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Face the Music

It was about 3:00 AM when Max and George pulled up into Mrs. Clickerson's driveway in Max's mom's De Soto.  They wasted no time and headed for Houston with Rawley on board.  As they neared LaGrange, what happened next was unexpected.  Rawley began to nod out in the back seat as tragedy loomed just around the next bend.  Right into their path, a car pulled onto the highway from a roadhouse parking lot.  Bam !!! The car was smashed broadside by Max who was traveling at the maximum rate of speed allowed on the highway.  They t-boned it, head on.  The old De Soto was built like a tank and plowed right through the wreckage.  Had it been a later model car, they would have all  been killed immediately but fortunately none of the occupants were seriously injured.  Rawley never found out what happened to the people in the other car because everyone was taken to the Emergency Room of a nearby hospital after being freed from the wreckage.  When Rawley regained his senses, he found himself on a stretcher with George and Max standing next to him, unhurt.  Rawley stood up, regained his balance and walked to the discharge desk in the Emergency Room.  All three of them checked out and headed for the interstate to hitchhike the rest of the way to Houston as the morning crept upon them.

Upon arrival later that day back in urbana, they went to George's house in Houston.  George leased a large three level Victorian era home near Montrose and Westheimer   It was an older residential area near downtown where artists, musicians, writers and actors lived.  George rented rooms to cover the cost of the lease.  Max went to the kitchen to brew some herbal tea and struck up a conversation with Shelly Duval who lived there too.  She was a young actress who told Max about a part for which she was auditioning in a movie called 'Brewster McCloud' produced by Lou Adler.  Max was a taxi driver and as he prepared to leave for work, he called his mother to tell her about the accident and made arrangements to have the wrecked De Soto towed to the junkyard.  George was talking on the phone with promoters about using Hoffinze Pavilion at the University of Houston  as a concert venue for a gig with the Huey Lewis band called Clover and Tracy Nelson with Mother Earth.  George knew a student, Hank Lam, on the Program Board at the University who could get the building for free by registering the concert as a student activity event.  George suggested that the promoters call B B King to ask if he was available.  They did and B B King readily accepted and promised to be there.

On the day of the concert, Rawley borrowed a diaper delivery truck from his friend Jack, and drove to the Houston airport to pick up Tracy  and the Mother Earth band who flew in from Nashville.  When they arrived at Hoffinze Pavilion, they were confronted by a crowd of protesters carrying posters printed with such phrases as "Repent" and "Jesus Saves".  These young people were extremely committed to their belief that rock and roll music was the Devil's music.  They warned of the end of time and demanded that Rawley and the other musicians should see the error of their ways and repent or spend eternal life in hell.  Bill Ham, the Wizard, held the stage door open and waved Rawley and the others into the building.  Bill designed the poster for the gig called Mother's Milk and Good Relations.  The gig was a success but someone had cleaned out the cash register in the ticket office.  It was rumored that the suspected robber had taken the money and had gone to Taos, New Mexico to live in a commune called the 'Hog Farm'.

As the bands gathered back stage, they were talking with Rawley about going to Janis Joplin's birthday party in Austin the next week-end in a park near Lake Travis.  Rawley figured it was time to get back to Austin to face the outstanding warrant that had been issued for him for the alleged possession of marijuana plus he didn't want to miss Janis' birthday party anyway.  Rawley had to hitchhike back to Austin from Houston because he had sold the sky blue Ford Galaxy 500 to get the money to pay the lawyer.  He had to hire the best to represent him in court.  He stopped by Lemond Roget's house. Lemond was keeping Pepper during the summer so Rawley went there to pick up his pet.  With Pepper zipped up in his jacket, he hit the freeway ramp hoping a trucker would stop.  He was lucky that a trucker picked him up and he and Pepper made it to Austin in no time at all.  When he got to Austin, he contacted his lawyer, and made arrangements to surrender and post bond.  His trial date was set and he appeared on the appropriate day.  "All rise."  the bailiff shouted.  The Texas Rangers were seated along the far wall.  Rawley was seated in the front of the bench with his lawyer.  His lawyer stood up and asked each Ranger, "Have you ever seen the defendant before today?"  Each one answered, "No."  His lawyer asked each law man in turn, "Was my client present on that day at the ranch when and where you found the marijuana?"  Each officer answered, "No."  "Let the record show that none of the arresting officers have ever laid their eyes on my client before today and that my client was not present on the premises where the illegal substance was found," Rawley's lawyer stated to the Judge.  "So be it," said the Judge.  One Ranger stood up to be recognized.  "Yes," said the Judge.  "But your honor, we found his wallet," the enforcer said.  "That does not prove that the suspect was in possession of the controlled substance," the Judge answered.  "Your honor, I move that the charges against my client be dropped," Rawley's lawyer said.  The Judge reached for his gavel and said,  "This case is dismissed for lack of evidence."  He reached across the bar and slammed the gavel down on the wooden block in front of him and  Rawley walked free.