It would be a bit of a stretch to say I can see very well. At least, without my glasses, it would be a stretch. And even though I’m more vision-challenged now than when I was younger, my eyesight was never 20/20.
But thankfully I can see very well with my cool, round glasses.
Now, I shared all that to lead into another snippet of my professional music history. Let’s adjust the Wayback Machine to the year 1981, Sherman, and be quickly on our way.
And, notice just down there, to the right, a well-known restaurant and live music establishment in Houston, Texas. The Railhead. Let’s go inside and check out the act, a four-piece variety band called Mhoon, Stone, and Greenlee. Yeah, I know that’s only three names. But, trust me, it’s a four-piece band. And I oughta know.
Because I was the fourth member.
Yep. That’s me. In the back. On the white drums. Keepin’ the beat. And singin’ every now and then. Matter of fact, the band just stopped, and I’m gettin’ up and comin’ out front.
The rhythm guitar player, Glen Stone, is playin’ a recognizable song. I’ve got a microphone in my hand. And listen as I start singin’…
I can see…very well…
There’s a boat on the reef with a broken back,And I can see it very well. There’s a joke…and I know it very well. It’s one of those that I told you long ago. Take my word I’m a madman, don’t you know.
Even if YOU don’t recognize those lyrics, the crowd sure did that night. And they started clapping the minute I started singin’ those words from “Madman Across The Water,” by Elton John and Bernie Taupin.
Glen and I did an entirely “unplugged” acoustic version of the song. Just him on guitar and me vocalizing. And when we finished, a couple of hundred people stood up and cheered. It was a surprise to me. Because I was the new guy in the band. The other guys were established performers in Houston and in Atlanta, Georgia.
They decided their trio of guitars and bass needed a drummer. And we all knew each other from paths crossing in the different venues around Houston. So, when they heard my duo act had split up, they invited me to join them.
Their fans certainly gave me a warm welcome.
And I thought about all that because I just saw that today marks 51 years since the release of Elton John’s album, “Madman Across The Water.” My brother bought me a copy of the album, way back in the 70’s, and it was the source of inspiration for me to teach myself the piano.
It had a simple, but cool album cover design. I just found out that embroidery, featured on the cover was created in a two-week span by Janis Larkham. She was the wife of the album art director David Larkham. And she did all that artsy needlework on the back of an old Levi’s jacket. Elton John got the original. But I had one of the first copies.
OK. Enough of the walk down memory lane. Just thought I’d share something a little different with you this time. If you’ve heard this story before, just nod and smile. I’m really not a madman. And, remember, I can see very well with my round glasses. Well enough to know if you’re laughing with me or AT me. (bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha)
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