When I left Birmingham, I headed for Tupelo, Missississippi. It took me a little longer to get there than I thought. I didn’t have a lot of time to be looking around for a place to play. It was Saturday night and I wanted to get busy. After a phone call, it was decided to go straight to Memphis. I arrived in the downtown area around 8:45ish and could NOT find a place to park. I got a little agitated so I went to a coffee shop outside of downtown to calm down and get some other work done. I had been driving all day and after not really being able to play in Birmingham, I just wanted to play in Memphis!!! I had asked a police officer here about permits. He said you do need one, but not to worry about it. He went on to say, if they say something, just go. Again, I fully understood. I had asked another one earlier and she said the same thing. I got my work done and went back downtown and it took a little time, but I found a spot right on Union St!
As I walked around to find a spot, it seemed every place had either live music or music on loud speakers, playing outside. I walked by another police officer on the beat and I asked him “Is there a spot where I can play, where there isn’t music on loudspeakers?” He told me to go in front of The Peabody Hotel. That is where horse carriage tours start and finish. I thank him and went to the front of the Peabody. I got all set up to play, it was 11:30pm and after my first tune, it starts to rain. I said aloud, “I don’t think so” Well at the Peabody, they have awnings! I was able to stay out there for just over an hour before the wind started bringing the rain a little too close. It was a sweet hour of music and interaction.
Later on that night, around 2:15am I went for a walk down Beale St. with an umbrella, it was still raining. What a scene, walking down the middle of the street lined with police cruisers and “Hey Joe” playing over a loudspeaker. It was something! Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera.
I woke up early on Sunday, before the sun came up. I thought it would be a special treat to go to the Mississippi River for the sunrise. Obviously, it didn’t come up over the river, in fact I didn’t even see the sun. The sun lit up the clouds though and it was still beautiful. Unfortunately, my pictures didn’t capture it the way I saw it
I spent the morning at the coffee shop doing some work and talking to people. I met a man named Mike, who was very helpful with my upcoming locations in Nashville and Asheville. He also pointed out the Mayor of Memphis, A.C. Wharton so I introduced myself to him and told him what I was doing. He said “Welcome to Memphis!” then we took a photo. Mike introduced to me to a couple of other people that sat at the table. It is a regular Sunday thing where this group meets at the coffee shop. It looks to be a fun time for everyone.
I made my way back downtown, and found a parking space went back to play in front of The Peabody. I was asked to leave after about 30 minutes, the shops being open at the Peabody, I think was the difference from the night before. I was okay with that, at the time I was there it wasn’t busy anyway. In the middle of the afternoon, it is like anywhere else in the summer, not a lot of people walking around. I took a break to cool off myself, and do some more work.
After a while, I went to a place where I was under a walking bridge to a parking garage. It made an nice echo sound but again I asked to leave, private property. The man told me I could go across the street on the corner, that to me was, was perfect. I played for three hours there and it was just awesome! There were a lot of people walking by and there was a lot of interaction. There were also several police officers who rode by a bikes and seemed to be enjoying what they were hearing. Security from across the street pulled up in a van and I stopped playing. He said, “I was hoping to hear some music, that’s why I drove over here.” I said, “Excellent!” and started to wail. When he left, he gave me a nod of approval. The entire three hours were just awesome!
I know this is a little bit longer than my other entries, but hey, it’s Memphis! I want to thank the people of Memphis for being so friendly and give a shout out to Mayor A.C. Wharton – Good luck in the election!!
I also want to thank all of you again, for taking an interest in my journey and reading along.