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 have kept 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, in Fort Worth, Texas, circa in 1987. 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 by me — I always fear I 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 like a real jerk.
So that night we were closing up shop at the Foot Locker when my friend Jennifer called me on the telephone and said 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 in the area 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 SRV 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 (I was wearing sneakers, so.). Once I got in, 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, I thought, 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 (mine); and a denim skirt from el cheapo 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 in the car, and after a few strategic fluffs of my perm I was off!
Once at Mama’s, I raced upstairs to the private room and greeted Jennifer. She pointed into a darkened area 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 had a hard time processing the whole deal. I now wonder what he must have thought when this weird girl in a men’s vest appeared in the doorway and stood staring at him for many minutes.
At one point, I remember having the opportunity to chat up the beautiful woman. She was maybe European? She said she first met Stevie Ray in the street, getting off a bus in her foreign land, 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 physically close to him, I could have reached out and grabbed his hat scarf.
My friend Emily and I decided that since technically we were newspaper reporters for the AHHS Jacket Journal, it was our duty to write an article documenting this event. We decided she would be the one to do it, as I was barely able to pull my shit together for the convo with the European lady. 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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