Make sure to watch Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on Tuesday, Oct 12 to see the band perform "Let Go." Click HERE to check the schedule for your area.
(photo by Anthony Crawford)
I was listening to a solid state jukebox and talking to another musician in a kitchen in Laurel Canyon late last night when he asked me if I'd heard about Ben Keith. I kind of stammered for words... smiled nervously... and immediately felt a chill over my entire body. I first met Ben over a decade ago, when Neil introduced him to me as "Long Grain." I always figured it was a play on Uncle Ben's long grain rice, but Ben was such a lanky fellow with long legs and long arms... the name just fit. He was tall and gentle, with long spidery fingers. Fingers meant to hold a slide and pluck steel strings. And, fingers that lent melody to Patsy Cline's "Crazy" and Neil Young's "Heart of Gold" as well as countless classic records. Ben was found dead yesterday, and even though he was 73 years old, I am finding it hard to wrap my head around it.
When I heard the news last night that "Silverlake Walker," Mark Abrams passed away at age 58, I was overwhelmed with sadness and disbelief. He was a constant in an ever changing neighborhood and for me, somehow, seeing him walking everyday, shirtless and tanned in his green shorts helped me and made me feel a sense of comfort. I remember seeing him for the first time in the summer of 1998 when the band I was in at the time came out to L.A. from Louisville, KY. We rented a recording studio in Silverlake and spent a couple of months in the neighborhood. I saw Mark walking everyday and like everyone else in the neighborhood, I became slightly obsessed with him and wanted to know his story. It wasn't until 2002 that information about bits and pieces of his strange yet ordered life became public. He gave an interview to a neighborhood paper and I remember reading that the reporter had to join him on his 15 mile daily route in order to get the interview. The man was dedicated. I found out that he was a Doctor who spoke several languages, read 5 or more papers a day, always ate dinner at midnight and logged some 200 miles per week at an average of 5 mph on foot.
Here's a link to some great shots taken by photographer Matt Eisman in NY. This was the 2nd or 3rd show of the tour. The crowd was so warm and inviting. Thanks folks. Can't wait to come back in October.
Here are a few shots from that night.