Rick Duro Remembers Bobby Sheehan
I was walking North on 2nd Avenue, over 10 years ago, it was a March night, during the work week. I was home for a few days, off from school. My friends and I had rolled a joint and were passing it along, back and forth, as we strolled the dirty Blvd. All of a sudden, as we got to 13th st. we stopped, you see the joint had begun to 'canoe'(You herb smokers know what I am talking about), and the situation needed a quick remedy. So we stopped.....We were standing right behind Nightingales. (I had never even heard of the place @ that point).....all of a sudden I felt my rump shakin' a little, kinda like when you hear an recognizable/danceable tune booming over someone's car stereo(you know, a very brief 'boogie' per say)...I was like "Do you hear that thick, bass groove, man, that is awesome"', my friend replies, "Oh, yea, that's this band called Blues Traveler, they play here all the time, we should check them out" Like Bugs Bunny being drawn to the smell of carrots by an odor shaped like a human hand("follow me....." "Walk THIS way...."), I was beckone d to the front door. I don't even remember walking in, it was like I was magically transformed from that spot outside the bar, to the front door, and I was in. I asked someone..."'hey, what's the name of this tune, and they replied..."Mother FUCKER"....I was like "Cool!" I danced my ass off. We onlu caught about an hour's worth of the show, as we had arrived so late. So, essentially, it was Bobby's thick, infectious bass GROOVE that captured me, my imagination and made my booty boogey across the dance floor. 'MotherfuNKer" was always BOB's song. (Just like 'Closing Down the Park' will always be John's song-I still say it should be called 'The Tompkins Square Park Riot Jam')When they did that song back then, it was a 15-20min. journey, and Bob was your tour guide. It was as if you got into the back seat of this vintage 1950 Car, you kno w, kinda like the ones you'd see on 'Happy Days' parked out in front of Arnold's waiting for the roller skating waitresses to serve them Burhers, Fries, Milk shakes, Soda pop. You got in the car, Bob was your driver, his baseball cap on, cigarette hanging from his lip....he drove you ....and the further you went into MR BOB's WILD RIDE, the thicker, the juicer the GROOVE got....I can hear the bass groove in my head right now.....listen....can you hear it? Can you FEEL it?! Sure you can, it's unmistakeable....Well, after sweating your butt of grooving in the back seat, when Bob, your driver/tour guide, felt like you were spent, you couldn't take anymore, he stopped the car, and let you off the ride. That song is what intoduced me to Blues Traveler, it was Bobby's unparalleled playing expertise, sense of musical journey, gift for Improv that pulled me in, off of the dirty Blvd that sweet March evening in 1989.
From that moment on, I was a Traveler.....I owe a lot to Bobby and his band: I have met A LOT of VERY cool people along the way, amongst my travels seeing the band,the adventure/places visited, like when a group of people who, on the spur of the moment hopped in a van and drove out to Colorado in October of 1990 to see them play a bunch of gigs, we barely knew one another, just from sight @ shows, and we just took off into the great unknown...breaking down along the way, sleeping in a barn in OH....ahh...YOUTH! All the wonderful friends I have made @ shows, like Redbone, Fra nk D'Auria, Chris Kaspar, Steve Hagar, Cory Eichhorn, Lynda, I could go on and on and on......for the love of my life...Tavia, who I met @ a BT show, for all the INCREDIBLE music that Bob and his band of merry men introduced me to: WSP, ABB, Gov't Mule, Col. Bruce and the ARU, High Plains Drifter, MM&W,Jono Manson (Sweetones, Worms, Dogs), Galactic, GreyBoy All-Stars, and the tons of HORDE bands over the years...not to mention all the awesome jamming @ BT shows over the years, so mu ch wonderful music...what we we now do w/o TAPES?!?!?! Thankfully we can revisit most of those moments that blew us away, obviously it's not the same, as it's just a tape, but, @ least we have the music and our imaginations....
Bob, the world was your oyster, you lived life to it's fullest and partied along the way. All you wanted to do was PLAY, and that you did my friend, that you did.
I never 'knew' you like some others, we shared a joint a few times, had jack and cokes once or twice, but that never mattered. You were always very accomodating, you never had that rock star air about you. You were anti-rock star, and people always seemed to be very comfortable around you, you were a lot of fun to be around.
It wasn't the spoils reaped from the music, the fame that seemed to matter, it was just that you enjoyed playing, making people happy, as they boogied their butts off.
Thank you Bobby, my eyes were opened that fateful night, and if it were not for your deliciously thick, infectious bass grooves, I may have missed out on an awful lot. I owe you a lot...and for that I wil be eternally grateful.
Rest in Peace Brooklyn Bob, and thanks a million:)