Hanging with Doc

Posted on October 4, 2016 by GuitarRodeo There have been 0 comments

Back in the sixties (Millennials can stop reading here....) my older brother told me there was an amazing guitar player coming to town, the town being Ann Arbor. The guitarist was blind and not to be missed. We went a half an hour early and were second in line. I got to sit directly in front of and four feet from Doc Watson. At the same height as his guitar. It was a life changing experience. I had all of his albums within a month of that concert. A year later my brother was the student coordinator for a weekend gig Doc and Merle were hired for at Michigan State University in East Lansing. I took the running dog up for the weekend and got to hang with, entertain, and enjoy the company of Doc, Merle, and Merle's cousin Jerry for three days. Obviously it was profound, as experiences for teenage boys can be when they have an inkling about what they are witnessing. I can report that Doc was a fully integrated person. He was exactly the same on stage and off. He was genuine, warm, and gracious. My favorite memory of that weekend, aside from Doc's presence, was Merle and Jerry's topic du jour.  They were discussing in broad terms the effectiveness of putting a moonshine still in a semi trailer so it could be moved around to avoid detection and brought closer to the customer too. Thinking outside the box was the lesson I took from it.

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