Sunday, January 19, 2003

January 19, 2003
Strong day at High Noon Auction out in Mesa. Big show in Convention Center. Great Cowboy stuff. Jana B. came just as I was arriving. Had to sneak in (we only had two passes and I didn’t get one). I saw Jana walk away from the check in table towards the two armed guards and I scooted up behind her and said, “I’m with her.” Amazingly, they let me go in.

Ran into many old friends and Western celebs. Talked to Joe Beeler (one of the founding members of The Cowboy Artists of America) and David Stecklein (great photographer, has numerous best-selling books). Our neighbor at the True West table was none other than legendary record producer Snuff Garrett, who holds the distinction of having 50, count ‘em, top ten records. Today he lives down near Sonoita and has always been a big collector of Western memorabilia. When I said hi, he looked at me rather coldly and I thought perhaps he didn’t remember me. Back in the late 80s Snuff brought Rex Allen on our radio show (KSLX) to promote a roast Snuff had cooked up at the Biltmore. The proceeds were going for the Rex Allen Museum down in Willcox and Snuff had landed Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Pat Butram (the MC), some guy off Gunsmoke I can’t remember and several other heavyweight Western legends. Rex was a hoot on our show and we actually got him to sing Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” acappella. It was just classic with his great Country pipes crooning, “Wayyyy down inside....woman, woman, need....Loooooooooooooooove.” We kept it on cart and whenever we had Led Zep coming up we would often slip in Rex Allen to prime the pump. We laughed and he told great stories: he said when he hit in the movies his hometown of Willcox had a parade for him and his dad was standing on the curb with a gaggle of local women. When Rex rode by on his silver saddle, one of the women said to Rex’s father, “My, I wish I had a son like that.” And Allen Senior quipped, “Well, if you weren’t so damned particular when you were younger, you could have.” Rex signed a publicity photo for me (“For Boze, a Hell of a Guy!”) and his visit to our radio show is one of the highlights of my life.

When there was a lull Snuff came over to our table and I said, “Perhaps you don’t remember me...” but before I could say my name, Snuff said, “Oh, I know who you are. You really pissed me off.”My heart sank. “Oh, shit," I thought to myself. "What did I say on that show that I don’t remember?”

“You really hurt Rex’s feelings,” Snuff finally said. I visibly cringed. On the show, when things would get too sedate, David K, our host., would give me the look (“This is getting flat, say something outrageous.”) Thanks to the look, and my big, fat mouth, I once made the Penthouse Pet of the Year leave in tears. The head of the Budweiser plant in Phoenix pulled a quarter of a million dollars in advertising because of some brilliant (stupid) thing I said. “I’m so sorry,” I said to Snuff. “I loved Rex. What did I say?”. He looked at me with narrowed eyes: “You asked Rex if there were going to be a lot of negroes at the roast.” I don’t even remember saying it, but this was a common ploy of mine. Scottsdale is so white bread, and the word “negro” is such a corny, harmless word, but the damage was done. Me and my big mouth. Fortunately, I’ve matured.

"It's so simple to be wise. Just think of something stupid to say and then don't say it."
—Sam Levenson

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post your comments