Head On A Stick Encounters With The Band And Others

In Chronological Order

Nathan East and Fourplay

Nathan has always been a great sport! In the first picture from 2001, he helps celebrate the debut of the Nathan East Head On A Stick. At the concert later that day, a couple of female friends held the Nathan and Eric Heads next to theirs and swayed in their seats like they were dancing. Nathan left a voicemail message telling me how funny the band thought that was.

The June 7, 2002, Fourplay show in Raleigh was also a hoot! This is a lousy picture, but it shows band members Bob James and Harvey Mason holding Nathan East Heads on a Stick! At the end of the show, Bob reached down, took them from us and held one over his face!

On the other hand, this is a really cool picture! It's a great shot of Four Nathans at a Fourplay concert. But the best thing about this picture is that it was taken by the legendary jazz keyboard player Bob James!

On July 30, 2004, Nathan posed with my Sam and Mark Heads on a Stick in an elaboarate prank documenting their trip out West.

Crossroads Guitar Festival, Bridgeview, July 28, 2007

Willie Weeks with Sam after the festival

Ruth Clapton with Sam.
He gave Heads to her
to share with her sisters.

The Incident at Cuyahoga Falls, May 31, 2008

If you see a group of grown men dressed like this, there is liable to be trouble! The best case scenario when men have matching T-shirts is that you have stumbled across a family reunion. Usually, it is something far more ominous. Either it is a group of deranged psychopaths or Peace Corp workers. I don't know which is worse.

During Robert Randolph's set, my friend James tossed a Robert Randolph Head on a Stick onto the right side of the stage. Pretty bold, but not good enough for James. Without a word, he took MY Robert Randolph Head On A Stick, left our second row seat in the right section, walked in front of the people in the first row and stood directly in front of Robert. James waved the head and Robert nodded. Then James leaned forward between two security guards and tossed the Head onto the stage. Robert picked up the one on the right at the end of his set!

Sometime around "Layla," James left and made his way to the middle of the stage. At the end of the show, he tossed a Doyle Bramhall, II Head on a Stick onto the stage. The pictures below documents what happened next:

Doyle admiring his Head
during the bow as Eric,
Chris and Pino watch

Great picture of Eric and
Robert, but note Doyle
with his Head!

Doyle displays his
Head for the audience

Sharon covers her face with
Doyle's Head as she exits!

Now for most people, that would have been enough excitement. Not so for James. After the show, he threw the Eric Clapton Head on a Stick T-shirt he wore earlier to Lee Dickson. Lee immediately threw it back at him in disgust, saying he didn't want that f@#$ shirt. James responded by asking Lee why he was not mentioned in Clapton's autobiography. Lee replied "I don't know, you'd have to ask him."

It is surprising that I was able to take any pictures that evening. Given my attire, my options for sneaking the camera into the venue were limited. My method involved modified undergarments and a lot of puzzled or impressed stares. Even then, there was the Security Nazi who determined that Sam's camera was OK, but mine was "professional." Our arguments that my camera was just a later version of Sam's were ineffective. I suspect that the Security Nazi's only camera expertise came from unloading crates of them at his Best Buy day job.

For a good portion of the concert, I sat in the front row, snapping an occasional picture when the Security Nazi looked away. I sent some photos, including the one in the preceding paragraph, to whereseric.com. Almost a year later, I received an email from Rolling Stone magazine asking if they could use the photo. After verifying that it was not a joke from Geetarz, I obviously agreed. The photo was used to illustrate a "Q & A" with Eric Clapton that appeared on page 32 of the June 11, 2009, magazine (Issue 1080).

Sieg heil, Security Nazi

Other Notable Encounters

  1. Derek Trucks: As discussed elsewhere, my girlfriend and I saw Derek Trucks as a part of Clapton's band in San Jose. We debuted the Derek Trucks Head On A Stick with Detachable Pony Tail. Two months later, we were able to see Derek Trucks with his own band in Charlotte. Unfortunately, we were not close enough for him to see the Heads during his performance. After the show, we were able to talk to him briefly. My girlfriend proudly displayed the Head. Derek laughed and said "I remember you from San Jose!"

    On November 7, 2008, The Derek Trucks Band performed "Meet Me at the Bottom" at the Blender Theater at Gramercy, New York, New York. Our own Geetarz captured the event and posted it to YouTube.

    When you watch the video (and do watch it) note Derek's "triple take" beginning at 1:55. He is reacting to Geetarz' Derek Trucks Head On A Stick with Detachable Pony Tail! Now, I have provided a screenshot, but it is not a substitute for watching this excellent video. You should watch it even if you are a defense attorney searching my site for embarassing material to persecute (or is it prosecute?) me during a deposition!

  2. Chris Trucks: Chris runs the concession stand when his son Derek tours. He is a wealth of information. For example, according to Chris, after Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi's 2007 Crossroads performance of "Anyday," Eric Clapton told them "It's your song now." But I digress. When I showed Chris my Derek Trucks Head On A Stick with Detachable Pony Tail, he told me that his family has some of those Heads and they chase each other around the house with them. Even better, a DT Head has been hung in the bathroom beside a picture of Jesus and mounted so that it watches people as they do their business!

  3. Susan Tedeschi: The Heads On A Stick may look like happy-go-lucky fun, but there are limitations. My printer will not print on sheets larger than 8.5 by 11 inches. Making a Head On A Stick for performers with long hair becomes problematic. Including the hair decreases the size of the head. And so I was faced with attending a Susan Tedeschi concert without a Head On A Stick of her. I did what seemed to be the next best thing. I brought a Derek Trucks Head On A Stick with Detachable Pony Tail. After the show, we were able to talk to her. Upon offering her the Head, she told us "That's a little creepy" but then handed it to a member of her crew and said "Put this somewhere where nothing will happen to it."

  4. Doyle Bramhall, II: I was able to speak to Doyle backstage in 2004. I asked him to autograph my Doyle Bramhall, II Head on a Stick. He looked at and without saying a word, he drew eyelashes on it! Then he signed it.