EMAIL PAGE TWO
COLUMN SEVENTY-FOUR, AUGUST 1, 2002
(Copyright © 2002 The Blacklisted Journalist)
JOHN HAMMOND REMEMBERED
One day shortly before Mr. Hammond's death I was in New York and I called him
Date: Sun, 2 Jun 2002 18:36:50 EDT
day shortly before Mr. Hammond's death I was in New York and I called him from
the lobby house phone at CBS as he told me to do from the first time I went to
see him. Usually when I called from
the lobby house phone he would tell me to come up to his office.
He would call the security guard at the front desk and give his tell the
security guard to permit me to enter the elevator and I would go up to his
particular day he said to me "don't come up because I'm coming down
shortly" . His voice had a ringing excitement to it when he then asked me
told Mr. Hammond I would love to go and he told me to meet him at the back
entrance. He told me that he would be at the mobile recording unit outside of
the back stage entrance and to look for a large truck or van.
met Mr. Hammond there. As soon as we entered through the backstage door Mr.
Hammond was swarmed by reporters attempting to ask him questions mostly about
Hammond spoke to the reporters for a short while, then tried to make an exit but
they wouldn't let him go. The reporters kept asking him questions.
my recollection Mr. Hammond's reaction to
their questions could only be best described as reminiscent of a tv newsperson
flashing a microphone in a politicians face who was caught in a scandal as he
walked out of the court room, although Mr. Hammond was not in that position. It
was just the look on his face that resembled the notion of that similar
situation I described. It appeared to me that all Mr. Hammond wanted to say to
the reporters was "Are you kidding Stevie Ray Vaughan's on the stage and
he's getting ready to play".
Hammond then said to the reporter something to the effect and very politely
"Now if you'll excuse me I'll go record this concert" He was seventy
was like he was on a tight rope, or a high wire. I thought he was going to fall
a couple times as he lost his balance. I stayed as close to him as I could in
case he fell. I could tell he didn't have all his strength and still wasn't
fully recovered from his heart attack.
was think to myself the doctors released him to soon but his energy came from
his ambition and it reminded me of my audition with him after not sleeping for
three nights before the audition. It was a similar situation although I was
around thirty years old when I auditioned for him and he was in his seventies.
It was a great concert.
John was playing piano that night with Stevie. Mr. Hammond accomplished what he
was trying to achieved that night and parts of the concert were released on a
live Stevie Ray Vaughan CD.
long after the live recording of Stevie Ray Vaughan at Carnegie Hall was
recorded Mr. Hammond died. at his home in New York. The article in the newspaper
stated that Mr. Hammond died at home while listening to a Billy Holiday record.
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