Tuesday, July 14, 2009

How To Stay Employed-Buy A Hairpiece

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(Joe Pass-sans rug)
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(Plas Johnson-with hairpiece)

Saxophonist Plas Johnson once told me the reason he chose to wear a hairpiece was for job security. For fifteen years he played in the Merv Griffin house band under the leadership of Jack Sheldon. One day Joe Pass was filling in for the regular guitarist. Now understand, Joe Pass was one of the most badass jazz guitarists of all time, but that didn’t seem to matter to Merv. It was all about appearances in his opinion, and after the show taped that afternoon, Griffin told the bandleader, “Lose the bald guy.”
Plas (who’s hair was beginning to thin at the time) said to me, “The next day I went out & got me a rug. ”

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