Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Tribute To The Gasman!

I met David Shorey in 1992. I was Mr. Mom at the time while my wife was in chiropractic school. I'll admit things were tough. The royalty checks had turned into dribbles and we were struggling to make ends meet.

One day, I see a man at our gate in front so I go out to see what he wants. He said he was from the Gas Company and had come to turn off our gas. I guess we hadn't paid the bill. While we were talking, he noticed one of my gold records through the window. That changed the course of the conversation to music. The gas man told me that when he wasn't turning off peoples' gas, he was a guitar player who loved the blues.

He went inside the house with me so that I could show him some guitars. Hours later the gas was still on and I had a new friend.

Throughout the years Dave and I became closer and I went on to play several gigs with him in the south land. He was a great player and could emulate nearly any Bluesman he had heard.

I remember one afternoon in rush hour traffic, we were driving together down the 405 South heading to a gig. When we were passing Hillside Memorial Park, Dave slowed down to a crawl. I looked over at him to see what he was doing and he had his head down and was murmuring something softly to himself. By now the traffic is honking their horns and screaming epithets out their windows at this car creeping along. After a few minutes, Dave became normal again and said, "I always say "Hi." to Bloomfield when I drive by." It was then I learned he had played with Mike Bloomfield (Bass) for some time.

David Shorey had a heart as large as a Cadillac and it's hard to believe we won't have those all night conversations about his writing, his music and his life in general.

Recently we hadn't been in touch that much. I talked to him about six months ago and he never mentioned a word about his illness. That was Dave all over. He would talk all night about trivial things but when it came down to something important like his health, he never said a mumblin' word.

We are preparing a special show to pay tribute to the man who let my gas stay on so I could feed my kids. A true human being and a good man. Gashouse Dave Shorey. Rest In Peace my Brother.

John Rhys and Family