Monday, 9 November 2009

Walkin'? In Memphis?

Before I moved to London in July, 1995, I spent the last couple of months living in my parents' house off North Mendenhall in East Memphis. The lease on my tiny Midtown apartment had expired, and I needed to save some money, plus it was a good chance to spend some time with them before I flew off to the great unknown Blighty.

One day I felt a bit restless, so I decided to go out for a walk around some of the beauty spots of East Memphis, such as Summer Avenue. Heading back home, I was walking on White Station Road, when in the corner of my eye I perceived a car slowing down next to me at the curb. The passenger-side window rolled down to reveal that the driver was Tommy Hull, legendary songwriter, possessor of a heavenly singing voice, and co-founder of the Randy Band, the first live band I ever saw in Memphis - an experience which changed my life. I had known Tommy for years, and always liked him, and he me, apparently.

He shouted out of the car, "Hey, are you okay?" "Hi Tommy, yeah, I'm fine." "Has your car broken down or something?" "No, I'm just taking a walk." "Get in, I'll give you a lift home." "That's very kind, but I actually want to walk. I'm just out walking for a bit of exercise."

He cocked his head and knitted his brow, uncomprehendingly, and said "Okay, whatever, take it easy." I think I even saw him shaking his head as he drove off.

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