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The Gods Converge on the Cotton Bowl (2004-06-08 - 9:13 a.m.)

Ok. Rachel has posted her reaction to the weekend's activities. So now it's my turn.

I've already given you the lowdown on Saturday. So here goes for Sunday. I'll give a little more detail.

We arrived late, of course, because, you Yes, I'm dedicated, but I also get paid to be there, since I'm the worship leader. Otherwise, I must confess I would have been there bright and early so I could hear Neal Schon play. Sadly, we missed Neal Schon, Steve Vai, Sonny Landreth, Larry Carlton, AND Pat Metheny.

We arrived in the middle of John McLaughlin's set. I remember McLaughlin from his Mahawhatever Orchestra back in the 70's. He's fast. But, I'm sorry...he was extremely boring. He only had bongos and drums backing him, and he played the same chord progression for about 20 minutes. Yeah, he did some lightning fast licks, but there's more to music than just being fast. And music, he made not much of.'s that for Yoda-talk?

Next up was the Robert Cray Band. Yowza! They played both of the songs of his that I remembered. He was fine! Really fine! Nice, tasteful blues licks and good singing, as well.

Jimmie Vaughan and his band came next. He looked kind of sleazy. I realize that was pretty much the effect he was after. But Rachel said he looked like Squiggy. Oh, c'mon! Whadya mean, "Who's Squiggy?" Anyway, they were ok. He plays well, but they weren't real exciting.

Hubert Sumlin with guest vocalist David Johansen was next. Ok. I just googled Johansen. I thought he sounded familiar. He was the front man for the New York Dolls. Never mind, you're too young to remember them. Anyway, Sumlin used to play in Howlin' Wolf's band. Just found out that he only has one lung, due to cancer. But he is currently cancer-free. He was pretty good. Johansen looked like Mick Jagger. Johansen danced like Jagger. But Johansen sang like Louis Armstrong. Wow.

Booker T and the MGs were up next. All instrumental, but really good music. And they played that song. You know. That song. It's the only one that ever gets played on the radio anymore. It's called "Green Onions." I never even knew the name until a minute ago.

Booker T backed Bo Diddley, next. Oh man! Bo Diddley!! What a legend. He doesn't really have much stuff anymore, but oh, man! Just to see the man sit up there and play! With his square guitar! You know, he gave the old red one to Billy Gibbons. Don't even ask me who Billy Gibbons is. I might have to kill you.

Next, Booker T backed David Hidalgo. He plays with Los Lobos. He was okay. Not that memorable, though. Especially since I went for food and drinks then. Not beer. Everyone around me drank my share of the beer. And Rachel's share. And about a kabillion other people's share, too.

Joe Walsh was next. What a trip! The man is crazy. He was great! He started out with "Walk Away," the old James Gang song. Then he started another song and worked it into "Funk 49," another old James Gang song. Somewhere in there, he played "Rocky Mountain Way," one of his solo works. This is what he said before playing that song: "If I had known when I wrote this song that I would have to play it every day for the rest of my life, I'da written a different song. But you're stuck with it. Go ahead and sing along, you know the words better than I do." Hahaha....And they did, too.

Next up was Vince Gill. Ok, now. What was he doing there? I'm sorry Lindsey. I just wasn't that impressed. I will admit that he had one heck of a dobro player, though. But I just didn't like him that much. I knew who he was, though. He stole Amy Grant from Gary Chapman. Heheh...

Next was James Taylor. He's a great guitar player and songwriter. However, he wasn't loud enough. He was very difficult to hear. And he didn't even play "Fire and Rain" OR "You've Got a Friend!" Aargh! He did play "Goin' To Carolina in My Mind," and "Steamroller," during which he was joined by Joe Walsh. That was fun.

Next up was the King. No, silly, not Elvis! B.B. King. He was backed by Jimmy Vaughan and....Oh, yeah. I forgot. For some reason, they stuck this Indian dude in there to play one song on his guitar/sitar concoction that he made himself. What was his name? Oh, yeah. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt. Sounds like a bodily function noise. So did his guitar. I'm sorry if I'm being insensitive and politically incorrect, but it was pure crap and had no business being in this show. So there. Now, back to B. B. King.

He was backed by Jimmie Vaughan and his band. Rachel was right. B.B. is kinda cute. He has great facial expressions and can still play those blues at age 78. However, he is not very convincing when he tries to tell us he has the blues. He looks way to happy and content. He was having such a great time. Then, when he was almost finished with his set, Mr. Clapton, himself came out on stage and sat down next to him and they jammed together (along with Jimmie who sat on the other side). At one point, King stopped and said that he was sitting next to two of the greatest rock guitar players. He pointed to Clapton and said, "There's number one." People, I thought Eric Clapton was going to fall out of his chair. He started shaking his head with his mouth just kind of gaping. Can you even imagine being told by B.B. King that you are the best rock guitarist in the world?

Then after a few more minutes, Buddy Guy came out and joined them. He's another old black blues player who is also very fine! He jammed with the other three for a while. Now, at this point, folks, I really had tears in my eyes. I was truly overcome with emotion, because I knew that I was seeing something that will probably never happen again. Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Jimmie Vaughan, and Buddy Guy, all on the same stage, jamming on the blues together. And I was blessed to be there.

Well, whadya know? Here comes John Mayer, running out there with his Strat, looking like he just found a new toy. I mean, he looked positively giddy! He pulled up a chair next to Buddy Guy and proceeded to jam with them. Now, I told you last time how much he impressed me on Saturday night. Well, he continued to impress during this jam session. He was a bit intimidated (and who WOULDN'T be??), but he did really well.

After a little while longer, Clapton and King left the stage and Guy played one more song, letting Mayer stay and help him. Finally, John Mayer just layed his guitar down on the stage, gave a bow towards Guy and walked away. Shortly afterwards, Guy finished up and left, as well. This was absolutely the high point of the evening. Even B. B. King at one point said that "Today is the high point of B.B. King's career." I'm getting all choked up again.

But I'll get over it, because I have to talk about Santana now. One word can describe his set. BORING!! Ok. He's good. He's even great. I love his songs. I love his hits. The only problem? All of his hits have SINGERS!! Well, he didn't have any SINGERS Sunday. All he had was a bass player and two drummers and a keyboard player. They played several songs that all sounded alike. His lead licks were even alike. He did essentially the exact same thing for about 30 minutes. Then, like Rachel said, he made me mad. He thanked Clapton for doing this benefit, which, as I said was for the Crossroads Center in Antigua (found out Sunday morning that none of these performers took a dime for playing these shows...all for free!). Then he mentioned Clapton and Desmond Tutu in the same breath and said that "We are trying to heal the world. We are doing the opposite of Bush!" Aargh!! Just shut up! Why, oh, why do entertainers have to get political?? I suppose that if Bush had just left Hussein alone to mangle and torture and shred the Iraqi people that this would be HEALING THE WORLD???? What an IDIOT!! Just SHUT UP!

Ok. So that ended, thank God. Eric Clapton finally takes the stage for his own set. He's played several times already, but this was his turn. He was joined by Doyle Bramhall III (we finally figured out who he was because of the left-handed Strat that was strung upside down). Clapton played several Robert Johnson songs, as his newest cd is a tribute to Robert Johnson, believed by many to be the father of modern Rock and Roll. Then Clapton played "I Shot the Sheriff," followed by "Badge," and finally, "Layla." Wow! What a treat. I probably missed a few, but oh, well. If someone else was there, you can fill in any holes.

Jeff Beck finally got to play, but only played one song. That was disappointing, as it was really a nice tune. I don't know the name, but it was kind of slow and "tasty." I was really hoping for more.

Finally came "The ZZ Tops." Heheh...that's what their announcer calls them as he introduces them. Billy, Dusty and Frank, "That Li'l Ol' Band from Texas." Oh, my God. They are pushing 60 really hard, and they can still rock with the best of them. They are so cool. In fact, if you look up "cool" in Webster's you'll find a picture of Billy and Dusty standing side by side with their "Cheap Sunglasses," playing their white fuzzy guitars. They played "Gimme All Your Lovin," "Nationwide,""Sharp-Dressed Man,""Legs,""Tush," and "La-Grange." I wish you could have heard thousands of people sing, "I've been bad, I've been good, DALLAS, TEXAS!!!, Hollywood..." I think the "Dallas, Texas" line must have been heard in Fort Worth.

Well, sigh. It was all over at about 11:30 Sunday night. We weren't treated to the promised grand finale with Clapton, Beck and Top all together, which prompted a few rude souls to "boo." But, you know...we were tired. Our butts were sore. We had inhaled tons of second-hand smoke. Even a bit of pot smoke. I think it was just fine. Plus, storms were on the horizon. Or closer.

History was made Sunday afternoon. History which I'm certain will never be repeated. I'm thankful that I got to be a part of it. I'm even more thankful that my teenage daughter got to be a part of it. And I'm even more thankful that she actually appreciated it. A helluva lot more than most of the teenybopper girls who were just there for the good time. Rachel knows what she saw. Have I mentionted lately that I'm so proud of her I could bust?

The entry was long. Sorry. But how could I not write it?

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