Sent: Wednesday, July 02, 2003 12:28 PM
Subject: Tippy tale No. 2
Here's another Tippy tale from circa 1974.
Bill Marshall and I were recording a duo project called "The Truck Stop Opry" and Tippy would wander in from time to time, just checking out what was up, seeing if we were making progress etc. I recall he had an old sedan and carried his Fender bass around by sticking the back end on the rear dashboard, the tuning keys on the front seat. No case. That means, the bass was sorta flying in the car as he drove thru Tuscaloosa.
One day he came by and said he'd gotten a call from Jimmy Cliff. This was after "The Harder They Come". I said "What did he want?" Tippy says something about Jimmy wanting him to go on a big tour. I think it was a world gig but we're stretching my memory banks here.
"You going?" we said.
Tippy says, "I asked Jimmy if that meant I'd have to leave Tuscaloosa."
At that point, Tippy had no interest in leaving home. I reckon he told Jimmy "no."
Another time, shortly after that, I was working the door at Jumpin' Johnny's, downtown Tuscaloosa. I think Locust Fork was playing.
Tippy saunters up with this old gut string guitar on his shoulder, no case. The back end is dangling out behind him. Like everybody carried their guitar that way.
We chatted and he said "You think I could sit in?"
Locust Fork was one hell of a loud-assed band.
I looked at Tippy and figured he could work it out with the band somehow. No cover charge.
The guy who owned Jumpin' Johnny's, Alex Kontos, came by my place the other day with a CD. There was Tippy, jamming with Locust Fork, "live" at Jumpin' Johnny's.
I took one guitar lesson from Tippy. He decided to show me a cool lick and call it a day. The lick was a little 3 chord thing that was a mix of Appalachian with Muscle Shoals R&B thrown in.
Tippy said "Eddie Hinton taught me that."