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My Brush with Greatness

Although my “brush with greatness” is fairly old, the “star” just made the headlines in today’s news
with an ever-so-slight whiff of White House intrigue, so it appears he is still relevant.

By the time I attended the Stevie Ray Vaughn concert at the Civic Center in Oklahoma City on
May 2, 1990 I had been playing guitar in bar bands full-time for over 15 years. I had worked with,
met, or was at least aware of a wide range of musicians from across the state and beyond.

I was at the Stevie Ray show with two other band mates and as we entered the Civic Center we ran
into many of those fellow musician who, like us, had the Wednesday night off and were there to draw
inspiration from the great SRV and Double Trouble. In fact, it was as much like a reunion as a concert,
and we were having a great time catching up with all the old friends we kept running into.

The line at the beer stand was unusually long, and after we took our place it wasn’t surprising that
the two guys behind us looked familiar. We were soon exchanging jokes, checking out the women,
praising the talents of SRV and generally enjoying ourselves. Although I recognized the two I couldn’t
quite place them, but because of all the other familiar faces I simply assumed we knew each other and
I could ask one of my buddies who they were later.

We finally purchased our beers and, because they did not allow food or beverages in the Center itself,
my friends and I found us a place in the wide entry hall to drink them down before taking our seats.
After the two guys behind us purchased their brews they followed us and we continued our conversation.

It wasn’t until after we were almost finished that one of my friends realized that the two were
Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain, guitarist and keyboardist for Journey (Schon had been a member
of Santana before that), Although I was aware that Schon had family in OKC and was with Bad English
at that time, I had no idea Bad English had played at the Civic Center the night before.

The show was about to start so we parted ways to find our reserved seats just in time to catch
Stevie Ray playing even better than usual. Sadly, less than four months later he was gone.

And even though I have met other celebrities, that evening was a very special memory for me as
a guitar player, and I was greatly impressed by the obvious respect Neal Schon had for Stevie Ray.

Today’s news reports that White House party crasher Tareq Salahi is suing his wife for running off
with Schon, claiming that it was a calculated attempt to make money for herself and the band.
Evidently Neal still has a little bit of celebrity clout.
 Neked Bob


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