Another Road Story – Faron Young

I told you last week about working with Lynn Anderson and having to fly commercially to all the jobs.  I realized since that also Johnny Rivers was a fly job and the short tour I did with Tanya Tucker was a flying only job.

I don’t really care much for commercial flying.  On some jobs, the bus is just the best way to go.  You have your own bunk, carry anything you want with you and the bus usually stops to get food or drink whenever the band asks for it.  Airplanes just don’t seem to want to do that.

Of course, with us being in Nashville and having a California tour lined up, it’s much easier to fly to the west coast, leave the airplane and get on the bus for the short haul around the state.

When I was with Johnny Paycheck, we used bus only no matter where the job was.  Needless to say, I slept in the bunk a lot.  I always managed to get up to observe Johnny’s famous antics.

I’ll never forget sitting in my den one afternoon when the phone rang.  I answered it and it was Faron Young.  I was working for someone else at the time, but he had four jobs between Tennessee and Kentucky that he wanted to use me on, on steel guitar.

I told him I’d be glad to.  I made the arrangements of where to meet the bus.  He had a new band at this time which I was leery of the first day out.  After the first job we played, I was looking for excuses to not due the last three dates.  We came back to Nashville after the first day and I went home just for the evening to sleep and was supposed to meet the bus a day later for the last three days.

The more I thought about going back out, the more I hated the idea.  I called several players in town, Stu Basore, Doug Jernigan and Jimmy Crawford.  When I got to Don Helms, he said Faron wouldn’t hire a steel player with one arm.  I said, “Oh no, what happened to your arm?”

Don exclaimed nothing yet, but Faron would have to break it to get him on the bus.  This is when I realized that Faron was in the middle of one of his drinking spells.  Suddenly the phone rang and it was Jimmy Day passing through town and wanted to know if I had a little work for him.

I asked him if he’d like to go out with Faron for three days.  He said, “No, but I need the money.”

After a week or so, I called one of the guys in the band to see how the jobs went.  They said fine, that Jimmy did a good job, however Faron was a little miffed when I didn’t do the jobs myself.

About six months later I walked into a club in Nashville called Possum Hollar.  As I was walking down the long hall, at the end of the hall I saw this big ruckus going on and it was Faron Young inebriated telling interesting stories to a group of tourists.  I thought, “Oh no, how am I going to avoid this.”

About that time, Faron spotted me and yelled, “Ladies and gentlemen, there’s Bobbe Seymour.  A great steel player, but he might send somebody else to sub for him if you hire him.  But I love him and he’s a great friend along with being a good steel player.”

I breathed a sigh of relief, glad I wasn’t going to be suffering his wrath.  Not long after that he rehired his old band and I went to work steady for him for awhile.  I really got a kick out of his humor.  He was a very generous, honest person and like Johnny Paycheck, kept me laughing most of the time.

While watching the Jay Leno show the other evening, I noticed that his guest singer was going to be Gary Allen so I kept watching the show until Gary came on.  Sure enough, there was his good steel player, Chad Udeen, better known as CJ.  Sure is good to see steel guitar on these high profile shows.

I’m always surprised about where steel guitar is going and where it is.  I got an email from a country western band in Beijing, China explaining that they sing classic country and western songs in the Chinese language.  This just proves that steel guitar is everywhere.  I applaud this group and hope they become a big success in China.

These newsletters are for you, for your entertainment and steel guitar knowledge.  I would like to hear from you and know what you would like to hear about.  Do you like stories about my old days on the road or would you rather have listening to products and how I rate them or possibly just what’s going on in Nashville?

We are busy preparing our Christmas sale list and we’ll be sending out a special announcement to this mailing list letting you know the details.  We will be open every Saturday between Thanksgiving and Christmas from 9 AM until 2 PM.  I’ll be here as much as I’m able.

As I get my strength back, I’ll be spending more time at the store.  In other words, I’ll be in and out as much as possible.

In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek at the Black Friday Sale we’ve created for you.

This gives you a chance to get a jump on all the Black Friday shoppers.

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