Here's Part II of my night at the Musicians Hall of Fame Induction... check out Part I here.
Booker T & the MGs.... just the name involves groove and soul. Take into consideration that this was an integrated group of musicians when it was not the most popular (or safest) thing to be a part of. Add the fact that they played all of those hits (and non-hits) and still have the pleasure of performing together....
It’s unfortunate that Al Jackson didn’t live to see any post-Stax success but the band is in good hands. Steve Potts, a cousin of Al, has made a name for himself by playing with Wynonna, The Blues Brothers, and now provides the backbeat for the MGs. Steve is a Pearl artist so you’d think communication with him would be easy and that we’ve spoken a lot from my years in Artist Relations.... well, you’d be wrong. Steve is old school.... he plays drums. I mean, that’s it.... he plays drums. I’ve heard from other musicians that have toured with him that he does his thing and that’s it.... playing drums is his thing by the way. We had briefly spoken on the phone a couple of times but it was only a “hello, how are you” call.... I don’t remember him ever needing anything during my tenure.
The John Oats of country... Kix Brooks MC’d half of the night... (BTW he rode a tiny burro to the show)
After the show, my two objectives were to meet J.I. Allison and the elusive Steve Potts. I was fortunate to run into J.I. backstage right off the bat and he was very pleasant. I told him that the first time I saw the classic footage of “Peggy Sue” with Buddy Holly & The Crickets, it didn’t exactly encourage me to play drums. I thought the mixed stickings he was doing were all methodically planned out and that was the only way to play the song... how could anyone remember all of that!! Of course, I figured it out after I got some “ed-ju-mication” under my belt but the original performance left an impression for sure. After many star sightings, I figured it was time to call it a night.
I jump in the car and as I’m passing the front of the Schermerhorn, there he is.... Mr. Potts. A quick U-turn and brisk jog down the sidewalk had me introducing myself to Steve... now remember we’ve only had a phone relationship so I could be a really weak Joe Satriani look-alike as far as he’s concerned! He recognizes my name and we spent the next 15 minutes catching up and he allows me to gush on his performance. Soon after he’s on his way to the after party and I “glide” back to the car on what is now a perfect evening.
Before I forget, other special guest stars were:
I guess ultimately all of the credit goes to Musicians Hall of Fame creator Joe Chambers and his unyielding support of the sometimes forgotten backbone of the music industry. The organization is now 90,000 members strong since its inaugural show in 2007 and hopes to keep growing. You can visit the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum and “Come See What You’ve Heard” at 301 6th Street, Nashville, TN 37203 (615) 244-3263
Now to try and get some sleep..... what a night!