The Good Dr. Lonnie Smith

Probably the biggest highlight of not only my career as a musician but as the owner of the club has to be the collaboration with Dr. Lonnie Smith. What was supposed to be a one off couple of nights has turned into a record, 4 tours and a wonderful friendship.  He has inspired me in so many ways!

My first every chat with Lonnie was shortly after the booking had been confirmed. I wanted to talk to him to sound him out about concentrating on his more funky stuff like the stuff he did on ‘Live At Club Mozambique’  Tunes like Love Bowl, Scream and Play It Back.

Lonnie was totally into this idea but said that he would need charts for all of his tunes as he hadn’t played them in quite sometime.  This was not a problem and I knew that Chris Gestrin had some already written out. I figured between Jerry Cook and I, it wouldn’t be a problem to write out 5 tunes each.  We ended up transcribing about 15 tunes and it took lots of time.  I made sure that I mailed the tunes to him so he could have a quick read through if he wanted. 

On the day that Lonnie arrived the band had a rehearsal and Lonnie didn’t show up with his music.  I asked him “hey doc, how come you don’t have your music?” to which he responded ‘what do I need the music for, I can’t read it so its no good to me.’  I said ‘well why the hell did you make me transcribe it all for you then?’ to which he replied with a little twinkle in his eye ‘I just wanted to make sure you knew the tunes!”

Truly classic!


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