Mud & Pine

I posted a link to some buds of this cool concert:

I mentioned I had met Pinetop and was asked to ‘splain and so I wrote this:

I lived inna apartment about 2 miles north of the Loop in a area the realtors called Lakeview but the residents called Boystown.

It had been the fairly well-off gay ghetto for years; by the time I moved there it was, in the vernacular of the times, gentrifying.

I lived on the fifth floor of what was known as a “4+1”, what was a elevator apartment building built in the mid-50’s when they had height restrictions on the buildings, such that the 1st floor was half sunk in the ground.

There was like 20 bars and/or restaurants with likker within 3 blocks.

One of the bars was right ’round the corner and was a little mebbe 50 capacity joint on the 1st floor of a old brick residential building about a 1/4 block long that had stores in the countersunk 1st floor (altho’ this was not a 4+1, in that there was a little courtyard space in the front of the building about 3/ below sidewalk/street level – this was a much older building).

Nice little bar what sold burgers and frozen pizza, fries, etc.

They hadda good burger so I’d sometimes go there onna weeknight if I had worked late, getta samich and some whiskey.

It also hadda upright pianer and so Pinetop hadda deal with the owner that he’d play when he wanted, eat and drink free beer and get tips on Tuesday nights.

One night he played – no one knew who he was, BTW, and it weren’t announced, he just got up and played when he wanted, didn’t usually sing, did mebbe 15 minutes and went back to sitting at the bar – and I bought him a whiskey and complimented his playing and he told me his name.

Mebbe the third time I saw him it occurred to me to me he might be someone famous (there was no Wiki, this was the summer-winter of ’95) and I asked around and learned who he was.

I got married in the spring and moved away but I do believe he was still around town playing; he died in ’11. (The Wiki says he lived in Austin but … BTW, that pic is exactly how he looked, sans headpiece, when I met him.)

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