Chamblee54

Rahsaan Roland Kirk

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on January 19, 2011








There have been nine presidential transfers of power in PG’s life. Seven of them were in January. PG typically ignores them. He goes out with Mr. Crook in office, and comes home to President Thief.

The best exception was in August,1974. Richard Nixon was finally undone and forced to resign. After watching Tricky Dick’s next to last television speech , PG got in his Datsun and drove to the Great Southeast Music Hall. The entertainment that night was Rahsaan Roland Kirk.

The Music Hall was the sort of place we don’t seem to have anymore. The auditorium was a bunch of bench backs on ground level, with pillows everywhere. It was a space in a shopping center, occupied by an office depot in later years. To get there from Brookhaven, you drove on a dirt road, where Sidney Marcus Boulevard is today.

Rahsaan Roland Kirk was not modest. He was the modern miracle of the tenor saxophone. He would play three saxophones at once, getting sounds that you do not get from a single instrument. At one point, the band had been playing for about five minutes, when PG noticed that Kirk had been holding the same note the entire time without stopping to breathe.

Mr. Kirk played two ninety minute sets that night. He talked about twenty minutes out of every set. Of that twenty minutes, maybe thirty seconds would be fit for family broadcasting. Mr. Kirk…who was blind…said he did not want to see us anyway, because we were too ugly. He said that Stevie Wonder wanted to make a lot of money, so he could have an operation and see again.

The next day, Mr. Nixon got in a helicopter and left Washington. The Music Hall stayed open a few more years, and Sidney Marcus Boulevard was paved. Rahsaan Roland Kirk had a stroke in 1975. He struggled to be able to perform again. On December 5, 1977, a second stroke ended his career. He was 41 years old.
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  1. […] Pomerance / Rahsaan Roland Kirk Chamblee54 has written about this show before. Mr. Kirk was a force of nature, the modern miracle of the tenor saxophone. He did not […]

  2. […] Johanson, aka the black guy in the group. Gregg says he used to listen to stuff by Roland Kirk. The story of Duane Allman learning to play slide guitar is good. Duane was sick. Gregg came to […]

  3. […] Pomerance / Rahsaan Roland Kirk Chamblee54 has written about this show before. Mr. Kirk was a force of nature, the modern miracle of the tenor saxophone. He did not […]

  4. […] Johanson, aka the black guy in the group. Gregg says he used to listen to stuff by Roland Kirk. The story of Duane Allman learning to play slide guitar is good. Duane was sick. Gregg came to […]

  5. BonefishBob said, on December 9, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    I remember that show well. As far as I know I was the only white kid in the hall. I recall a guy right behind me who kept giving Kirk the lip about how he was no Coltrane. During this exchange I felt like a low watt light bulb in a cave. Shortly thereafter KIrk threw a few metal folding chairs toward the audience. Also remember the bass player was really bummed. Only played a few sets but it didn’t really matter as Kirk alone held the show together. Great night for a kid from Brookhaven who then as now loved Jazz of all flavors.

    • chamblee54 said, on December 9, 2014 at 9:21 pm

      I do not remember any chair throwing. I went the night Richard Nixon announced his resignation. My guess would be this was a Tuesday or Wednesday.

  6. BonefishBob said, on December 9, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    Fairly certain it was a Thursday night show. As far as I can remember Kirk only did that one performance. At that time in Atlanta it was rare occurrence to see a real Jazz concert so I jumped at the chance to be there.

  7. Rahsaan Roland Kirk | Chamblee54 said, on January 17, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    […] On December 5, 1977, a second stroke ended his career. He was 41 years old. This feature is an encore presentation. The pictures used today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State […]

  8. […] Basie orchestra in drag? Little did the fictional Mrs. Ziller know that PG would see a concert by Rahsaan Roland Kirk on August 9, 1974. This was the night Richard Nixon announced his resignation. Mr. Kirk, aka the […]


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