UPDATE Jan. 2, 2015
Happy New Year! Slim’s back! He just played a string of shows in Terlingua. He’s had 2 rounds of chemo to fight Lymphoma. He’s skinnier than hell, but he’s on the mend. Happy New Year indeed!
Nov. 20, 2014
Slim is not well, Y’all. He is very, very unwell. We opened for Jimmie Vaughan at the Kessler on Friday and played our 1st Bar Mitvah on Saturday. The weekend was jubilant & full of love and life, other than the fact that Slim could barely get in and out of the chair that he has adopted on stage only very recently. If anyone can make a comeback, Slim can. We welcome your prayers, good intentions, etc. We’re going to keep playing our scheduled shows with a rotating cast of killer musicians from our fantastic Viper tribe.
This is an article our publicists asked Sarah write a while back as a pitch to some positivity blog. It never got published. This feels like a good time to share it.
Guitarist Slim Richey is a man who has married the love of his life 16 times. They have never divorced each other. They just love being engaged. They have pledged themselves in ceremonies from Mexico to Italy with everything from trumpeter Martin Banks officiating on top of Enchanted Rock, to a clothing-optional ceremony in the Medina river during Kerrville Folk Festival.
Slim has played Kerrville 42 of its 43 years. He is 76 years old and still plays guitar most nights of the week with his bride Francie Meaux Jeaux. When he taught her to play upright bass she was in her early 30’s and had never played any instrument. Our band the Jitterbug Vipers has steadily played over 200 shows per year for the last 5 years.
My life was changed for the better from my 1st gig as a substitute singer for one of Slim & Francie’s many bands. In music, they live to play and I believe that like a shark, Slim has to keep going to live. Slim lives without judgment, doesn’t believe in guilt, and he loves music and his wife with as much devotion as I have ever seen.
Slim and Meaux Jeaux live with no air conditioning by choice in a hippie dome in the Texas hill country where they can do as they please. If you drop by unexpectedly they will most likely be naked. Slim’s words of wisdom follow me and guide me in most situations. We often quote him on our twitter feed, so we don’t forget the amazing things he says. This is one of my favorites.
“It’ll either happen or not. I’ll still get the same amount of food… sleep…You can only have so much happiness. I get my fill.” – Slim Richey
A year and a half ago, we were loading out from our 2nd gig of the night in Austin, TX and Slim, as always was carrying his bride’s gear out. He was wheeling her enormous upright bass inside its case across East 6th St. with one of his guitars on the other arm, when he was struck by a Cadillac Escalade and left unconscious in the road. The Escalade sped off and acted as if it would mow down the many people who saw the accident & tried to stop the driver.
Francie Meaux Jeaux stood there whimpering, frozen. I lay on the road next to Slim and held my hand under his head in a pool of blood. I had no idea whether he was alive. As the EMS assessed his twisted body in the street and said things in the walkie-talkie about the rotation of his hips that sounded really unpromising, I started talking to Slim.
“You’re OK, Slim. It’s Sarah. I’m here. We are all here. Everyone who loves you surrounds you. Francie is right here.” When I said Francie’s name, Slim suddenly tried to lift his head. The EMS insisted that he keep still and even more insistently told me to keep talking. “Francie is right here and she’s safe. She loves you so much.” At the 2nd mention of Francie’s name, he tried to push up on his elbows and I knew he was going to survive.
I was told after the accident that head trauma victims in those situations have a decision to make and that responders are actually trained in war to hold the head and talk to the victim like I did. It is a testament to his sense of purpose in love that the mention of Francie brought him out. Even more remarkable,… he didn’t break a bone. He had to come back from a bad concussion, dental damage, some damage to his hearing, stitches, but that Escalade was no match for Slim Richey who was already known as “The Most Dangerous Guitar player in Texas”. Francie’s bass was shattered, but it thankfully took one for the team. Slim ONLY MISSED 2 GIGS! The man is DANGEROUS!
An artist known as Jeremy the Artist who happened to be on 6th St. drawing caricatures saw Slim’s accident & posted this image a few days later. It was used on posters and T-Shirts for the fundraising benefit that much of the Austin music community played for Slim & Francie.
“He takes a lickin’ and keeps on pickin” made it from Jeremy’s drawing into the chorus of a song that Katie Holmes & I wrote about the legend of Slim called “Dangerous”. Just listen to this dangerous guitar… YOU’VE GOT THIS, SLIM!