Article

Born Again

With help from friends, Mavis Staples takes us there again

 

sometime back in 1967 or '68 i happened to be at the fillmore in nyc for a concert - it was big brother and the holding company's last go rounds in ny before janis moved on - as the show ended on the first night i happened to be standing next to chip mounk (hope i spelled that correctly) and he muttered something about wanting a couple of dozen roses for the next night - i said how many dozen? 3 or 4? and he looked at me ?  

my father is a florist just tell me. 

he said 4

i said ok

i showed up the next night with 4 dozen long stem roses and the guy at the door had no clue - he took me back to bill graham who was overwhelmed and frantic  

he said, " yeah let them in but no seats!"

there was my brother and his girl friend and a friend we had met on the way - 

we went in and scattered

i stayed in a bathroom between shows and was just very inconspicious during the second show but it was a powerhouse and when big brother came on they played one song and asked the staples to come back on stage - 

it was pops on his tremelo guitar and everyone else was percussion of some kind and janis and mavis sang - it was something else and it got so quiet in there you could have heard the proverbial pin drop - i have never heard such deafening quiet before and when they finished their duet there was a count of   1    2   and then the audience stood and roared the staples left the stage and big brother finished - 

 

at the end i was just transfixed and stayed and somehow was overlooked in the bathroom again - 

there was a  bit of chaos and when i came out there was a jam session going on - and somehow i wound up talking to pops and the family - and we have been friends since - 

i next ran into them in washington dc of a 4th of july event on the mall and i reminded them of that concert - mavis cried - i asked if they ever found a recording of that duet janis and mavis did and they replied in the negative (if anyone knows of it please let mavis or i know ) (taoboy@cox.net) - 

there is much more but that was the start of a friendship that continues to this day and was one of the most touching moments in my life and the beginning of a joyful friendship that carries on strong - 

 bob