Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsJoe Ely

It's a Dangerous Stretch

November 11, 1994|JIM WASHBURN

One advantage of being "Lord of the Highway" is that Joe Ely's road stories tend to be richer than others'. Here are two from the veteran Texas country rocker:

"I was onstage playing in some old bar in West Texas once, and I guess I was the first person to notice this: It was real dark in the club, but it was the middle of the afternoon, and this door opened and I saw the silhouette of this guy in the door with a shotgun and I watched his hand cock it--pump it one time--and come inside the club. And I just kind of backed straight backward, dropped my guitar, dove over my amplifier and hid there.

"And all the rest of the band looked at me like, 'What in the hell is he doin'?' They didn't notice this guy. Then one by one they saw him walking around the club with this gun looking for somebody, so the bass player jumped over. So pretty soon it was just the drummer left, looking all around like, 'Why is everybody hiding and how long is this drum solo going to be?' and he never even saw the guy. The rest of us were literally hiding behind our amps. I guess the guy didn't see who he was looking for and left.

"Then once we were playing in Clovis and we had a little open-air trailer behind the van and we were coming back home about 4 in the morning totally beat. And the drummer had lit a cigarette, smoked it and then thrown it out the window.

"I woke up later in the back seat, noticing there was kind of an orange glow on the inside of the van, and looked back to see the cigarette had gone into our equipment trailer, and the whole trailer was like this blazing fireball three feet behind the van.

"We pulled over and, all our stuff, we just watched every single bit of it burn to a crisp there on the side of the road by the middle of a cotton field."

This is the life Ely loves.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|