logo the freedom man

Johnny Echols



October 5, 2005

The first time I met Jimi__ the occasion was not auspicious! The cardinal rule amongst musician’s, is do not “mess” with another “Dudes” axe, without his express__ even written consent! You do not touch it, you do not play it and protocol dictates that you don’t even look at it too long. It is a “faux paux” of the first order of magnitude, a serious breech of the “professional” code of conduct, punishable by ten years of playing out of tune One simply does not do it! However I do have to offer one small caveat, the prohibition I referred too, was before it became “fashionable” to destroy one’s means of “Artistic Expression” not to mention his livelihood, as “entertainment.” I always found something rather bizarre about the “practice!” Can you imagine John Coltrane or Wes Montgomery destroying their instruments as “part of the show”! I guess I’m just “old school!” [Hell] even Miles Davis, wouldn’t have done that (“maybe I’m pushing it a bit with Miles!”)

Arthur and I were playing at a place called the “California Club,” along with Billy Preston, Tjay Cantrelli and Don Conka. We were the “House Band” who played behind the “Headliner’s.” We were still in high school, much too young to even walk by such a place, playing there was simply out of the question. However with a little bluff and swagger we were able to pull-off the subterfuge and nobody caught on! This particular week, the Ojay’s were the featured act and we came over to rehearse their show. When I walked into the “venue” I was stopped cold__ there on stage was this “dude” (whom I did not Know) standing there holding my “prized possession” my beautiful 1952 fender esquire and to add “insult” too my substantial injury. He had the unmitigated gall__ the mind altering audacity and temerity to stand there playing my guitar upside down. My heart started pounding, my pulse began to race, I was about to attain “critical mass” and commence the countdown too implosion, when the transgressor walked over (still holding my guitar) and said “Hi__ I’m Jimi James, guitarist for the Ojay’s, is she yours? Caught off guard by his “boldness” I replied “Yea” she’s mine__ what are [You] doing with her? “Well, when I walked in and saw her standing all alone, I just had to come over and introduce myself and ask if I might keep her company!” His comeback was so quick and unselfconscious that I started to laugh, soon we were both laughing causing the rest of the band, too join-in__ the tension was broken! Not respecting another Man’s __ Axe Is Bold AS Love

Just another day in the life

Johnny Echols