365 Things to Do in Memphis #245: See a Ron Easley Show
Ron Easley (brother of Doug, bassist for Alex Chilton) doesn't play shows very often, but if you ever find his name on a concert poster, drop everything and go.
Have you ever had one of those experiences where you look around at the other people in the room, and there's this rush of understanding, like you all know that you're witnessing something singular and that you can say with absolute certainty that no one else on earth is witnessing anything even close to what you're witnessing? Ron Easley's Last Labor Day on Earth show at the Lamplighter was one of those times.
The show started with Ron stepping onto the elaborate stage he had built out of a rug, pillars of amps, a stool, a music stand and one very bright light and starting to play his gorgeous hollow body guitar, then stopping saying "This doesn't sound anything like my living room".
He meandered his way through old, unfamiliar classics, stopping every few minutes to tinker with something; an amp adjustment here, upping the reverb there, plugging and unplugging. He told stories, referred to Alex Chilton by his first name and said things like "Now we're gonna yodel!" and "This one's about obscene telephone calls!"
There was a video component to the show, a VHS tape of found footage played on the Lamplighter's crappy old TV that looked like it had been home recorded over many late nights (and included vintage cooking lessons from Channel 3 for how to make both Pinto Bean Pie and Pinto Bean Cake).
It was strange. It was amazing. It was one of those rare moments that can only happen in a place like this, inhabited with so many odd, talented and passionate people.