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Thread: RIP Jerry Jeff Walker

  1. #1
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Registered User Mike Romkey's Avatar
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    Default Re: RIP Jerry Jeff Walker

    Aww. Too bad. Great songwriter. He had a good long life, though -- longer than I would've expected. I guess he's finally off of the LA freeway.
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    Default Re: RIP Jerry Jeff Walker

    Here's David Bromberg doing Mr Bojangles and talking about Jerry Jeff Walker and how he wrote this song and how they would play it- all those years ago and the night in the drunk tank where Jerry Jeff met the inspiration to the song.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muG8kDYbZ5Q

    Jerry Jeff and The Lost Gonzo Band were an important part of the musical backdrop to my life 40 odd years ago:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6o26HgKCcT0

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    Registered User Murphy Slaw's Avatar
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    Default Re: RIP Jerry Jeff Walker

    I discovered him in 1974 in Luckenbach. Was just passing through at the time.

    I almost got to see him in Lake Charles, La., back in the 90's, but I was playing down the road and couldn't pull it off.

    One of the greats.
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    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: RIP Jerry Jeff Walker

    Sad news indeed. Farewell Buckaroo.
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    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: RIP Jerry Jeff Walker

    Saw him once at a festival in Minneapolis in the early 1980's. Put on a great show especially the version of Up Against the Wall Redneck Mothers.

    FWIW, the Bromberg version is from a Columbia records promo album. One side off Bromberg and 3 sides of Loggins and Messina. It's my favorite version.
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    Default Re: RIP Jerry Jeff Walker

    I saw him in the 70's at a concert in Portland, Oregon. He was already the soundtrack of my life at that time. Tried to name my first born Gerald Jeffrey but my wife was having none of it.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: RIP Jerry Jeff Walker

    Just saw him on a Nitty Gritty Dirt Band PBS special; of course Bojangles was the NGDB's biggest single. He kicked the song off, then the band came in (modulating to another key) on the second verse.

    Walker looked and dressed like he'd just come in from his back porch, contrast to the more theatrical "tribute" vibe of the rest of the show. If you're going to have a single song with which you're forever associated, make it a really great one.

    On that theme, Tom Paxton quoted a conversation he had with someone who asked, "Don't you ever get sick of singing Last Thing On My Mind?" Paxton replied, "Would you?"
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    Default Re: RIP Jerry Jeff Walker

    Bummer. RIP.

    My favorite version of Mr. Bojangles was Sammy Davis Jr.

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    Default Re: RIP Jerry Jeff Walker

    The success of Mr. Bojangles was a great boon to JJW, and the NGDB version of Mr. Bojangles was a big influence on my own musical journey at the time, but his Viva Terlingua album had an even greater impact. I rank it with Willie's Red Headed Stranger album for its influence on my Louisiana and Texas compadres and me.

    Also, his song, The Old Beat Up Guitar is still a personal favorite.

    A couple of years ago I had the honor of escorting him to the stage at a musical festival in Abilene, Texas, where he sat on a piano bench to perform, and somehow still ignited a wild excitement and enthusiasm in the festival crowd while we all "sang again the old songs" with him and his guitar.

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    Default Re: RIP Jerry Jeff Walker

    Wow. I had no idea he was still alive.

    Back in 1978 I was lucky to witness a magic moment when he snuck onstage at a Guy Clark gig in Austin Tx and started singing harmony on "That Old Time Feeling" (Rodney Crowell gave him his mike)
    Guy was in the habit of singing with his eyes clenched shut , but opened them when he heard the voice then looked around and did a priceless double take.

    Earlier on, while queuing to get in, I heard a girl near me say, "I just saw Jerry Jeff Walker in the lobby - and he's sober" so I guess we knew it might be a special night.

    It was Jerry Jeff's album that turned me on to Guy Clark and gave me the idea of going to Austin in the first place.
    I went to Charlie Dunn's "Texas traditions" too.

    RIP Jerry Jeff. Your influence was wider than you could imagine, turned the whole folk scene's eyes to the new country music and Austin.
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    Default Re: RIP Jerry Jeff Walker

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    Default Re: RIP Jerry Jeff Walker

    When we lived in Austin, we got a chance to see JJW in Gruene Hall in New Brunfels, but most of the crowd was young college students just wanting to mate with each other - they weren’t paying attention to the music, drinking heavily, and really noisy. We were disgusted. As a result, JJW, rightfully so, just dialed in his performance. We were disappointed, but understood it was the crowd’s fault. JJW provided us with a lot of good music over the years. He will be missed. My only complaint is that he sometimes let folks think he wrote all of the songs he sang - some of which were from some of the other Texas songwriting community,like the excellent Guy Clark. A JJW song I’ve enjoyed is Navajo Rug.

  26. #16
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    Default Re: RIP Jerry Jeff Walker

    I got to see him at one of Willie Nelson's Fourth of July Summer Picnics back in the late '70s. The whole lineup for that concert was fabulous, and Jerry Jeff was in fine form. Glad to have seen him live.

  27. #17
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    Default Re: RIP Jerry Jeff Walker

    A Yankee who moved to TX and wound up owning the place. A good reason why a lot of us moved up from the Gulf Coast to Austin in the '80s.
    I saw Jerry Jeff more times than I can count or likely remember given the circumstances.
    First time might have been at Johnny Lee's Nesadel Club in Pasadena.
    If there is such thing as a country mosh pit he could generate one every night and then turn it around on a dime and make you listen hard, too.
    Part of the soundtrack of my well-spent youth.
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    Default Re: RIP Jerry Jeff Walker

    Quote Originally Posted by brunello97 View Post
    If there is such thing as a country mosh pit he could generate one every night and then turn it around on a dime and make you listen hard, too.
    Brilliant...
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  29. #19
    Registered User Jim Roberts's Avatar
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    Default Re: RIP Jerry Jeff Walker

    Quote Originally Posted by Calocedrus View Post
    ...”but most of the crowd was young college students just wanting to mate with each other - they weren’t paying attention to the music, drinking heavily, and really noisy.”
    Man, I miss those days of wanting to mate, drinking heavily and being rowdy and noisy!!! I think all those performers like JJF, Wille, Commander Cody, Asleep at the Wheel, etc., were usually as messed up as the audience when they performed. My best buddy somehow got backstage at the intermission of an Asleep at the Wheel concert in the 70’s at The Lawrence Opera House (now called Liberty Hall) in Lawrence, Kansas and got high with several of the band members. That venue was rowdy, rockin’ and noisy that night!

    When I saw JJF in July of ‘78 at the 4th o’ July Willie Nelson Picnic at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Jerry was so messed up he could barely find the microphone when he came on stage. Somehow managed to put on a good performance, though...at least what I can recall :-) The Grateful Dead were the opening act which pretty much set the tone for the day!!!

    And, Calocedrus, Navajo Rug is a great tune. I remember on TV when Jerry Jeff & the Gonzo Survivors played it.

    Party on, Jerry, wherever you are.
    Last edited by MikeEdgerton; Oct-26-2020 at 1:21pm. Reason: Fixed quote syntax

  30. #20
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: RIP Jerry Jeff Walker

    Fun fact: according to the Wikipedia bio, Walker came from Oneonta NY, south of Utica. Not too many cowboy hats worn there, IMHO.
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  31. #21
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: RIP Jerry Jeff Walker

    Navaho Rug was an Ian Tyson tune by the way.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  33. #22
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: RIP Jerry Jeff Walker

    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post
    Fun fact: according to the Wikipedia bio, Walker came from Oneonta NY, south of Utica. Not too many cowboy hats worn there, IMHO.
    Like Ramblin' Jack Elliott, JJW played cowboy and sort of became one ... He considered himself a gypsy songster, I think. He really brought a down-home-country authenticity to his performances. When he does Mississipi You're On My Mind (written by Guy Clark, I think), you'd swear he was singing about his home. That's another JJW favorite of mine. I've got a bunch of them.

    Just so happens that a buddy here in the RV park lit a fire and had a little gathering Saturday night ... gave me an opportunity to drag out the guitar and play some JJW for the folks. I hadn't played out much since COVID and it was a blast remembering JJW through music that night.

    Another kind of weird coincidence - On Friday during my daily practice, I began playing That Old Beat Up Guitar on mandolin and trying to change the lyrics to reflect a mandolin - the next day, saw the news that he was gone. He was a big influence on my own playing. I often included Little Bird, Redneck Mother, Mr. Bojangles, Mississippi You're On My Mind, That Old Beat Up Guitar, London Homesick Blues, Jaded Lover and other tunes from his records in my repertoire.

    Someone wrote above that he led people to believe that he wrote all the songs that he was known for, but I never got that impression. My impression was that JJW had a great comeraderie with Nunn, Clark, Hubbard and others whose songs he masterfully performed. He wrote some kickass songs of his own.
    Last edited by Mark Gunter; Oct-26-2020 at 2:01pm. Reason: stream of concoiusness, I guess.
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  35. #23
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: RIP Jerry Jeff Walker

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2oDLK3ExTm8



    "What in the world can a poor boy do? Let his old Rambler roll ..."

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  37. #24
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: RIP Jerry Jeff Walker

    I do feel like Hank Williams tonight.

    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  39. #25
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    Default Re: RIP Jerry Jeff Walker

    Quote Originally Posted by Calocedrus View Post
    ... most of the crowd was young college students just wanting to mate with each other - they weren’t paying attention to the music, drinking heavily, and really noisy. We were disgusted. As a result, JJW, rightfully so, just dialed in his performance. We were disappointed, but understood ...
    See the third verse of Hairy Ass Hillbillys
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