If you’ve never “googled” anyone, you should try it, as long as you do it responsibly. (ex-girlfriends not recommended…) I have had the most amazing night of it myself….
Back when I was but a wee lad, just about 19 or so, I went to Washington, DC to live and work and do an internship. The internship was a complete bust, a total waste of time, but some good did come of the trip. I stumbled into a music store near DuPont circle and met a young hellraiser, also from Georgia, that was needing a drummer that NIGHT for a gig. As luck would have it, I was free.
We went and played a blues gig up at Gee’s 4400 Club in Prince George’s County, a rough south-Maryland neighborhood just outside of DC proper. As I recall, there was one other white person in the bar, and she was this salty old bartender that could have passed for a retired sailor- she had the squint and the foul mouth, and she was 70-something (Or 60-something with hard living factored in) if she was a day, and I think she was about five feet tall standing on a milk crate.
The guy’s name was Rico Woltz- he was from the wrong side of the tracks in Lenox County, Georgia- he had done a short hitch in the army, bumped out in the Nation’s Capital, and lived hand to mouth in DC until his apartment burned and he was out on the street with nothing. In 1988, homelessness wasn’t a problem in DC, it was THE problem- it was an epidemic and the shelters were full. (They were horribly dangerous, too.) Rico lived on the streets for longer than he cared to talk about- he played blues guitar on street corners for spare change until one magic night he found the sweet corner where a bunch of yuppies where stuck waiting to get into a club. He played for them and made enough money to buy a room for a couple of days, a clean shirt and pair of pants and a razor. He went out and got a job the next day. I met him not too long after that.
We played together for the entire time that I was in DC. I was so, so green. I was from a hard rock/punk rock background, but I think I managed ok. (Trendsetter that I am, I made the jump from punk rock to playing blues while Jon Spencer was still in prep school spending his trust fund on greasy little bags of hash.)
I threw Rico’s name into google the other night, and I found him. We’ve exchanged a couple of emails. He mentioned that he played with John Lee Hooker for a while. Very cool…..
He also mentioned that he was maybe headed to France to do some playing this summer. Asked me if I wanted to come. I gave it a little thought, then tried to think of an approriate bass player…. threw another name into google, a guy that I grew up with that was playing with Bo Diddley the last time I heard from him, and *bang*, there he was. I just sent his band an email. I wonder if I’ll hear back from him.
This is too much fun. I’ll let you nice folks know how things come out.