Stories From The Road #16

STORIES FROM THE ROAD!A series of first-hand tales from a Texas Musician and songwriter...

This is part of a series of posts I’ve entitled, “Stories From the Road.” Each week I will post a new story from Rick Sikes, a Texas musician who traveled the roads of Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and out to California for well over twenty years. With hours to pass in a bus full of sweaty musicians, they found ways to entertain themselves. These stories are told in Rick Sikes’ words. I’ll do my best to correct grammar, but I want to keep them in his own voice.

RICK:

“As any road musician will tell you, you meet all kinds of strange people in your travels. There was one guy I hired in a pinch when I needed a drummer. I didn’t have any idea when I hired him just what a weirdo he was. But, he told us that he and another guy had gotten busted when they were younger for digging up corpses in the cemetery, opening the caskets, lighting candles, and reading poetry to dead people. He was only hired as a temporary fill-in, but he was damned sure more temporary than he realized when I found this out.

Anyway, me being me, I asked him, “How come you guys to do that?”

He said, “Oh, man, you can really relate to those people.”

I replied, “Oh yeah?”

He got all excited. “You know, there’s something special about that.”

I tried to keep the sarcasm out of my voice, but am sure I failed, when I said, “Yeah, I bet there is.”

He went on. “We never would have got busted if we hadn’t started digging them high bones.”

“What do you mean, high bones?” I asked.

“Oh, them rich people. As long as we were digging up poor people’s graves, nobody ever said anything about it, but we started digging up the rich people’s graves and that is when they got cops out there and started watching. That’s how they caught us.”

I said, “Okay, Okay, sure.”

This guy was obviously a little messed up in the head.

One time he was playing drums with another band and he had taken some fighting roosters in with him in a bowling bag. Then when the dance floor filled up, he opened the bag and threw out three roosters. Of course, the roosters were flapping their wings and squawking and people scrambled and hollered. The guy that owned the club came up on the bandstand and politely grabbed him by the nap of the neck out from behind the drums and threw him, not out a door, but through a wooden door out back. He then took his drums, kicked the heads out and threw them out on top of him with a warning. “Don’t ever let me see you again!”

When I fired this same guy, I handled it as delicately as I knew how. I told him I had to let him go because someone else I had promised the job to had shown up. I just wanted to break it off easy.

But, that night, he came out to the club where I was working.

He said, “I brought a pet rabbit for your girlfriend.”

The girl I was with at the time spoke up and said she didn’t want a rabbit and I told him no as well, but he wouldn’t accept that.

He said, “Well, you’ve gotta take it.”

I started to get mad then, so I said, “Man, I don’t want the damn rabbit and she don’t want the damn rabbit so the best thing you can do is take your rabbit and head on down the road.”

“Well, okay. You’re so mad at me you won’t even let me give you a gift?” He asked.

I got a little more firm and he finally left and took the bunny with him.

Another crazy stunt he pulled was in San Angelo. He went into a bar without his ID and he was pretty young back then. So, when he ordered a drink the bartender asked to see his ID. His response was, “Well, let me see your Bartender’s license.”

The bartender ran him out. He went home and came back with an old army trench coat on, an army hat, belt with a canteen and a holster that he had a 45 revolver stuck in. He walked through the door, pulled the 45 out and hollered, “This place is under Marshall Law. Don’t nobody move.”

He walked up to the bar and pointed the 45 at the bartender and said, “Now I want a drink.”

So, the bartender served him. He had a drink or two and when he left, he told everyone, “At ease, men,” saluted them, snapped his feet together and marched out the door.

The bartender turned him in and they locked him up for a few days for bringing a gun into a bar. When he got out, he put on a bikini bathing suit, a wig, lipstick, and makeup and rented a Ford tractor from the farm supply house. He drove around the parking lot at the bar holding a sign that said, “This place is unfair to women. This place is unfair to everyone.”

He pulled some more stuff and I don’t know whatever happened to him, but he had some screws loose. His tenure with me was very shortlived. But this is just an example of some of the characters I ran across over the many years I traveled the roads.”

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                                 Top Row L-R Tommy “Red” Jenkins, Rick Sikes, Clyde Graham                                                      Bottom Row L-R Mel Way, Bobby Sikes “Doc Dow

 

 

I hope you've enjoyed this segment of-STORIES FROM THE ROAD-from Texas SingerSongwriterRICK SIKES

27 thoughts on “Stories From The Road #16

  1. “You meet all kinds of strange people in your travels” has to be Rick’s understatement of a lifetime!
    Keep the stories coming, Jan. Rick is coming alive more than he did through Luke, and that is saying something. I loved all four books so much they hold up my TBR list every now and then. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow, Sarah! I am so happy I decided to follow my nudge and share these stories. And, I’m amazed that Rick had the foresight to write them down. Thank you for the uplifting words, my friend!

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  2. Wow…I am not sure werido completely covers this guy. Yikes I can’t imagine digging up graves for any reason. More great insights this week that I will be thinking about for a while:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, D.L. for stopping by. I agree the guy was looney tunes for sure. 🙂 And, I thought Rick’s way of handling him spoke volumes. Most often in life, he met any situation head-on, but he knew he had a situation here with this guy.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Jan- Happy New Year.
    Wow, what a character, I’m so glad Rick brikecit iff with him. He was definitely a fruitcake. I bet Rick encounter several looney’s out in the road. Glad the guy never trued to hurt Rick or his band members.
    Another great story please keep them coming.
    Love and hugs, hopefully we are getting close to thawing out. It sure has been frigid.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Tonya, it didn’t take Rick long to cut any ties to this guy. And, I think he knew he had to handle it delicately so he wouldn’t have to be constantly looking over his shoulder. Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. Hope you have a warmer day! Hugs!!

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  4. This is an amazing story, Jan. You are giving Rick a second life and offering us glimpses of the demands (and joys) of the entertainment life. I always look forward to your Stories From The Road. And, the photographs are priceless. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great story, Jan! I’m glad to see this series continuing in 2018. Loved the opening, “As any road musician will tell you, you meet all kinds of strange people in your travels.” I never had to travel for that to happen. Somehow I’m a magnet. But it gives me great material for characters! Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would imagine not and especially when he pointed the 45 at him and demanded the drink. But, imagine him coming back after he got out of jail on the tractor wearing a bikini, lipstick, and wig and protesting the place. 🙂 Classic.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Lol, Tina. I couldn’t agree more about the Lithium. 🙂 I have no idea. I have thought about possibly publishing it as a book, but don’t know. Thanks for mentioning it. 🙂 And thanks for stopping by ane leaving a comment.

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  7. As Mark Twain once said”Truth is stranger than fiction. There’s a lot of messed up people out there.Than again you meet some fascinating people. One fellow on his way to Tacoma , Washington told me he had sat on Loretta Lynn’s porch yesterday morning and had a beer with her husband Doolittle?

    Liked by 1 person

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