This shirt is rockin’Posted: June 9, 2012
Good weekend everyone. Here’s my next thing:
I fear I originally hung onto this in case I got a job at another Foot Locker; that it would keep my new employer from having to procure me another one. Maybe I thought it would be a good Halloween costume? Which it totally would be, now that I think about it.
It does bring to mind one of the greatest nights of my life.
It was my buddy Chris Hunter’s 17th birthday, and because I was working, I was going to have to arrive at his surprise party at Mama’s Pizza after the surprise. This was fine with me — I always fear I am going to somehow blow it. Or that I will be the first person that the person sees after the surprise, and if I’m not in that person’s top tier of friends, I feel guilty.
Anywhah, we were closing up shop at the old Foot Locker and my friend Jennifer called me on the phone, saying I needed to get my fanny down to the party quick-like.
“Stevie Ray is here,” she said.
I could hardly believe my ears. Mainly because it was very loud where that pay phone was in Mama’s Pizza.
(Stevie Ray was Stevie Ray Vaughan, y’all. Chris’ mother Barbara Logan was married under the common law to Doyle Bramhall: a collaborator of Stevie Ray’s, he wrote “Change It,” “Lookin’ Out The Window” and co-wrote “The House Is Rockin'” among others.)
I almost didn’t want this news to be true, as it would mean I’d have to abandon my closing duties, which wouldn’t sit well with anyone, including myself, because responsibilities. I was tremendously excited that I was going to get to see Stevie Ray Vaughan in person. If I could get there in time, that is!
I explained quickly what was going on to my boss. Miraculously, no grief was given to me and I squeezed under the mostly-closed metal gating and ran to my car. So far so good. Until I remembered my original plan was to stop off at home to change clothes. I did not want to take the time to do this. Could I show up in my uniform…? No, Stevie Ray Vaughan was not going to fall in love with me in this uniform.
Thank goodness I had a random change of clothes in my car: a men’s fair isle sweater-vest that I had given my step-brother for Christmas that he didn’t love so I kept; a men’s Hard Rock Cafe t-shirt (which was mine); and a denim skirt from Show Off fashions. I was actually pretty okay with this outfit — boxy, shapeless menswear was a look that was very me at the time. I changed clothes there in my car in the mall parking lot. Because no one lurked in darkened parking lots in the 80’s.
Once at Mama’s, I raced upstairs to the private room and greeted Jennifer. She pointed into a darkened area (room?) where Stevie Ray sat with a beautiful woman (hey, wait!) and others. I said “That’s not him!” because it really didn’t look like him, it was dark. But once my eyes adjusted, it was pretty unmistakably him, and I felt silly.
At one point, I remember chatting up the beautiful woman. She was maybe European? She said she first met Stevie Ray in the street, getting off a bus or something, and they were smitten. I was like, “Aww…” because even though she was my romantic rival, I still wanted to be her best friend, because how amazing would that be?!
Later, Stevie Ray played a whole set — for about 30 teenage kids — with my buddy Chris on drums. I was so close to him, I could have reached out and grabbed his hat scarf. (I don’t remember who the other musicians were that played with them — Doyle? Tommy Shannon? I feel I should at least mention them, whoever they were.)
My friend Emily and I decided it was a good idea to do an article in the school paper about this event. We decided she would be the one to do it, because I was a nervous wreck. After the set, Emily and I got close enough for her to lob one question at him, which was something like, why would he do a gig like this?
“Friends,” was his answer. What a doll!
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