Jesse Taylor, One of the Family, 'Lived a Hundred Centuries of Nighttimes'
RECEIVED Thu., March 9, 2006
Dear Editor, Jesse Taylor died last night [“TCB,” Music, March 10]. Bukka (Allen, my son) called and told us about an hour after he passed. I called Lloyd (Maines); Joe (Ely), who was sitting on a plane in San Diego; and Davis (McLarty). Had a long talk later with Lloyd about what a true heart Jesse was. Lloyd said, "All these politicians with their Ivy League educations, their big money and power schemes, all put together don't have as much soul as Jesse did in his little finger." We joked thinking about him and Stubb (C.B. Stubblefield) sitting up there together again and laughing their asses off at all of us dumbasses down below. Music and barbecue in heaven! Finally! Then Jo Harvey (my wife) and I had a Jesse Night. Whiskey and beer and watching him grin and roar playing all through Lubbock Lights, then listened to Smokin' the Dummy, where he plays like a wild electric Panhandle banshee on everything. And his flat-picking on “Flatland Farmer” – a blistering account of himself and the first time he ever played on any of my records. No way I can think of him “gone” when he's so much “here” on the music he left. He went too early, but I keep thinking about Danny Parish (a friend I had who died in 1973 when he was 33). When at the funeral, his mother said, "Yes, he died too young, but he stayed up late. That counts for something." In Jesse's case that counted for everything. He lived a hundred centuries of nighttimes. You knew it when he played. I'll miss that great blues-monster guitar and his big goofy grin very much. Lot of miles and a million memories. He was one of the family, and I loved him.