The Night I Knew

Back in the day, my buddy Boo – I mentioned him earlier – and I told our folks we were going to the lake.

Instead of heading north we turned south towards Dothan; Our goal? To see The Marshall Tucker Band. We were 16. MTB was one of the Capricorn Records’ acts along with The Allman Brothers, Wet Willie, Cowboy, Elvin Bishop, Percy Sledge and a host of others.

Charlie Daniels has said that the Marshall Tucker Band “came onstage and just blew it out from start to finish.” And they did not disappoint. I was mesmerized. Something in their mix of rock, R&B (the original kind), jazz and country still influence me today.

Years later, I was playing keyboards with Derek St. Holmes (lead singer for Ted Nugent) and had a chance to open for MTB in Savannah. I met Doug Gray, the lead singer for MTB, and recounted my story to him. I told him “that night changed my life.” He smiled and said, “That’s exactly what it was supposed to do.”

I’ve been fortunate enough to share the stage with major acts including Clay Walker, Doug Stone, Trace Adkins, Neal McCoy and others, but nothing has impacted me as much as that MTB show some 40 years ago.

Is there a concert or event in your past that has impacted you? Let me know what that was!! I can’t wait to hear your story.

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    1. The craziest night I had was when I was in Okinawa, Japan in the service. I was in a bar all alone and someone put a mickey in my drink! I stumbled out after only one drink and fell asleep on someones stairs. I woke up and my wallet was gone about a half hour later. Then this fine chick, A Sgt in the Air Force approached me. She said she was staying in a hotel in town and needed me, a marine to climb up the drainpipe, get into her room while she snuck by the manager. I did and she came in and I was packing all her clothes in large garbage bags and throwing them out the window. She had a car and we drove to her house on base. We had crazy lovemaking and she drove me back to my base. The next morning the Staff Sergeant asked me where did I lose my ID? I don’t know. He gave me my ID back. Crazy huh?

  1. Hey Russ have a great day maybe we could get together and get me into a studio and I could do some covers. It’s a dream of mine

    1. Sorry for the delayed response. Jeremy there are plenty of studios around to record in. I bet you have some friends who have a basic studio in their basement or bedroom. In fact you can have a lot of fun recording songs on your phone. The technology available is crazy cool. I regularly post iPhone videos on my YouTube channel. http://www.YouTube Check em out. And best of luck to you!!!

    1. Colt!!! Thanks man!! I appreciate your kind words. Southern Rock, I cut my teeth playing that stuff and still love it today. It’s no surprise it shows up in my music. Take care.

  2. Hi Russ,

    Loved the story. I can tell you about something that I had the courage to do a few years ago:

    There was this up and coming singer that I saw on TV, and she was supposed to perform in a city near by the following week. I couldn’t decide if I should go or not. Eventually, I decided to go and had a lot of fun… In the end of the show I approached her and her band and asked for their autograph and they agreed!!

    In time, I’ve become some kind of a groupie of them for a while…

  3. A long time ago, I had the chance to hear Eric Clapton play with the Yardbirds, an up and coming blues group, I have been hooked on the Blues ever since!

  4. Hey Russ,

    Love your site and the music is wonderful! I am glad to be getting to know you, and look forward to hearing more about your journey!

    Kristie Barnes

    1. Great insight Billie Dawn!! We are everything we have experienced as well as all the experiences of those who came before us. The journey is amazing when I pay attention to it.

  5. Hey Russ, dang, when I got your email about crazy experiences didn’t know you meant the musical kind. Craziest concert experience was back in the 80’s went with some friends to the old Shea Stadium to see the Who along with the Clash and David Johannsen. We had tickets for being on the field and we started pretty far back but as the show went on found ourselves being pressed towards the stage. For some people at the front it got too much and they headed to the back, some were passed overhead. We probably moved about 80-90 feet closer without really trying. Wanna say the music moved us but the crowd that nite was crazy.

  6. Those are some heavy hitters in the Country Western Genre. Remember when their were those cassette tape “singles.” You mention Clay Walker. Back in college ’98 I had a cassette tape single of his called “Then What.” I feel that music now, no matter what genre is so processed. Songs do not tell a story or give advice like they used to.

  7. My craziest concert experience was getting tickets for led Zeppelin at The Pontiac Siverdome in 77. The crowd was insane and when you got to the front of the line there was no way to turn around and leave, too many people crushing from behind. You had to get boosted up on top of the ticket booth and then climb down the other side. But i got tickets and when we went to the concert there were 80,000 very happy fans.

  8. Russ,as a kid in 1962,Jim Reeves was playing in Tramore,and along with a couple of friends we were determined to go and see him.
    On the Sunday night we headed down,to a venue called “The Silver Slipper Ballroom” where Jim Reeves was playing,and as bold as brass we approached the entrance to get in-only to be stopped at the door by security,who told us that we were too young to be allowed in.We thought that they would let us in,the cheek of kids in our early teenage years.
    But after being refused,and our best pleading efforts rejected,we came up with a plan,to go around to the back of the venue and see could we hear Jim Reeves when he started to perform.Jim Reeves came on,and we could every song he sang,great memories of a young teenage boy,who should have been tucked up in bed at the time!

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