News

JJ Cale

Dear John

Several years ago my pal Mississippi Slim played a couple of my songs for a blues-rock artist named Corey Stevens. Corey was preparing to do an album “Blue Drops of Rain” and decided to include my song “Head Shrinker.” “Corey says he loved the two songs I played for him and he thinks you could be his J.J. Cale,” said Slim “Who’s J.J. Cale?” I replied. “You know,” said Slim, “he’s the guy who wrote all those songs for Eric Clapton.” “Who’s Eric Clapton?” I... Read more

Gary Rex Tanner 5 years old

The “F” Word

One day when I was five years old, I was standing on the top rail of the six foot redwood fence that separated our property from Doc Steiger’s horse corral. I was offering the gentle old Palomino horse that was penned there some carrots, or sugar cubes, or whatever my mother had given me to take to him.  From the north side of the property I noticed an older boy mount the fence and walk along the rail toward... Read more

Gary Rex Tanner blog about Boys fishing

Fish Story

The first time Dennis and I went “fishin’” I came back home with a string of a dozen, or so, fish.  Dennis knew the names of the fish; we caught perch, blue gill, catfish and an occasional undersized bass of one stripe or another.  I proudly walked up to our Las Flores Ave house and summoned my mother. “Look Mom, I caught all these fish!” “That’s nice, honey, what are you planning on doing with them?” “Could we have them for dinner?”  ... Read more

Gary Rex Tanner and his mom Delois Bowles Tanner

Airnges

Someone asked me why I named my beautiful orange Manx cat Air-nges.  Well, here’s the story: When I was about nine years old some of Pappy’s relatives came from eastern Oklahoma to California to visit.  I think they probably stayed for a week or so out at my Aunt Kate’s and from there visited various family members.  I remember they had two boys a bit younger than me and they came over to our house a couple of times.  The... Read more

Gary Rex Tanner with Rex Tanner & David Tanner

From My Rearview Mirror

So when I was about eight years old Pappy opened a plumbing shop across the street from our house at 108 Las Flores Ave., Modesto, CA.  At that time I was beginning to pressure my mother to allow me to join some of the older boys in the neighborhood at Dry Creek, which was about a quarter mile from our house.  By the time I was 9-10 years old, my life was full of adventure, alternating between playing with... Read more

Back Door Man

Slim talkin’…….. In 1970, when I was a student at "Ol Miss, BB King came to the school to play a gig and I was asked to shoot some photographs. I eagerly consented and when the appointed hour came I took a position in the orchestra pit and clicked off a dozen or so shots of BB doin’ his thing. At the conclusion of show, BB took a bow, then took a couple of steps forward, toward me, bent down... Read more

Me ’n’ Ol’ Waylon

The phone rang, Daisy answered it, hesitated while the caller spoke and replied, “Yeah, sure…just a minute.” She placed the caller on hold and said to me, “Your friend Ski (the late Danny Stepiewski, former professional heavyweight boxer and notorious practical joker) is on the phone.” “This is Gary,” I answered, picking up line 1. “This is Waylon Jennings,” the voice said, “I’ve been listening to some songs that Dean Kay gave me that you wrote.” I knew it wasn’t Ski; I’d heard Waylon’s speaking... Read more

Who Was That Guy?

Eric Bikales, AKA “The Kansas City Ripper,” was at the mall a few years ago, went by the music store and was checkin’ out the new Steinways. Sat down and was playin’ a little boogie/jazz/bluesy stuff, kind of ticklin’ the high keys, just messin’ around. Now Eric has toured and played sessions with The Pointer Sisters, Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers and many other top artists in the music business. Does some TV, radio and movie stuff and writes with me. But... Read more