Fan Stories

submitted by Kaytlin C. "texasflood5490"
Lefty's Salem, OR 12/3/04

This isn’t a “first-timer’s” account, but is my greatest so far. It’s a bit long, but I thought it was worth sharing. I had been a huge fan for about a year when I discovered Sonny was coming to the Northwest again. Unfortunately, the only show announced was in Seattle, and being a penniless college student I was torn whether to suffer through a Sonny-less winter or spend the few dollars I had on somehow getting there. A couple weeks later, to my amazement, there was a show announced not only in Oregon, but at Lefty’s, in Salem, directly across the street from my campus. To my absolute dismay, I realized the show was 21 and over, and my 20 year old body almost had a heart attack.

I spent the next several weeks before the show coming up with ridiculous schemes as to how I could get into the show, none of which had any grounding in reality. The only one that I came up with that might possibly work was to try and talk to Sonny before the show, and simply ask if he could help me. Unfortunately, I am extremely shy and the last few times I was face to face with Sonny Landreth I was absolutely speechless. Literally, he tried speaking to me and I just sat there staring like a complete idiot, but that’s an entirely different story.

So you can imagine my nervousness as I walked to the venue that night. My only chance of getting in was based on my ability to speak, so my hopes were not entirely high. I went to the back door a couple hours early, and didn’t see anyone except Jason, his guitar tech. I knew who he was, and seeing no other option, started up a conversation. I mentioned that I wasn’t able to get in because of my age, and asked if there was anything he could do to help me. “F*** that sh**, they did that sh** to me when I was 16 and tried to see Stevie Ray Vaughan and I’ve never f***ing forgot it... Come back a little later, I’ll see what I can do,” Jason said. I came back an hour later, where Jason approached me with a more ridiculous scheme I could’ve ever come up with. He had told the owners I was Kenneth’s niece who had driven all the way from Northern California to see “my uncle” play drums. He had called the band and asked if they were ok with covering for me and they thought it was great. Jason had me memorize some random facts about “my mother,” and I went inside to meet the owner. She was most definitely not excited to have me there, and stuck me at my own little table in a corner so no one could see me. Jason came over and kept me company every once in a while, assuring me the band thought it was hilarious and that if “Uncle Ken” came and gave me a hug it was out of comedic effect, not creepiness.

The show was great. I had only seen him twice prior, but this was by far the best. It was hilarious to hear the people’s reaction sitting next to me. I think most were first- time viewers, and were completely blown away by his playing style. After the show I thanked Jason and the owner. I tried to pay the cover charge, but she put the money back in my pocket and said “Save it for gas money to get back to Humboldt [where I told her I went to school].” Jason could barely keep from laughing. I wish I could’ve thanked the band, especially Uncle Ken, but the owner was attached to their hip and I thought it best to avoid any possibility of getting them into trouble. I walked back to my dorm, on cloud nine. It is one of my favorite memories; I will never forget what they did for me.

Interestingly enough, the next year I got a job at the same club. I interviewed with the owner who let me in. The interview was not going very well, since I had no experience in serving. I said that Sonny Landreth was my favorite guitar player. I was hired on the spot