The following is how Steve Gorman of The Black Crowes (pictured above) remembers him.
Again, we’re speechless, but I manage to say, “Yeah, we remember …I just can’t believe you do!” He says, “Y’all did Otis so proud, he was my little brother…I loved that man so much!”
Then he sits down at the piano and busts into ‘These Arms Of Mine’….it sounds EXACTLY like Otis. I mean, he’s CHANNELING OTIS REDDING.
“These arms of mine, they are lonely
Lonely and feeling blue.”
It was mind-blowing. The whole room is still. No one moves. I glanced at Steve Jordan, and we shared a “Holy Shit this Is actually happening” look. Richard ran through the form twice, then stopped and said, “Y’all don’t want any more of that, do you?” laughing.
Everyone in the room (G.E. Smith, Steve Jordan, me, CR, RR, Don Was, The B-52’s) yells, “YES! More! Keep going!”
He laughs again …No, no, that’s enough, let’s do what we’re here to do.” He killed us all. He knew it. And he left it there.
After that, we had a solid hour of hang/rehearsals before he got up to leave, saying, “I gotta go now! Y’all be ready tomorrow, ’cause I’m sure gonna SHOW UP!” and walked out of the room.
I originally went to DC excited and honored to shake a tambourine for Chuck Berry, but I left DC with my mind spinning over Little Richard and the fact that for an hour or so, I was standing next to a nuclear reactor.
My entire body was buzzing the whole time he was in that room with us. Head to toe…on fire.
I can’t even begin to imagine what it was like to see this man on a stage when he first showed up in the 1950s….but I can tell you that in the year 2000 it was still a visceral experience that goes well beyond my feeble attempt to describe.
The Black Crowes
Unfortunately, because of overuse, the word racist is fast becoming a buzz word and will probably fall by the wayside as has, dope, sick, crazy, epic, down with it, right on, far out, cool man, swing daddy, go cat go, not to mention, see you later alligator.
Wow, Jeff Bezos (Amazon) is about to become the world’s first trillionaire. Only in America baby!
Jed Duvall: George: I saw on the P.B.S. “Frontline” program a few years back, on “Why the Towers Fell,” that there was foreign footage (probably Pakistani) of Osama bin Laden discussing that his intention of flying planes into The World Trade Center Towers was to set them on fire and create widespread panic. Apparently, bin Laden thought that since the 1993 bombing left the bombed tower standing, that the buildings were too strong to completely takedown. He then started praising Allah that he, bin Laden, had the good fortune to hit the towers in a weak point such that they were completely destroyed. A tragic design flaw that at the end of the program, the lead architect stated, almost in tears on camera, as the program closes, that he never thought that he had to design the towers to withstand an airliner crash, as the buildings were designed around a central elevator / HVAC core with everything else hanging off stringers from that core and the exterior with minimal structural support. The World Trade Center Towers were not built like The Chrysler Building or The Empire State Building. (Necessity Is A Mutha)
Geo: Scary times for sure, Jed, but not as scary as now.
Doug Chappell: George, I learned a big lesson playing in a band and later in the record biz…the best players are not always the best bandmates. You are on stage for about an hour but have to live and deal with the other band members for the other 23. I learned to never replace an adequate player that is a great bandmate with a great one because it can break the “one for all and all for one” feeling. (Here’s To The Phantoms)
Doug Thompson: Ah Donnie Burns…what stories we could all tell about Donnie. A short stint at CHUM Toronto (where I worked with him), then became a legend at CKGM Montreal, and again at CHFI Toronto (he owned afternoon ratings for several years)—all the while voicing national spot after national spot after national spot. Donny was so cool. I worked with him again when I was Creative Director at Telemedia Network Radio in Toronto. Again….stories! Hope you’re well, George. (Here’s To The Phantoms)
Geo: I am well, Dougie. Who would have thought that Donnie, me, and the guy that booked the Phantoms, John Wood, would end doing well in the radio biz? When we all worked together in the band days, our eventually working in radio never came up.
Dave Charles: What a combination, being in a band and radio! That way, you get the best of everything, right George. Great to get a sense of your history. (Here’s To The Phantoms)
Geo: An evil combination, Dave, that’s for sure. 🙂 Thanks for the read and the comment.
James Molly: Bob Marks sends me your stuff, and I enjoy the content AND the humor! Thank you, & keep ’em coming! (The Economy)
Geo: Thanks to you for the read, James, and thanks to Bob for the shares.
Geo’s Media Blog is an inside look at Radio, Music, Movies, and Life. For a sneak peek at some upcoming Blogs or to see some that you may have missed, go to Geo’s Media Blog GeorgeJohns.com. On Twitter @GeoOfTheRadio. Sharing and commenting is appreciated.