Friday, August 1, 2008

Blues for Benny

Sorry I haven't written here in awhile. We were busy touring the west coast with Mike Ness (Social Distortion) for three weeks.

I guess I should start this entry with a bit of a back-story. We had been gearing up for this trip for about six weeks prior to our departure. Benny Peters (Benny & the Fly-By-Niters) had signed on to pick guitar with us. He had done his homework and was good to go on all the material.

Then he decided to help me move.

The Saturday before we were to leave, Benny and his wife, Cindy, volunteered to help me move. Bear also offered his services. So--after we got the U-Haul loaded--we went to the new house. Benny was getting ready to take the first thing off the truck when he stepped back where there was no step. Down he went...hard. He broke his leg (both bones), his left forearm (both bones), and completely shattered his left elbow. And all he could do is tell me how he was sorry he wouldn't be able to go on tour with us.

My brother and I thought we should give it 24 hours because--who knows?--maybe he can pull it together enough to still do the tour. After four hours in surgery the following day, we realized that we were in need of another guitarist for our tour.

I made a round of phone calls the next day and finally connected with Eddie Biebel. He had just left Wayne Hancock's band and, thankfully, was up for the task of learning all the material in about two days.

I'm happy to report that Benny is on the mend and has been getting around without the aid of a wheelchair lately. He's even picking up the guitar and playing for as long as he can. We hope he's back out there playing and singing soon.

This is a video of Benny from 2000.

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