John Fahey's #1 Fan --- Fahey Looms Large! ---

Last Thursday Google surprised me with a link to a terrific podcast about John Fahey that was published that day (5/23/19). It had a very interesting focus. It was about Fahey, as told by three women in his life. I have posted here about John before, who I was verrry lucky to have befriended near the end of his life, and I’m always interested in reading about him.

Right away in the podcast they disclose that they will be talking to three women in John’s life, including his two wives and another woman. They did it in chronological order, starting with his first wife, then his second. As it proceeded along, I was thinking, “I wonder whether they know about Melissa??!”

Melissa is a terrific friend of mine, who I originally met by way of the Rec.Music.Dylan newsgroup. A young man named Ben Taylor from the newsgroup came to visit San Francisco on holiday one summer. Melissa organized a party for Ben and other RMDers on the wharf in SF to welcome him to town. After sharing a meal we went aboard a cruise ship to ride out into the SF Bay to watch the Fourth of July fireworks. At the time, I was living in Palo Alto and Melissa was living in Petaluma, just north of Marin County. These were the exciting, hopeful days of the early web. Because of Melissa’s initiative, I got to meet her, as well as a bunch of other Dylan fans from RMD, all in honor of Ben who had come all the way from the UK.

That was the start of many fun times together. Every time Bob Dylan came to the Bay Area, Melissa and I would hang out together at the shows and then at a restaurant afterward to unwind and talk about the show. Melissa was also a fan of John Fahey. One April, Melissa called to tell me that John Fahey was going to do a show at the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley. DId I want to meet her there and see him perform? Sure, I’d love to. When is it? April 11. Say, what!?? There’s no way a tax accountant can be going to concerts on April 11, not even to see John Fahey. So I had to decline, but encouraged Melissa to make the drive from Petaluma to see John Fahey!

She did and it changed her life and mine too! She ended up moving to Oregon and living with John and that’s how I had the good fortune of getting to know John. I visited them up there, we took him to see Dylan at a triple bill of Van Morrison, Joni Mitchell and Bob at The Gorge, a wonderful outdoor amphitheatre near George, WA. We also drove around the Willamette Valley in Oregon looking for good LP’s at thrift stores, and other adventures together. But did this podcaster know about Melissa?

Yes, indeed, she sure did! Melissa was the third woman featured in this podcast!

Were you ever at an event and then you read a newspaper account of it and the newspaper account was so full of shit? That’s how I got out of the habit of following the news. Well this podcast, at least the part with Melissa is the opposite of that, it is totally true, no bullshit. As soon as Melissa started talking, I was happy. That’s Melissa, that’s for sure!. I was proud of her honesty. I also thought the interviewer asked great questions and the transitions were narrated really well. So I highly recommend this podcast to anyone who has any interest in John Fahey.

Go here to listen to it.