Day 15: Jason D. Williams

There are a handful of times I've passed up the opportunity to see certain musicians when they've passed through town and then gone on to regret it. For example, the Wu-Tang Clan came through Champaign-Urbana back in December of 2008 and I didn't go. Just a few years ago, Hayes Carll was in town on the night we had parent-teacher conferences at my school. I could have gone straight from work to the show but chose to just go home instead.

I passed on another show last night that I think I'll live to regret, too.

Bloomington-Normal, just a 30-40 minute drive from here, hosted a free outdoor event last night featuring none other than Jason D. Williams. After a day of mowing and another house showing, I chose to stay home.


Not to go back to Todd Snider for a second day in a row, but Todd told a great story about his buddy Jason D. when he himself played here a few years ago:
I was just singing to you about a guy named Jason D. Williams. First time I ever saw that guy, he was walking past my apartment in Memphis dressed like a woman. And I thought, "That guy likes to party." And I had heard that he is sometimes difficult to -- how shall you say -- get in touch with even when he was present. 
And then they asked me if I wanted to produce him, right? I said, "Shit, yeah. I want to produce that guy if only to see what happens." 
He told me, "Get me some songs to sing." So I got him some songs to sing. 
I sent them to him and he said, "These songs are great. Get me a band to play these songs." So I got him a band to play them songs. 
He showed up to the studio at 8 in the morning on the day of the first session and I said, "Can I get you anything?" 
He said, "I'm gonna need some Royal Crown Cola." 
I said, "Okay. Can I get you like Coke or Pepsi?" 
He said, "Wait a minute. Crown Royal's what I meant." 
I said, "Okay." 
He said, "The other thing is my wife can't know so I'll need you to put it in a 7UP can and bring it to me." 
So I got him that and pretty quickly he didn't have his shirt on. Shortly after that, he was completely naked and I was trying to get him to play one of the songs that I had given him to learn -- but he had not learned them and he was mostly just jumping like a monkey on the piano keys and making up words. Mostly some of the foulest language you've ever heard in your life. 
Filth. Just filth, man. 
But with melodies. 
So we were improvising. We were like, "What are we gonna do? The clock is running. Somebody's paying for this." 
So we got this idea, he was just sitting there making some song up and when he got done with it I said, "Hey, that one's great." 
He went, "Really?"
I said, "Yeah, let's use that one." 
He said, "Okay."
I said, "You may have to sing it again." 
He said, "I don't even remember what I said." 
I said, "Alright, you take ten or fifteen minutes and we'll get it all typed out and you come back and we'll do it one more time." 
So we went and we made up a song for him. He came back and, I'm not shittin' you, we handed him these lyrics and he went out there and sang them again. And then he came back in and goes, "I didn't know they were that good when I did 'em. I thought I said 'pussy' and stuff. Did you guys take that out?" 
He thought he made this up.
Here's the song Todd was referring to and what I missed for free last night.

I regret staying home already.


The Summer of Tim continues...

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