A buddy mentioned the late, great Sam Kinison to me the other day and it brought back memories…
I’m not sure how I met Sam, but I’m pretty sure it was either at the Rainbow Bar & Grill on the Sunset Strip or an all night after party… which sometimes would happen there on rare occasions when they locked the doors after 2am and the real party started. But most likely it was at some all-nighter at some house in the Hollywood Hills.
Those of you who are familiar with Sam’s bombastic style might be surprised on my take on him.
I was asked to be in a band Sam was putting together which was made up of mostly some well known big hair 80’s metal stars of the day. I really didn’t fit in but I can make a harmonica very loud and make my presence felt.
We rehearsed and I never did a show with Sam for some reason or other. I think I was on and off tour with Eurythmics at the time. It must have been off at the time because I remember I was really broke. One night hanging out at the Rainbow, I was wondering how I was gonna pay for my drinks and I was very hungry.
I was at one of the booths by the front door and in sweeps Sam with full entourage in tow. He spots me and comes right to the table and does the infamous Sam Kinison scream, “Jimmy fucking Z is a fucking GENIUS!!!! BADAASSSS MOTHERFUCKER!! WHATEVER HE WANTS IS ON MY TAB!!!” to the whole house and owners Mario, Tony and Michael.
And then he leaned down and asked how I was doing real mellow and down to earth like. He said order whatever you want. I thanked him and he moved on.
I thought it was touching and it saved my ass. He really had a sensitive side to him.
He was one of the greatest comedians of my generation. I’m posting this uncharacteristically G-Rated clip (from Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show) because it struck a personal chord with me this week… Stick with it to the end…
There are tons of other clips of him on YouTube, so after you check this you owe it to yourself to search & view more.