1988 - 1993
Office of the Nashville Red Book | Nashville, Tennessee | 1987-88
Photo by Rusty Rust
From 1986 through 1992, I created and was the Managing Editor of the Nashville Red Book ... a telephone directory of Nashville's music and entertainment industry. This picture was taken at the office, by my good friend Rusty Rust ... makeup was done by another very close friend of mine, Mary Beth Felts.
I wasn't performing at this time; it was a rare and discomforting phase to go through ... "purging myself of the past" would best describe it ... I was writing and playing ... rediscovering myself quietly ... and it wasn't until 1993, after being off-stage for some eight years, that I finally returned to my live performances -- due to the sweet insistance of my good friend Deana Carter ... I performed the opening set for her show at Nashville's 12th & Porter club; January 19th, 1993 ... no photos ... I didn't tell anyone I was even doing the gig - except for Deana, Kraig Krampf, and Kevin Monroe. You can hear where I was at at that point in time, by listening to the Nebraska Ave. CD.
The Charlie Chase Show | Nashville, Tennessee | 1988
Charlie Chase and I, having a conversation on his television show (TNN) in the Fall of 1988. Charlie and I became pretty good chums while I lived in Nashville ... he's a great guy.
Wynona Judd's Ranch | Nashville, Tennessee | 1992
Photo by Rusty Rust
Here I am, jumpin' Wynona Judd's fence, out near Leper's Fork, Tennessee. There are a lot of sentiments embedded in this photo ... I was finally taking my music to the streets again ... and those rips and tears represent all the scrapes and falls it took, getting me "back." The Willy Wear jacket was a gift from Bernie Taupin. This shoot was taken right after I had returned to Nashville from a 2-3 week stay in L. A. at The Edge Recording Studio | Mark Paladino and I hadn't worked together in 13 years (!!!) ... we decided to team up again and recorded 4 new songs of mine. I didn't see Bernie on that trip, but he sent me his 2nd-hand Willy Wear suit with encouragements and kudos about the project - pretty cool, huh? The bootstrap was given to me by producer Rick DeLano (Atlantic Records) the day I was leaving ... only I *didn't* leave that day, because me & Paladino were eating, drinking, and talking at the airport restaurant ... forgot what we were doing ... until *after* my plane had taken off! LOL! The best part is that it didn't matter! And the red scarf ... well ... the red scarf is from my Mom.
And below is a close-up ... same photoshoot:
KCET-TV | Los Angeles, California | 1992/1993
Photo by Brian D. McLaughlin | The Image Plant
"In late 1992, I had the good fortune to get a booking on a television show in L.A. ... flew out for a couple of weeks ... spent 3 days with Bernie Taupin ... a week or so with Mark Paladino ... one evening with Elton John and Eric Clapton and just had a good time vamping around Venice Beach and seeing how much things had changed. Changed? Jeeze! - I couldn't recognize a single thing! McLaughlin was doing a photo shoot during the taping of the TV show, and a couple of weeks after I got back to Nashville, I received a couple of slides in my mailbox - pictures McLaughlin had taken! I was really surprised ... and thought it was an unusually **nice** thing for someone to do!
The picture above, is me performing solo ... and below, are a couple of shots of me playing guitar for Lynn and Billy Joe: Lynn Anderson is best known for her hit song, I Never Promised You A Rose Garden ... Billy Joe Royal is best known for his hit song Down On the Boondocks. They sang a duet of I Never Promised You A Rose Garden and I played backup guitar. This was aired as a TV special on network/cable television; taped in Los Angeles.
It's the only time I ever wore that leather hat ... except, that same week, when I took sweet Francine to the Elton John / Eric Clapton concert -- we drove right through the riot area (the famous L.A. riots of 1992 had only *just* ended) and risked our lives more than we knew. Later, at the concert, a gentleman from the audience stopped me as I was heading backstage and asked me for my autograph. It seems he thought I was Joe Walsh ... I told him I wasn't, but he wanted my autograph anyway because, he said, I *looked* famous ... well ... whatever ... I signed his ticket: to Randal Jay Ehm, Architect ... I am not Joe Walsh ... (signed)> Bob Dylan. The coolest thing was about 5 minutes later, when I got backstage and was able to stoop almost directly in front of Eric Clapton (just off to the side - unseen, behind some stage gear) and less than 10 feet away from Clapton while he did his solo guitar jam-segment. Man, oh man."
Rusty Rust Studio | Nashville, Tennessee | 1993
Photo by Rusty Rust
This was taken the last year I was in Nashville ... shortly after the 12th & Porter gig, where I opened for Deana Carter. This shoot took place at Rusty's photo studio ... he was having some renovations done in the studio, and the scaffolding was there from the work crew ... he threw up some lights, got maniacal about creating shadows, started taking on a strange kind of Orson Wells appearance and verbalizing stained glass monologues about Michelangelo painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Ummm ... yeah, right. Whatever ...
Patrick Celi Studio | New Brunswick, New Jersey | 1995
Photo by Patrick Celi
That's my Dad's hat ... my Dad's rosary ... and my Mom gave me the gold star (pin on hat-brim). This picture was taken shortly after I returned to New Jersey, and had just begun playing the Cafe Newz club in New Brunswick (Rutgers University).