NO DAMN WAY or the story of
A lil history first ...
Abe Lincoln was a President .
Ok we are done with that crap

Seriously ...after the Rock City Angels' Los Angeles/Geffen days ended I picked up the pieces and headed back to my old stomping grounds in Memphis. There I enrolled at the University of Memphis and began my studies on ethnomusicology and the synclavier. The university boasts one of he foremost authorities on the delta blues ... Dr David Evans.
In my third semester I was asked to attend a impromptu jam session at Newbys on the Highland strip. It was there that I met up with Jason D Williams and we got down to "bidness" and proceeded to play (me with just a snare) wild rockabilly for hours on end.   We had actually met years before when I was recording at Ardent to smash up and detonate some pumpkins but that's another story ..
Ten years prior, Rock City Angels lead singer Bobby Durango had seen Jason D play and and invited me to see him do his show one Halloween eve. But we had never played together until now.
Anyhow ...

After the Newby's jam session Jason informed me that he was in search of a drummer and after some thought over several days, I accepted the drum chair behind his band which began a fourteen year stint with the Wildman Jason D.
A lil' background on Jason:
Often JD's band served as a back up act for major country recording artists such as Tanya Tucker, Wynonna, Billy Ray Cirrus, etc ... but out of all the gigs ... I think the two highlights of my time as Jason's drummer has to be the trip to the White house to play for Hillary Clinton's birthday bash and performing for Prince &*&** in Monaco. Oh hell no it hadda be playing DELTA DAWN behind TANYA TUCKER !
Make that 3 off the top of my head.
But on this day I only commit the White house trek to this site ... the deal went down as so.
I was at my parent's house when the call came in from our Knoxville, Tennessee's branch of management. They had received the request for us to work the Whitehouse party.
Now in retrospect this really was nothing exceptionally new. We had already participated in several political events with the Clintons. Although none had been in the Big White House ... we had worked the Thursday post function in Little Rock as well as many of the campaign get togethers.
But get this kicker !
This time they wanted us to play for free.
Now if there is one thing I can't stand it's to play for free for someone who has the bucks to shell out. I mean don't get me wrong, I will play Handy park in Memphis for tips at the drop and take of a hat but ... the government ? Well I think you get the idea.
So I turned it down. I was in the middle of a family function and they wanted me to be at the airport in Memphis in like six hours for no bread. The gig didn't pay anything but has management put it to me ... "Think how it will look on your resume!"
Yeah right. I had no aspirations of a political career.

After a few heated phone calls back and forth we finally agreed I would play the show and get paid my regular pay so off I went to my house to pack for the Whitehouse.
I mean what the hell ... some times ya gotta play hardball, but I gotta admit,  was starting to get a bit excited now at the prospect of actually walking in the door at Pennsylvania Ave.
I threw together some stuff ... very beatnik looking. Basic black with a beret and drove down to Memphis (were I met the boys in the band) for the rental van trip to Knoxville where we were going to take the one of the Budweiser private jets. At the time we held a (well deserved) endorsement with the company.
Since we sponsered by a Budweiser distributorship .... they had provided the plane ... a few upper end Bud executives/CEOs were also there waiting. Hey it ain't everyday ya get meet the President and even these fat cats were excited by the idea that we were about to play in one of the highest office in the world.
They needed some goo tales to tell around Christmas time to the grand kids ... I suppose
So there we were.
A group of Southern rockabilly misfits, a few lawyers, the owner of the Knoxville Budweiser company ( who also brought county vocalist Con Hunley in tow), all
of us on our merry way through the friendly skies to Washington DC.
The trip was quick ... and within a few hours we had touched down and we were met by a blue van which took us through the streets of the capitol city to a very nice four star restaurant for a fine rib eye steak. I was beginning to like this trip.
Now grant it this whole gig had gone down very fast. All of the presidential bookings we worked seemed to be that way. I think it helps with security ... no time for much planning on your part for any espionage you might be up too. Although they never quite managed to foil my plans of stealing a few WHITEHOUSE napkins from the building !
So after a short private jet trip we were taken to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Here we were cleared for security. I am sure upon reflecting ... that all of us had already been checked out several times before in the past, so this was just routine at this point ... as we we played the party 2 days after Bill had been elected and and a few other functions ). But hey ! We were about to met the President of the United States and when you are in a situation as such, all per cautions and double checks are taken.
I once had a secret service man tell me (while playing the festive event 2 days after Bill was elected)  "one of my men drew a bead on you back there" He was referring to the kitchen area I had been roaming during a Little Rock Thursday, post election gig. The event was held in a convention center and hell I was just killing nothing but time before going on. However, I had misinterpreted the power change Bill Clinton had just received. He was no longer just Governor ... he was the damn President of the United Sates of America !
For security measures, our equipment had been driven to the gig a day earlier. Right after the initial call, Don our road manager at the time, had taking off with the gear from Nashville. Upon arrival he told me it had been scrutinized by security for weapons of mass destruction, traces of gunpowder and the like.
Equipment didn't much matter to me. I was going to play the White house drum kit. Hell it's not everyday ya get to do that. Think of the drummers who have played that set !
Once inside the White house we were given lament passes marked firmly with the words ESCORT ONLY and then quickly shuffled inside to the East Room. Instantly I remembered hearing tales of this wing being haunted by the ghost of Abraham Lincoln !
It being Oct 26th ... I thought wouldn't that be a far out scene to see old honest Abe beaming us down with piercing eyes and the old beard/top hat routine.
Once inside we checked out the house instruments. Very nice. We were also informed that we would be backing Gladys Knight on a few numbers. One being happy birthday to the first lady. Alright this was gettin cooler by the minute. Sound check being later than usual the guests began filing in before we finished so we called it off. The East Wing is a rather small room somewhat resembling your average hotel convention room and a solid sound check was really unnecessary.
Now again, keep in mind the date ... Oct 26th

 ... somebody had decided this would be a costume party and before I could say "what a long Strange trip it's been" I was confronted with of the first guests of the evening ... one dressed as Jerry Garcia. Yes this was a different administration than the Bush clan had been . 
I thought what would Willie do ?
Well I didn't have the luxuries that Willie had so I moseyed over to the bar and to my surprise I remember that they only served hard liquor. No beer tonight in the old White house ... just the hard stuff.
This was showing all the signs of being a rocking time.
More guests came filing in and I know behind the surrealistic Halloween masks were some very, very important folks. Although you didn't know who you were talking to do through the disguises. I pretty much stayed to my self. I didn't want a similar circumstance as the Little rock incident happening.
Interesting friends the Clinton family had going here. The buffet opened and as usual I and the other musicians hit it hard.
Get this they served hamburgers !
Alright !

I grabbed a couple of them and and finally decided to order a Jack Daniels at the open bar. One couldn't hurt although tonight I knew more than ever I had to take drink in strong moderation.
I was sitting at a table when the disturbance hit. An anxious crowd was moving through the hallway and towards the staircase. I figured only one thing could trigger this response. The presidential family was coming on down the stairs.
Sure enough as I squeezed in with the others near the grand piano there they came. Bill, Hillary. and Chelsea ... complete with braces.
The Clintons were dressed as Mrs. Betsy Rose and our sixth President Mr John Quincy Adam. This made for an interesting get up with Bill dressed in a powdered wig and white tights !

Far out !

He looked like one of Paul Revere and the Raiders.
No sooner had they arrived than a slide show of years gone by began playing in the next room. Really cool stuff based around the lives and careers of Hillary. There were some great shots in there of the good ole hippy days and I remember recalling that I thought it was pretty cool to have these two in the highest office in the land. Having come from that type of stock.
The band ambled up to the stage and awaited the sideshow's end.
Jason started out with a few slow, moody, classical pieces before abruptly hitting the rockabilly standard. "My gal is Redhot" the party was on at 1600 Pennsylvania !

Same ole show, but for Gladys Knight sitting in with us and singing Happy Birthday to the first lady. Good thing she stopped there .. Jason's band is hot but we weren't no Pips !
 Ms.Knight and my chance to be a PIP for a day
Now somewhere about 45 minutes into the show I looked up to see none other than our commander in chief walking down the hallway towards the band stand. Now get this ... he had dumped his powdered wig and had taken some of the glow in the dark sticks (like you get at rock concerts) trimmed them down and with the add of a few strips of transparent tape had affixed them to his brow ... giving him a nice pair
of glowing neon eyebrows.
 Pretty daper, cool & cosmo for the Prez
HMMM .. I thought about what Willie would do again  ???
Bill strutted straight up to the band stand saxophone in hand and didn't even ask to sit in .. I mean shit he's the President of the United States ... get the man a mic !
Our sax player, Jonas Weathers, quickly offered to share his vocal mic and Bill stepped up to the moment and started wailing away.
You know what ?
He really wasn't that bad at all. I had heard he played sax .. hell I even had gotten some swag T shirts early into his campaign which read "Clinton the Cure for the Blues" and featured a picture of him with his sax in hand.

But I had never heard him until now. Now granted he wasn't no Boots Randolph nor Charlile Parker. No wasn't no seasoned pro ... but for the President of the United States he was surely "gettin' 'er down " !
We must have played about eight more tunes before the set ended and Bill took his share of rides on the good ole rock n roll train.  When we finished it felt very strange to have the president just hanging around the stage breaking down his horn like any other working musician, gettin' off work at their regular gig. Albeit at this point I began to wonder if there was a correlation between the many Jerry Garcias present at the party and the secret service. It's quite possible. It would have made great cover and they would be able to instantly identify each other.
Pictured from Left to Right: Jonas Weathers, RJ Jukes. President Bill Clinton, Jason D Williams.
The boys discussing the state of rock n roll and the Nations need for such !

Anyhows ... afterward we all chit chatted  .,. about has much as you can chat with one of the most powerful men in the free world. Bill told us he had a great time. I joked that he shouldn't quit his day job and we talked of the old days when I first met him in Arkansas ... he had been State Attorney General then. After a few minutes of this he excused himself with a statement that he had to work on the health bill in the morning. That's yours truly to immediate right of Bill Clinton,
 when he was Arkansas Attorney General in 1979

We were promptly whisked away to the airport and the awaiting private King Air and flown back to Knoxville. We were there so quick that it was like none of this ever happened. Two hours later and we we were at a truck stop in Tenn. It was 8:30 PM .  The cashier was informed by Jason that we had just played the white house to which the clerk replied, "sure "!
I joked with him ... 'why don't you call up there and ask 'em if they don't have a thirty foot pumpkin on their front porch ?"
Happy Halloween (in advance for 2011)
Yes after all that I still have to take care of my taxes, act withing the Law ... and can't even get outta speeding tickets !
Court Date ... pending