The Night Shift... Continues!

Here's where we go to kick back after the races with our pals. Pour a tall one, punch a few buttons on the jukebox, and relax...
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Barb
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Re: The Night Shift... Continues!

Postby Barb » Mon Mar 08, 2010 4:45 pm

DITTO .. what bp said :mrgreen:
Families are like fudge .. mostly sweet with a few NUTZ!!!!

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WildcatOne
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Re: The Night Shift... Continues!

Postby WildcatOne » Sat Mar 13, 2010 10:51 pm

Thank you. We only had one gig this week and that was last night, but it was a whale of a party. Baseball fans amongst us might recall when the Astros were in the World Series with the Chicago White Sox in 2005. A kid from this area pitched in game 5 here in Houston. His name is Brandon Backe. He threw a 6-inning shutout, got relieved and the Sox swept us for the championship...Brandon's last year in the majors was 2009. His career was somewhat hampered by injuries and long recuperation periods. Well, last night we played at a brand-new restaurant and club in Dickinson, Backe's Bullpen. Brandon's Dad owns and runs it. It's also Pee Wee's homecoming, as he lives right up the street from this place. I took George and was lucky to get an up-front parking space to unload from. The place is upstairs but they have a ramp, which makes loading in and out a lot easier than stairs. We played from 8-12. It was standing-room-only when I first walked in at 7 and the crowd grew from there. We're a 7-piece band and we were squeezed onto a stage that a quartet would struggle for space with, but we did the gig...our crowd was there, and I think most of the city of Dickinson, Texas also came in...we had a dance crowd that felt right at home, and they loved us. It's nice to be loved, I tellya. Well, as uncomfortable as our stage arrangement was, we delivered the music, high-energy, the whole night. Brandon Backe showed up and hung out for a while, he's a great guy, 9 years in the pros, a local legend, like Pee Wee is. About halfway through the first set, a gang of biker chicks came in, walked through the crowd, all done up in full regalia, I think to use the ladies' room. They reminded me of the Visigoths coming to Rome, they had that look about 'em...but I think other than that (the look on their faces was completely expressionless but intent on their purpose, ignoring the scene they were walking through the middle of and marching in step at a pretty fast clip) we had a very responsive and enthusiastic audience. The band's performance was flawed but when you're on a roll like we are, to the crowd you can do no wrong. It all washes out in the mix. They got into all of it. Pee Wee went home after we finished, to get the money...he lives that close...when he paid me he told me that they want us there EVERY Friday from now on, but Pee Wee doesn't operate that way. We're all over now. He said he was going to work out a deal with them to where we'll come in once a month or so...when I was loaded up at the end of the evening, warming George up for the long drive home, Mr. Backe pulled up, got out and came over and talked to me for a few minutes. He told me how seeing George brought back so many memories for him and he thanked me for bringing George. He didn't have to say anything to me, ya know, but he made the point that seeing this VW was a moving moment for him. It reminded him of when he was in Vietnam in the late 60s and how the Volkswagen was a constant part of the American landscape along with everything else back then. He remembered his friends. I have trouble remembering anything anymore but George is a touchstone not just for me but for folks like Mr. Backe, who is a great fellow and he related George to some times of great significance in his life. Brandon credited his Dad for encouraging him when he considered moving on back when he was in the minors, and he ended up delivering one of our few shining moments in that post-season and world series. When the cameras and microphones turned to him, he talked about and thanked his Dad. I believe we landed a solid gig with a good man last night, and I was pleased with all of it. On the way home, a guy in a Cadillac STS pulled up to within inches of my rear bumper while I was passing a guy on the beltway and I thought for a few seconds that he was going to nudge me out of the way...he pissed me off but he probably had a gun and was drunk on top of what he was doing, which he was enjoying already, so I didn't give him any hand signals or even acknowledge his threatening way of driving, which would have increased his aggression. I made a silent promise to myself (I didn't talk to myself out loud this time) that I won't ever again pass anybody on the beltway after a gig...especially with George. That guy came up behind me going over a hundred miles an hour. Got home at 2, couldn't sleep, as usual, snoozed between 5 and 7. Got a great email from Debby, she's meeting me in Dallas when we play there April 17th. Her sister's bringing her to Big D and she'll come home with me from there. Anyway, I feel like I'm coming down with the flu. Gonna kick back and get some rest now. Hope everybody enjoys the Gatornationals! Cheers, WC1
Life Is Good!
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draglist
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Re: The Night Shift... Continues!

Postby draglist » Sun Mar 14, 2010 10:55 am

Keep on rockin', John. bp
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Billy Mac
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Re: The Night Shift... Continues!

Postby Billy Mac » Thu Mar 25, 2010 1:16 pm

I just LOVE reading your stories, Cat. Having had the privaledge of seeing you perform in person, I can just "feel" your words come to life...It's a neat experience. 8) 8)
Long Live Draglist!
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Re: The Night Shift... Continues!

Postby WildcatOne » Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:01 am

The kind words you folks put above are very much appreciated. Thank you. This weekend was special...it's still going on, but the music is over at least for now. Friday night we kicked off the new season of outdoor shows at T-Bone Tom's in Kemah. We showed up at 5:45 to get set up to play at 7...we usually get there early in case traffic is a problem, but this time we smooth cruised out there with no hangups to speak of. Anyway, we found that an hour and a half before we were supposed to start, the place was already standing-room-only. All the tables had been reserved weeks ahead, and every available space was filled. This isn't a small club, it's a sprawling multi-level-decked restaurant and bar, half of which has a roof and the other half is exposed to the open air. It occupies half an acre. We found out from the staff that this night had been sold out a week ago...we said OK, let's do it...Pee Wee showed up sick with a bad cold. I could tell the first words that came out of him that he was hurting. But he got up there and belted out his show as if nothing at all was wrong with him. It got cold out there once the sun went down...we were all pretty frosty, but although the crowd was more reserved than usual (our crowd was of course there but there were a lot of post-toddlers running around screaming and that inhibits audience participation to an extent) but they watched and listened...sometimes we play for crowds that do that. They're supposed to dance but they kick back and watch. A country singer of some fame showed up and hung out with us and he loved our stuff. We do some classic country, and we played 3 songs for him. "Folsom Prison Blues", "Fraulein" and "Cold, Cold Heart". It's pretty cool that cowboys like us, too. We get a few gigs from them every now and then. They're good people. Different from city folk. Very much so. But down-home good manners and values, ya know. I have friends who don't associate themselves with cowboys at all because of the coolness factor of their slicked-up egos, but like all stereotypical styles, you get good and bad. I never had a problem hanging out with cowboys (The cowgirls ain't nothing to snort at, either). So Pee Wee got through the show, he turned over a lot of the songs to me because his throat was hurting. I felt fine and I belted out boogie and blues all night. Yesterday morning I got this email from Pee Wee. It touched my heart.

Subject: YOU
John
I HAVE BEEN ENTERTAINING FOR FIVE DECADES. I ALWAYS SEE AND HEAR EVEYTHING ON STAGE. I WANT TO LET YOU KNOW. "YOU ARE A BROTHER" .
I TRIED NOT TO COMPLAIN LAST NIGHT, MY THROAT FELT LIKE HAMBURGER, I HEARD AND FELT YOUR STRONG SUPPORT IN BACKING ME. WHAT I AM TRYING TO SAY IS. "YOU WERE MY VOICE LAST NIGHT & I WILL ALWAYS CONSIDER YOU A VERY SPECIAL MUSICIAN AND BROTHER."
P.S.
I WAS NOT SURPRISED.
BROTHER -PEE WEE

It's stuff like this that makes a guy like Pee Wee special. Last week I contacted the Gulf Coast Museum Music Hall of Fame in Port Arthur and nominated Pee Wee for induction. I hope they pay attention to what I told them. He should be in. He's more than earned it.

Last night I played keyboards for an open-house party in San Leon with On-Time Airline, some buddies I have out there that have a classic rock band. A new drummer was there and he is GREAT. He plays for a band that runs the same circuit I do with Pee Wee, we play the same places. I'd never met him but he is a nice fellow and an excellent musician...and boy did that ever pay off in spades. A very large party crowd showed up and this 5-piece band was supposed to play from 6 to 9, right on the shore of Galveston Bay for a rather sophisticated, affluent group of wine-sipping, well-to-do people. At 10:15, we had to stop because of the local ordinance for loudness, and they were roaring for a 7th encore...I really didn't expect this. I thought it was going to be a laid-back, easy going, low-key gig...but it turned out to be one of the wildest shows I ever played outside of a private party a couple of years ago, and of course, any given night at Club 21. That crowd went crazy...we were playing on the back patio of this shorefront house that's for sale (it's beautiful there) and these are real estate agents and their friends...we were supposed to play 3 dignified sets of very carefully crafted classic pop and rock songs, but instead of 3 45-minute sets, we played 2 hour-and-45 minute sets, to a dancing, partying crowd that loved every note of it. Heck, I wanted to bring them home with me, but they wouldn't fit in George after I got him loaded up. Well, I'm rambling here and I have to go. Mike the Phantom Kruizer built a new rock 'n roll room onto his house and I'm going over there today to meet up with some Phantoms and watch the races. I'm gonna stop off at a Kwik Kopy and get a poster made of this graphic (a '36 Chevy brochure and ad with his car added) I did for him...everybody enjoy this great Sunday! Cheers, WC1
http://pctalent.smugmug.com/Other/Johns ... enSYc-A-LB
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draglist
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Re: The Night Shift... Continues!

Postby draglist » Sun Mar 28, 2010 12:52 pm

Rock on, John! So cool... and I'm not surprised, either... bp
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WildcatOne
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Re: The Night Shift... Continues!

Postby WildcatOne » Sun Apr 11, 2010 6:18 pm

We had Friday night off, so I drove George down to the Home Depot car rally in Friendswood. I took these pictures before it got too dark. Enjoy!
http://pctalent.smugmug.com/Other/Home- ... 4403_RnkW8
Later on something happened that humbled me. I drove on up the road to catch a set by my old friends the Whiskey Saints at Dempsey's Sports Pub in League City. The place was packed, I had to park across the street at the Day-Care center...I walked in and the band was jamming out to a full house. I helped found that band back in 2005 when I was teaching music classes at the College of the Mainland Learning Center. These guys are the admins of that school. So I walk in and Lanis yells "JOHN BOCKELMAN!" The place broke into applause, the band cheered...I wasn't playing anything, I was just hanging out. I went over to the bar and asked the gorgeous girl working behind it for a coke. I dropped a dollar bill in her tip jar, and she handed me my drink and said "No charge, Mr. Bockelman. Thanks for being here." I didn't know what to say. I was doing what Pee Wee always says: "Support Live Music!" The Saints sounded great...they have a kick-ass bass player and sax man now and they mixed it up. Last night we played uptown at Capone's and a dance club showed up and blew our minds...they had their stuff worked out and they were all over the place juking and jiving and kicking up their heels...Pee Wee cracked everybody up when he called attention to the dancers and asked for a round of applause and they all got a standing ovation...they were that good. He said "I want to talk to that guy that was just up here dancing and find out what he had for breakfast!" The rest of the month, we're playing all over Texas. Kemah, Dallas, Houston, Aransas Pass, Galveston, New Caney, Dickinson, Texas City, Santa Fe, folks are calling from Austin, San Antonio, Beaumont, Baton Rouge, Pee Wee has to turn down more gigs than we actually book because of full-time jobs of some band members. It's been a thrill ride lately. Cheers, WC1
Life Is Good!
http://www.peeweebowenband.com
Support Live Music!

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draglist
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Re: The Night Shift... Continues!

Postby draglist » Mon Apr 12, 2010 6:49 pm

Great story, John... you're an awesome local legend! bp
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jim sanders
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Re: The Night Shift... Continues!

Postby jim sanders » Fri Apr 16, 2010 3:17 pm

Hi Cat... just getting caught up..... JTP says hello.. great reading
GOOD TO GO !!
Uncle Curt Wasson album
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