Groove Me

by wjw on February 24, 2020

Getting a jump on Mardi Gras, it’s Etta James, Dr. John, and the ever-dapper Allen Toussaint on “Groove Me.”

All passed now, alas.

I was surprised to see Dr. John on guitar. The legend has it that he started as a guitar player, but had to switch to piano after some of his fingers were sliced up in a knife fight.

I guess he healed.

The guitar is a Les Paul Deluxe with minihums.  (Whatever those are.)

pixlaw February 27, 2020 at 4:43 pm

I read Dr. John’s autobiography a few years ago, and it was reasonably entertaining. The story he told was that he intervened in a situation where a club owner was pistol-whipping his lead singer (circa ’60 or ’61, I think). The Doc grabbed the pistol in the fight and got his index finger nearly blown off. His finger was re-attached but couldn’t handle guitar playing for a long time.

wjw February 27, 2020 at 6:13 pm

Ah! Good for Mac, though it’s a pity he had to pay for his own noble impulses.

pixlaw February 28, 2020 at 5:30 pm

The story gets even deeper in the weird. Here’s what Mac R. said in an interview from 15 or 20 years ago:

“I walked in to get Ronnie at the last minute because Ronnie was like Leonard James, he’d take forever to get himself all perfect. So I go to get him and the guy’s pistol-whipping him. Miss Mildred, Ronnie’s mama, said if anything happened to her son on the road she was going to take a butcher knife and chop my cajones off. So I’m thinking, ‘Man, if anything happens to this guy, his mama’s going to fuck me up.’ And hey, she was much more frightening to me than this guy was. I thought I had my hand over the handle of the gun, but it was over the barrel. I’m beating his hand on the bricks and as I’m hitting it, all of a sudden the gun went off and my finger’s just about to fall off of my hand. It was hanging by a piece of skin and then I went crazy. I took Paul Staehle’s ride cymbal out the case and just fucked up the guy’s face. I was trying to pull his eyeballs out his head.”

So in other words, it wasn’t nobility, he was scared of being gelded by his friend’s mother, so that’s why he intervened.

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