Thursday, December 20, 2007

Tonight, After 21 Years, I Passed the Audition

Tonight, After 21 Years, I Passed the Audition

tonight i was with the surviving members of the band "the woods" (see my earlier blog about david enloe's passing).

we were rehearsing what is basically a christmas night "concert for george" version of "the concert for david". i am playing with them and some supporting friends (ron from the hanks on guitar and his brother david, former ruin and current tres chica sideman on another guitar) on david's song "sand" (from their '86 debut and only record).

i worked really hard for days to master the guitar intro, a solo and the lead vocal (turns out dave and ron had those covered, though i sneaked in one open G lick or two at the end). i stepped up to the mic, tuned to that blues tuning of open G, plugged into the guitar and it went like magic. it felt the way it should have felt 21 years ago (and probably didn't). it was like riding a wave i'd waited on for two decades.

in late '86 the woods held auditions for a fourth member. they'd always been a trio. i auditioned, felt ok about it, but i didn't get it. i'm probably 5 times the guitarist now i was then. i've put far more work into it in recent years. i was probably more of a star struck fan at the audition. of course, the audition in '86 introduced me to another guy who'd auditioned, ron. he and i formed the hanks the very next year. he was there playing with me tonight. it was such a natural gathering of some special friends.

tonight when i finished the song, terry anderson looked up over his drums and said about the same time as ron, "you passed the audition, 21 years late!" we all had a
good laugh, but right now i can say that was one of my best musical moments, there in that rehearsal room.

terry added "david was the one vote against you!" (regarding the audition in '86). we all found that quite funny, and we all laughed hard. of course, the joke is that david can't be here to verify if terry's lying or not ;)

if anyone's around, it's christmas night at the pourhouse in raleigh. terry and
david shared birthdays, december 25, 1956. doors at 9pm. the tribute's around 10pm.

several of david's old friends will take a turn at the mic or on guitar to help celebrate his music and life. it'll be a night to remember. some laughter and some tears without a doubt.

thank you david enloe. you brought us together then. and tonight, though you weren't there in body, you *were* there. i think we were all looking around at each other and realized it about the same time.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

another great guitarist gone - RIP David Enloe

i've written several emails in the last few weeks to old friends, new friends, people i hardly knew concerning my guitar hero david enloe. he was one of the two tremendous guitarists in the fabulous knobs (the other being keith taylor) and later of the woods, marti jones and don dixon's mid 80's touring band and with winston-salem's the carneys in the late 80s. it's hard to think of david without his lifelong musical pals terry anderson and jack cornell (most notably known collectively as "the woods").

it's no exaggeration that i saw 90% of all their eastern and central north carolina gigs from their inception in 1985 or so (after dan baird left the woodpeckers to reform the georgia satellites) until their breakup in 1993.

most of the correspondence involved phrases like "my guitar hero" as i wrote above, but also ones such as "jokester", "friend", "influence", "template for rock and roll cool". he was all these things. he was the middle enloe brother, steve being the eldest and my close ncsu college friend mark as the youngest. it was through mark that i met david in the fall of 1980. the fabulous knobs were the hottest act around then and over time, i got to know david through mark. i can't describe how honored i was that david even knew my name then. he was that much of a musical giant to me. i was just learning guitar that fall and i studied his fingers and stage presence probably more than i cracked my college books then. he put into motion, just by being himself, that talented man, so many friendships and musical careers. i could chart it out here if i had a chalk board and a way to draw it.

he died today, november 27, 2007 from complications due to advanced liver disease in raleigh at wake medical center. i visited him two weeks ago with close friends herbie saint (the hanks), bo hemphill and becky tilley mullen. he was extremely tired and looked exactly as ill as terry anderson and keith taylor had decribed in emails and blogs. so awful to see him suffer like that. but those guys and brother mark, jack cornell and others were so good to him up to the very end. we should all be so lucky to have friends like that in our time of need. david's mom passed away this spring and i know the blow is unimaginable to steve and mark. i can only send my prayers and offers of comfort, but it's going to take some time for them to process this. i know i could not think of work at all today. my thoughts were often sad, though i did have several musical memories come to mind. i'll post more when i can revisit this later in the week.

until then, here's the news story of his passing by the news and observer's david menconi (he kindly called me for some quotes, but i was so adrift it was hard getting anything coherent for him to use, but he did a good job).

also his soul brother terry anderson's blog.

and former roadie (and my old ragdads bandmate) bob davis' blog.

bless you david. shine on old friend. you've been in my heart for a long time and will surely be there now that you're on to a better place.

edit: 11.30.07 - david's burial is tomorrow in robbins, nc. i have a gig later that night in durham. definitely gonna play his song "sand" and maybe even "cat out of the bag" if i can show it to the guys. i've also put together a memorial page for him. go hear the mp3s of his terrific and timeless songs.