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...And yet another Carolina dude

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Joined: 02 Mar 2005
Posts: 26
Location: Tucson, AZ

PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 10:54 pm    Post subject: ...And yet another Carolina dude Reply with quote

My name is Michael Walden. I got my first guitar in 1965 (I was 10 years old). I played in several high-vis bands in Fayetteville NC during the 69-75 timeframe. In 75 I joined theNavy and took off. In 83, I went back toFayetteville (with my wife) to go to college.

My wife approached me one day and said she had a friend who really wanted to meet me named Jimmy Herring. He was a guitarist that she went to high school with (She was 6 years younger than me) I said OK.

I went to Jimmy parents house. Jimmy had his band (Paradox) set up in the basement. (John Sutton on drums - this guy was awesome! And Mike (??) on bass) Jimmy came up to me and started shaking my hand and telling me how great I was....and how he used to see me when he was 10 years old at St Pats ( I was a young gunslinger) ..and what an influence I was to him.

I asked them to play something. The big head he gave me was popped immediately! These guys played something that floored me! Jimmy was unbelievable! I had never heard anyone play that good 'live' in front of me! My jaw hit the floor. Jimmy was smiling at me when it was over. He asked me to join the band. I joined Paradox for that summer before I went to college. Jimmy and I became good friends. He actually picked out a guitar for me to buy (82 Gibson 335 Solid Body Studio Model - I still have it). At that time, Jimmy was into playing Dixie Dregs songs note-for-note!

One time, we went to see The Dixie Dregs in Greenville - and I noticed Jimmy wasn't around for a while. It turns out he was backstage with Steve Morse playing with him.

Of all the players I ever met - I thought Jimmy would 'make it'.

Paradox broke up at the end of that summer. I went to college and Jimmy moved to Atlanta. I went into the Air Force and was stationed in North Dakota - but I would always call back to Fayetteville and ask what Jimmy was up to. I was told he was teaching guitar in Atlanta! I couldn't believe that! In the meantime, Jimmy influenced me and I started up a great band in Minot, ND - voted 'Best Band In North Dakota"! Smile

Now shoot years ahead: 1997. I'm out of the service in Dallas. I'm in a Barnes and Noble looking at CDs. I notice a brightly colored CD and pick it up to look at the back. There is Jimmy (looking exactly the same BTW) along with T Lavitz and Billy Cobham!! I crapped a brick!

I googled Jimmy and got caught up on his career...wow! I contacted Jimmy and told him how proud and excited I was for him.

In 2004, my wife got a call from Jimmy: "Tell Mike I have two tickets and two backstage passes to The Dead concert in Phoenix." (I live in Tucson now)

I went backstage and saw Jimmy for the first time in 20+ years - and he was still the nicest guy you'd ever want to meet. I told him I was still playing - "but it's just a cover band." Jimmy smiled and winked at me and said, "I'm in a cover band too!" Very Happy

To think I cavorted around with him for 4 or 5 months in 1983 and he was nice enough to remember me in 2004. What a guy.

His playing is unbelievable - but as I told him - he still sounds like 'Jimmy'. Even after all the 'schooling' he managed to keep his sound. THAT'S a player!

I'm playing in a really good band now in Tucson. If you're ever here check us out. www.east2westrocks.com
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Joined: 06 Aug 2004
Posts: 83

PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 12:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a great story! Thanks for sharing with us and please keep hanging with us!!

Thanks! Very Happy
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Joined: 20 Sep 2004
Posts: 488
Location: NH

PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

that is a great story , and I'll make sure to tell Jimmy you are around (unless you get to him first)

Very Happy

South Panic
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Joined: 16 Nov 2004
Posts: 32
Location: Richmond, VA

PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2005 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great story. I always love reading stories like that. I'll check out the site.
"There's a lot of different forms of communication, but music is absolutely the purest one, man.
There's nothing that could ever be bad about playing music."
- Duane Allman
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