One of my fondest musical memories was the time that Sleepy LaBeef got under-aged me and my younger brother into a club to see his show. I had been recently introduced to Sleepy’s music by a cousin, who himself was introduced to Sleepy’s music by music historian Peter Guralnick. I thought it would be fun to continue the chain by introducing my brother to the musican wonder known as “The Human Jukebox”.
Sleepy was scheduled to play legendary music venue Johnny D’s in Somerville, MA. Youngster me called the club and asked if they could make an exception to the 21+ rule. “If Sleepy says it’s ok, then it’s ok with us,” they said.
I trekked down to the club late that afternoon in search of the man. It took me some time, but I finally tracked him down and made my pitch. I don’t remember Sleepy’s exact response, but it was curt and affirmative in his signature baritone voice.
My brother and I made our way back to the club later that evening. We walked to the door like we owned the joint and then reveled in seeing one of rock and roll’s truly distinctive talents. Rest in peace, Sleepy, you were one of a kind.
About the author: Mild-mannered corporate executive by day, excitable Twangville denizen by night.