Jerry Lee Who? gets you banned forever. Or “volunteered” for that no return expedition to Mars, where you can die alone and cold, screaming for human comfort. But still, we looked at the schedule and thought: Is Jerry Lee Lewis actually alive? How? Ultimately, shame on us. But even when we made it to the photo pit, there were signs of imminent disappointment. Was he still alive? His sister, her daughter, and the rest of the band appeared on stage (Butch Hutcheson and Kenny Lovelace are the bomb on guitar), and his sister’s an awfully good piano player. Not sure what they put in the water in Ferriday, LA, but it works at least half the time (we’d rather forget about Jimmy Swaggart, but Lord, it’s hard to do that). But what about The Killer? Now we want some wine, spo-dee-o-dee, and goddammit, we want it right now!
And then, song interrupted, there he was. Looking rather frail and walking with a cane, the bane of piano tuners, Jerry Lee Lewis. We’ve seen quite a few performers long past their prime recently, the saddest being B. B. King’s recent shows. And we hoped that this wouldn’t be another, because hey, who needs to be reminded that being old sucks? But when The Killer sat, the eyes lit up, the music poured out, and it was awfully hard to behave.
Thanks, Killer, for one of the best Jazz Fest shows in years!