Pappy and Harriet’s Palace, Pioneertown, Yucca Valley, California
– Monday December 10th 2018
We had heard of this place but only in passing. A great gig venue in the mountains above the Yucca Valley. A famous place where some famous musos go, as a bucket list thing, to play the open mic evening. Within 2 hours of LA, but it is decidedly rural. A disused film set. That’s all we knew.
Monday night is open mic there, so a chance for us to play, even for one song. It’s also a good place to eat so we turned up early, ate and put our name on the list.
Mighty names have ‘open mic’ed’ here. For instance Robert Plant came here to play – he just turned up, in the past few months – to ‘do Pappy and Harriet’s’. I saw him in 1969 with Led Zepp and have since followed his genre-crossing music with admiration. It all kind of threw me.
We were 11th on the list so we had a chance to view others and their daunting skills. Country rock, blues and some Americana. One guy turned up to play bass with three other blues-playing locals. He played and really kicked ass. At the time there was a woman standing next to me and I asked ‘ who is he, he’s brilliant?’. Turned out he’s Jimmy Mack, bassist with Sly and the Family Stone. Turned out she was his girlfriend!
In a chance encounter a while later, he asked who we were and were we going to play? Could he play with us when our turn came? I was taken aback by this and muttered some kind of yes, thinking he did not mean it, he was just ‘being polite’. Not the case.
When our turn came, bearing in mind I’m under the Robert Plant influence on this very spot, I’m already unfit for purpose. The vid recorded what happened so please give it a view on this link. All completely un-rehearsed.
Den worried her voice was ropey but she did a great job. Having someone like Jimmy play along with your own songs takes them to a very new place, he’s a hell of a player. It was a great thrill and privilege. We are very lucky to be able to do all this.
Many thanks to Brad Parker (great host – with us in main photo above), Jimmy Mack and our friend Mo Hammad for his excellent vid work.