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Busy Summer

August sure started with a bang. Ram’s Head July 31st with PPL, Newton Theater on the 1st, The Bolton Center on the 2nd, The Birchmere with PPL on the 3rd, and finally The City Winery in N.Y. city on the 4th. Five shows in five cities with four flights was quite a workout, but four of the five shows were sell-outs!
Maybe that will answer any of those ‘why do we still play’ comments. And we want to thank the ten-plus pages of posts on the Poco website from people who understand that we’re out there doing our best to keep the music alive. I love what Richie posted. I think he really nailed it.
While we were waiting for our flight at the Baltimore airport, I picked up Gregg Allman’s new autobiography. I’m about halfway through it. I’m saving the last half for the next flight. I love that it’s not written like most books with co-writers. It sounds like Gregg is actually talking to you and he’s not afraid to say anything.
Until I read Gregg’s book, I thought I was the only one who didn’t understand why anyone who wasn’t on acid would want to go to a ‘Grateful Dead’ concert. I didn’t realize that during the concert they passed out acid-spiked drinks from the stage. Now I get it! I wonder if that’s what’s happening with ‘One Direction’?
Gregg also writes about Jimi Hendrix at the Atlanta Pop Festival. Poco was scheduled to play between ‘The Chambers Bros.’ and Hendrix the last night of the festival, but Jimi was too wasted to play. So ‘Rare Earth’ took his slot and Hendrix went on after them. I thought he was pretty unimpressive and Gregg felt the same way. I know what you’re thinking…how can they criticize Hendrix? However, remember I did give ‘homage’ to Hendrix when I set my steel guitar on fire at Carnegie Hall. Oh, and we were never invited back to play Carnegie Hall.
Gregg’s memory of playing with Richie, Jimmy and me is a little shaky. He writes about us rehearsing at the ‘Heart House’? I have no idea what or where he’s talking about. We rehearsed at Jimmy’s house out in the San Fernando Valley and his brother Duane was in L.A. then too. The only time I ever met Duane was at the apartment they shared in the Valley. I distinctly remember Duane sitting at the kitchen table rolling joints in an apartment clouded with smoke. Oh well, it was a long time ago and memories are tricky. Sometimes I have strange memories of being married to Cher too! Once again making it clear, I’ve got to get my book finished before I become completely delusional.
In a few days we’re playing a show in Fruita, Colorado. Fruita is next to Grand Junction and where my Grandfather had a pharmacy in the 1930’s and where my Dad was born. The western slope of Colorado with all the painted buttes is a beautiful sight. I can’t wait for Mary to see it.
Then it’s off to Canada the following week. We’re playing an outdoor festival called the Wood Mountain Folk Festival in Saskatchewan. I wonder if they think we’re a folk band. Boy will they be shocked! Maybe I should take the banjo.
I’m finishing off August with the induction into the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame in St. Louis. That’s something I never would have believed as a teenager playing those little honky-tonks around Colorado. Joining all my steel guitar heroes in the Hall of Fame... Wow! I’ll let you know how it goes and if they have the good sense to change their minds at the last minute. Will and Sara are planning to drive up for the ceremony, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Mary videotapes a clip for the Poco website and FB page.
Stay tuned…Rusty

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