Blue Notes
Buddy Guy @ the Cajun House
Jammin' With A Legend
by J.D. Simo
The Blues Internet
Las Vegas Jazz n' Blues
Las Vegas Blues Site
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J.D. invited on stage by Buddy Guy

J.D. Simo publicity photo

Well, my dreams sure came true on March 21, 2001 at the Cajun House, Scottsdale, Arizona. Already, I have so many fond memories of meeting and jamming with heroes such as Buddy Miles, Dick Dale, and hanging with a legend like John Lee Hooker. Now, I have to say my fondest memory is my encounter with Buddy Guy. My main influences like Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, Albert King and Albert Collins are all gone now. Buddy is the last of my real, true heroes other than Eric Clapton, who I worship, and listen to daily.

I was invited to Fender on Tuesday March 20th. Buddy was coming in and my friends at A & R thought we ought to meet. So, once that was arranged, I was absolutely overjoyed. I couldn't believe that I was to meet one of my all time influences. Then, not even five minutes after I got off the phone with Billy Seigle from Fender, Danny Zelisko of Evening Star calls. After a little chit chat, he asks if I would like to open for Buddy on Wednesday night! Well, YES!!!!!!! I run outside and jump up and down. I immediately call Fender and inform them. Now, they are really happy and say I'll see them tomorrow.

My meeting at Fender goes great. I am ushered into the sound room, where I’ve had many fun times, and, I am handed Buddy's guitar to tune up! I'm in heaven!!! I have a short conversation with Mark, Buddy's guitar tech, and revel in my surroundings. Then in comes Buddy. He takes the guitar and plugs it in. He begins playing, for about twenty minutes! Everyone at Fender is snapping photographs and just staring in awe. There's Buddy Guy, two feet in front of us, playing!!!!!!!! Then, people are ushered up to take photo's, including myself, and we have a word with each other. "Well, I'll tell ya what Clapton told me. You aren’t gonna blow me off the stage are ya?" Buddy says with a smile. "No, I'm here to learn" I say, and we joke and talk about the road for a while. Then, it is time for him to leave, I said I'd see him tomorrow, and replies that we'll have to do a song together. Now, I'M REALLY IN HEAVEN!!!!!!!!

So, we arrive at the Cajun House, were I recorded my CD, 10 months earlier, and everything runs smoothly. I play my set and wait to be brought up. I'm reassured by Danny Zelisko that everything's a go and he's planning to bring me up. So I relax the best I can, I mean my heart is racing like a race horse. I move to the side of the stage and just stare in awe at my hero playing his heart out. Then he comes to the side of the stage and asks if I have my guitar. I scream yeah!!!!! My guitar tech Dusty rushes up to me with a cord and my beloved Fender strat, Clara, and Mark, Buddy's guitar tech plugs me into Buddy's spare amp and so it goes. We start in on it, trading licks and laughing. We then bleed into "I wanna Get Funky" by Albert King. I follow and Buddy precedes to tell the crowd about our prior day at Fender and says some kind words. We play for about ten minutes and then he takes off his guitar and starts signing autographs. The band pulls full steam, and I realize its time to stop. I jumped down and waited, backstage. He then appears and reassures me, that I was great, and, THANKS ME FOR SITTING IN!!!!!! WHAT????????? Thank me, no, thank you. We exchange words and guitar picks and he jumps in his van and says he'll see me down the road. He speeds away. So, was the night my dream came true.

J.D. Simo

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