Hanging in CLARKSDALE, Mississippi ... doing a lil research on the Blues
It's late ....Thought I would write some

GALVESTON , TEXAS (circa 1982)
The rain pounded no ... battered against the shabby hotel canopy where I’d stopped to wait out the afternoon’s latest downpour.  Ever since I’d blown into Galveston , I had grown accustomed to these short, intense storms raging in from the Gulf of Mexico .  My band was booked at the HotelGalvez , but the place had suffered so much damage from hurricane Alicia that, even though the hotel was now closed for revamping, the insurance company had deemed to pay my band's fee for the two month engagement and provide us with excellent rooms.  All that, and we didn't have to play a note !

After a few days of nothing to do but get paid to hang around a beautiful deserted 1800's hotel, I began to get restless. Perhaps an idle mind truly is the devil's workshop? Who knows. But there I was in the summer of 1983, roaming through what was left of Galveston, Texas while helping myself to healthy portions of Jack Daniels from the Galvez barroom, a creepy isolated spot straight out of “The Shining” which—although closed for repairs—still offered up countless unceremonious libations to the everlasting antique flask I kept stowed in my backpack.

Once I secured a few drinks from the bar, I’d abandon my third-floor room for a rendezvous with the penthouse at the top of the hotel.  The door was unlocked and the place was sweet. My attention was drawn to the pool table.  I had taken to spending my nights playing solitaire on this table, which in its earlier days had entertained such guests as; Jackie Gleason, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Duke Ellington, and even the "Rat Pack." But now, the table surrendered its pillaged, plush, green felt to an insurance riding musician's ass as I went through the practice skills my pool shark father had taught me.

"Put all the balls on the table and attempt to run them ... miss three times and ya gotta put them up there again. Rinse and repeat. Work your "leave" strategy, always be thinking and leave yourself a shot, or in the case of my imaginary opponent, no shot.”

Well that was all fun and games for a bit, but after nearly a week, even such choice free accommodations had grown stale and damp. I began to roam the deserted, dark streets of Galveston and mix with whatever locals had either been brave enough to ride out the storm or were just now returning to see what was left of their homes.

During one of these outings, I took up with a local girl who shared my interest in shooting pool and other assorted activities in my "rat pack" squatters suite.  In fact, when the rain had caught me this afternoon, I had been on my way back from her house ... where she had not answered the door.  So I had been walking the 20 blocks down the seawall to my room, when the tropical downpour cornered me. Yes, I had been to her door (unannounced) ... she had not answered. My young 20-something brain had yet to gather she just hadn't answered the door ... after all I had shown up without any forewarning. Oh what a young man needs to learn about women

So there I was, waiting out the rain under the canvas of a sleazy Galveston seawall hotel canopy—or what was left of it—with my bootlegged flask, listening to the Rolling Stones' "Let It Bleed" on my new Sony Walkman. "Love in vain" rolled into my headset. I listened intently while the rain pounded harder against my leaky shelter.

 "And I followed her to the station
with a suitcase in my hand
And I followed her to the station
with a suitcase in my hand
Well, it's hard to tell, it's hard to tell
when all your love's in vain
All my love's in vain"

The words vibrated  through my mind ... echoing a misery I could temporarily relate to. I took a pull from the highjacked hooch, looked out across the Gulf of Mexico and replayed the song. Dug into my backpack for the cassette’s liner notes. The song I had just heard had struck a deep, dark chord in me.  Written by Robert Johnson. Hmmm ... new to my young ass ... just fresh out of classical music training school .

The rain intensified. I hit the bottle again and slumped down to wait it out. I rewound the tape and hit the play button for the third time.

The whiskey felt warm ... the song felt cold.

I didn’t know much about women, whiskey, or the blues ... but I knew one damn thing. I had to know more about this Robert Johnson .