Chamblee54

Rahsaan Roland Kirk

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, Music by chamblee54 on January 5, 2021

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There have been eleven presidential transfers of power in PG’s life. Nine 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 five minutes. Rahsaan 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. This feature is an encore presentation. The pictures used today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.


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