Jesse Ed Davis: Washita Love Child

Native American guitar prodigy JESSE ED DAVIS was sidesman for legends such as John Lennon, Gene Clark, Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, and released a trio of solo albums in the early ‘70s. THOMAS PATTERSON hears personal memories of a man who died young but burned brightly from Mike Johnson, producer of new compilation Red Dirt Boogie: The Atco Recordings 1970-1972


I was a big fan of Jesse, because I’m a Beatles’ freak. I had a lot of the bootlegs, going back into the early ‘70s. I had the Walls and Bridges session that he was very prominent on.

Being in LA, I read in the LA Weekly that Yoko Ono was doing an art show. This was in 1985, and I thought, “I’m going to crash it and see if I can get in.” I was waiting in line at the gallery, and I noticed Jesse was in line a few people back. I invited him up to where I was standing, two from the door. I said, “I’m a big fan, I know your work.” I ran his discography by him. He was very interesting, he wanted to talk. When the door opened, we went in and mingled, and Jesse saw Yoko, and took me with him, and introduced me. “Mike Johnson, this is Yoko Ono.” And I thought, “Holy cow, I’ve arrived!”

We spoke for a few minutes then Jesse took Yoko off to the side. I don’t know what they talked about but it looked very serious and then she left. Was he there to ask her for money, was he there to ask for a favour, as he there just out affection? I never knew and I never asked. But while we were in line, we exchanged phone numbers. A few days went by and he actually called me. I was at work, and he asked if I were ever around, could I give him a lift? And I said, “Sure, I can take you wherever you need to go.” And that’s where it started.

I was always really honoured when Jesse would call and ask for a favour like that. It was just really cool having that audience with him, one on one in my car as we’re driving some place. Many times I didn’t ask him why we were going somewhere, it was kind of weird. Of course, this was way back before Uber. But by picking him up and driving him places, I could ask him questions.

He lived on Sawtelle in Palms. Often, I’d be in his apartment and he’d show me things – he had tapes, he had photographs. I was seeing Polarioids and photographs that weren’t in an album but were in a shoebox. And he this old TV tray, and underneath this tray was the box of photos. He’d loan me cassettes, things like Taj Mahal live at The Fillmore. He was a giving sort, it was tit for tat. And sometimes he’d come and hang in my condo in Redondo, and he’d sit on the sofa and play the blues.

One day I showed up at his, and he said “Did I ever show you this?” It was The Rolling Stones Rock And Roll Circus. It was a rough cut, years before it came out andhe said Bill Wyman had given it to him. And I sat and watched it in his apartment. I thought, “What a wonderful in into this world.” And all I had to do was occasionally loan him twenty dollars and drive him someplace. Read more Jesse Ed Davis: Washita Love Child

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Shindig! Broadcast #39

Jon ‘Mojo’ Mills and Thomas Patterson just get on with playing what they want, manning the mother ship Soho into uncharted territories… or something like that


Tracklist

George Tipton ‘One’

M. J. Parker ‘Can I Find A Way’

America ‘Rainy Day’

The Byrds ‘Gunga Din’

Bondoogle & Balderdash ‘Never Got To Know Him’

General Johnson ‘ Saginaw County Line’

David ‘Please Mr. Policeman’

Orange Bicycle ‘Last Cloud Home’

Humble Pie ‘As Safe As Yesterday Is’

Andy Robinson ‘Absolutely The End’

Honeybus ‘She Sold Blackpool Rock’

Jesse Ed Davis ‘Washita Love Child’

Jim Sullivan ’Tom Cat’

Link Wray ‘Fire & Brimstone’

49th Blue Streak ‘Foxy Lady’

The Thomas Group ‘Capricorn Colours’

Travis Pike’s Tea Party ‘If I Didn’t Love You Girl’

Lowell George & The Factory ’Sleep Tight’

Kaleidoscope ‘Pulsating Dream’

Shiva’s Headband ‘Ebeneezer’

The Paupers ‘Copper Penny’

Gary Wright & Wonderwheel ‘Lovetaker’

SRC ‘Midnight Fever’

The Grateful Dead ‘In The Pines’

The Grateful Dead ’Shakedown Street’

The Peels ’Time Marches On’

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Is vaping in music part of the new counterculture?

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Do you smoke dear Shindigger? Have you tried vaping? This month’s cover star Paul Weller prefers fags… but many are now trying the safer new way. Let us know your thoughts


Since the birth of rock and roll, through the glory days of punk and into more modern music has always been central to Western counterculture.

Just as music has played a central role in counterculture over the years, so too has smoking. Long seen as something rebellious and edgy, smoking has always appealed to people who want to be seen as hip or unconventional. Whilst the appeal of counterculture isn’t going anywhere, the role that smoking plays in that counterculture is rapidly diminishing. The unstoppable rise of vaping has seen it take over from smoking, as the new cool and alternative thing to get into.

Read more Is vaping in music part of the new counterculture?

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El Goodo ‘Sit And Wonder’

An exclusive video premiere for ‘I Sit And Wonder’ from EL GOODO’s forthcoming, and eagerly awaited, album By Order Of The Moose


The band say: “The track ‘I Sit And Wonder’ was an attempt to do something like Zager & Evans’ ‘In The Year 2525’, but it didn’t turn out like that. The lyrics were based on war films like Come And See, Ivan’s Childhood and Red Daw.”

*** during the EFL Sky Bet Championship match between Cardiff City and Brentford at the Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff, Wales on 8 April 2017. Photo by Andrew Lewis.
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