the south

when i grew up in st. louis, i never thought of missouri as the south…till i played my first paying gig at the age of 16 in the town of bonne terre in a biker bar about 5o miles south of the city. the drummer’s older brother grew up to be a biker we were scared of but he had decided to help us get some gigs so we went along. when the bartender found out we were prep school kids he took us aside to tell us we were ‘down here where we call a nigger, a nigger.’ then i really looked at a map and realized southern missouri is bordered by arkansas, tennessee and kentucky. that was over 35 years ago. i still have the $2 bill i was given at the end of the gig.