Open letter to Jimbo: isn’t it time, baby?


When I met Jimbo, in 1995, he and I had considerable less grey in our beards

Ask Jimbo if he wants to play a free show Sunday August 4 in Palo Alto, downtown at Lytton Plaza*.
Afternoon, daylight.
It would be a makeup to a cancelled date/ no show from first West Coast Tour, September, 1995 (rock and roll never forgets).

I have an extra $XXX in it for them.
Promotion for Earthwise Productions of Palo Alto, 25th anniversary tour series.

(The orginal show was Labor Day after a big hit at Cafe DuNord — the story is that post-show SF, the band went to a late night meal at “Grub Stake” or “Grub Steak” and had some bad clams or something, waking the next day, too food poisoned — Jimbo — to fulfill the date; a couple years later myself and four musicians stayed with Jimbo and Kathleen Whalen at her family’s farm in Efland, NC and we cut an album in his studio. This history pre-dates their history with any agency — it was booked direct thru friends at Mammoth — Mammoth art department Lane and Chris did my posters for a few years back in the day. Yadda yadda yadda, but if it routes we should go for it)

(I also have a small history with Rosebud, likey pre-dating your merger; I bought some shows from Mike Leahy back in the day and started pinging him again).

Or, down the road.

(Otherwise there is a good show, that I would take in, at Stern Grove with James and Psych Furs — but I’d forgo that to work with this date — or try the Monday, like happy hour????)

Mark Weiss
dba Earthwise Productions
(650) XXX-XXXX

actually I think Eriz Selz Red Ryder booked either Jimbo and SNZ during the time, 2002, that we hired him to produce Chris Cotton pka Blue Eyed Devils –I think Chris [SOMETHING TOO PERSONAL OF GOSSIP AND INDUSTRY INSIDE BASEBALL, EVEN FOR PLASTIC ALTO] which reminds me of the Steven Bruton lyric “falling seems like flying, for a while” but I digress. Erik may have PM’d Jimbo during that era.

The only other makeup date I have on my books –in 25 years and maybe 300 shows here — is Blind Boys of Alabama which, similarly, was contracted via Rosebud and Chris Goldsmith to do a promotional free show here, at Mitchell Park bowl, but then Chris yanked the date so that BBOA could go do 10 dates with Tom Petty, despite the intervention of my homey and rabbi Danny Scher who tried to convince Chris to keep all the dates by flying back and forth — he pulled out an old-school book of flight schedules and pleaded my case, to no avail. I was afraid, given the advanced age of the members, to press the case although ironically the band played on, sounding great, with replacement members and now Charles Driebe is a strong relationship of mine, so maybe that will happen some day. And ironically or kismet, the replacement date that fell out of the trees when BBOA left in a lurch was Henry Butler, who I later managed succeeding Charles Driebe. Dig?

*and even more gratuitous info: Lytton Plaza is Emerson and University, downtown Palo Alto; I’ve produced roughly 10 shows there including Magnolia Sisters the year or month they were on their way to the Grammies. It is like our People’s Park in that there is tug of war between the people and the landlords over what the purpose of the site is — it was also the scene of some 1970s protests/riots, well before my time. I’m sitting in with some kids there tonight. It’s hip.

Anyhow, I am happy for Jimbo Mathus and Squirrel Nut Zippers that they are back on the road. I was just discussing this, or him, with Bob Margolin, the former Muddy Waters sideman, and Jimmy Vivino, a monster, and that Jimbo also was in Buddy Guy’s band for a while – -I saw them at Fox Redwood City at a show produced for Montalvo by Bruce Labadie.

In case you dear reader or the agent I sent this to don’t believe my tale here is a clip from the Palo Alto Weekly that mentions the gig, the same holiday weekend as our first of two Cake gigs.

My other fond/funky memory of hanging in the 919 Jimbo-style is his driver who had an eye-patch and had a side-gig brewing if that’s the word peach moonshine, and we liked him but started secretly praying that the van would stay on the country road. Jimbo in those days was like Tom Sawyer and the guys loved hanging with him. Kathleeen cooked. Everyone stayed in an old school bus fitted with bunks — the band; PM type stayed in a motel in Raleigh and then took in a show of outsider art with Ginger Young –literally took in or took home. And somewhere in there we hung with the guy who carved the critters atop Crooks Corner and maybe had the world’s best shrimp and grits and I think also took in a Carolina Courage game, seated next to Mac of Merge — which is why “chapel hill” has it’s own category here.

Anyhoo, keep your ears tuned to whiff of a SNZ show someday in Palo Alto and maybe even in the next 30 days. Lord willing and the creek flows like wine.

I used to get a lot of ink in Palo Alto Weekly from Jim Harrington, Robyn Israel and Monica Hayde.

About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player; he also sang in local choir, and fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32
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