When I was in college, some of the locals had a bit of contempt for "college students". Music, being the blessing in my life it's always been, helped me connect to the local population and fit in a bit. Even though I was a student, the local musicians more or less welcomed me. They even taught me a few things, which was nice. Once, when my amp got stolen from a breaking and entering in my apartment, a local drummer, Timmy, helped me get it back for just a hundred bucks. The thief didn't know it was worth twenty times that amount in music circles. I didn't ask questions. I just wanted my amp back.
During my time at New Mexico Tech, I had the pleasure of playing with members of Mojo Hippies. Elaine, their bass player, died at a very young age. 36, I think. She was the funniest, and I think, warmest member of the group. She had an infectious laugh and an incredible sense of humor. Billy, featured on the far left played in a band called Subito we both were in together. Frank, second from right, filled in a few times when we needed him in Subito. But, Henry on the far right, and I never jammed together. He was their singer. At one time or another, I played with at least 3 members of the band. I got such a kick out of them.
When they played the 4th of July 2001 at New Mexico Tech, most people didn't know what to expect. Especially, when they opened up with War Pigs, by Black Sabbath. I thought it was one helluva opening song. In fact, they did an incredible job on every song. The people in college audience were surprised. I wasn't. As I said, I played with most of these folks at one time or another.
The Hippies weren't special because they were exceptionally talented musicians. They were special because they were wonderful, curly people who worked as one single (completely dysfunctional) team. Today, I look back and remember them fondly. Especially, Elaine, and I wonder how they managed to pull it all off.
Elaine had a wicked sense of humor and laughed from her belly. She had a gruff voice and wasn't afraid to speak with it. Her signature riff was a bass slide from the 12th fret. She used to laugh so hard when I would suggest band names like "Man Juice". She was up for anything. Elaine was the ultimate team player.
The Hippies always had that sort of "Blue Collar Chip" on their shoulder that I really liked. And for all of their inner turmoil, when the curtain dropped, they pulled it together. They were so much fun to watch.
To that end, there is this: music is a blessing. Everyone I've ever played with has held a special place in my heart. Today, I remember the Mojo Hippies fondly as just a bunch of local kids doing their best to have fun and make a little scratch at the same time. It was great to be in the mix with them.
By writing this, I want to thank them all for being part of my journey. It was a fun time for all.
Thanks for reading my blog.