo, Texas. 

He’s an ex-con with horrid hoosegow stories too tough to talk about and a former anti-hippie with hits “Fightin’ Side of Me” and “Okie From Muskogee” that branded him as a redneck.   Now dig this, he sang “we don’t smoke marijuana in Muskogee” but Merle lit up more spliff and cannabis than most white color dope heads. 

The Hag even took a nosedive, or forty, into the white pools of powder. He realized he had a little problem when he was on a houseboat with a tasty little honey and a load of coke for five days and never got around to having some houseboat sex.  Hello-dare!

Why my reflections?

It’s the ones that got away.  Never Hendrix, never Cash, never Charles and never Zeppelin.  And Zeppelin?  I was offered tickets at age 14 but the parentals thought I was too young.  They were probably right. 

I’ve seen Mario, Knievel, Decoster, Big Daddy, Schumacher, Force, Waltrip, Shirley, McGrath, Mladin, Darr, all perform their magic in person.  Many more I have not.

You Freak Nation?  Do not miss your chance to see the names that are etched in motorsports history or on their way to the Hall.  I know the cake can be tight at times but a Junior Whopper without fries for a month might get you that elusive back stretch GA to see Tony Stewart or Ricky Carmichael pile-on the competition one last time.

Did I tell you about my interview with a little known ‘ska’ band in 1996 called No Doubt?  Yea, Gwen who?