Ponderosa Stomp April 26, 2005

Dr. Ira Padnos and Scotty Moore
photo© courtesy E. Shepherd

Scotty owed Dr. Ira Padnos (Dr. Ike at the Ponderosa Stomp) a big favor for calling and insisting that Scotty go to the hospital during his brain bleed in 2003, so when Ira invited Scotty back this year we were on it like a shot.  Scotty asked if he could use Steve Shepherd on keyboards (of course) and Deke Dickerson and his bass player.  DJ Fontana was there and played drums.  We also asked if we could bring along Billy Swan for vocals.  Ira was simply delighted to get Billy along with Scotty as a package!

Billy Swan and Kathy Hendren
photo© courtesy E. Shepherd

Billy and his friend Kathy Hendren drove down with us in Scotty's big Ronnie McDowell-gift Explorer.  We went early so we could have a night in New Orleans before the show.  Steve and Ella Shepherd took their own car as they were going on to Florida for a few days after New Orleans.  We all got in on Monday the 25th and went out to a great steak house in the French Quarter for dinner.  I was a great hostess and spilled my wine before anyone else could be embarrassed by doing something that stupid.  We had a huge dinner and it tasted great, just as it should in New Orleans.

Kathy Hendren, Billy Swan, Gail Pollock, Steve and Ella Shepherd
photo© courtesy E. Shepherd

Steve Shepherd and Scotty Moore
photo© courtesy E. Shepherd

Tuesday morning Scotty slept late while the other five of us went down to the French Quarter for begneits and strong coffee and touristing and buying stuff at the French market.  That's always fun, and we got some cute stuff.  That afternoon, Steve, Ella, Scotty and I went over to the Venue, the Rock and Bowl (really, a bowling alley with a Rock and roll stage....only in New Orleans!)  to look over the set-up.  This year Scotty played downstairs and we had to locate stuff...he wants to see the setup before the crowd gets there...knows where the hospitality area and the bath room are!   Ira came by in his baggy shorts and tee shirt while we were there.   I located a place to stash the guitar out of harm's way up some stairs with nothing but a very small empty room at the top.   Two years ago, Scotty's very neat Gibson gig bag had been stolen, and he always wants his guitar to get to the same temperature as the room so it will stay in tune.  So we located a place for it, which was safe but not well located for him to get on stage, so I had to go and retrieve it just before he went on and carried it through the huge crowd.  One guy saw me and said, "Hold it close to your heart!"  It could not have been any closer!

Scotty Moore and Earl Palmer
photo© courtesy E. Shepherd

Earl Palmer, Scotty Moore and Lazy Lester
photo© courtesy E. Shepherd

Before the show we went early to visit with Earl Palmer, Lazy Lester, and some other friends from previous Stomps.  Scotty was so glad to see that Earl was there as he has been ill. Ella got a great shot of two old warhorse friends together  again.  You can't keep good men down!  We also met Link Wray for the first time.  He was overcome with meeting his hero Scotty, sand Scotty did not know what to say!  Fame is not his long suit.  But we talked to him and his wife and son for some time.  We are going to invite them to the show in Stockholm in August.   They live in Scandinavia.  Also Nokie Edwards of the Ventures was there.  Quite a line-up.....the list just went on and on.

Link Wray and wife, Scotty Moore and Lazy Lester
photo© courtesy E. Shepherd

Link Wray and Scotty Moore sign autographs
photo© courtesy E. Shepherd

Unfortunately, some memorabilia dealers managed to get back-stage passes.  Scotty and Link and everyone else famous there got stung by guys with lots of stuff to autograph who did not belong in the private area.  Security was pretty tight, but somehow they got by.

Scotty Moore
photo© courtesy E. Shepherd

Billy Swan
photo© courtesy E. Shepherd

The crowd was all the way out the door
photo© courtesy E. Shepherd

The show went off great!   The crowd was right out the back door, and they were in a good mood but listened to everything the guys did.   Deke and his band had backed dozens of acts for the two days of the show in addition to rehearsing the night before.  They were so great!   Two of the band, Deke on guitar and Jon Flynn on bass, played with Scotty.   Billy was so good on the vocals....he has been Scotty's friend all the way back to Music City Recorders in Nashville in the 60's and my friend since I went to work at Monument Studio in 1974, the year he cut "I Can Help".  He's still the greatest guy!  The fans loved him.

Scotty Moore with Jon Flynn
photo© courtesy E. Shepherd

Deke, DJ, Scotty, Jon Flynn, Steve Shepherd and Billy Swan
photo© courtesy E. Shepherd

Ira had sent a list of songs and they picked out about 12 to do.  Everything was Elvis except "I Can Help".  This was actually the first time Scotty had done an Elvis set there...he usually did something like Hank Sr. with Lazy Lester or blues jams with Earl Palmer.   This whole thing is just for fun!

Ella Shepherd and Scotty Moore
photo© courtesy G. Pollock

Ira's wife Porkchop (really Samantha, but Paul Burlison gave her the nickname) had made some of the most beautiful coats to raffle off.  She had painted pictures of some of the people who were playing on the show and put them along with New Orleans memorabilia on some blazers, and they were great.  She had on one with Scotty's picture.  Unfortunately, neither Ella nor I had our cameras when we saw her in it the night before the show.  She is so talented!  She is always in the Mardi Gras parades, plays saxophone, plays violin, paints, and just about anything else you can name.  And she's so cute that I have to laugh and hug her every time I see her!

Karen Fontana, Gail Pollock, Ella Shepherd and Kathy Hendren
photo© courtesy E. Shepherd

The show went well, and we left a short time after their gig...around 11 pm.  We went back to the hotel and sent Scotty to bed.   The next day Billy and Kathy walked all over New Orleans, Steve and Ella went on to Florida, Scotty slept and I went back to the Quarter for shirts for my son and my daughter.  That night, Billy, Kathy, Scotty and I ordered some delicious Greek salads and pizza delivered to the room and we all ate like pigs sitting on Scotty's bed.

The Big Guy
photo© courtesy E. Shepherd

We went on up to Florence, Al on Thursday for a fund-raiser in Sam Phillips' name for Patsy Andersen and Jerry Phillips.  That was fun, too.  We finally got home on Saturday, just in time to get ready for a visit from Miro and Oddweig Simic from Sweden.  More about that in another scrapbook piece.

Gail Pollock
May 24, 2005


Sadly, Link Wray passed away on November 5, 2005.  He was buried in silence and privacy in Copenhagen Denmark, Friday 18th of November 2005. with attendance of his wife Olive and son Oliver.

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