Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Healey Band’

A Landmark Preserved

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

A few times over the past five years, I’ve written about the building at 508 Park Avenue in Dallas, the building where Robert Johnson spent two days recording in 1937. I’ve written about the possibility that the building – dilapidated and in a difficult neighborhood – might be torn down. I’ve written about the sessions that Eric Clapton conducted there in 2004, recording several of Johnson’s songs in the same room where Johnson recorded them in 1937. And I’ve written about my two visits to the building, about standing at its doorstep and standing in the same place where both Robert Johnson and Eric Clapton had been.

But I’m not sure I ever shared here the very good news that, through a project headed by the Stewpot – a homeless shelter across the street from 508 – and the First Presbyterian Church of Dallas, the building at 508 Park will be preserved and will become the centerpiece for what’s being called the Museum of Street Culture. The vacant building on the north side of 508 has been razed to create a space that will include an amphitheater, and a now-vacant lot on the south side of the building will become a community garden.

The plans for the museum and its programs are available at the website for the Museum of Street Culture, a website that includes a photo of Steven Johnson, the grandson of Robert Johnson, standing in front of the building where his grandfather recorded some of the most influential songs in blues history.

Here’s my photo of the door of 508 from one of my trips to Dallas.

And here is a selection – offered once before, in 2009 – of covers of some of the songs that Robert Johnson recorded during his two sessions in 508 Park Avenue in 1937:

A Six-Pack of 508 Park Avenue
“Stop Breakin’ Down” by the Jeff Healey Band from Cover To Cover [1995]
“Malted Milk” by Eric Clapton from Unplugged [1992]
“Traveling Riverside Blues” by John Hammond from Country Blues [1964]
“Love In Vain” by the Rolling Stones from ‘Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out!’ [1970]
“Stones In My Passway” by Chris Thomas King from Me, My Guitar and the Blues [1992]
“I’m a Steady Rollin’ Man” by Robert Lockwood, Jr. & Carey Bell from Hellhound on My Trail: Songs of Robert Johnson [2000]

‘Service Engine Soon’

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

Sometime this past summer as the Texas Gal was out and about, a message showed up on the dashboard of our Nissan Versa. “Service Engine Soon,” it said. She noted the message, continued on her way to work and made a couple of phone calls. The second call was to me.

“I called the guy at the dealership, and he said we really don’t need to worry about it,” she told me. “He said he’s been driving for six months with his ‘service engine’ light on. So I’m not going to worry about it. We can have it taken care of when we get the car set up for winter.”

That winterizing took place the other week. Over the years we’ve been in St. Cloud, the guys at one of the national franchise tire and repair places have been reliable and, it seems, very fair in their pricing. So last week, I took the Versa in to have the oil changed, get all the fluids and processes checked and have a tire leak repaired. And I asked the guys to see why the car was sometimes hesitating when I hit the gas and to find out what had made the “service engine” light come on.

After I dropped the car off, I wandered across the street for a burger, knowing that the work would take at least two hours. When I ambled back into the shop, I learned that analyzing the tire problem revealed that we needed four new tires and that the oil and everything else been taken care of. Everything except the “service engine” light. The mechanic working on the Versa showed me some papers with charts and graphs and readings. He told me something about a Bank One O2 sensor being out, which in turn was affecting the gas flow, and that was why the car was hesitating. He said, “You might want to talk to your dealership. The car’s only got 34,000 miles on it, so the part might be under warranty.”

I doubted that the part was under warranty, as the car was more than four years old, but I nodded and asked him what he thought his place would charge to replace the sensor. He gave me a price, and once I was home, I called the dealership where we bought the car, got the service department and explained what I wanted to know.

Well, the guy said, he couldn’t tell me what the price might be. They’d have to do their computer check to see what the problem was. Once they did that, they’d see if the part was under warranty. If the part was under warranty, the computer check was free; if it wasn’t, the computer check would cost us $100. I told him what I’d learned, that the other fellows said it was a Bank One O2 sensor. He told me that guys at “shops like that” often didn’t know what they were talking about, and I was better off coming in to the dealership.

I didn’t care for the attitude, so I thanked him and hung up. And a little later this morning, I’m taking the Versa into the national tire and repair chain for what the guys there told me should be no more than a thirty-minute repair. I’ll bring a book along and likely wander across the highway for a burger while they tend to the sensor. And I imagine that soon after that I’ll be on my way.

There are, I suppose, all sorts of car songs that could fit in here, but I’ve never been all that hepped up about car songs. So to close today, I’ve found a song whose title kind of fits into the scheme of tales automotive, even if the lyrics don’t quite work. Here’s the late Jeff Healey and the Jeff Healey Band with a track from their 1995 album, Cover to Cover. It’s a scorching version of Robert Johnson’s “Stop Breakin’ Down.”