Blackburn, John 2011-09-01

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General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: John Blackburn

Additional Parties Recorded:

Date: September 01, 2011

Location: Amarillo, Texas

Interviewer: Andy Wilkinson

Length: 02:38:27


Part I Uncles, WWII, Flying Tiger, Original ABG, Distinguished Flying Cross, The other Uncle, Dean Smith, Aircraft carrier/ Kamikaze killed him, Omni Bay- Ship, Family, Mom from Wichita Falls area, Dad from Amarillo, Grand daddy knew how to get out of the box car, Gangsters would stop in Amarillo on their way to NM, Nothing but a salon, Blackburn funeral home, First funeral home in Amarillo, Governor Ferguson, Ma and Pa Ferguson, Two for the price of one, Dad worked at clothing store, President of A.W.A, W.W.F, Promoter, South West Representative, Rapid Ricky Romero, Terry Allen, They did not care for Hulk Hogan, Killer Carl Cox, Son of Stanly Blackburn, Tokyo Joe, Lived in the Herring Hotel, Penthouse of the Hotel, Joe Lewis, Herring- the fountain, Let his brother drive a go cart through the lobby, Music, Studied piano because of parents, Never learned how to read music, Natural ear to learn music, Stella guitars, Mexico City, Umberto Iglesias, Hooked on Flamenco music, Signed up for dance lessons, Knoll Smith- Jazz player, David Smith – Studied the dance, 1962 followed the bull fighters all through Spain, Pohren – Arte de Flamenco, Paco, Moved to Spain at age 22, Rip was about 16, Louis Menavida, Apartment in Madrid, Gypsies, Flattered that they were interested in their music, Louise, Ranch, Arne Copy, Ex Patriot, Bobby Zimmerman, Chinny – friend from Nashville, Bob Dylan was playing at that ranch, Arne said he couldn’t sing, Yan Yoors, Ran away with the gypsies, The only outsider who the gypsies allowed in, The Gypsies – book, Language, Total emersion, Harold Tribune, London to India for 174 dollars, Hitch hiked to Afghanistan, Stayed in Iran for 3 months, Australian’s and New Zealanders, Most of them were girls, War against Pakistan and India was about to start, London Visa – work visa, Immigrant, Washing dishes, in exchange for a room, Called Cox – 1970, He got a job by playing the guitar, Sydney, Australia, Guitar, Had it sent to him to Singapore, Sydney, Boomerang, Sheep station, Odd jobs, Horse back on the sheep station, Finger pickin style, Petén eras, Tony, Seranito, Insight, Pakistan is a different story, Border crossing into India, Happy to be in India, Gentle in India, No threat, Afghanistan, Four men from Pakistan, One Persian woman, And Mr. Blackburn, Cholera, The woman took her Chador off and wrapped it around him, She could have been stoned for that, India, Cheap, Calcutta, New Deli, Did not get to the southern part of India, Bought a leopard skin, Singapore, Sent his coat back to the states, The coat was cured in camel urine, Australia, A lot of Japanese there, Did not let them immigrate, New Zealand, Cheap, No foreigners, They would pick him up and take him home, Had his guitar, L.A, Eddie Reeves, 1972, Recording school, Kim Carnes, Hadn’t drove a car in years, High school, Buck, Palo durra club, Summer houses country club, Crooner, Banana Boat, Went up the Amazon, $5 dollar a day budget, 1975, Jeff Blackburn – his cousin, Warren Brunet stories, He went all the way to Buenos Aires, Amarillo, Rip – drummer, Susan Bagwell – singer, Rhett Butler’s – fancy restaurant, Irving, Thunda Ann Rains, She joined his trio, He had the urge to go back to Spain, 1980, Arne Coppe had built a restaurant, Got thrown in prison, Casa Botin, Cochanillos, The oven configuration is what makes it so good, Estapona, Bought a horse stable, Converted it into a restaurant, Spanish don’t eat pork ribs, Opened up a rib joint, The yacht people never had ribs before, Waiting list to get in, Paci, Rumba dance, Prison, Interrogate him, Brought in two Arabs, Got thrown in to a dungeon with them, Franco prison, They let him go after a few days, No money, no shoes, Letter from Arne, Accused of murder, They mistaken them for two Algerians, They caught them at the French border, Mary Bell, Married Brendon Gills son, Got divorced, Parents died, Bought an estate with her brother, Bill Lyon – brother, They moved to Spain, Buys a bar, Bill wanted to be a bull fighting critique, Rip and John get two apartments in complex, Wanted to meet Paco, Met two girls from Cuba, El Dewende – famous dancer, Takes them to a gypsy camp

Part II Gypsies, Hancock, Taught a course at UT, Romaine, Similar to Slovak language, Big population in Mexico City, A lot of prejudice about Gypsies in England, Hancock specialized in Creole languages, Nomads because they are forced to be, He made errors on purpose, The language is what protects them, Diasporas, Left India, Ottoman Empire- 300 years, England/Balkan States, South America/North America, Huge Population in Texas, Houston, They keep a low profile, Gypsy women always cover their legs, When they had a child in the U.S they named them about 3 or 4 names, Seattle – Used cars/ gypsy camp, Cadillac City, Kulpania, Washington State- gypsy schools, Paco, His daughter would tell him to practice, Mayas, Not a scythe gypsy, Calderas, San script base, Rhythm and words the same, They began in India, Absorb languages around them, Robert Duval – Angelo my Love, All Romaine, Convening of the courts CREASE, Hancock wouldn’t tell them where the gypsy bar in Houston is, Recordings, First- with Thunda, Bluegrass, Finger picker – John, Flat picker- Irv, Singer- Thunda, Harp- Irv, Did some Bob Dylan, John Kerr, Blackburn’s dad is hard of hearing, Sioux Indian Flut, Javier- San Miguel, Promo package, He could play the Gypsy Kings

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