A long time ago in a 1960s Galaxy far, far away there was a teen dance club between Seattle and Tacoma called the Spanish Castle Ballroom. Built in 1931, it was a caricature of an ancient Moorish fairytale storybook castle highlighted with neon lights. It was located an area known as “Midway” located just outside of city limits in unincorporated county land (now Sea-Tac) in order to escape the towns’ efforts to minimize nightlife.
In late ‘50s through the ‘60s the venue featured touring attractions from Roy Orbison to Johnny Rivers and the Beach Boys. Several local bands, the Wailers, the Sonics, the Kingsmen (“Louie Louie”) and the Amazing Aztecs (Merrilee Rush of “Angel of the Morning” fame on vocals and keyboards) also performed.
Pat O’Day, one of Seattle’s legendary DJs of the era tells a story of a skinny little kid that hung out there and offered to help out. In those days guitar amplifiers were small, too small to crank up and play at the volumes the bands played. To make matters worse they would plug two guitars into one amp. Consequently, the amps blew up and that would be the end of the music for the night.
According to O’Day, one night a skinny young kid came up to him and said, “I always have my amp in my car. It’s a big Gibson so if the amps ever blow you can use mine…as long as I can stand in back and play. Don’t worry, I know all the licks they do.”
O’Day, recalling the incident in a 2011 interview goes on the explain that 2 or 3 weeks later, sure enough Tiny Tony and Statics were playing. They blew their amps. So who came to the rescue? The skinny kid showed up and asked O’Day if the band needed his amp. The up and coming promoter said, “Yeah, go get it.” The band played on.
Years later Pat O’Day, by this point one of the owners if Concerts West, the largest concert company in the world at the time, was sitting in a dressing room with client superstar Jimi Hendrix. Jimi asked him, “Do you remember where we first met?”
Pat asked, “With the attorneys?”
“Do you remember the kid at the Spanish Castle that loaned you the amp when the band’s blew up?”
The kid was James Marshall Hendrix, a.k.a Jimi Hendrix, later the writer of “Spanish Castle Magic” from the album Axis Bold as Love.
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Co-founders Glenn Frey (Detroit, MI), guitarist, and drummer Don Henley (Gilmer, TX) were later joined, but not all simultaneously, by Bernie Leadon (Minneapolis, MN), Randy Meisner (Scottsbluff, NE), Don Felder (Gainesville, FL), Joe Walsh (Wichita, KS) and Timothy B. Schmit (Oakland, CA).
Early on Frey and musician friend J.D. Souther shared an upstairs portion of a duplex with Jackson Browne. Names and places that seemed chaotic at the time have culminated in what appears to be a carefully crafted novel years later. The Byrds, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Linda Ronstadt, Poco, Tom Petty, Joni Mitchell, and Crosby, Stills and Nash are among the names of fame. As with episode 16 starring Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Gainesville Florida seems to incubate rock stars at a remarkable per capita rate.
True success doesn’t just happen. You don’t find success. Just like every other natural process on earth, success is something you grow. You plant it, you nurture it and one day you reap the rewards of your work. The Success Grower shows you how. A must read.” -Ken Davis, International Speaker, Award Winning Comedian, Trainer of Communicators “Armed with a picturesque analogy woven beautifully throughout, Schinnerer adeptly ties truth and story together to create this “life manual.” Through parable, he reveals pivotal life elements everyone can benefit from in a poignant way so we can actually hear – and hopefully, heed. Easy to read from start to finish, this work will change lives for years to come.” – Sarah Beckman, Professional Speaker, Certified Communications Coach, Author
There were many legends that passed this year. Many musicians including Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, Al Jarreau, Mel Tillis, J. Geils and Walter Becker. There were others but I chose Tom Petty for the final episode of 2017. He was loved and respected by many and one of my personal musical influences.