The Floyd Rose Story
our story begins in the backwoods of Montana, where a famous groupie of the Wild Mountain Bigfoot Impersonators by the name of Elly Mae Rose had 2 young boys to various (or all) members of the aforementioned famous hillbilly band.
These guys were legendary in their exclusive use of the Gretch White Falcon, bought through a Sears & roebuck catalogue.
Elly Mae's boys were named Floyd and Axel.
Floyd was a shy boy who loved to tinker with the remains of one of the Wild Mountain Bigfoot Impersonators busted White Falcons, after the four inch nail had given way during a particularly wild rendition of "Coming Round the Mountain", and given to the young lad as a plaything.
He was particularly interested in the strange bulky metal contraption embossed with the name of his favourite guitar player
Bigsby Bigfoot, guitarist and founder of the Wild Mountain Bigfoot Impersonators
Axel on the other hand was a wild young thing who had been born with his forehead completely missing. As a result of this the crows used to alight on the poor chapís nose and pick away at his exposed frontal lobe. To solve this problem, Elly Mae used to wrap a bandana tightly around Axels head to prevent the crows from completely eating what was left of young Axels brain.
Axel ended up joining his cousins travelling circus, the Jim Rose Circus and Freak show and running away to California, where he met up with the child of a union between a San Franciscan Whore and a Gibbon, known as Slash, mainly for his propensity to relieve himself continuously. Slash had very long arms and used to wear his Les Paul so low that it actually dragged along the ground, wearing a big part of the bottom edge of the guitar away. Later Gibson produced a signature model based on Slash's original (and useless) Les Paul
However I digress, and this is all about Floyd.
Floyd also worked in the local car wreckerís yard, where in his spare time he would attach the Bigsby to various car components.
He had moderate success with using the tremolo as a car door handle, a windscreen wiper, and a valve lifter on an old Indian Scout.
One day in the middle of a bad snow storm, the distinctive sound of a light plane in distress came up the valley. The plane crashed with a resounding thud into the snow covered hills, and young Floyd along with a motley crew of yokels went to investigate.
The plane contained the dead bodies of the pilot, a large fat man, a youth of Hispanic appearance, and a clean cut young Ivy Leaqee type with thick black framed glasses. As Floyd and the yokels were stripping the bodies for valuables, Floyd noticed a rectangular black case next to the Ivy League type. Hurriedly claiming it as his own, he rushed back to his humble shack and opened the case.
There was an immaculate sunburst Fender Stratocaster.
Floyd had never seen anything quite like this, It was a lot smaller than the Gretch White Falcons, and had not been dribbled or vomited, or had bourbon/tobacco stains all over it like all the other guitars he had seen.
It also had a weird looking tremolo on it, that when played sounded just like that crazy dolphin in the Flipper TV show that Floyd and Axel loved to watch.
Floyd began to tinker with this strange guitar, he pulled it to bits, and re-assembled it, noticing as he did that it must have been designed by a drug addled 1st year mechanical engineer in the midst of an opium induced haze.
Floyd then began adding bits to it, specifically small parts from a Toyota Corolla that had taken a wrong turn into his backwoods valley, whereupon the inhabitants were eaten for Thanksgiving and the car was stripped for any useful parts.
Floyd managed to add such a quantity of parts to the tremolo unit that it tripled in weight, required him to carve the body of the Strat with a pocket knife, and had more moving parts than an internal combustion engine.
He sat back and looked at the device, which instantly sprung into a thousand pieces all of which hid behind the couch and under the TV.
After re-assembling the device Floyd lost interest and put the guitar in the corner of his humble shack and went back to playing with his Bigsby.
After another year or so Axel breezed back into town with Slash in tow, and proceeded to drink the town dry of moonshine and terrorise the local goat population.
Slash and Axel went up to Floyds shack, and the Strat attracted the attention of Slash, who promptly stole it.
When Slash and Axel returned to California after exhausting the town of moonshine and available goats, Slash took the guitar into a recording studio, where it came to the attention of the recording engineer. He had never quite seen anything like this composite tremolo of Toyota parts and asked Slash where he got it. Slash grunted and drew stick figures, which was translated into English by Axel and a Creole half breed drummer, who relayed this to the engineer.
The engineer took the hazardous trip up into the wilds of Montana and convinced Floyd that he could make real Confederate Dollars out of his invention if he came back to California with him.
Floyd kissed his goat goodbye, packed a bag containing his beloved Bigsby and assorted Toyota parts and went to the big smoke with the recording engineer
The rest is History
The Steve Vai Ibanez Story
Steve Vai, well known walking advertisement for hair product and leather pants had just finished doing his tour with Frank Zappa and was now working (loose terminology, mainly involving copious amounts of alcohol, cocaine and underage girls) with the remnants of Van Halen, when he figured that he was famous enough to have a Signature model guitar.
His inspiration mainly involved his obsession with ladies handbag handles, Steve loved the way they felt in his hands, and ached for the day when he could proudly walk down the street with his very own handbag, without being picked on by old ladies and drunks.
He tried the well known legal and accounting firm of Gibson, but they were in a protracted legal battle at the time with a Japanese car company and some old jazz player who had the audacity to have the same name as one of their software products.
Undeterred, Steve travelled far and wide looking for the company to fulfil his dream.
He finally landed in the land of the rising sun, and met with Toyota.
They told him to rack off.
As he was being thrown out into the cold Ginza air by a retired Sumo wrestler, known within the company structure as "Bubbles the Enforcer", he landed at the feet of a surprised salary man doing his nightly trawl of the Ginza sake bars.
This kindly stranger helped this strange Gajin to his feet and steered him into an adjacent sake bar.
Over the course of the evening, as the sake played its familiar magic game, Steve told the salary man about his obsession for finding a guitar builder who would make him a guitar with a ladies handbag handle.
Well it turned out that the salary man was an accountant at the well known legal and accountancy firm of Ibanez. They were having a bit of a lean time of it, what with being sued by a rival American accountancy firm, and they needed a whole new product range.
Over the coming months, the friendly accountants made many prototypes for Steve to try, He would trial the prototypes by getting the accountants to set up a wind tunnel filled with old ladies and drunks, he would squeeze into his favourite alligator skin pants, don his Ray Bans Aviators and stroll along the wind tunnel, hair streaming in the wind, carrying the prototype.
Many, many prototypes were rejected as the old ladies and drunks laid a dreadful torrent of humiliating taunts and abuse on poor Steve.
Steve was just about to give up and return to America when a routing accident in the body plant occurred.
It appears that someone had loaded the software for an AK47 into the CNC router by mistake, but had stopped the program after the operator realised that something strange and somehow wonderful had happened.
The CNC router had carved the handgrip of an AK47 into the body of a guitar
The routing accident attracted 2,357 accountants to the shop floor, one of which was Steve's drinking buddy.
2,356 of the accountants were demanding the immediate Seppuku of the CNC operator, handing him various sharp objects, screwdrivers and sundry pointy things. Steve's mate however grabbed the AK47/guitar and raced to Steve, thrusting it into his hands, rounding up a bunch of tea ladies and drunken accountants and hitting the go button on the wind tunnel.
Steve paced uncertainly through the wind tunnel grasping the AK47/guitar.
He squeezed into his alligator pants, put on the shades and repeated the exercise
still no-one laughed
He sashayed along the wind tunnel flicking his tongue at the geriatric tea ladies in a provocative manner and sneered at the drunk accountants
Steve was over the moon. The only thing he couldnít decide on was the colour.
This was decided as the guitar sat on the table between Steve and his Saki buddy on a particularly heavy night on the turps.
When they awoke, the guitar was splattered with multicoloured vomit due to eating bar nibbles, Fugu fish testicles, seaweed and the obligatory diced carrots.
The rest is history
The Story of Rhubarb Red (Les Paul)
Les Paul was born in 1917 with an unpronouncable Polish Surname.
After countless Dumb Polack jokes, he decided to re-invent himself as a "Genuine down South Hillbilly Y'all"
And came up with the name Rhubarb Red. This did nothing for picking up girls, as they either laughed out loud, or cottoned on and accused him of being a dumb Polack with a goat fetish.
Rhubarb was a bit of an inventor, and modelled himself on his hero Anton Tesla. A lunatic fringe dwelling scientist who tried to transmorgophy matter from one point in space/time to another. In doing so he inadvertently invented the Television, the idea of which was stolen by an equally mad Scottish physicist by the name of Baird, who was trying to use Television as a means of improving the taste and transportability of Haggis and other delicacies.
One day whilst walking the street, Rhubarb Red discovered that a 4x2 piece of fence was talking to him; in a strange warbling tone reminiscent of Humpback Whale speak.
The piece of fence lamented to Rhubarb that it never really wanted to be a piece of fence; it had always wanted to grow up and be a guitar.
Rhubarb decided on the spot to liberate this much maligned square peg in a round hole, and with his considerable strength, wrenched the piece of timber from the ground, causing the whole fence to collapse.
The owner of the fence, a Mr. Ted McCarty of the famous law and accounting firm of Gibson, hearing the commotion of his fence becoming rubble, rushed outside and proceeded to box Rhubarb Red severely about the upper body, and the head in particular.
Bloodied, but unbowed, Rhubarb ran for the safety of a nearby brothel, clutching the lump of now liberated wood in his hands.
Once inside "Mrs Fords Welcome Stranger Establishment for Fine Ladies" Rhubarb collapsed in the waiting area downstairs.
The lump of wood informed Rhubarb that his name was "Log" and was effusive in his thanks to this odd but admirable liberator.
Mrs Ford appeared at the door of the waiting room, and was slightly miffed at the sight of bloodied Rhubarb talking to a lump of fencing.
As a result, she took Rhubarbs $2.50 (going rate in 1945) and ushered him up the stairs into a heavily draped darkened room and told him to shut up and wait.
Rhubarb and Log sat quietly
Mrs Ford was thinking about which of her girls to "escort" the waiting Rhubarb, and in a moment of acute clarity, she figured it was time for her young daughter to get introduced into the family business. A thriving business that stretched back many generations, always passed on from mother to daughter down through the ages.
She found her daughter in the brothel kitchen humming merrily to herself as she prepared that evenings repast.
Grabbing her young daughter by the ear, she dragged her up the stairs and pushed her through the door of the room in which Rhubarb and Log patiently waited.
"Treat this cowboy nice now y'hear" were her parting words to her daughter as she locked the door on the startled trio.
Rhubarb was suddenly abashed when he set eyes on this young girl, and was not prepared to do the deed in front of his newly acquired friend, Log.
So they talked
They talked of many things and found they both had a passion for music, Rhubarb wanted to get lucky and play the Grand Ol Opry, and the young girl, whose name Rhubarb found out was Mary, wanted to be a singer in one of those fancy New York big bands.
As the afternoon wore on, Rhubarb and Mary fell in love, Log was feeling mightily left out and proceeded to try and chat up a rather handsome standard lamp that was coyly making eyes at Log from the corner of the room.
They made a pact to run away together and head for the bright city lights of Nashville.
Many happy months passed quickly for Rhubarb and Mary. Log on the other hand had been placed in a tool shed with nothing but a dumb arse spade and a tool bench with dry rot to talk to.
One day Rhubarb remembered Log and went to get him from the toolshed. Log was seriously brain damaged by this stage, and was howling at the plant pots and old seed calendars when Rhubarb entered the shed.
After calming Log down by nailing a couple of 3" nails into the part of Log that Rhubarb assumed was his head.
Rhubarb got started on turning Log into the guitar Log had dreamt about since he was a young twig.
Rhubarb Red worked hard and long for a good half hour.
He whacked some strings on log, screwed in an old set of Klusons, fashioned a trapeze bridge from an old coat hanger and stuck in a set of Brierley P 90's he just happened to have lying around.
Log felt like a new tree.
Now he had a voice, and with this new voice, the first thing he said to Rhubarb was
" fer chrissakes, get yourself a new name, marry that nice girl Mary, and lets hit the road for the Jazz clubs of New York, ya dumb Polack!"
And the rest is History.
The Rickenbacker Story (a dark and foreboding tale)
Way back in 1931 in the seedy and largely fictional town of Los Angeles, a down and out Hawaiian steel guitar player by the name of George Beauchamp, had just broken up with his Famous band the Sol Hoopii Trio.
He had sold his last goat, and all he had to his name was a tri-cone Hawaiian Steel guitar.
The pawn shop on Vine St had given George $3.02 for the instrument, and George found the nearest cheap seedy bar in which to drown his sorrows.
Life had looked rosy for George at one stage; he had toured the Big Island repeatedly during the early 20's. Had been feted by Island Chiefs who bestowed goats and their daughters on him, fed him Pork until he was fat and shiny with the grease, and laid the devils silver in his palm.
In the bar George drank several cheap shots of Rye to ease the drumming in his ears. Only then did he look around the dimly lit and odd smelling dive. He looked past the old Chinese opium dealer with one eye and a manically grinning pink eyed rat on his shoulder, he looked past the black musician with an acoustic guitar who had an odd shimmering death glow around him, he looked deep into the shadows of the room and could just make out the sparkle of medals on a crisp military uniform.
Emboldened by the cheap whisky, and curious as to what this obviously out of place person was doing in this rat infested dump, he slowly rose from his place at the bar, his left hand grasping the neck of the half empty bottle of rye, and staggered over to the depths of the bar.
As his eyes adjusted to the gloom he saw a bright young man in the uniform of the Swiss Air force sitting at a table covered in a dirty cloth. Several medals adorned his chest and his eyes were closed in meditation.
George stood there clutching his whisky bottle.
All of a sudden, the young manís eyes snapped open, but seeing nothing, a small drool of spittle appeared at the corner of his mouth, which was opening and closing soundlessly, like a goldfish that has been dropped into a jar of turpentine.
His steel blue eyes sharpened, and he growled in a guttural voice
"Mein Gott Und Himmel" before shuddering into a collapsed heap.
From under the table a dwarf walked out, spat into the spittoon by the table, and reached toward the young aviator with his hand outstretched
The young airman pushed a couple of crumpled bills into the dwarfs tiny mitt and mumbled "Danke Mein Freund"
The Aviator noticed George staring at him, and motioned for him to join him at the table.
"Gott" he exclaimed
"Zeez Dwarves you hav in zis kuntry are ze genius, ya?"
George knew all about the illicit dwarf sex trade of LA, and had in better times, also enjoyed the company of a skilled dwarf.
George sat with the blond steely blue eyed Swiss aviator, shared his bottle and recounted his life story to the interested young man.
Halfway through George's tale of woe, the aviator motioned to the one eyed Chinese, who rose from the bar, walked to the table, and grabbed the pink eyed rat from its perch on his shoulder. He inserted his extremely long brown little fingernail into the arse of the now struggling rat, twisting and turning, the rat was screeching and trying to turn and bite the Chinese, but the one eyed man held the rodent in an iron grip.
George had stopped mid-sentence to watch this strange scene, the aviator was grinning manically, nodding and saying "Ya, Ya, zats ze vay, stick it to ze rat old man"
after what seemd to George like an age the Chinese grunted and twisted his finger nail and extracted a small paper package from the anus of the now semi conscious rat, tossing the package on the table in front of the aviator.
The Airman nodded and passed the Chinese some more crumpled notes from the top pocket of his oh so crisp uniform.
George was a little confused by all of this until the airman opened his package, extracted a sticky lump of raw opium, and dropped a good measure in both his and George's whisky.
"How you zay??" asked the airman, "Bottoms in ze air, ya?" and drained his glass of whisky and opium, George raised his glass to the young man and did the same...
George awoke feeling like a dwarf had been reaming his brains via his nostrils.
The young aviator was standing over him, immaculate in a new white dress uniform, medals glinting in the pale afternoon sun coming in through the French windows.
"Ahh Mein Freund!!, at last you wake!, Kommen, I have much to show"
George rose unsteadily to his feet, his head exploded with pain as he stood upright, looking around he saw he was in a large, well appointed room, decorated in the new art deco style which was all the rage up in the Hollywood Hills.
"Urgh, I'm sorry" George said, "but what with last night, I have forgotten your name"
The young man laughed loudly, "George, mein dumbkoff, zat night vas 2 daze ago"
"I am Count Edvard Von Rickenbacker, of ze Swiss Air Force, but you mein freund must call me Eddie"
As Eddie said this he clicked his heels together in a very Teutonic manner, and inclined his head downwards to George in a curt bow.
"Kommen, Ve meet Viz mein bruder", grabbing Georges arm to help support him, he steered George from the room, and into the vast house.
Adolph Rickenbacker was dressed in a white lab coat, his pince nez glasses balanced on the tip of his nose. He stood in front of what looked like a huge Van Der Graaf generator in the conservatory of his large Beverly Hills home.
The machine hummed darkly.
Adolph reached out and adjusted a knob, the low hum turned into a strange warbling sound, not unlike dolphin speak. It grew in volume until the glass panels of the conservatory rattled in their frames.
He adjusted another knob and the warbling increased in intensity and a large vacuum tube in the middle of the machine glowed bright red.
At that moment Eddie and George walked into the conservatory, George found the noise slightly similar in tone to the tri-cone resonator he had pawned a few days before, but with an added brightness, like a budgie being drawn slowly across a piece of razor wire.
Eddie made the introductions of George and Adolf.
George liked Adolf, he was quieter than Eddie, and didnít seem to share Eddie's penchant for the disgusting.
Adolf explained to George that he was trying to invent a radical new musical instrument that would run on electricity, and was extremely interested when George explained that he was a musician of some note, though down on his luck.
Adolf offered George a job, the terms of employment included free rein of the mansion, $20 a week, and dwarf visits on Saturday nights.
George readily accepted.
One day George and Adolph were having a cup of opium laced coffee in the kitchen of the mansion, George looked up at all the kitchen implements hanging from hooks above the enormous stove. His eyes rested on a long handled skillet that was much larger than all the other frypans.
He took the skillet down from the hook, wacked a set of klusons on it, stuck on some strings, fashioned a bridge out of an old coat hanger, and put several bits of Adolph's Van Der Graaf generator on it...................................
And the rest is History
The Flying Vee Story
1957 Dearborn Indiana
Leonard McIntosh walked down the main street of Dearborn Indiana on a hazy, still and hot summers Sunday. The town was empty apart from a few pickup trucks left parked at crazy angles, their owners still snoring off the Saturday night revels. The tyre marks laid in circular patterns on the fractured concrete street lay as a silent testament to last nights "good ol boys" night on the skids. Empty Budweiser and Thunderbird bottles littered the gutters around the pickups.
Leonard, or Lonnie as his mother called him, stood smack in the middle of the street. He stood there for over a half hour just staring into the heat haze, listening to the emptiness of Dearborn. Nothing moved or stirred in the lazy heat. Way in the distance he heard snatches of organ music, probably coming from the black side of town near the rail line.
The Rail Line.
Lonnie imagined himself jumping a freight truck, bound for anywhere else. Maybe New York, Maybe Memphis where they were making all that rockabilly music, maybe even the largely ficticious town of Los Angeles, Just anywhere away from here.
Lonnie sighed, he felt like he would never leave this town, he wearily turned to return home, when he heard the distinctive rumble of a big V8 engine coming into town. Lonnie moved to the sidewalk, leant against a telephone pole and shook a Camel from its pack, lit it, inhaled deeply and blew the smoke into the hot air, it stayed like a cloud around him, with not enough breeze to blow it away. God how he hated this town.
The V8 turned slowly into the main street and cruised along it.
The camel fell from Lonnie's lips, the V8 was is fact a brand new red Cadillac Eldorado Seville Coupe, with the top down, being driven by the prettiest girl Lonnie had ever seen.
The Eldorado rumbled to a stop opposite Lonnie, and the girl turned to face Lonnie,
"Well hi there sugar" she sang the sentence, rather than spoke it. "Where's a girl new to town going to find some entertainment on this fine, fine day?"
Lonnie couldnít keep his eyes from this girl, but he also had to run an appreciative glance over the Eldorado, he had only seen these in brochures down at old Mr Simpsons car lot. No-one in the whole State of Indiana had a brand new Eldorado Seville Coupe.
It might has well have been a spaceship, just dropped down from the skies, this car had fins like a jet plane and the prettiest lines of any car Lonnie had seen, ever.
"Well Ma'am it being Sunday an all, there aint much happenin in town today" bumbled Lonnie
"You mean there aint nowhere in this town a girl can get herself a drink on a Sunday, honey?" she fluttered her long eyelashes at Lonnie as she sang the words, Lonnie felt himself go weak, and started to sweat. Here was the prettiest girl Lonnie had ever seen, and if he couldnít think fast she would drive out of his life forever, taking the most beautiful car he had EVER seen with her.
"Well I guess we could try the ten mile tavern, its outta town heading east, that is the only place I can think of may be open today"
Lonnie was amazed at his own words. The Ten Mile Tavern was the most notorious speak easy for miles around, he had never been there himself, it was reputed to be frequented by black blues musicians, drug dealers and prostitutes. His mother would have had a fit to think that he even knew about the place.
"You just slide into the drivers seat honey, and drive us there right away" spoke the prettiest girl Lonnie had ever seen.
Lonnie could not believe his luck, she was going to let him drive the most beautiful car in the world.
The girl slid over to the middle of the huge bench seat and patted the warm spot where she had been sitting moments before.
"Come on in honey, y'all can drive now?" she smiled at Lonnie as the world imploded into a tiny point of light that seemed to be coming from her blue as the ocean eyes, Lonnie heard this strange faint warbling noise in his ears, slid in behind the wheel and slipped the car into gear, pulled away from the kerb and slowly headed east out of Dearborn.
No-one was around, the streets were deserted, Lonnie cursed slowly under his breath, "Damnation!, I canít believe no-one is seeing me driving this car with the prettiest girl in the world beside me"
The thought instantly dropped from Lonnie's head as the girl put her hand on Lonnie's thigh.
"I guess I should introduce myself honey, I'm Loretta, and what do they call you?"
"Leonard" stammered Lonnie, "but everyone calls me Lonnie"
"My lord, what a fine name that is Lonnie", sang Loretta, "Well I shall also call you Lonnie, Sugar"
Lonnie learned on the drive that Lorreta was the Private Secretary to a Mr Ted McCarty of the Famous Law and Accounting Firm of Gibson, and that she was transporting this car, and a new Fender Stratocaster guitar all the way from LA California. The car was for Mr McCarty, the guitar also, as he wanted a new Fender Stratocaster to pull apart and get some idea's from. Apperently they were outselling the Law & Accounting company's product 2 to 1, and Mr McCarty wanted to find out why.
Lonnie pulled down the track that led to the Ten Mile Tavern, it was a half mile off the highway, he nudged the big Eldorado into the parking lot next to a whole bunch of pickup trucks. Lonnie hastily checked to see if he knew any of the owners, but they all had out of state license plates. He heaved a sigh of relief, if news of this got back to his Mother, well he might as well never come home.
Loretta, leaned over and kissed Lonnie on the cheek "Thank you so much kind sir, I would never have found this place without the kind aid of a gentleman like you"
Lonnie blushed, he felt the red creep up his neck and burn onto his face.
"Now could you get that Geetar out of the back Honey, I donít want to leave it in the car in case some bad man steals it"
This made perfect sense to Lonnie, as he was sure the clientele of the Ten Mile Tavern were not to be trusted.
Lonnie heard a thumping noise coming from inside the tavern as they made their way up to the door, Loretta had twined her arm through Lonnieís and in his other hand he carried the guitar case.
As they opened the door the thumping noise increased in volume tenfold, it came from a band of black musicians playing blues onstage with a ferocity that scared the ****e out of Lonnie.
Loretta was obviously used to such places and steered Lonnie to a table at the side of the room, waving her hand in the direction of the bar as she did so.
No sooner had they sat, when a tired looking cocktail waitress with a pencil stuck into her beehive hairdo appeared at the table
"Yeah" she drawled
"Well I think we better have a bottle of good Kentucky whisky, and 2 Jugs of your finest beer, just as a chaser you understand" she looked at Lonnie as she sang the last part of the order.
Lonnie sat with the prettiest girl he had ever seen with a shot of Kentucky's finest and a beer in front of him, a Fender Stratocaster sat on the floor next to Lonnieís chair. This really was a dream.
Lonnie gulped at his beer. Loretta downed three quick shots of whisky and a glass of beer, sighed contentedly and lit up a Chesterfield, She leaned back in her chair and placed her hand back on Lonnieís thigh, just as Lonnie was taking another gulp of beer, which he spat out all over the head of an elderly black man in front of him.
"Sorry, oh **** sorry man, I.. sorry man" Sputtered Lonnie as he used his hand to smear the beer all over the head of the innocent bystander.
"Never mind son" The old man turned as he spoke, and as he spoke Lonnie noticed his eyes were not there. His voice sounded like the rustling of dry leaves, and Lonnie noticed an ever so slight glow around the man.
"Hello Loretta" the man said inclining his blind head toward Loretta, "Now what brings you here Leonard McIntosh?"
"Umm, I was just driving Miss Loretta here so she could get herself a drin............ Do I know you Sir?" asked Lonnie.
"Not yet Son" grinned the man.
Loretta slid the bottle towards the blind black man without a word, He slowly poured a shot, but left it in front of him.
"Allow me to formally introduce myself, Leonard" the old man spoke
"I am Lucius DeVille"
"Pleased to meet you Sir, and I hope you will forgive me for spilling beer all over you" replied Lonnie, extending his hand
As Lucius took Lonnies hand, Lonnie felt the room move sideways, and heard that warbling from earlier, but now he knew the sound, it was dolphins laughing.
How he knew he wasn't sure, as he had never even seen a dolphin, but thatís what it was.
"Forgiveness is not my stock in trade, young Leonard" Lucius rasped.
"So whats in that case by your feet there, my boy" asked Lucius
"ermm, its a guitar I think Sir" replied Lonnie.
"Guitarist Huh?, well boy I've met my fair share of guitar players, and somehow you just dont come across as one" said Lucius
"Well, I'm not Sir, I'm just carrying it for Miss Loretta here, although my mammy did buy me a Sears & Roebuck Gretch a few years back, and I did learn but three chords, an A, a D and an E"
Lonnie couldnít believe he had just told Lucius about this, as he hadn't picked up the guitar for at least 2 years.
"Well thatís most of what you need Son" Laughed Lucius
"Why donít you get up on stage with those fine young fella's up there and show me your 3 chords"
Something strange came over Lonnie.
He rose from his seat, downed his shot of whisky, picked up the guitar case and strode toward the stage.
Part of Lonnies brain was cowering in fear over what his body was doing, but it was being shouted down by a much louder, darker voice.
Lonnie walked up on stage.
The guitarist laid down his beat up old melody maker, and handed him his guitar lead.
Lonnie took the Strat from the case, clipped on the strap with it.
Slung it over his shoulder and plugged in the lead.
The rest of the band looked not at Lonnie but at Lucius.
"Blues in A boys" said Lucius
Lonnie played. He played licks that burned from his brain onto the fretboard. The fretboard and his fingers caught fire, he played on, all he could hear in his head was the sound of dolphins laughing and singing along with the blues in A.
The song finished.
The other band members stood back in awe from Lonnie.
Lonnie felt like a god.
The crowd in the Ten Mile Tavern were going crazy, all except for one strange looking lumberjack in the corner, who regarded Lonnie with loathing.
He strode up to the stage, carrying a razor sharp double edged axe.
He stood in front of Lonnie and just took a swing at him with the axe.
Lonnie ducked and held the guitar out in front of him for protection, the axe cleanly sliced an angled cut from where the neck met the body to the base of the guitar.
The crowd were stunned to silence
The mad lumberjack swung at Lonnie again, this time slicing an identical cut from the guitar on the opposite side as Lonnie used it to protect himself.
Lucius had in the meantime walked behind the lumberjack, just as the mad axeman was about to take a third swing, Lucius said in a low voice.
"Go home boy, thatís just enough"
The lumberjack stopped midswing, dropping his axe which stuck in the floorboards.
Turning he walked out the door of the Ten Mile Tavern.
Lonnie was shaking like a leaf.
Lucius steered him back to the table, Loretta had risen from her seat and was applying lipstick with a small mirror.
"Best you take this boy to Ted, Loretta, I'm sure he will wanna see what this boy has in that Fender case.
Loretta nodded kissed Lucius on the cheek, and said "Bye Dad, take care now"
And the rest is History