Ten years ago this weekend was my first live Joe B experience. May 12 2002. I had received a promotional copy of the A New Day Yesterday CD and one sheet along with a two song sampler from the ANDY live video on VHS no less. Sent to the Blues Society I was affiliated with.
Drove the 100 miles to Tulsa to see him at the Tulsa Blues Fest. Have been on the JB bandwagon ever since. I saw something that day the reminded me of the early 70's Blues Rock I grew up listening to. The days when we used to invade the local Civic Center Auditorium to see bands like Mountain, Trapeze, Grand Funk and even Black Sabbath. Joe used to sign out front at the merch table and I introduced myself and shook his hand of course like many of you couldn't really express how I was feeling.
A few months later I dragged a car full and took them back to Tulsa in the summer on a Wednesday where about 25 people were attending mostly to see the young opening act Dustin Pittsley. Joe played like he was playing for 2,500 and I knew this guy was going to become legendary. Over the next year I traveled to see him whenever he was within driving distance. The band and crew always welcomed me and Joe I think was concerned that I might be his first stalker.
In late 2003 I finally convinced his manager to allow me to promote a show in Oklahoma City using his newly launched Blues in the School program. Joe just finished up a tour in Seattle opening for Peter Frampton and I was a stop on their way back across country. This is when I got to know Joe. We had a weekend of promo scheduled that culminated in the live in studio broadcast on KRXO then two days worth of appearances at 3 local high schools and a middle school. The Tuesday show was at a rented old movie theater that was modified into a special events room. Sold 500 tickets.
That was my first opportunity to get to know Joe and it reconfirmed my thoughts that the guy was destined to become living legend. He knew where he wanted to be and was willing to do what it took to get there. I told him that I saw him revitalizing the stale music scene and bringing back the rock to blues which would propel both genre's forward. A new classic rock act so to speak that would bring the old and new generations of fans together. He asked about the venues in town and I gave him the run down, pros cons, of each. I told him that I see him making it to the Civic Center Auditorium where I had last seen SRV in 1990. That was a goal of ours. That came true in 2010 but two weeks ago he returned and we sold it out. I should really say he did because I didn't have to do much this time. He has done the work. Made the right decisions had setbacks but came out stronger. He kept his eyes on the prize. Over the years although many things have changed for Joe I will say nothing has changed about him personally. He is still that guy I got to know all those years ago.
I have enjoyed watching the growth of his artistry and his business model and being a small part of it. He has inspired many people to work on his behalf simply because we wanted to see him succeed and share his talents with others. This forum was where I started getting involved with Joe's career. His original attempt at social marketing before anybody knew what social marketing was. He was Opie and I made a post or two as Sheriff ANDY of Mayberry before I became just plain old jim m. Again he just made the connection with his fans here and paid attention to the feedback both good and bad. This is where the fans exchanged ideas on marketing and street team efforts. Kept up with what was going on in Joe's world. That is what it is here for today.
Just wanted to add a little more in depth bio in honor of the 10th anniversary of my Joe experience. I know many of you new here are going through the same thing. Enjoy the ride.