Just months before his death, we opened for Marty Robbins in Cincinnati. I was wearing an outfit that had started
as a joke, but the Thrasher Bros. loved it, so I wore it fairly often. A formal black tux with tails (from the 1930's),
and black-and-white high-top Converse basketball shoes.
Marty noticed me backstage (I don't know why) and came over to compliment me on my bad taste in clothes. I
knew that he had raced cars for years but had suffered several heart attacks. After the requisite small talk I
finally asked him, "Can you still race cars, with your heart condition?" He said, "Oh, sure. Listen, when I walk out
on stage every night, my heart beats a lot faster than it ever does on the racetrack." The answer of a die-hard
A couple of months later, that heart stopped beating forever and country music lost one of its greatest
entertainers. I was lucky to have met him, and just because I was wearing a tacky suit.