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 he’s not a “name” cat and he was just at the mall messin’ around,

While he’s strokin’ this Steinway, a cat over by the guitars, picks up an expensive Martin acoustic and begins strumming along with him. In a few minutes they’re rippin’ it and a crowd starts to form from outside the store. They pick it up and do about fifteen minutes, no words exchanged, just a couple of LA cats playin’ music spontaneously. They wrap it up, exchange greetings while the crowd applauds and disperses and the cat winks, racks the Martin and departs.

The store manager comes over and asks Eric, “Man you guys were jammin’, do you play together often?”

“No, I’ve never seen the guy before,” Eric says “We were just messin’ around.”

“Don’t you know who he is?” the store manager queried.

“No” says Eric, “Probably just another out of work musician hangin’ around LA lookin’ for some action.”
“No, man, that was Ry Cooder, he comes in here all the time.”

Only in LA (or Nashville).

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