SUNDAY, APRIL 3, 2005 TAJ MAHAL AT THE MCDONALD THEATER
DOWNTOWN EUGENE OREGON
I've known Taj quite a few years but only get to see him on occasion, last one being a few years back here at the McDonald when the place opened for music venues after it went kaplooey as a movie theater. I got to tak to him in the dressing room last night just before he went on. He was sitting, hunched over his guitar, noodling. I stood in front of him but he didn't look up. Then Andy Vertal, behind me, said, hey, Babbs, and Taj's head popped up and he yelled, B-B-B-B-BABBS!
He stood up and we did the hugshake and rapped about the book, Last Go Round, that Kesey and I first wrote as a screenplay with Kesey wanting Taj to play the part of George Fletcher, even stuck in a scene of Fletcher playing the dobro. "Hey, dig this," Taj said, and began singing: "You ride the broncos and you bite the dust, at the Pendleton rodeo-oh-oh, at the Pendleton, rodeo," and I picked up on it and joined in.
I had brought a hard back copy of the book with me and asked Taj if anyone had ever given him one and he said no he'd never seen it so I had the honor of presenting it to him.
I no sooner signed it than the manger yelled, it's time, and Taj took off for the stage.
He played nonstop for two hours, all the familia songs and new songs and songs from the islands and from Zanzibar, a great bass player and drummer with him, everybody was up out of their seats dancing, welcome back to Eugene, Taj Mahal
-- Capn skyp
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