MEETING A LEGEND
When I wasn’t touring I’d occasionally work at the New Century Theater as a whatever-you-need kind of guy. On one such day I was asked to help with the load-in for a music group that would perform later that night.
I’m not too picky when it comes to helping my friends at the theatre.
I said yes.
At the theatre I learned I’d be doing the load-in for W. S. Holland. Initially, I wasn’t too starstruck. This is largely because I had no frickin’ clue who W. S. Holland was. After doing a little research I learned I’d be working with a living legend for the day!
W. S. Holland was the first country-western drummer! He was a member of The Tennessee Three!
W. S. “Fluke” Holland was Johnny Cash’s drummer for the entirety of Mr. Cash’s career!
He influenced Ringo Starr and Elvis Presley and was the original drummer on the 1955 Sun Records recording of “Blue Suede Shoes!”
The man is literally a living legend!
…and I would be carrying his drum set. The whole set. By hand. One piece at a time. Like Johnny sang…
When W. S. walked into the theatre I was really intimidated. We shook hands and exchanged pleasantries. But then he started talking about where he was from: Jackson, Tennessee.
BINGO! For a month I lived in Jackson while touring with NTC! We talked about the Casey Jones Museum and buffets and the best time to eat at buffets and touring and living on the road and it makes me so happy to think of that moment!
After the stage was set the band had their soundcheck and played a few songs. It was so surreal. To meet the man behind so much of the music I listen to today just rocks my world.
Damn 2012 was rockin’!
MICHAEL VENSKE is an expert mistake maker whose faith and enthusiasm cause him to leap without looking. One such jump landed him in China where he’s currently teaching kindness, compassion, and the fine art of physical comedy.
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