Wednesday, March 08, 2006

R.I.P. Jesse Taylor

Legendary Austin Texas guitarist who came out of Lubbock, first white man to play at Stubb's in Lubbock, guitarist for Joe Ely Band and the Flatlanders. Here's a benefit show gallery from almost a year ago. Even though he was the recipient of the benefit, he played his ass off with almost every band that day.

Here he is with the Flatlanders, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock. Joe Ely is out of the shot. Here is a month old article on Jesse from the local paper. It's got some pictures of his artwork.
EDIT: March 10. Here is the obit from the Statesman:
Austin American-Statesman obituary: Jesse Taylor loved playing guitar so much it became his middle name. Jesse, who passed away at his home in Austin Tuesday at 55, first heard an electric guitar blaring from a garage band in Lubbock. Jesse 'Guitar' Taylor set out to make his life being a rock 'n' roll musician, and to the lasting enrichment of Austin and Lubbock and many points in between, he managed it with the grace of his upbringing and an uproarious roadhouse style. Jesse had some wild hairs. He once walked out of an Austin beer joint during a band break and hopped a freight, just because he missed riding the rails. He jumped off the Congress Avenue bridge one night and surfaced in Town Lake with the realization, well now, that shore there is a pretty fair swim. The goatee and tattooed forearms and booted swagger were part of his statement. But when health slowed him down, he proved himself a gifted painter. Within all that was the heart of one of the world's kindest men. Born April 10, 1950, Jesse was raised in Lubbock by a remarkable mother, Martha Fain. She came from a family of Czech cotton farmers. He spent summers on the farms of his uncles, who at their dinner tables spoke the language of the old country. Jesse's friends growing up were a constellation of talent - Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock, John X. Reed, Ponty Bone, Loyd Maines, T.J. McFarland. In 1967 Jesse joined the band of another Lubbock contemporary, Angela Strehli, and they headlined with rhythm and blues shows at the Vulcan Gas Company and in holes-in-the-wall on the east side. He was bouncing between Austin, California, Colorado, and back to Lubbock. He hitchhiked to get around, and one day a black man in a Cadillac picked him up. His name was C.B. "Stubb" Stubblefield. He parked the car in front of a barbecue joint and said, "Well, this is where I'm going." Jesse said he'd always wanted to go in that place. "I'll tell you what," said Stubb. "I got a barbecue sandwich and a cold beer that's got your name on it." Which led to the storied jams that Jesse organized on Sunday afternoons, and in the general migration of those years, brought the institution of Stubb's Barbecue and music to Austin. Jesse was the guitarist in Joe Ely's band from 1975 to 1982. Bonnie Raitt tried to hire him away, but Texas was where his loves and friendships and children were. He toured with Billy Joe Shaver and Kinky Friedman and, with his old friend John X. Reed, he recorded South Side Guitar in 2001. Jesse knew he was ailing by then, but the lead instrumental he composed was as rowdy and inspired as ever. The piece was called "Don't Give Up." Jesse is survived by his sister Kathy Taylor and brother Timothy Fain; his daughters Nicole Taylor, Chelsea Taylor, and Carrie Young; his niece Cara Fain; his grandsons Taylor Peterkin and Lucas Butler; and his loving partner Kim Elaine Stewart. Visitation to be from 7:00 p.m.- 9:00 p.m. Thursday March 9, 2006 at Cook/Walden N. Lamar in Austin, Tex. Funeral services will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday March 11, 2006 in the Resthaven Abbey Chapel on W. 19th St., Lubbock, Tex. Anyone wishing to help defray funeral expenses may send contributions to Kathy Taylor, 912 Koerner Lane, Austin, TX 78721.
Published in the Austin American-Statesman on 3/9/2006.

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