Slowride- Digital Collage 7" x4" For Meg Musick-Makely, Sister, Foghat Enthusiast

A few weeks back I was sitting at the bar of my favorite watering hole when an older man came through the front door and sat down on the stool next to mine. We smiled at one another and then I returned my gaze to the television behind the bar.A commercial came on blaring a loud song from my youth. The man sitting next to me raised his hand off the bar and pointed to the screen and smiled. "I know a funny story about that song," he said. Without waiting for my reply he he continued.

"That's a song called Slowride by the band Foghat. I drove a bus for them back in the late 1970s.They were nice enough young guys from England. A little rowdy, but in an innocent way. They had just played a show in Buffalo and were scheduled to perform in Toledo the following day. Being young and irresponsible, the guys didn't board the bus until around noon leaving me pinched to get them to Toledo in time for the show. I punched it the whole way down the southern shore of Lake Erie. But, as is always the case, it's the last ten miles that will kill you. We hit Toledo around 5:00 p.m. Hoping to avoid rush hour traffic, I turned onto a local access road and figured I'd be at the hotel in fifteen minutes at most. Big mistake. I found myself behind an old man and little boy on a horse drawn carriage. For the next two hours we inched along behind them. No amount of honking could convince them to move to the side. Now, I suffer from high blood pressure and those Foghat lads grew concerned when they saw me turning red in the face and starting to fume. 'Take it easy, Ernie,' they told me. They even offered me a puff of a marijuana cigarette to calm me down which of course I declined. Then one of the guys pickedup his guitar and sat next to me. Whether or not he was trying to calm me or just make a fool of me I don't know but he started strumming his guitar singing, 'Slow ride. Take it easy. Slow ride. Take it easy.' It was no Hank Williams, I'll tell you, but the other guys got very enthusiastic and started to sing along with him. By the time we arrived at the hotel, they had worked out the song. They played it that night in Toledo and it went on to be a big hit record."I pivoted in my stool to face the man. "You're telling me Slowride was written about you?"
"Yes, Sir," he replied.
"I always thought it was a bawdy song."
"No, Sir," he replied. "It's about an agitated bus driver."
"Well I'll be damned," I said.I called to the bartender and pointed to the old man's glass, "This one's on me."