I was sitting at the kitchen table having my supper one night several years ago and happened to have the TV on channel 8. I enjoyed a documentary about a musical group named The Band. That show went off and a tribute to Muddy Waters was playing. Now in case you may not be from these parts, Muddy Waters was not muddy water, but a man simply named Muddy Waters and he played good old fashioned blues soul music.
My mind was brought back many years to the late sixties. During these days Tomball Independent School District was the largest district in the area. The only one that might have been bigger was Cy-Fair. Now I know a lot of you have a hard time believing me, but Magnolia, Spring, and Klein were dots on a page in comparison to Tomball. I don't mean to be offensive to anyone, but I can remember the days when some of those schools would show up at football games with holes in their band uniforms.
During the late sixties, I belonged to a band named Decembers Children. We were a group of hippie wannabe’s. We wanted long hair, but it couldn't be too long because it wasn't allowed in school, nor in my home. I wanted to play the guitar like Jimmy Hendrix, but my Dad wouldn't let me play loud enough to cause the needed feed-back on my Fender Jaguar. I wanted to dance like Date Thomas, but my feet wouldn't go in the right direction. All in all, as I said before, we were hippie wannabe’s. (Date Thomas was a man out there living in his own world and will make good stories in the future.)
The leader of our band was a guy named Danny Maddox. He was our lead singer. Jimmy Conn was our drummer and Donald Foley was our lead guitarist. If I'm not mistaken Art Cummings was our bass player and yours truly played rhythm guitar.
Danny doubled as our manager and it was his duty to book our group with different gigs. During these days somebody would reserve the old Humble Camp building and we would have high school dances out there. Humble Camp was a large gas plant on the west side of Tomball and they had a community building for use by the public. If I'm not mistaken we played one gig out there but the highlight of my musical career was the year we were booked for the Magnolia High School homecoming dance. I'm a little fuzzy on the year but I think it was 1969. We were on cloud nine when we got this booking, as we knew the "out of town" exposure would surely launch our musical career. Groups like The Beatles, Hendrix, ZZ Top and many others were real hot then and we were about to give them a run for their money.
The night of the dance I took my woman with me (now my wife, but unknown to me at the time) and we were ready to blow the walls out at Magnolia High! A whole twenty people showed up….. but we had fun anyway. One young lady in particular who sticks in my mind danced the night away to the music of Decembers Children.
That's the last gig I can remember. The band broke up and we all remained friends. I tried my solo career for a few months. I recorded some reel to reel tapes on Mrs. Bog's tape player and I even went to a guy in Houston and auditioned. I never told my parents I had went into town, but looking back I have a hunch this guy wasn't above board anyhow. I played and sang my songs in his living quarters, he thanked me and I left. He told me he was looking for a different style of music. God watches over little boys and foolish teenagers.
My band years are over. The songs I wrote are in my piano bench. The tape has been long gone and my Fender Jaguar was sold many years ago as it was simply gathering dust under my bed. Bo Diddly started performing on TV. I went and got my guitar out and started dreaming once again about my youth…