I was a drifter, a loner, and that’s just how I liked it. All I needed for a friend was a full pack of smokes, my precious guitar my daddy have given me and the cold hard road, and today... well, today I was going anywhere the wind led me.
I stuck out my thumb and held on to my crudely painted sign. 'Will play for a lift' it read - I couldn't count the times people had stopped, thinking the sign said 'pay for a lift' and then sped off again. Hell, I wasn't that bad, could string a note or two together, something that wouldn't hurt the ears. I was no pro, but I was a trier, and isn't that what counts?
The California sun beat down on my head, beads of sweat snaked their way down my spine making my shirt looked like I'd just been swimming, cars zoomed past. No one seemed to want to stop for a long haired drifter with a wet shirt and a bashed up old Gibson, but I had faith, I had to have.
I had traveled a long way and had gotten into a lot of cars, and a lot of cars meant a lot of conversations. A couple of nuns in an Cadillac convertible picked me up just outside of New York City and got me all the way to Vegas, and boy those girls could talk, about everything and anyone. Hell, I'm not a religious guy, but if I was I'd still be hail-marying now. And from the size and weight of their bags, I'm not sure those 'nuns' were completely on the level. Those slots were going to take a pounding with the church's collection, and that church roof? Well, that'd be waiting a while before it's water tight again.
Then I got two newlyweds in a Desoto. Those guys were free with their happiness and their cash, jeeze, I ate and drank well on that journey, steak dinners, two bottles of French champagne, and I can live with that. But then things got heavy. Turned out that they'd only known each other 2 weeks and it wasn’t too far outside Sin City before the honeymoon was over. Next I got a suicidal banker. I didn't ask why, I didn't want to know why, I just didn't stay in that car long. And then there was this old dude in a Ford pick-up looked like he'd seen a thing or two in his life, told me stories about his pappy and the gold rush. In an hour and a half we had only driven 25 miles, but he made me smile and that doesn't come for free.
He asked where I was going, and I replied "Any way the wind blows". He smiled, I knew he'd like that.
"That was the first band, you know Jimmy Carl Black, I believe Ray Collins and Billy Mundi, Roy Estrada, Bunk Gardner and Ian Underwood I think was in the band by that time actually no, Ian wasn’t in the band at that time I don’t think."
"One of my own songs? One of my favourite songs is called ‘Inner Blues’ that was on a trio album I did. [The Don Preston Trio 2001 – Transformation]"
You can find out more about Don and his fascinating career at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Preston