Stories From the Road – #13

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:

“Back in the sixties, it wasn’t good enough just to be able to play great music. You had to look like a band and you had to have a little something different or extra that the next guy didn’t. So, we came up with different skits that we’d perform along with certain songs.  My brother, Bobby was always game for acting a fool.

We created this one skit for “Please Mister Custer.” I helped Bobby make a Yankee Calvary uniform he’d slip into that had a wooden block with three holes in it, in the seat of the britches. He wore horn-rimmed glasses and would be saying, “Please Mister Custer, I just don’t want to go. Those people are savages,” and so on until the end of the song. Then, while he was singing, I’d be slipping arrow shafts into the wood block so it looked like he was shot in the rear. At the end, he’d do a stumbling, falling act (Bobby was double-jointed and very agile.) He would fall off the stage and do a dying ritual out on the dance floor.  At the end, he’d lay completely still on the floor with these arrows sticking out of his butt. Then the band would play “Taps” while I pulled the arrows out.

One night we were doing this act and he fell off the stage, wiggling and squirming around like an inchworm with his butt in the air. I  go down, like normal, and start to pull the arrows out while the band plays “Taps.” This lady ran up from out of nowhere, knocked the hell out of me and said, “Get away from him, you son-of-a-bitch. You done hurt him enough already.”

That was one of the skits. We had another little gig we did that was a version of “Hello Walls #2,” that Ben Colder recorded (the old drunk). Bobby would act like he was throwing up. He’d take his hat off and pretend he was throwing up in his hat. One night he was doing that act and he deliberately fell off the edge of the stage and stumbled around on the dance floor until he fell down.

Some drunk lady came running up to him with a wet bar towel trying to wipe his face. She said, “Here, honey. Maybe this will help. I know just how you feel. I’ve been there myself.”

Bobby said, “Dammit lady, get away. Get away. You’re ruining my act.”

She didn’t give up. She said, “I’m gonna help you feel better. I know how it is. I’ve been drunk too.”

We never meant any harm doing these skits. We just wanted to entertain and do more than stand up there and plunk on guitars. It helped earn us a reputation and kept people coming back just to see what we were going to do next.

That was before laser shows and all the fancy electronics they have nowadays. We had to invent our own.”

I searched through tons of pictures looking for one of the “Please Mister Custer” act, and couldn’t find one. But, did find one of Bobby doing “Hello Walls #2.”

Bobby_Drunk_Act
Bobby Sikes doing “Hello Walls #2”

And I found another one of their popular skits where they dressed like Hippies and played rock ‘n roll.

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

 

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Magic – A Holiday Story #2

Cabin_Snow

MAGIC

JAN SIKES

Last week an old rancher, Frank Pyburn, found an insistent horse clomping on his porch. The horse seemed determined to take him to someone or something. Let’s join them.

“I hope you know where you’re going,” Frank let the reins fall loose in his hands. The horse came to a halt near the fence line.

Frank eased off the horse, gun cocked and scoured the ground. A small lump covered with a light layer of snow groaned and moved.

“Hey,” Frank knelt beside the small form. He brushed the snow away to find a young boy with a nasty bump on his head. “Can you hear me?”

A groan escaped the boy’s frozen lips.

Frank leaned his rifle against a fencepost and picked up the limp boy. He glanced at the horse. “I suppose this is your owner.”

The horse snorted.

“Well, it’s a good thing you came and got me. He wouldn’t have lasted long out here.” He found a blanket rolled up behind the saddle and wrapped it tight around the boy.

How on earth would he be able to get back on the horse holding the boy?

As if reading his mind, the horse kneeled in the snow.

“I’ll be damned. If you ain’t somethin’.”

Frank reached for his rifle and stuck it between the saddle and leather strap. Then holding the boy, he straddled the horse. As soon as he gained his balance, the horse stood and trotted back toward the ranch house.

When they reached the porch, he slid from the horse and retrieved his rifle. “I’ll be back to tend to you shortly,” he said.

The horse snuffed and tossed his head.

Frank lost no time getting the boy inside and laid him on a rug in front of the fireplace. After a closer look at the bump, it didn’t appear to be as bad as he’d first thought. The boy was lucky.

He grunted when he pushed himself up. “You’re gettin’ too old for this kind of stuff, old man,” he muttered, as he slipped out of his coat and gloves.

The boy suddenly sat up with wide terror-filled eyes and cried out.

Frank knelt beside him. “I’m not gonna hurt you, boy. I’m just tryin’ to help.”

The boy’s eyes shot around the room. “Where am I? Who are you?” Where’s Magic?”

“Whoa there, stud. One question at a time. I’m Frank Pyburn, and this is my ranch house. I’m guessin’ Magic’s your horse. That horse saved your life tonight. I brought you back here to keep you from freezing to death. What in tarnation are you doing out on a joy ride on a night like this?”

The boy’s bottom lip trembled, and he jutted his chin out. “Wasn’t no joy ride, mister.”

He rubbed his head and groaned.

“Well, whatever it was, you can tell me all about it later. Right now, we need to get you into some dry clothes.”

The boy tried to stand and wobbled. “I need to get going.”

“You’re not going anywhere kiddo. Settle down and let’s get this all figured out. You got a name?”

“Jasper.” The boy stuck out his hand. “Jasper Doolin.”

Frank shook the small hand. “Well, then, Jasper Doolin, do you have any dry clothes in your saddlebags?”

Jasper nodded. “Got any coffee, Mister Frank?”

Frank grinned. “I reckon I do at that. Sit here by the fire, and I’ll fetch it, then I’ll get your saddlebags.”

He returned to find the boy leaning against the threadbare sofa.

“Here you go.” He pressed the cup into his small hands. “I’ll be right back.”

As he shrugged back into his coat, a million questions swarmed around him. What on earth was a young boy doing out by himself on a night like this? Something told him the answer would be unsettling.

Rather than taking time to look through the saddlebags out in the cold, Frank draped them over his shoulder and darted back inside.

He found Jasper pulling off scuffed boots and wiggling his toes close to the fire. Frank guessed him to be around ten years of age and in better condition than he’d first thought.

“Here are your saddlebags, son. Why don’t you get into dry clothes while I tend to Magic?”

Jasper nodded and once more, Frank trudged back out into the cold.

Frank talked to the horse while he led him into the barn and took the saddle and blanket off his back. The horse snuffled and whinnied, almost as if could understand every word Frank uttered. In under half an hour, he had Magic settled with fresh water and hay comfortable in the shelter of the barn.

When he opened the door to the house, his nose twitched. He shut the door and hurried into the living room.

 

TO BE CONTINUED…….

Red-Haired_BoyFrank

 

I ran across this – Reflection

I ran across this nugget today.

Rick_Jan_Saloon

And it prompted these thoughts…

For everything that we did wrong…

For everything that we got right…

For all that we should have done…

For all that we did do…

For all the struggles…

For all the victories…

Through it all – We loved.

We dared to love with all our hearts

All our souls…

AND, we managed to have some fun along the way.

Funny how the holiday season brings nostalgia.

snow_rose_by_micsmitty-d4rirkl

Catch a ride on the Holiday Train! #RRBC

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The RRBC Holiday Train Book Trailer Block Party keeps right on rolling, but it’s making a pit stop here at my blog today!

Christmas_Train

All you have to do is follow the link to my brand new Book Trailer Video on YouTube, leave a comment, like and share to be entered in a giveaway!

YOUTUBE LINK

Prizes up for grabs:

$10.00 Amazon Gift Card

eBook version of DISCOVERY – Poetry and Art by Rick and Jan Sikes.

So, grab a cup of coffee and a Christmas cookie and take a look! coffee and gingerbread house

And don’t forget to follow the tour each day for great trailers and more chances to win fantastic prizes. Just click HERE to follow the tour!

Stories From the Road #12

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.

This week I’m going to switch gears again and talk about another Country Music Legend Rick had the pleasure of working with.

Rick:

“I had the good fortune to work with Red Foley in 1963. He had a great voice and stage presence that propelled him to stardom in the fifties. We got the tour through an agent I had in Waco. When I got the gig, my grandmother, who was a God-fearing woman, said, “I’m so proud you boys are going to work with a good Christian man. Maybe he will help y’all straighten up and do right.” Red had just finished up his last episode of the TV series, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” and flew in from California. I had never met him and didn’t know much about him other than admiring him on the Grand Ole Opry for many years, and of course, his records. I told the boys in the band, “Y’all don’t drink or cuss in front of him. Be on your best behavior. This is a good job, so let’s not blow it.”

That first night, his plane was late and he met us at Mission Stadium in San Antonio. He came rushing into the dressing room with his guitar and ran back out to get his suitcase out of the cab. We introduced ourselves to him and all shook hands. He asked the guitar player to tune him up with us and he showed us the songs which had difficult chords. Then, he opened his suitcase and pulled out a fifth of Vodka, unscrewed the cap and tossed it into the trash can. He took a long swig from the bottle (straight) and offered us a drink. We all declined, of course. He had just gotten his dentures and had to keep sucking them up, making a funny sound. But, when we went on stage, he was great and had the audience spell-bound. He always said a little prayer at the beginning and end of the shows. He’d also say, “My, isn’t this a lovely crowd we have boys?” We’d always say in unison, “Yes, Mr. Foley.” That tour was an eventful and exciting gig.

Pat Boone (Red’s son-in-law), had a big interest in the Hushpuppy Shoe Company at that time. Of course, all of us guys wore cowboy boots, but Red Foley wanted us to wear patent leather Hushpuppies that they were just beginning to market. He gave each of us a pair of bone white, maroon and black patent leather shoes, which he insisted we wear. So, that’s what we wore on stage. None of us had seen patent leather shoes before and they were really shiny. You could take a little bit of vaseline on a cloth and shine them up where they were glassy. People asked us many times how we got our shoes to shine so good. I’d tell them, “Well, when you work with Mr. Foley, you have to keep your shoes shined like this because he insists.”

So anyway, one night, one of the guys let the fire fall off his cigarette onto the top of one of his shoes. They were basically plastic and the fire sat on top until it burned through the shoe onto his toe. He did quite a little dance for us on the bandstand. Needless to say, he didn’t care much for the plastic shoes after that.

But, I got to meet a lot of the Grand Ole Opry stars on the tour with Red Foley. One show we did in Lufkin, Texas had Sonny James, Uncle Cyp Brasfield, Frankie Miller, Marsha Lynn and ourselves. The newspaper article advertising the show misspelled my name, putting Sykes instead of Sikes. But things like that happened often. I remember one time I had a show at Fort Sill Air Base in Lawton, Oklahoma and when we pulled up at the venue, the marquee said, “Appearing tonight, Red Skies.” So, having my name misspelled wasn’t unusual.”

Red_Foley1

Red_Foley2

Uncle_Cyp_Brasfield_Rick_Sikes
Uncle Cyp Brasfield and Rick Sikes

 

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

Magic – A Holiday Story #1

Cabin_Snow

MAGIC

SEGMENT 1

Frank Pyburn tossed another log into the fireplace, poured two fingers bourbon into his coffee and settled into his easy chair. With joints that ached, he ran a gnarled hand through a shock of white hair. The newest Zane Grey novel lay on the table next to his chair. He kicked off his worn boots, switched on the lamp and reached for it.

That man sure knew how to write a good western.

Frank grunted a little as he settled in and reached for the coffee. The burn felt good and warmed him on the inside.

“Ah,” he said to no one.

After he found his reading glassed under a two-day pile of newspapers, he opened the book.

Halfway through the first chapter, the sound of hooves clomping across his front porch brought him to his feet.

“Damn bears again,” he muttered. “But, since when did bears grow hooves?”

He slipped on his boots and grabbed the Winchester propped beside the door.

“Who’s out there?” He yelled.

A loud whinny cut through the cold Montana air, followed by a snort and a hoof pawing on the wood.

Frank cursed and eased the front door open two inches. He peered out with one eyeball. A saddled brown pony with no rider stamped his foot and nickered.

“Who’s out there?” Frank yelled again.

The horse tossed his head and let out a long whinny.

Frank swung the door open wide and stepped out into the porchlight, gun cocked and aimed.

The horse backed off the porch and continued to toss his head and nicker.

When Frank saw no one, he walked toward the horse and grabbed the trailing reins. “Good boy.” He patted the horse’s thick neck.

“Where’s your rider?”

The horse pulled against the reins and reared.

“Whoa, boy. Whoa.” Frank kept a tight grip on the leather.

The horse jerked against Frank’s hold and whinnied.

“You’re trying to tell me something, aren’t you, boy?” Frank peered into the cold blackness of the night. His gut told him someone was in trouble. “All right. I’ll go with you, you stubborn horse, but I’ve got to get my coat and gloves.”

He pulled on the reins and the horse followed him. “Damned if this don’t beat all. The coldest night of the year and you’re gonna drag me away from my warm fire. You better have a good reason.”

If someone was in trouble, this weather would freeze a person to death in no time.

He tied the horse to the porch rail and stepped back into the warmth of the small ranch house. He shot a longing glance at the fire, his book and the rest of his coffee while he slammed his hat on his head, slipped into his heaviest coat and gloves.

The minute he swung up into the saddle, the horse spun around and took off.

To Be Continued…

Magic

 

 

Stories From the Road #12

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:

“One time we had bookings out in California. We left Brownwood, Texas and made the mistake of stopping in Juarez, Mexico. We had too much fun…drank too much and hung out with too many senoritas. We didn’t really have a whole lot of money left by the time we got out of Juarez, but we had to get on to California to work. Then, the worst happened when we got into Arizona somewhere. The bus started making an engine noise. We had to stop and get it fixed. To the best of my memory, it was an oil pump. At any rate, we were sincerely broke by the time we reached California. We found a motel that rented apartment type rooms; like two bedroom motel rooms. I told the lady who managed it, “We’re musicians and we get paid next week. We get paid every week. We just blew into town from Texas and had some bus trouble so we don’t really have the money to pay you in advance, but we would like to rent the place. We’re going to be here at least six weeks.” I have no idea what possessed her to agree, but she said, “Ok. I’m going to trust you for this week.”

We settled in and had just enough money to buy a pound of bologna and a loaf of bread. We’d managed to get out of Mexico with a few cartons of Mexican cigarettes and a few bottles of Cognac. So, we drank Cognac, smoked Mexican cigarettes and ate bologna and bread for a week.

Finally, at the end of that week, we got paid. That night we went to a place down the street from the motel that advertised all the chicken you could eat for a buck. We almost wiped the poor guy out. I mean, we were hungry! I told him fair and square, “This is the first time we’ve really eaten in a week. We’ve been living off bologna and bread. I’m sorry we wiped you out.” He laughed and said, “No, no. You guys eat all you want and come back again. That is all I ask; that you come back and see me. I’ll come out in the long run.” So, we ate fried chicken there often, but we didn’t eat hardly as much as that first time.

The irony of this band business…this music business, is that I would be up on stage with a fifteen-hundred dollar suit on, high dollar boots, Stetson hat and all kind of fancy hand-made belts and guitar straps. I would be up there looking like I had a million dollars when I didn’t have fifty cents to my name. People would say to me, “Man, I wish we were like y’all are. You get up there and work only four hours a night and make a lot of money, get all the women and have all the fun. And, I would be thinking, “Man they have no idea what this is all about. No idea.” They didn’t know how many hundreds of hours of rehearsal we put in and all the money that had to be paid out. It was not as it appeared. ”

Rick and Band 1960's6 (2017_11_16 21_30_48 UTC)Rick 1960's3

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

Life Does Not End With Death – Book Review

5-star-review

IT’S MAY AND THE LILACS ARE BLOOMING

ONE FOOT ON EARTH – AND ONE IN HEAVEN

BY ELAINA DEVA PROFFITT

May_Lilacs

BLURB:

The true story of a woman with unusual abilities who finds strength, the power of love and strong faith at a time when suddenly, the road of life takes a dark turn on a cold November night bringing her into the Valley and Shadow of Death. She soon finds herself in a new town surrounded by loving people, some who were dying and rapidly entering into the world of danger, murder, pain, and prophecy. While suffering in agonizing pain soon angelic strangers appearing in many disguises; Healer, Homicide Detectives, and Catholic Priest helping and quietly protecting her. Realizing she was fighting for her life standing at “Death’s door” her search for the Doctors to save her who would arrive in a most wondrous way. A Near Death Experience bringing a Journey into a beautiful light that would enhance the Spiritual gifts she was given at birth… Uplifting Autobiography True Crime, Psychic Detective Death & Dying, Near Death Experience Grief Loss, Angels, Spiritual Journey, Murder Pain, and Prophecy.

MY REVIEW:

This is hands down, one of the most amazing spiritual books I’ve ever read!

Being born with the gift of psychic abilities is not an easy road. Working alongside homicide detectives to solve horrendous crimes is a dark and energy draining work. But, Elaina Deva Proffitt did all of this and more. In her book, she shares on an intensely deep and intimate level, different aspects of her spiritual journey and the work it led her to do. As it unfolds, the fascinating story takes on multiple dimensions.

She takes us inside crime scenes and describes in detail, the visions, smells, feelings and physical sensations she embodies as she re-lives murders, kidnappings, and suicides. While this work would drain her, she helped detectives solve many crimes and bring justice.

But, when she faces a serious physical trauma herself, she embarks on a long, arduous and uncertain path.

I have to say that when I reached the part of this book where she describes her NDE (Near Death Experience) I could not stop the tears that coursed down my face. The beauty, peace, light, and comfort she found in the other world left a deep and lasting impression.

I don’t want to spoil this story for anyone, but I will say with all certainty that everyone alive should read this book if for no other reason than to help prepare themselves for the inevitable crossing we all will make. It is a deeply personal story that will give hope, peace, comfort and take some of the fear out of dying.

Elaina

Follow Elaina Deva Proffitt

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For signed copies of the book, visit Heart Drop Publications

Stories From the Road #11

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 van 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.

I’m going to switch gears and share a few of the Rick Sikes and the Rhythm Rebels Band stories. Some of them are pretty unbelievable, but they all did happen. 🙂

Rick: 

“My brother Bobby, was a fantastic keyboard player. He played guitar too but excelled on the keyboard. He was a crazy SOB. In high school, his nickname was “Nut” Sikes. So, he was always game for a prank or skit or anything else we came up with.

We used to have what we called a “prop kit.” It had all kinds of old stuff in it like a Viking helmet, some beards, floppy hats, and raggedy Hobo clothes – all kinds of stuff, and we had a lot of fun with it. I remember one time we had stopped to eat at a fancy restaurant in Waco. We had figured out a scheme or plan that involved Bobby playing the part of a sex fiend. He didn’t care. He was a comedian anyway and he loved to be a fool.

So, I went inside the restaurant first and there was a nice elderly lady sitting behind the counter. I told her, “Ma’am, I have a band and we would like to eat, but I have a brother that is in the mental hospital most of the time. I bring him out for a couple of weeks on the road with me because our parents are both dead and we don’t have anybody. But, he’s really messed up mentally.”

She said, “Oh, I’m so sorry. What is his problem?”

I was good at keeping a straight face and playing the straight guy. “Well, he is what we call a sex fiend,” I said. “He sees women and he just gets nutty sometimes. So, if you will allow us to come in, please ask the waitresses not to get too close to him.”

She said, “Well, of course. Of course, you can come in.” I said, “We’ll hold him down and confine him, but just ask them please not to get too close.”

So, I go back out to the bus and get everyone and I’m sure she’s warning all the waitresses.

We walked inside and Bobby was slobbering and growling like an animal. A couple of the guys had him by the arms leading him in. They sat him down at the end of the table and we all sit down. A guy sat on each of Bobby and kept holding onto his arms.

The waitress came to the far end of the table away from him and asked us to pass the menus down. Everyone ordered. I ordered for Bobby.

A couple sat at the table next to ours and when their waitress brought a cart with their food on it, she got pretty close to our table. Bobby jumped up and lunged at her growling. The waitress screamed and knocked her food cart over spilling food on the couple.

I ran up front to the elderly lady and apologized. “I will pay for that couple’s food and for anything that got broken. I am so terribly sorry.”

She just shook her head and clicked her tongue. “That’s okay. Don’t worry about it.”

So, I went back to our table. In the meantime, the other guys had dragged Bobby back to his chair and held on to him.

When the waitress brought our food, she stayed at the far end of the table. Bobby started crawling across the table right in the middle, slobbering and making goofy noises. The guys yanked him back and that waitress screamed. She sat our food down and took off.

I don’t remember what we had ordered for Bobby, but I do remember it had mashed potatoes and gravy and Bobby started eating with his hands and getting it all down the front of his shirt.

Of course, everyone in the restaurant was watching all of this. And that just egged him on. He played it up heavy.

Finally, we got finished and washed him down the best we could. The guys escorted him out and all the while, he was still carrying on.

I went back to the lady at the front and said, “Ma’am, I want to pay for everything. Any damages or anything else he caused.”

She said, “Oh, no, no, no, no. Don’t worry about that at all. What on earth do you do with him when you go to play someplace?”

I said, “We just chain him in the bus. We have to lock him up or else he’ll get out.”

She clicked her tongue and asked, “And, you take him out two weeks every year so he can be with you?”

“Yes, Ma’am,” I replied.

She said, “You know you are one of the most compassionate men I have ever met. You are certainly a good man and I admire you. I know it’s terribly humiliating for you.”

I played the straight guy all the way. “Yes, Ma’am. Yes, Ma’am.”

So then we all get back on the bus and everyone cracks up and has a blast.

It was a crazy stunt to pull, but it helped break up the monotony and boredom on the road…”

 

 

Rick and Bobby
L-R Bobby Sikes, Rick Sikes

 

 

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