In the early morning of August 23, I was rousted out of bed
with a phone call that left me both shocked and sad
beyond belief. Ed King, my brother, musical mentor and
songwriting collaborator had passed the previous night.
I can't really describe how I felt, or how I'm still feeling.
This is the first time I've been able to comment publicly about
Ed was one of those guys that comes along once in a lifetime.
A "touched by the hand of God" guitarist, a fantastic songwriter,
and gifted teacher that was always willing to pass on his
experience and knowledge to those less experienced and
knowledgeable. I count myself as one of the luckiest people
ever to benefit from his vast talent and ability. I got to sit
across from him and watch him work his magic, for days,
weeks and months on end as we hammered out new song
after new song. We rarely disagreed, and if we did, he'd listen
to my side of the argument. He WANTED me to stick to my guns,
and give him the reason or reasons why it should be done the
way I was thinking. I, of course, afforded him the same courtesy.
He and I both felt the writing and recording we were doing
was of utmost importance, and it was. NOTHING got in the
way of our songwriting mission. We'd write and/or record
anywhere...on the bus, in his giant Chevy Suburban, hotels,
restaurants, at the gig, hanging out and watching the OJ trial
or our favorite "Mary Tyler Moore Show" re-runs at his house or
mine. We traveled a lot whether we were touring or not, to
get our heads in the right space to write and record.
I have a lot of memories from Florida to Maine and Texas
to Ohio and all points in between. One that sticks out was
when he taught me his secret to his slide guitar tone and
technique when we were in St. Augustine, Florida.
What an eye opener THAT was. I never would play slide in
front of him, but that information set me on a new path.
If it weren't for that one lesson, I never would have even
played slide guitar. I played slide all over our last CD. For me,
that was huge, and just one example of how he influenced
me. For him, it was an an hour of playing. For me, it was
a life changing event.
There was a hotel room in St. Louis with a huge bathroom that
had an amazing sound for recording mandolin parts that he loved.
We turned his room at the Residence Inn in Brentwood, TN into
our writing and recording base for a time before we could both
move to Nashville permanently. Ed rubbed off on me as a complete
foodie. He turned me on to great BBQ, Mexican food, steakhouses
and his wife Sharon's home cooking was some of the best you could
ask for. I'm a total food snob to this day thanks to my brother Eddie.
Ed was totally happy for me that I'm able to continue my career
as a musician and have a band that can tour as extensively as
Skinny Molly does. He almost joined us a time or two, but his
health was always a major concern. Ed did play on some of our
recordings, came by rehearsals, and was going to play on our
upcoming CD on a song or two that he and I had written.
I'm really thankful that Ed and I kept in touch and continued
to work together some over the years since we both were
out of our former band. That was always important to me
and I think to him too. We always loved working together.
The last thing we did together was his solo on a song
we wrote together called "Make it Easy" on Skinny Molly's
'Here for a Good Time' . The song was completely finished
except for his solo. Once he recorded it, I had to go back
and sing it again because I felt that his solo had kicked my
vocal's ass, and I needed to step it up. He was always good
for a swift kick in the pants.
Ed's passing has left me in such a state that I have found it
beyond extremely difficult to finish the band's CD. I DO know
that he would want us to go out and do this upcoming tour with
all the fire that we can muster up, though. So we are going to do
just that. We are going to put at least one new/old "King/Estes"
song in the set that will be on the new CD.
King Edward (one of about 30 nicknames I had for him)
I dedicate this tour to you, as well as our up coming CD.
Thank you for all you've done for the world musically,
and for me personally. I hope you know the impact you had.