I've played South By SouthWest in Austin a bunch o' times, I'm sure at least 10. The Woods played there soon after our Twin Tone release and during our show, playing our big hit (a song called "Battleship Chains") the power went down and we had to quit. Anyhoo, to make a long story longer, some version of the TA Band played there around '97 or '98. During that trip Jack, Mike Krause and I went to the guitar shop upstairs from the Continental Club. Mike was kinda in the market for a nice Telecaster. We walked in and it didn't take long for the one of his dreams to call him over. It was a silver sparkle beauty, a bit heavy but he would take care of that later by boring it out. Mike is an awesome guitar player. He played on my last three records and holds his own against anyone. He was trading licks with Big Al in the studio on "Mr. Busdriverman", so there.
So as Mike was checking the guitar out, standing over him and mulling around with only the three of us in the store was one Freddie Fender. I was trying not to gush about how I dug his sound, but it was cool just hanging with him because he was a regular dude. He was jovial and very friendly and eventually encouraged Mike to buy the guitar. He thought it fit him and sounded great in his hands. It does to this day.
We lost Freddie this weekend. He was a great singer, songwriter and a great lover of music. Freddie was cool. Please don't forget him, he was fuckin' Freddie Fender!