In the mail this morning is a note from Clay Eals, who is Steve Goodman’s biographer. Clay’s note is long. They usually are.
So is his book on Goodman, the beloved Chicago folk singer. Clay is thorough. He would like to remind you that “Steve Goodman: Facing The Music,” now in its third printing, is available via his website.
But the best part of Clay’s note, albeit a bittersweet one, is word that Goodman’s mother, Minnette, died last week. She was 85. Dave Hoekstra of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote a wonderful tribute. She was a familiar sight at Chicago shows almost until her death.
“It wasn’t a gig if Minnette wasn’t there,” said the great folk singer John Prine, who was Steve Goodman’s best friend. She never missed a Jimmy Buffett show, either. When she went to last summer’s show, Buffett had her park her Honda Civic right next to his tour bus.
I met Steve Goodman in 1983, a year before he died of leukemia. He’d released a live solo acoustic album and was touring to support it. I bought that record after his show in Madison, Wisconsin. He signed it this way: “Joe — Hello, Steve Goodman.” That’s a story in itself.
That record, “Artistic Hair,” has another of our favorite Christmas songs on it. You never hear it. Then again, when was the last time you heard anything by Steve Goodman?
In which Mr. Goodman takes a request from the audience, then realizes he’s not sure he knows the lyrics.
“You gonna feed me the words?” he asks.
It’s kind of absurd.
Your Christmas music requests in the comments, please.
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