Ronnie Dawson

Ken Mottet - October 9, 20903
           On Thursday we gathered in Chicago for the Big C Jamboree, the monthly jam session that has fueled our little neighborhood of make-believe for more than a decade. It started as a somber yet light-hearted affair. We signed a big card for his Dallas memorial. His friends choked out a few words. We had the traditional moment of silence. Then we cut loose with the drinkin' and a-dancin', which showed our love for the great man better than any flowers or prayers ever could.
           Saturday night was a quiet one. Quiet but very happy. A handful of our friends got together at a neighbor's bungalow. First we collected in the basement tiki bar while the blue hawaiians flowed like a river. After a hearty meal we settled down in the living room and fired up the VCR. Through the miracle of modern science it was 1995 all over again. We were in the audience at the Holiday Inn in Marion, Indiana. And the bigger-than-life Blonde Bomber was on stage. He was backed by the too-good-to-be-true Moondogs and they were tearing a hole in "Red Hot Mama." Damn! There was fire coming out of his nose. His jaw worked like a big leaguer full of Red Man when he wasn't singing. The audience was beating each other over the head with folding chairs. Now that's what I call a Saturday night.
           After a brief intermission we once again set the VCR for 1995. This time we were whisked to NYC as Ronnie D. with the help of Lisa Pankratz and High Noon showed America how to get to "Monkey Beat City" on the Conan O'Brien show. At this point his flattopped head was nearly coming through the TV screen. He absolutely seemed to vibrate on that stage. Both Young and Mencher had the biggest sh*t-eating grins I have ever witnessed. This was Ronnie Dawson at the top of his game. This was Ronnie taking us all to the mountain and showing us the Promised Land. In a warm house in Berwyn, Illinois, in 2003, surrounded by some of my favorite friends I just plain got weepy.
           We all miss Ronnie Dawson, each for his own special reason. We miss the good friend, the teacher, the icon, the great guy. We miss the enthusiasm for life that he always displayed. Most of all, we miss the rock. The man could rock and don't you ever forget it.
           With the passing of the man, the responsibility also passes to those who remain. We carry on his love for the music. We carry on his love for his fans. Somewhere down the road someone will say to you,"Ronnie Dawson. I never saw him play. What was he like?" You make sure you tell them that he was the nicest man on the planet and the rockin'est cat in the galaxy!!
-Ken Mottet

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