In 2003 I received a call from Famous Dave´s, the major blues venue in Minneapolis. Blues singer EC Scott was touring out of San Francisco. Her bass player had just jumped ship. She needed someone for tonight! I called her. She was en route to the show. EC ¨I have charts for everything! Can you read?¨ ¨Yes!¨. ¨Do you have a tuxedo? ¨¨Yes!¨ . I did not trust the chart thing so I drove over to the local record store and bought her two most recent CD´s for $30. I spent a couple of hours writing cheat sheets for about 20 of the originals on the disc and then went to the venue and set up. The band showed up with a Mike Tyson wannabe tour manager. ¨You´re not rehearsing here. I´m taking your food orders and we´re going back to the hotel to eat and rehearse¨.Me¨I will take my meal home so please have the waiter leave my meal in the band room refrigerator¨. We go to the hotel to rehearse in the room with no amps or drums. We have half an hour to rehearse a two hour show, half of which is originals!
The MD is a Japanese guitarist. He asks me ¨Do you pray bruse?¨ ¨Yes, I play blues¨.
MD ¨I don´t know how you´re going to get through this!¨ me ¨She told me you have charts¨MD ¨Yes . She thinks we have charts but we only have horn charts!¨ I pull out my notebook and explain that I bought the CD´s and made some cheat sheets. We try a couple of songs and the band is very relieved! The MD assures me that he will get me reimbursed for the CD´s. The guys barely have time to eat and wannabe Tyson comes and hustles us back to the club. ¨We´re late! You go straight on stage!¨He hands me a bag dripping with BBQ sauce. Here´s your food! Now get up there!¨ I have BBQ sauce all over my hands, on my tux , on my shirt. ¨I have to go wash this off!¨ ¨No time! Get on stage now¨. I got on stage and walked straight off the other side to the men´s room and cleaned up then went back and assumed the position. I don´t think he even noticed! The first set was intense as we got trough the originals thanks to my cheat sheets and good cues from the MD. The second set was all blues standards and we relaxed and tore it up. The sound man told me he no one would ever guess that I was subbing ta short notice.
The MD had put in a request to EC for me to get reimbursed for the CD purchase. Tyson wannabe told me that wasn´t going to happen. I loaded my car and went to leave the venue parking lot. $22 for parking. I stormed back into the venue where a group of Famous Dave´s suits were socializing and interrupted their conversation. ” I bailed you out at short notice. You´re paying me $100 for 12 hours work. I showed them the receipts for the CD´s and said and now you want $22 for parking? That leaves me with $48 for helping you out.” There was stunned silence then ¨Give him the money¨.
As I was pulling out or the parking lot EC´s van pulled up along side me. EC ¨You did a great job tonight! Are you busy on Friday? Can you play with us in Des Moines?¨. ¨Sure ! Give me a call¨. I could see why the bassist had left the tour!
I saw EC Scott the next time she played in Minneapolis. She greeted me warmly with a big hug. A sweet and warm lady who couldn´t have been nicer!