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I got to go see a dear friend play last night. This morning on FB he posted his feelings on my (now rare) appearance
So I’m in the middle of a show – as lead guitarist for Purple Masquerade – at the World Famous Exit/In in my adopted hometown of 30+ years, a place with more musical history in in than any other venue here besides the Ryman…TREMENDOUS crowd, doing the thing I love to do the most…when I look out and I see a camera lens pointed at me, with a very recognizable cloth “PFunk” hat just behind it, and I realize one of my favorite people in the world is there, also doing the thing he loves the most.
When Kayelless (a.k.a. Dr. K-Funk) began shooting pictures years back, he actually came to me and told me he was going to do it. He said it had always been a passion and something he was hungry to do, and (if memory serves me right, and I’m not imagining it and being what seems like an egotistical douche) he told me that being a part of my musical family known as JonesWorld and watching me do what I do had inspired him to have the courage to pick up a camera and follow his dream. I DO remember conversations where he expressed a lot of self-doubt, and where I told him not to worry about it and do what he loved. I asked him to shoot photos of our funky family that to this day are iconic pictures TO ME, photos of me and my friends that are the fabric of my life that invoke SO many memories—something that I’m not sure he actually knows. Pictures from a very special moment in time, captured by someone who was just starting to spread his wings as a budding photographer, who was also a part of the family, which made them altogether more special. I repeatedly assured him that his “eye” was special, and he would shake his head and say “Nah, man, but I’m working on it.”
I have watched his work progress from a distance—life gets in the way of hanging with people you love sometimes—and I’ve been enthralled by what I’ve seen. He has developed into a remarkable photographer whose pictures are amazing works of art.
So seeing that lens and that familiar hat last night made it an even more special moment; on a night where I had the honor and responsibility to play my guitar on hallowed ground to celebrate the life of one of my biggest influences–an artist who truly affected my life’s path, one who changed me and the world forever—in a moment where so many parts of my life intertwined to put me in a place to get to play the guitar and “stand in” for that fallen hero of mine in front of so many people that I love, love me, and adore my hero as well—there was that old friend there, woven into the fabric of my defective, busted and stitched up heart. I pointed at his lens, and in the darkness, the lens dropped, and I saw that familiar grin that I have missed.
Oh what a life it is. I love you, K.
Thanks, Todd. I’m truly blessed to have you as a friend.