HISTORY / COMMENTARY: At the New Kove, which was 'The Embers' for a long time, Steve Lander (owner of Kegler's Kove and Bama Lanes) allowed me to design a sound system that was near perfect for us and the room. He bought a beautiful Yamaha Grand Piano and the P.A. system was a dream for us in the band. This is why these reel-to-reel tapes are such good quality and that is why this music turned out so clear and balanced. I have thought that, if these were the times of patrons and castles, that Steve would have been one of those that would support musicians as part of that which is valuable.

The other reason they are so good is because of the players. David Jackson is the ideal studio guitarist, so to have him in a live situation where he could have the effects modules of his choice and to hear the music from where he was standing so well, the situation was one of freedom. He has some of the best and most varied guitar sounds I've ever heard. There are some songs where he sounds like three players at once and on different songs he would have a different guitar sound identity in relation to whose original song it might be. I listen over and over to 'Europa' (Santana) just to hear David play with as much feeling as I've ever heard on guitar. I have a 'philosophy' for just about everything and concerning performances I believe that people come to hear live music with a subconscious need to physically hear evidence of something that is not physical; heart, feeling, soul. I think music is one of the most honest material ways to exhibit something that is unseen and spiritual that is inside all of us. Everybody loves music and this is why and I think David is very good at showing this 'heart' that we all need so much to see. This gift, along with his technical skill is overpowering to me, in the best way possible. David Jackson is beyond talented, he has been given a gift from the Creator that he is not afraid to show and share. This is some of my favorite music because of David's playing - and then to have Jimbo singing and playing bass and Tommy Beavers on drums is like an extraordinarily great dream for me. I am very thankful for having had the experience to play with these guys. Beavers' drums are so clear on this stuff that the other drummers that have admired his playing for years are flipping out when they hear this. Me too. I have always considered Tommy to be good enough to play with any artist on earth and to have been with him in so many groups, to hear the things he plays, and then to listen again today, with this quality recording, and hear stuff I missed when it was happening live - is a tremendous joy.

PERSONAL: So, here's where I have to explain my keyboard playing and 'The Curse of Rickey Parsons'. I have never felt like much of a player and I think I know now that Rickey Parsons (a.k.a. Jabbo Stokes) is why. Rickey was the piano player in the first rock band I was ever in ('THE SWEET 'NOTHINS') and we also played together in some other groups. Even if he wasn't in a current group, he would come to hear my bands play when he could and he always 'sat in'. When he did, I hated it, because, although it sounded great, I felt about 2 inches tall when I played again. Rickey was always what I thought was the best, so I always compared myself to him when I played and I never have been as good as he is. Rickey is the funkiest player I ever heard, like Stevie Wonder or jazz players or black R & B players, and he knows more chords and where to put them than I can even register in my brain. I hope he didn't sense the jealousy I had toward him but when he came into the place I was playing it always bummed me out because I knew I was about to be 'showed up' and my out-sized ego just couldn't take it. Rickey lives on the Gulf Coast now and is still playing his ass off. I always have admired his talent. At some point in my playing career I gave up trying to be like Rickey and focused more on what I was able to play best and the acoustic piano was where I landed. I do okay on other keyboards, too, as long as I keep it simple and don't try to play like Rickey. Mike Turner (Flog) plays that style too and they both have been my keyboard idols for as long as I have heard them, but I just can't do it like them so I finally gave up trying and wound up with with an easier way of playing for myself. When I stopped doing drugs and drinking my thinking process cleared up some and I was finally able to play a lead solo on 'Europa' and 'Wooden Ships' that I enjoyed listening to. Maybe, at age 53, I am maturing - but maybe not.

Rickey has called me after reading this web page 'for an hour' and he was encouraging to me. He is making some changes that will keep the rest of us from having to go to his funeral soon, I'm thankful. He told some stories to me that had blipped out of my brain and I asked him to write something down that I could include here, I hope he will. Rickey is Gold and Platinum to me, especially now.



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