Blues Musicians - Want Your Gigs Listed On This Calendar?

Dallas/Ft Worth/N Texas Blues Musicians - Want to see your weekly gigs listed on this calendar and have them read live on the air on KNON's BIG TEXAS BLUES program?

Email (no texts, messages to this blog or Facebook posts accepted) your gigs for the upcoming week NO LATER THAN Tuesday Evening to: bluelisablues@aol.com

Please include the following:
Your name * Band Name (if Applicable) * If it is full band gig, solo or duo * Name of Venue * City Venue is located in * Time your show starts and ends

Remember - this is a BLUES calendar posted on a BLUES blog and read on a BLUES radio show, so please only include BLUES gigs. Also, only include shows within the Dallas/Ft Worth/N Texas area.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

SERVICES FOR SWEET SAM MYERS

Services for Sam Myers will held at the Sandra Clarke Funeral Home in Oak Cliff, Texas (6029 South R.L. Thornton Freeway, phone 214-371-2600)

There will be a visitation on Thursday evening, July 20th, from 6 pm until 9 pm.

Funeral services will be on Friday, July 21st at 11 am.

Sam's body will then be sent to Jackson, Mississippi for a second service and then Sam will be laid to rest in Mississippi where his Mom and Dad are buried. Both passed away in the last year.

Sam's passing is mentioned on the front page of the Dallas Morning News today, directing you to Section G - The Guide Live page, where there is a touching tribute article on the front page. Thor Christensen did a nice job on the story, but my favorite part was the caption on page 5G where the story continues "Tender, gentle guy was known for his gruff exterior."

If you knew Sam, you know how true this is. If you didn't, well the stories of what happened to those who annoyed him are legendary.

People always ask, but personally, I never wondered where Sam got that "Sweet" tag. During and for quite a while after my divorce Sammy and Joe Jonas took me under their wing, allowing me to cry and fret under their watchful eyes, never making light of my self-absorbed plight, all the while knowing I'd be OK. (I loved the all knowing comment of my good friend Andrea Dawson during this time, "When you're going through something like this you think "But my pain is DIFFERENT! My pain is WORSE!") When Sam left on tour shortly after he made a point of calling Joe to check on me "Have you seen Blue Lisa? Is she Ok?" I found it so touching that he and Joe both would be so worried about me. And that Sam would take the time to check on me.

Sam encouraged me to start a new band, and boy did THAT spark some spirited discussions about what guitar player to use! (Sam had some, shall we say, rather STRONG opinions on guitar players!) Before his illness made it impractical for him to be out, he even showed up for a few of the first gigs. Upon seeing him arrive, I'd always go to him and threaten him not to terrorize my guitarist. To which he would reply only with that wicked laugh of his! It's amazing I got anyone to play with me at all!

He always liked my niece, Amanda. One truth about Sam's blindness was that he could see well enough to see a pretty girl! Sam always liked to keep company with the prettiest girl in the room, and when Amanda was there, she was it. In those days, I was living in the same apartment complex as Sam, and when Amanda came to visit and we came out to swim, Sam always poked his head out his front door and invited Amanda in for ice cream. Sam always had ice cream! I have some great pictures I took on one of the "Bowling With Sammy" nights where 69 year old Sam is showing 16 year old Amanda how to bowl, and yes, I got one of him "blessing" her bowling ball! After Sam was well into his treatment for cancer, a tumor was discovered in Amanda's side. Thank God it ended up being benign, but I'll never forget the night I told Sam about it over at the Hole in the Wall - he started crying. In the middle of all of his own pain and suffering, he was worried about Amanda. How can you not love a man like that?

My favorite memories of Sammy will always be the ones that happened outside the view of the public eye - afternoons and evenings sitting around his apartment (usually eating) or driving to a show, listening to him tell his stories. I've got literally hundreds of memories of Sam that have flooded me over the last 24 hours in my grief - some have made me cry, some have made me laugh. Huh. Just like Sam. Some stories I have and will continue to tell. But some I will keep to myself, just for me and Sam. As much as he adored the limelight, he also had a very private side. I think I honor him best by keeping some of those private moments private.

I will always be grateful for the honor of his picking my radio show for the world debut of his solo CD "Coming From The Old School". We can all keep part of Sam alive and with us forever by playing his music, which I'll be doing this Thursday on my show, like I have almost every Thursday for going on 7 years. (When he was in town, he was always listening. And quick to call me if I didn't play his music, or made a mistake when talking about someone elses.)

But the next time I feel the urge to smack a guitar player, there will be no one for me to call to encourage me to do just that. Pity. For me, it will never be the same. Our friendship was never really about the music. It was about love and trust. The music was just a bonus.

Sam loved to laugh, and was sharp as a tack right to the very end. So I think the best way to end my ramblings here is to tell one of my favorite Sammy stories.

Several years ago Hash Brown had a weekly jam in the basement of a short lived club in downtown Dallas. I had been called up and was exasperatingly trying to turn the main PA speakers in a little so there would be at least a chance I could hear myself when I started to sing.
Hash NEVER has monitors. It drives me nuts!

So when I got to the mic, I started in. "You know, last night I had a dream I died and went to heaven and Hash Brown had monitors at his jam." From way in the back of the room, far out of my sight, came the unmistakable voice of Sam Myers. "Honey", he said "If Hash was there, you weren't in heaven." The whole room, including Hash, burst into laughter.

It would be wrong to say I'm GOING to miss you Sammy. I miss you already. I feel an emptiness in my heart and soul you only feel when you lose someone you love and who loves you back. Thanks for everything Sam.

1 comment:

Michael Schaefer said...

Hi Lisa. I just wanted to stop by and thank you for sharing some of your thoughts and stories on Sam. I didn't know Sam like some of you did. I never had enough confidence to walk up to him, musician to musician. And for the most part, I felt like the best form of respect I could pay was to leave him alone. But I've been around long enough now to know what this means to our community. And I'm deeply sorry that you've lost a good friend. Hang in there. God Bless.