Aug. 16 is the birth date of Kelly Keller. She passed away on Sept. 24, 2004, she would have been 48. I think of Kelly every day.
Sometimes every hour. She was my business partner (one of several) at the Circle Bar in New Orleans, and one of my best friends.
And one of the best people I’ve ever met. I spent twenty years hanging out with Kelly, in New York, Boston, New Orleans, and many other places. Every place we went we had fun. Where Kelly was was the place to be at that moment, she was the hippest person there ever was. I’ve never met anyone with as much charisma, and as much passion for the things that make life worthwhile, whether it was great music, food, or just driving around shooting the shit. Kelly knew everyone worth knowing from Classie Ballou to Andre Williams. She loved great music and made the Circle Bar into the coolest bar in the world for the five years she ran the joint. She brought in talent like Barbara Lynn, Howard Tate, Andre Williams, Sonny Burgess, Roger Lewis, and too many others to name. All in a space smaller than your average living room. Nobody else could’ve done it. She brought in Dr. Ike and we formed the Mystical Knights Of The Mau Mau giving
Ike his first venue and through him we got many of the aforementioned artists as well as R.L. Burnside, Billy Lee Riley, Lazy Lester, Tousaint McCall, Jody Williams, Slim Harpo’s band, shit, I can’t remember them all. This photo was taken at the Lakeside Lounge in New York City, left to right are Suzanne Charbonet, me, Virginia Prescott, Kelly, and the late, great Bill Pietsch (more on him in a later post).
The world will never see another one like Kelly, it seems like the good ones are dying out fast while the bad ones go on forever.
In the past few years many of my favorite people have died: Bob and Alice Quine, Joey Ramone, Dee Dee Ramone, Hasil Adkins, Cordell Jackson, Bill Pietsch, I’m afraid to pick up the phone lest the list grows longer.
So Kelly Keller’s gone, at least she didn’t have to see what happened to her beloved New Orleans. I’ll always remember her,
and when I think of her I think of something an old junkie passed on to me many years ago– “What ever it is enjoy it now, nothing good lasts for long”. Kelly enjoyed her life and lived it to the fullest.
Goodbye Kelly, where ever you are.
So I finally went back to WFMU to visit. Actually, I pre-taped my interview w/Rex Doane at the new WNYC studio (a two minute bike ride from my house), and Rex ran it last Saturday, Aug. 9th @ 2 PM. You can hear it from the WFMU Archives here:
It was fun, in addition to the interview Rex ran some old clips of me and Hank Ballard (Hank audibly snorting coke into the mike), and Nick Tosches, as well as some old theme sets including the beloved Poultry Section of the show. Also appearing that day was Danny Fields who was hilarious. Rex told me that Dave the Spazz had gotten a death threat about Danny via e-mail b Terry who interviewed Danny didn’t seem to know anything about it.
I also caught the Stooges Friday night, they played a very loose and sloppy set (on rented gear, the stuff was stolen in Montreal last Wed.). They were still great, they even did a few James Williamson era tunes: Search & Destroy and I Got A Right. I never thought I’d hear Ron Asheton play those tunes but I guess they were in the Stooges set back in ’71 when Ron and Williamson were sharing lead guitar duties. Even on an off night, the Stooges are the best rock’n’roll band out there and they always give it their all. God Bless the Stooges!
I added Eric Asimov’s 1991 NY Times Arts section profile on yours truly to the site. I hope to be able to add some tunes for you all soon as I figure out how to post ’em. In the meantime you can download single tunes, sets, or whole shows from It’s even cross referenced by artists, there’s also around a dozen podcasts complete with recently added commentary from me.
Rex kept referring to my appearence as “The Hound Rides Again” but under what circumstance would a Hound ride? Unless you put your dog in the bed of your pickup truck. Maybe he should’ve called it the Hound Woofs Again.
Both the below posts are wrong as it turns out, Rex Doane’s show w/my interview is running today (8-9-08) @ 1 -3 PM, followed up by our old pal, the legendary Danny Fields who’ll be on from 3-6 PM (my old “hangover” slot).
Pardon all the typos in the above post, and the mistakes. Anyway, I pre-taped the interview w/Rex Doane for WFMU’s salute to me which is part of their 50th Anniversary /Radio Greats weekend. It runs Saturday, Aug. 9th @ 2 -4 PM (91.1 FM in the NYC area, and streaming on http://www.wfmu.org). He’s running some old show clips also including one of my favorites with Nitro Nick Tosches as guest. There’s tons of old Hound airchecks @ http://www.thehound.net you can check out for yourself as well as podcasts of the same. More coming as webmiester Brian Redman’s plan is to eventually post every show in which a tape can be found. That’s a lot of shows as I was on from 1985-1997. As far as doing new podcasts I’m still thinking about it. I’m hoping to be able to get this page more together and even post some tunes here so keep an eye on this site.