Fire in the Water, Earth in the Air: Legends
of West Texas Music
"Indeed, Oglesby's introduction of more
than two dozen musicians who called Lubbock home should be required
reading not only for music fans, but for Lubbock residents and
anyone thinking about moving here. On these pages, music becomes
a part of Lubbock's living history."
A Brief Conversation:
Chris Oglesby &
Known as The Gangster of Love, Lubbock native Jesse Taylor
became internationally famous as Joe
Elys blistering lead guitar player. Perhaps lessser
know, Jesse Taylor was the first white man to ever play at the
legendary original Stubbs Bar BQ in East Lubbock.
When I first came up with the idea for a book about Lubbock and it's creative offspring, I spoke to my friend John Scott - President & co-owner of Stubb's Bar-BQ and Lived Music - about my original ideas for seeking out the sources of Lubbock's artistic font. John was excited about the idea and said he'd help out any way he could. Not thirty minutes after we spoke, an excited John Scott was calling me back. "I just talked with Jesse Taylor and told him about your book idea. He wants you to call him at his home right now."
Jesse definately was interested in talking I promptly called the guitar legend at the number John relayed to me. Jesse answered with, "It's about damn time somebody writes this book!"
I told him about being young and going with my dad to Stubbs
on East Broadway. My
dad was the basketball recruiter at Texas Tech and friends with
Stubb, so we'd go over and have lunch with Stubb often when I
was kid. At that time, very few other white people ever made
the journey to the east side of Lubbock to visit Stubbs.
That was until Jesse Taylor started rocking the joint with his
Sunday night jams.
Jesse agreed. "Shit, sometimes I think that Lubbock will
never change." Jesse responded. "They dont know
what genius they have from right there in Lubbock. They could
have built recording studios and turned Lubbock into the Nashville
of Texas Music but they just turn their backs."
I was living in California at the time but was preparing to move back to Austin, so we agreed to talk in person when I returned to Texas.
Shortly after I got back to Austin, Jesse contacted me and
said he was playing a "pick-up" gig with some songwriter
at a little joint on South Congress called Shaggy's. He
didn't have much time for a full-length interview because of
his studio commitments - Jesse was curently cutting a record
for an Italian recording label as well as playing lead guitar
on Ely's Twisting in the Wind album being recorded then,
also - However, he'd be happy to get together during soundcheck
to discuss the book idea a little more and figure out how he
could help me in my efforts. Jesse really is one of the kindest,
most generous guys I've ever met.
Chris: Tell me about the first time that you met Stubb; When Stubb picked you up hitchhiking.
Jesse: Basically, I was just livin' in Lubbock. I had
been in California awhile. Like all the other musicians fo my
era there in Lubbock, we used to go back and forth between California
and Austin and Lubbock all the time - with some diversions to
I used to go to my friends' house to go jam or somethin'; Go over to Ely's house or Jimmie's house. Of course, I was a poor broke musician hippie like we all were, I guess. So I didn't have a car or nothin'; I would just go hitchhike.
This one day I was standin' there hitchhiking, and this big, BIG Cadillac pulls up. I look in and And it's Stubb!
Chris: Did you know who he was when he stopped?
Jesse: Oh, no! Not at all.
But it was like, really
It was just pretty much all Black.
I never saw any, any White people in there, so I was a
I said, "I've walked by the place so many times. You
go in there very much?" because I wanted to know what it
was all about; And he says, "I own this place!"
Stubbs said to me - his exact words - He said, "Well,
I'll tell you what, I got a barbecue sandwich and a cold beer's
got your name on it in there."
After that, I'd go in there. We'd be sitting around listening
to the jukebox and there wasn't very much goin' on. Stubbs said,
"Y'know? What we need is some Live music here."
2007 Chris Oglesby
All rights reserved