Free Music Friday – December 9, 2011: The Black Keys and a Tribute to a Friend!

Posted on by bigchief on December 8th, 2011 | 0 Comments »

Knoxville music fans, this has been a bad year. First, we lost a TITAN of the Knoxville music scene when knoxmusictoday.com favorite Phil Pollard passed away at the end of October. And last week, we experienced a tragic personal loss when a best friend and Knoxville music fanatic, Jason Higginbotham, passed away in Huntsville, AL. Jason was so enthusiastic about this site and was the first person to comment when we went online. In fact, his quotes are all over our Fan Quotes page and his clever work contributed so much to our Worthless page that we have dedicated the page to him. Jason was a true Knoxville music fan. This site is as much of a product of Jason’s love of music as it is of anyone else, myself included. In fact, this site probably wouldn’t exist if not for Jason. When he lived in town, he knew every band and almost every person in every band. Typically, he would have had a few beverages (or enjoyed some other type of festive carousing) with them. He was truly the inspiration for knoxmusictoday.com. So this week, we will enjoy some of the music that our friend Jason loved, offer up a few stories and enjoy memories of a man who loved our Free Music Fridays perhaps more than anyone. And for those who have no idea what we are talking about, do not fret. It’s great music. And it’s free. Two of the things that Jason loved the most! And that’s all that matters, people. Hopefully you will agree, you didn’t have to know Jason to enjoy this week’s commentary. It’s all about the entertainment!

So here we go with a Jason Higginbotham Free Music Friday.
This one’s for you, Jack!

Two Knoxville Icons we will miss dearly
Jason Higginbotham (left) and Phil Pollard (right)

 

Gold On The Ceiling by The Black Keys – Even though this album was just released on Tuesday, The Black Keys represent exactly what Jason loved most about music. Bring your guitar, bring your drums, and DO IT! And nobody does it like that better than the Black Keys. If you don’t have a copy of the new Keys’ album El Camino yet, what are you waiting for? Go DO IT! NOW! And speaking of doing it, in the past year or so, Jason took a proclivity towards PhotoShop. Here are a few examples of his ‘art’ for the website –

 

 

 

And this week I have a several ‘Jason Stories’ to share. Here is one –

‘Jason and the Taxi Ride’

There were times – likely many more than even I knew about – when Jason was … let’s just say ‘in-between residences’. Sometimes by choice, many times not. I believe this story is actually from before I met Jason, but he told it many times. One particular evening after a nasty break-up with one of his ‘women’, Jason decided that he would sleep in his truck and then head to work in the morning. He was parked in an empty parking lot in midtown Knoxville, so he figured he was safe. The way he looked at it, as long as he had his truck, he had a home. So he was enjoying a peaceful night’s sleep when he was rudely woken by a woman banging her fist on the driver’s side window.  She was screaming, “YOU’VE GOT TO GET ME OUT OF HERE! PLEASE GET ME OUT OF HERE!” Above all else, Jason was a gentleman, so he motioned for her to get into the truck. When she got in, she started talking jibberish about an ex-husband and that she was in trouble and needed to get out of the situation. It was well after 4 am and there was absolutely no one around. Jason sensed that her story was fishy. So Jason asked her where she needed to go. ‘Anywhere but here’, she said. By then, Jason was convinced that the woman was crazy, so he said, ‘I can’t just take you anywhere for nothin’. It’s gonna cost ya.’ She said, ‘How much?’. Jason replied, ‘How much you got?’ ‘Twenty bucks,’ she said. Jason accepted, ‘That’ll work.’ So the woman said, ‘Fine. Now just get me out of here.’ Jason then proceeded to start the truck, pull out of the parking lot, and then drive directly across the street into another empty parking lot and parked the truck. ‘There you go, now gimme my twenty bucks!’, Jason blurted. The woman, sensing that she may have gotten herself into an even worse position than she was in before, and that this guy may be even crazier than she was, reached into her purse, got out twenty bucks and threw it at him. Then she jumped out of the truck and started running. Jason would howl with laughter every time he told that story. He’d ask me, ‘Did I ever tell you about the time I got paid twenty bucks to cross the steet?’ Yes, sir, many times … but tell it again.

** Now if you aren’t familiar with the term ‘midtown Knoxville’, you are likely not alone. It is a geographical term that Jason and I made up that refers to the section of our Scruffy City between Western Plaza and Morrell Road (essentially Bearden) that proved to be a fertile ground for many ‘events’ over the years. Midtown was convenient because it’s where I live, so not much driving was involved for me, and well … Jason was often living out of his truck, so he was good from that standpoint too!

 

Jason at Brewers Jam -
One for you, one for me!
(Photo by Gary Heatherly)

Back Door Man by Howlin’ Wolf – Let’s start with the obvious, at least to me. I believe Jason may have really been an 80-year old black man in a 30-something year old pasty white boy’s body. He loved him some Howlin’ Wolf. He also loved having the advantage of leaving places, perhaps on an occasion without paying ‘full price’. So this song seems appropriate on many fronts. Here is an example of a typical communication from Jason -

[[ pre-claimer:  this is your weekly allotment of late night jibberish .  please take it like the man]]

its been a good run bowen… but I must retreat to Huntsville again.  but first …

1.  i like it when they call me “big poppa”

2.  you will be throwing me a going away party at various downtown drinkeries on friday.  thank you in advance.

3.  do i even need to say it … NO F*CKING PICKLE JUICE!.  my god man, thats mostly white vinegar.  youre not supposed to drink that.\

3.A.  did anyone see me spitting pickle juice out of my nose last friday??  for the love of puerto ricans …

3.2.  also, i may have skipped out the back door, undetected.  its what i do.

3.3.  really, its worth it for the entertainment.  im a showman…

Yes, indeed, my friend. Yes, indeed.

 

Jason and the delightful Courtney B. at the Roo

Little Jane by Christabel and the Jons – Mr. Higginbotham and I agreed about many things. Sports, politics, religion (and relative lack thereof, unless it was some form of nonsensical zealotry, which we both enjoyed immensely), the construction industry, music, and food and beverages were among the many topics we generally agreed upon. Typically, taste in women was not. Here is a typical Jason communication about one of his ‘women’ -

also, my new girlfriend has turned into a pumpkin.  something about calling all the time and seeing each other.  more like an inTRUsion. im very busy you know.  i plan on letting her down easy tonite, somewhere in the downtown area.  let me know if youll be out.  peece!

And another (the wrench refers to the rather large piece of hardware he carried into a particular midtown Knoxville bar one summer evening, under the influence of God knows what … the Puerto Rican was obviously a recurring theme) -

im screaming ‘SHHHAAAAAWKK“  right now.  awesome.  i know what wrench of which you speak.  i do not however, remember the circumstances surrounding said wrench.

i talked myself out of seeing the puerto rican tonight.  itll be friday.  she even started some bullsh*t about eating in public.  wtf.  she may be polish-lithuanian, its hard to tell.

** The post-script to that story is that I was able to distract Jason long enough for the bartender to grab the wrench undetected and hold it for me.  It’s still in my garage.

Jason and the lovely Baxter girls

And here is one of my communications to Jason, about a Bonnaroo and a woman (notice there is a slight difference in grammar and diction) –

First of all, you really didn’t miss much at the Roo this year.  Except for plenty of sweating.  I got dehydrated setting up camp on Thursday and lost almost 10 pounds over the course of the weekend.  You would have been miserable.

Secondly, you are a damn idiot for not getting all over that lovely (**name omitted, but I’m sure she knows who she is**) girl.  You really need to get past whatever hangups you have and just dive into the deep end, my friend.  Based on your past selections, I would say that your natural instinct … is usually wrong.

Ahhh, the stunning Christabel and her Jons

One woman that we both agreed upon, without a doubt, was Christa DeCicco. We have both loved her and her music since she first stepped onto a stage in Knoxville. Both of us would follow Christabel and the Jons to any show they played and sit in the back like Statler and Waldorf from the Muppets. Laughing and making comments about everyone at the show.  I believe this song is the one that Jason would shout out as a request at every show. Maybe not shout as much as plead, in a very loud voice, clapping his hands under his chin. It’s what he did. I remember in particular a show at the now-closed Corner Lounge (a location which we fondly termed the ‘Launching Pad’, as it served as the gathering point for numerous fun-filled downtown evenings), when Jason danced to this song like only a pasty white boy from Alabama could. Of course, he called this song ‘Little Bird’, but I believe Christa and the band knew what he was talking about. He may not have always been sure of the facts, but he overcame that each and every time with a distinct BRAVADO and plenty of enthusiasm.

And here is one of Jason’s favorite videos of maybe the only other woman we both agreed upon, Stevie Nicks

 

Just for funsies, here are a few Statler and Waldorf quotes that we could have said at any particular show I went to with Jason. My conversations with Jason often ended up to be a constant barrage of one-liners, or punch lines with or without the set-up. Enjoy!

STATLER: Well, that was different.
WALDORF: Yep. Lousy…
BOTH: …but different!

WALDORF: They aren’t half bad.
STATLER: Nope, they’re ALL bad!

STATLER: I wonder if there really is life on another planet.
WALDORF: Why do you care? You don’t have a life on this one!

WALDORF: What’s all the commotion about?
STATLER: Waldorf, the bunny ran away!
WALDORF: Well, you know what that makes him -
BOTH: Smarter than us!

STATLER: (after putting on his 3-D glasses) Hey, hey look! Look at the guy in the Goofy mask! …that’s not a mask. Oh; sorry lady!

STATLER: Wake up you old fool. You slept through the show.
WALDORF: Who’s a fool? You watched it.

STATLER: Boo!
WALDORF: Boooo!
S: That was the worst thing I’ve ever heard!
W: It was terrible!
S: Horrendous!
W: Well it wasn’t that bad.
S: Oh, yeah?
W: Well, there were parts of it I liked!
S: Well, I liked a lot of it.
W: Yeah, it was GOOD actually.
S: It was great!
W: It was wonderful!
S: Yeah, bravo!
W: More!
S: More!
W: More!
S: More!

 

The best of both worlds – Stevie Nicks and Thomas Earl Petty

Mary Jane’s Last Dance by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – OK, so this was a relatively easy pick. But maybe not for the obvious reasons. And of course, there is a story -

‘Jason and Radiohead’

The headliners at Bonnaroo in 2006 were Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and Radiohead. If you knew Jason, you knew he LOVED Tom Petty and HATED Radiohead. So on Saturday night, during the middle of the Radiohead show, when we were in a huge group of about 30 to 40 Knoxville people, friends of ours who had made the trip to the Roo, Jason got an idea. This was, as usual, not a good thing. Radiohead was in the middle of one of their slower, ballad-type anthems and everyone was swaying with their lighters in the air and singing every word. Jason turned to me and said, “Wait for it … wait for it …”, to which my usual response was, “Oh, sh*t …” And with a blood-curdling yell, at the top of his lungs, in the middle of the Radiohead show, Jason let loose with, “Tommmmmmmmmmm Pettttttttttttttttty!!!” I immediately grabbed a (nasty, by Saturday) handful of his classic gray western shirt with the pearl snaps and said, “Let’s go, now!” as we exited stage left.  I told him the lesson for that day: if you are going to get you’re a$$ kicked, don’t let it be by your friends!

 

Pool Shark, ca. 1989

Live Free by Son Volt – A particular quirk of Jason, one that only a few people knew, was his proclivity to wear many layers. At any given time of day, at any time of the year, he could possibly be wearing three or four shirts, and likely spandex tights. Yep, youbetcha. And not just plain spandex tights … but bright Kermit GREEN spandex tights. It was just one of his quirks. He once told me that I was really missing out by not wearing tights. I disagreed. He disagreed with my disagreement and bought me a pair in black to spite me. Just plain nutty, that Mr. Higginbotham. Here is another favorite story –

‘Jason and the Medical Tent’

Many of the stories I’ve included here were from our trip to Bonnaroo in 2006. Maybe because Jason ran completely wide open for four days straight and was in truly RARE FORM that weekend. Perhaps due to the combination of beer, great live music, illegal substances, and plenty of barely-clothed attractive women. Talk about the Perfect Storm. Taking Jason to Bonnaroo was a bit like giving a pound and a half of pure sugar to a 4 year old and then dropping him in the middle of the F.A.O. Schwarz Toy Store the week before Christmas without parental supervision. Fun times. That weekend, you could have put Jason in a straight jacket and in less than five minutes he would have been free of it, with a beer in his hand (likely purchased by a total stranger), laughing, and catcalling to the nearest attractive female, asking her why she wasn’t naked … and if she wanted to be! So here we go –

It was late night the first night of the festival and we were at a small tent seeing some local Knoxville area bands. Jason was feeling good and he turned to me and said, “I’m going to get a beer.” Fine, I figured, there was a beer stand about 15 feet away and we had just purchased one there. Naturally, Jason headed in the opposite direction. I yelled, “Jay! … Jay! …”, but by then it was obvious he was on a mission. An hour and a half later, he shows up standing next to me.

Me: What’s up?

Jason: Dude, I got kinda lost.

Me: Going to the beer stand right there (pointing to the stand). You got lost.

Jason: Yeah.

Me: And?

Jason: I ended up in the Medical Tent.

Me: What?

Jason: Yeah, I found the Medical Tent and there was a bunch of people there, so I went in.

Me: And?

Jason: (shrugs) I laid down for a bit.  Nice people.

Me: You laid down?

Jason: Yeah, well, everybody else was doing it.

Me: ….

Jason: There were some pretty f*cked up people in there.

Me: You mean, more f*cked up than you?

Jason: Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more f*cked up than me.

Me: Wow.

Jason: Yeah. Hey, you wanna beer? Get me one while you’re at it!!  (and laughter)

 

Jason relaxes in the Midtown Rambler

You Are the Ocean and I’m Good At Drowning by Phantogram – OK, folks. We’ve hit the halftime portion of our Free Music Friday show this week. Feel free to get up and stretch, and maybe get yourself a beverage. OK, good, now back to the music … and stories. I’m fairly certain Jason never heard this song. But I know he knew about the band Phantogram from my hometown, Greenwich, NY, so when I saw the title of this song, You Are the Ocean and I’m Good At Drowning, I knew it had to be included. The other option was the Phantogram song Running From the Cops, also very appropriate, but I think this is the better choice, at least musically.

So maybe now is a good time for my favorite Jason story of all-time. Many people have heard this one, so you are free to skip ahead if you like. Keep in mind, after telling this one for the past 5 years, I think I have perfected it.  So here we go –

‘Jason and the Ferris Wheel’

At Bonnaroo in 2006, we had agreed to meet at the campsite on Saturday evening at 6 pm to have margaritas before heading to see Phil Pollard and His Band of Humans. 6:00 rolls by, then 6:30. No Jason. At about 6:45, I hear a yell, a Jason yell, from about a quarter of a mile away. The yell continues non-stop from that point until he arrives at the campsite. Jason.  Whooooooooo-hoooooooooooo!! Probably as loud as anyone had ever yelled at Bonnaroo until then … and since.

Me: (Laughing) What in the HELL are you doing, jacka$$?

Jason: Dude! (he’s bent over, gasping for air)  I just got KICKED OFF the ferris wheel!

Me: What?

Jason: He kicked me OFF of it!

Me: Why?

Jason: I have NO idea!

Me: Why?

Jason: Really, I have NO IDEA.

Me: Really?

Jason: Yes, rrrrrrrreally.

Me: OK, so why don’t you start from the beginning.

Jason: OK, so I’m on the way back and I see the ferris wheel and I think, yeah, that’s a good idea. So I get in line. There’s this guy in front of me smoking and he turns around and says, ‘Hey, you wanna hit of this?’ So I say, ‘Is it illegal?’ and he says, ‘Yeah’, so I say, ‘HELL YEAH, I’ll try it!’ Damn. I took one pull off of it and I couldn’t f*cking see straight. I mean, that sh*t was craaaaaazy. So I said to the guy, ‘What in the HELL was that?’ And he says, ‘Opium, dude!

Me: Oh, sh*t.

Jason: Oh, sh*t is RIGHT! As in RIGHT ON, Jack! So I got on the ferris wheel after doing the opium … you know I was drunker than a f*cking GOAT to begin with … and as we are going up the wheel … I may have shouted.

Me: You MAY have shouted?

Jason: I may have shouted.

Me: And what MAY you have shouted?

Jason: I may have stood up and shouted, (he bows his head and launches both hands in the air with the rock and roll horns fingers) ‘ROCK AND ROLLLLLLLLLLL!!!’

Me: Oh, sh*t. Loudly, I assume.

Jason: Yes, very loudly. (shrugs) You know me …

Me: And thus, my friend, I think we know the answer of WHY you got kicked off the ferris wheel.  And you know what?

Jason: What?

Me: You’re probably the only person in the HISTORY OF BONNAROO to get kicked off of the ferris wheel!!

Jason:  HELL YEAH!!

Me: And, you know what … You know what we need to do?

Jason: What?

Me: I think this calls for something special … and something really, really stupid!

With that, I proceeded to bust out a roll of duct tape.  Upon which I wrote, ‘I’m Phil Pollard, Bitch!’ And taped it to Jason’s back.  And that’s the way we entered the Phil Pollard and His Band of Humans show at Bonnaroo in 2006.

 

Ball and Chain by Social Distortion – Back in the early days of the Preservation Pub –  Jason’s home more than his home – there was a jukebox. This … was like an open invitation to Jason. He would thrill about playing a particular Social Distortion album, in its entirety, on that jukebox. If you didn’t like it, it really didn’t matter. He’d say, “These people may not want it, but these people NEEEEEED it!” Wait, I think that was some of my money in there …

Some knew Jason as ‘Chuck’, as in Chuck Norris … for obvious reasons

Things weren’t always fun and games with Jason though. There was another side to the story. His penchant for booze and illegal substances, in particular, led to random bizarre behaviors that resulted in numerous troubles with strangers, friends, and the law. This was especially true in the past few years. Here is a description of an incident in May of this year that I didn’t even know about until this week –

Driving on a suspended license from out of state, possessing narcotics which you are not prescribed, should probably serve as motivation to maintain a low profile.

But that wasn’t the case Monday in Kingsport, as an Alabama man was arrested after allegedly maneuvering the front of his car against a retaining wall at a business, then holding down the accelerator and “roasting his tires” until one burst.

“We thought he was in trouble or on fire,” said Express Oil Change and Service Center employee Andy Anderson. “But the guy was just being retarded.”

Kingsport police report the incident occurred at the business, 3855 Fort Henry Drive, at approximately 6 p.m. An officer in the area was alerted to the bizarre scenario by the staff of the service center.

According to Anderson, a woman walking by came inside a few minutes prior, relaying a car in the back parking lot was on fire. Employees went outside to check it out, toting a fire extinguisher.

“This guy has his car up against the retaining wall, just roasting his right front tire,” Anderson recalled on Tuesday. “I said, ‘Sir, is there something we can help you with?’ He just said, ‘No.’”

[And the article concluded with this …]

The police report contains no information on or motivation for Higginbotham’s allegedly erratic actions.

Allegedly? Fine reporting work up there in Kingsport …

 

Ben Nichols of Lucero

Nights Like These and Tears Don’t Matter Much by Lucero – The Memphis band Lucero was one of Jason’s favorites. Every Lucero show in Knoxville was a must see. And any show that thrilled Jason was also a must see … and not necessarily just to see the band -

you dammn right white boy!!!   WOOOOO!!

im way too excited about this.

Lucero tonight at the taproom.  i’m going right after the UT game to get stamped (no tickets) so i dont have to wait in line.  like the f#kkin man!

And here is a typical Jason communication to me and our friend, Mike Collins, or known better as simply ‘Collins’, or in this case DUDE -

DUDES!  I have put each of you two b@stards down as job references.  It is a sh*tty ordeal, but necessary.  And they will be calling you soon.

DETAILS:
-  ** (name of company omitted for the sake of their image, and potential legal action!) **
-  yes, sh*tty, part-time bullshit.  but i may be ‘phased out’ at any time.  i need contingency.
-  DO NOT laugh.
-  please be nice,

PREMISE:
-  You both are previous clients of my “Consulting” company
-  you are VERY SATISFIED with the work I provided.
-  you would definitely use my services again when needed.

ALSO:
-  I am the best thing to happen to Estimating Consulting Services since sliced bread
-  ‘Things are Tough All Over”  -  1982 Cheech & Chong movie
-  I am not proud
-  Lets Drink Sooon

Luckily, I never got a call. I honestly have no idea what I would have said even if I did…

 

The Drive-By Truckers ‘Classic’ Lineup
(l. to r.) Mike Cooley, Brad Morgan, Shonna Tucker, Jason Isbell, Patterson Hood

Hell No, I Ain’t Happy and Never Gonna Change by Drive-By Truckers – Oftentimes, Jason introduced me to new people, places and things. Oftentimes, they were people, places and things I never really wanted to meet. Luckily, I managed to stay away from the really dangerous ones. Unfortunately, those were usually the ones that thrilled Jason the most. I remember the first time we officially met – although I had seen him everywhere in town because, in Knoxville at least, he was THAT GUY. We were at Union Jack’s and we discussed the fact that I worked for an architecture firm and he was with a general contractor. Then the conversation went like this -

Jason: What in the hell are you drinking?

Me: Harp.

Jason: No, no, boy … you need a DARK beer. [he turns to the bartender and slams his fist on the bar] BARKEEP! Get this man a Newcastle, then a Guinness. And then get me one of each, and put it on HIS tab!

And that … was the beginning of a long friendship.

‘Jason and Toby Keith’

One thing that I did introduce to Jason was the Drive-By Truckers. And they quickly became His Band. The band was from Alabama too, so it was only natural. D – B – T. We went to a show in Nashville at the Mercy Lounge to see the Truckers with our good friend, the Prince of Nashville, PaulB L. Nashville and the Drive-By Truckers were entirely not ready for the Three Horsemen of the Idiot Apocalypse that night. I had given a CD to Jason with a live Truckers show in which DBT guitarist Mike Cooley had made some off-color remarks about country singer Toby Keith. Jason figured – Nashville, home of country music – let’s take this to another level. Naturally. So we proceeded to go to Paul’s office and print up a sign that said, ‘F*ck Toby Keith and his Goat-^&*$ing Mama’. Jason hid it under his classic gray western shirt with the pearl snaps until the perfect time in the show. He worked his way directly in front of Cooley and ripped open his shirt, took out the sign and held it up. Cooley looked at him, dropped his cigarette, laughed, turned to the rest of the band, and pointed at Jason. It may have been one of Jason’s proudest moments ever.

** And yes, you may have noticed that many of these stories feature Jason wearing ‘the classic gray western shirt with the pearl snaps’. And that’s what he’s wearing in about half of the photos here. As our friend the lovely Courtney B. correctly pointed out to me, Jason wore that same shirt every day we were at Bonnaroo in ’06. From Thursday through Sunday. Daytime, nighttime, morning. Every day. And as we were leaving on Sunday, I noticed he did in fact bring clean clothes with him. He just never bothered to change. Never Gonna Change. How appropriate.

And this is a video of Jason’s favorite song, DBT of course, with his colorful description –

so i’m looking forward to the DBT on letterman, and its postponed slightly because of the SEC tournament coverage.  and then they DONT SHOW THE DBT.  pre-empted!  by the peoples court…

well… i’m not one to be denied.   i give you.. the best recording i could find.. of the badest-assest song.  ever!  at the 40-watt in athens, and with isbell.

 

Jason and Bernadette West
at Jason’s apartment, a.k.a. the Preservation Pub

Baby Mama by Whiskey Scars – Jason wasn’t much about formalities. Now invitations, yes. Usually they came in a form such as this -

i have confirmation, from a trusted source, that there will be Dirty Smokers [as in Knoxville band JC and the Dirty Smokers] in the downtown environs tomorrow evening.  thats Friday, but you probably already know that.  in case this message fails to find you during your architect ‘winter hours’, i will text you in the evening.  prepare yourself .. for a sh*tkicking good time…

Or sometimes, in ordered lists -

1.  its two-dollar tuesday in the downtown environs

2.  Grandpa’s Stash is at the prez
2. a.  hippie chicks will abound
2. b.  remember that girl that smelled good?…

3.  I got a new job.  and its spacTACular

Sometimes the invitation came after one outing and before another, such as this –

dammit bowen.  why you talk me into acting a fool.   i remember … jager …

i may have lost track of myself at the end of the other evening.  its a tendency.  i feel i may have gotten a little loose.   f*ckem.  they can p*ss up a rope.

collins is in town through the first.  lets bring the magic.. ..

Back in time, sometime around 2004 or 2005, I remember getting a phone call, “Dude, you have GOT to get you’re a$$ down here, RIGHT NOW. I’m tellin’ ya. You NEED to see this band.” Often, that’s how it all started. The beginning of the end, as they say. In this particular case, Jason was talking about the late, great Knoxville band the Whiskey Scars playing at our favorite destination, Preservation Pub. The band featured a veritable all-star who’s who of Knoxville music – Kat Brock, Matt Urmy, Jonathan Sexton, Jamie Cook and Tom Pryor. This song pretty much says it all about Jason and is a fitting Free Music Friday Anthem for this week.

The Whiskey Scars

Well baby got up, and he sat on the front porch
Didn’t give a damn he was supposed to work
He said, ‘OH HELL NO!! I think I’ll just get drunk’

Right about that time Baby’s Mama came by
Carryin’ a bottle of wine at her side
And he said, ‘Oh Mama, Mama, you just read my mind’

And Mama said,
‘Sometimes ya gotta go crazy to get by
Sometimes ya gotta f*ck up to find out who your friends are’


** Disclaimer **

In the narrative here, I have presented a side of my friend Jason that I saw. Not everyone was that lucky. As many people do, Jason had a dark side. And Jason’s dark side was much darker than most. Some people only saw the rude, belligerent and obnoxious by-product of Jason’s struggles and I’m sorry about that. For you and for him. During the last few years, when his behavior was especially erratic, random and dangerous, and when Jason was absent from Knoxville on his wanderings through South Carolina, Colorado, Dallas, Texas and who else knows where, many people would ask me, “How’s your friend Jason (or How’s That Guy)? Is he still alive?” It was always the same pair of questions, regardless of who asked it, and phrased exactly the same way. Every time. Usually I’d answer, ‘Wherever he is, I’m sure he’s probably laughing and drinking somebody else’s beer.’ Unfortunately, now I’m going to have to change my answer … but maybe only just a little bit.

 

Sometimes you don’t choose your friends,
sometimes your friends choose you.

 

Jason Higginbotham …
is merely headed to the next beer stand!
(Thank God he isn’t driving)

 

Everybody Needs Love

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