Tuesday, July 25, 2006
The convention was starting to wind down by Sunday, as many of the Yankees had early flights, and I myself had to hit the road back to Fort Worth after lunch. But that didn't get in the way of a good time, starting with the first panel, "Music to die for."
Which turned into an impromptu jam, with former punk-rocker Jesse Sublett, Ramble House proprietor Fender Tucker, and Dennis Macmillan. Now I knew that Jesse was a musician, but I was shocked to discover that Fender is a GREAT blues player, and Dennis is a GREAT flamenco guitarist.
Fender and Jesse.
For once, Bill Crider had some competition for best line. He pointed out that Fender's amp was personalized (it read FENDER across the front), but Jesse later remarked that he "wished his lawn was Emo, so it would cut itself."
They played for most of the hour, loud enough so the organizers had to come in and tell them to keep it down. When they weren't playing, they talked about great crime songs like "Stagger Lee" and "Hey Joe".
(Bill Crider has footage of this here, here, here, and here.)
The last panel was Bill, Neil Smith, and Susan Smily talking about writing and working in education. Bill said he always felt like he was getting away with something - his workday was over by noon, and he travelled to the Bouchercon "conference" on the school's travel budget. Neil turned this around by pointing out that when he got his current job, he applied for 70 positions and received one offer. Not sure what this says about their relative levels of skill and intelligence (not to mention charm and good looks).
Neil wore an appropriate shirt, considering that his latest book is The Drummer.
And that was it. I shook hands, said my goodbyes, and left for home. It was a great convention, and I hope to make it back next year.
posted by Graham Powell at 10:55 AM