A Tribute to the King


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Natural Bridge General Store

Sandwiched in between trucks and rainy weather, we missed the exit for 64 off 81.  Realizing that we made a mistake, we decided to ask for directions at the next exit.  It just so happened that the next exit was Natural Bridge, Va., so we decided to check out the bridge.  Unable to find the bridge, we ended up at a grocery store and asked for directions to get us back on track to Charleston.

Scott: Excuse me miss. Can you tell me how to get to Charleston, West Virginia?
Saleswoman: Wheere? I have no idea…(to her big husband in the back of the place) Uhh…Honey…Wheere’s Charleston West Virginia?

Despite their thick accents and Boone Countyesque appearance, the people were very friendly and put us back on track. They were delighted by the fact that we bought a few snacks in their store. (Bag of a dozen Chocolate Donuts = $1.69)


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Finally arriving at West Virginia!


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Empty Glass:

Upon entering the Empty Glass it was obvious that we were outsiders.   West Virginians are a strange breed... The clodhoppers in Empty Glass belonged to two groups of people: those who lived in Boone County and those who did not.  The Boone county residents, Jesco’s friends and family, were 100 percent hayseed...  They looked like they were straight from the video, which in fact, some of them were.  We could easily spot Maimi (Jesco's older, badder, meaner sister) by the bar and the Miracle Woman (Jesco's mother) seated at the big White family table in the center of the room.  The other people at the Empty Glass were Jesco White fans.   They tended to dress a little nicer, and based on our conversations with them, were slightly more educated than the White family…slightly…


Scott's initial reflections:

I gazed around the room in hopes of spotting Jesco.  Then I saw him.  My first instinct was to run up and shake the man's hand...but I second-guessed this inclination after noticing the demeanor of not only Jesco, but the entire White family.   They did not look like a friendly bunch and given my "normal" appearance, I was very nervous to approach the clan and introduce myself.
I looked around the room to see if there was someone that I could talk to in order to see if it was OK to approach Jesco.  A couple seated next to me fit the description.   I asked the man if it was the first show he had been to and if Jesco was a personable individual who wouldn’t mind talking to outsiders.  The man told me that Jesco eats that stuff up.  "Any attention he can get he loves," the man assured me.  I then realized I had a mission to accomplish…I had to go up and meet the King…


Meeting Jesco for the first time:

Scott: Hi Jesco, my name is Scott. It’s a pleasure to meet you (Sticking out my hand…this was the test…if he shook it, it meant I was in business…slowly he drew his hand and shook mine…Success!).
Jesco: Thanks a lot. Hey man, I like those sideburns!
Scott: Thanks Jesco. Jesco I’m a HUGE fan of yours…I drove 6 hours today with my friends to come and see you…six hours all the way from Richmond Virginia. (I introduce Jesco to Brian, Liz, and Richard)
Jesco: Well thank you. I really appreciate that.
(A big bald bearded man walks up to Jesco…this guy looks like biker type you see in movies that loves to get into fights).

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Big Bearded Man: Jesco, do you know these guys…cause I don’t like them?
Jesco: Come on man, they drove six hours just to see me perform tonight.
(Satisfied, the bearded man walks away. Meanwhile Brian, Richard, and Liz begin to talk to Jesco’s sisters.)
Jesco’s sisters: I’m Jesco’s sister (proud). We are all members of the White family, just like in the video.
We: It’s nice to meet you.
Jesco’s sisters: Too bad you guys don’t have a camera. We’d love to take some pictures of you and Jesco.
Scott: Oh we do! Jesco would you mind a few pictures.
Jesco: No not at all…

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Getting our picture taken with Jesco

First it is just Scott…

Jesco: Nice man.  I’ve got a shoulder to rest on.
Liz enters the picture on Jesco’s left side…
Jesco: Hey man, this is great.  Looks like I’ve got 2 shoulders to rest on.


After Liz and Scott got their picture taken with Jesco, Scott spoke with Jesco for a bit:

Scott: Jesco I’m really excited about the show. What are you going to be doing tonight?
Jesco: Well…I’m going to start off with a little bit of Elvis and then I’mma gonna do some dancin’.
Scott: Great you’re going to do some of that good old mountain tap for us?
Jesco: Yep. I’ve got my dancin’ shoes on so I’ll be doing a little dancin’.
Scott: Ok great!
Jesco: Yep. I’m going to do some Wild-Wood flower and then a bit of Bluegrass.
(Scott pats him on the shoulder and tells him he can’t wait for the show)


After Brian got his picture taken with Jesco, everyone else in the room lined up for some pictures with the King.  We broke the ice for everyone... We slipped off to a corner and reflected back on our Jesco encounter.


After everyone else in the Empty Glass had pictures taken with Jesco, Richard went back to him for a shot…

Richard’s Jesco encounter:
Richard: Hi. My name’s Richard.  I’m from New Zealand.   Know where that is?
Jesco: No.
(Richard and Jesco attempted to converse but neither could understand each other very well. They both decided the hell with trying to communicate…they would just take a picture together and call it a day)


While getting a drink at the bar Scott noticed that someone was wearing a really cool Jesco White shirt.  He approached the man and asked him where he got it.  The man told Scott that he bought it at the last show he went to.  He added that Scott could go see Maimi (Jesco's older sister) at the bar and that she might be selling them.   Scott approached Maimi, who was in conversation with 4-5 other women at the bar…

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Scott: Excuse me Maimi…I was wondering if there was any way I can get one of those shirts?
Maimi: Shh!!!!!
Other women: Shhh!!!
Maimi: (Whisper yelling) Don’t talk about shirts.  Jesco doesn’t know I’m selling them. If he finds out, he’ll kill me.  Shirts are 30 dollars. Small, medium, or large?
Scott: Oh. Well that’s an awful lot of money…how about I buy a few of them for 20 dollars each…
Maimi: Ok hon.
Scott: I’ll go gather the money and be right back to you.
Maimi: Sure thing Hon…I’ll be here.
(After talking it over with Liz, Brian, and Richard we decide to purchase 3 of the shirts.   I returned to Maimi with the money)
Scott: Ok Maimi. I’m ready to buy.
Maimi: Follow me.
(Scott followed her outside to her car…He began to feel a little nervous going outside into the parking lot with Maimi by himself…He went through with it though for some strange reason)

While walking to her car…
Maimi: I’m going to sell you these shirts but promise me you won’t say nothin to Jesco.
Scott: I promise.
Maimi: If he finds out that I sold them to you he’ll shoot me on the spot! You think I’m kidding?
Scott: No I believe you. I know that Jesco can be the devil in his self at times.
(They go to her car and she pulls out a big box of shirts)
Maimi: Here you look through the box. I’m as blind as a bat…
(Scott finds three shirts and pays her)
Scott: Can you wait one minute. I’m going to put these away in my car.
Maimi: Sure thing Honey. I’ll wait right here for you.
(Scott put his shirt on over his sweatshirt and put the others in his car and while walking back to Maimi’s car, she told him she had to go make a stop next to these two trucks. She walked over between two trucks, dropped her Jeans and began to piss. Scott turned away from this hideous sight and fortunately held in his laughter… She started talking to Scott so he looked over in her direction thinking she was ready to re-enter the Empty Glass…she was still pissing, causing him to feel sick to his stomach. She pulled up her jeans, sucked in her gut, and pulled her shirt over her belly. They started to walk back to the empty glass…)
Maimi: I’m sick and tired of Jesco. I’ve been talking with those women inside, and they know that Jesco’s not treatin me right! He’s making 1 thousand dollars on this show and know how much I’m getting? I’m not getting shit!
Scott: That isn’t very nice.
Maimi: You’re damn right. Jesco’s dumb as shit. I’m the brains behind the operation. Jesco’s the talent and he treats me like shit. I’m the meanest, I’m the baddest, and I’m the oldest…that’s why I’m sellin them without tellin him…I’ve got babies to feed you know!
Scott: Yeah. That isn’t very nice of Jesco.  It should be a fifty/fifty operation.
Maimi: You’re damn right!
(They walked back to the entrance of the Empty Glass and some guys with long hair, beards, and no shirts began to whistle at her.  Maimi went over to them but Scott, using his better judgement, decided not to go with her and to get back to the show.…)


Later, Maimi spots Scott.

Maimi: Hey honey, you can go get that shirt signed if I want.  Just make sure to tell Jesco that you got the shirt back home in Boone.
Scott: Really? But he already knows what I’m wearing…
Maimi: Don’t worry. He won’t know. He’s as stupid as shit.
Scott: Ok thanks for all your help Maimi. I’ll get a signature later.
(Scott didn’t believe Maimi’s call on Jesco’s intelligence and felt a little uncomfortable wearing the shirt for the rest of the night…however, he kept it on…)


After getting some flyers, Liz and Brian approached Jesco for some autographs.   Jesco could barely spell.  He knew how to write letters, but needed help each time he had to spell a word.

Jesco’s sister: You have to speak real loud. He can’t hear to good.
Jesco: Who would you like this for?
Brian: To Brian.
Jesco’s Sister: Brian. That’s B-R-I-A-N. (After 5 repetitions, Jesco finally spelled Brian correctly)
Liz: Can you make this one out to Dr. J?
Jesco: How do you spell that?
Liz: D-R- J
Jesco: J? (A minute passed in which Jesco thought hard as to how to spell J)
Liz: Yes J! (Liz was about to snap at him J AS IN JESCO! but she controlled her frustration)


When Brian needs to use the men’s room…
Brian: Excuse me. Is that the men’s room?
Jesco fan: I hope so cause I just pissed all over it.

After Brian's excursion to the bathroom, he informed us that people had very bad aim in these parts and insisted that if we had to use the restroom, we should hold it in.


A man from the audience reflected on Jesco:
Man: I saw that video and I thought he really is Elvis.


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A woman walked up to Liz to ask her a serious question she had regarding Jesco…
Woman: Know what I want to know? If there is 3 of them, how do they know the right one is going to come out?


Opening bands included The Night Train and Clay Cooper.

The Night Train is a band of ex-truck drivers and they definitely fit the appearance.
Clay has a pretty decent country voice but his songs are ridiculous.


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Night Train:

The band members of Night Train were very unusual. The lead singer was a fat, long curly-haired man in overalls and no shirt. The lead guitarist had a raccoon tail hanging from his electric guitar. On the main microphone was a purple Tinky-Winky doll, the doll Rev. Jerry Falwell refers to as homosexual.

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One of the songs by Night Train was a keeper, "8th Grade Bride"

An attempt at some of the lyrics:

Go get your chocolate milk. Have a little mustache.
You’re young, but I kinda like it.

Night Train was a people-pleasing band.  They had a stove on stage cooking/heating baloney.

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In the middle of their performance, and again at the end, they slapped some mustard on the baloney, put it in some white bread, and cried out "Who wants a hot baloney sandwich?"

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While Night Train was performing, Liz took a picture of the lead singer. A man standing next to us in the audience asked her:

Man: You didn’t get the bare piggies in that picture, did you?

Liz was totally confused. It took several times to ask this man to repeat himself. It took more time to think about what he was trying to say. After realizing what he meant, it took a little more time to think for some sort of explanation as to why he would ask such a question.


While the Night Train was performing, Liz noticed a man wearing a black hat, black shirt, and black pants.  The man took a wad of cash from one of Jesco's yokels and then pulled out a small bag and handed it to him.  The man proceeded to do this several times which led us to believe that something was going on...


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Clay Cooper:

We found out just a few minutes later that the man with the pricey bags was Clay Cooper.  Clay had a tendency to forget the lyrics to his songs. Midway through one of his songs he stopped playing suddenly and said "no… I’ve lost that one." He apologized and claimed that there were lots of great songs running through his head and that he sometimes forgets how all the words go. We understood his reasoning and awaited his next song. He began by explaining the song he was going to sing and just as he hit the opening cords he said, "no, I’ve lost that one too." One of the three songs he could remember how to play was "I’m the meat man"


Clay: My girlfriend says that this is a dirty song. I said no. It’s a good song. It’s just a song about the meat man.

An attempt at the lyrics:

She opened the door.
I said come on in.
How do you want me to pack your meat?
Do you want me to do it like across the street?
I’m the meat man.
I’m the meat man.

After Clay performed, he told the audience "I’d now like to share a few words about the star of the night, Mr. Jesco White." He paused for a moment while the crowd cheered. He resumed by singing "his name is Jesco White and they call him the dancing outlaw," and then, to our astonishment, he left the stage.


When Clay finished the song:

Marshall Kid: All I got from that is that he wants to pack Jesco’s meat.


Jesco doing his Elvis routine:


To begin singing his songs with Elvis, Jesco states…
Jesco: I’m not really Elvis Presley. I’m an Elvis Impersonator.

For each of the 30+ Elvis songs he sang, Jesco would say…
Jesco: This isn’t my song, but I’d like to sing it for you.

Jesco did not know any of the Elvis songs by heart. His tape that he sang to was at a very slow speed and Jesco still managed to only recite 60% of the lyrics. In addition, Jesco had a knack for mistakenly singing the wrong lyrics to Elvis. One time it was very obvious:

Jesco: I feel so lonely. So lonely. So lonely you could die.

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The crowd began to fizzle out after Jesco did his 20th Elvis song. Liz and Scott however, stood center stage and enjoyed Jesco singing his songs with Elvis. During one of the songs about meeting people, the crowd stuck out their arms to shake Jesco’s hand. Liz got a hang shake and more as Jesco pulled her hand close and gave her a heart warming kiss on the hand.

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Relax!  This is not Liz!


The crowd's frustration turned into anger at Elvis song #25.  They started ranting, "We want you to dance…dance Jesco!"

Jesco stayed focused for a while, but eventually gave in and did some tap dancing to the Elvis songs. Soon thereafter, Night Train took the stage, pushed stop to the boom box, and played the hit of the night, "If you want to go to heaven, you’ve got to raise a little hell," while Jesco tap danced like a fiend.

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Richard notes on Jesco’s performance:

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Jesco was extremely robotic while singing songs with Elvis. He had no control over the songs and simply sung whatever was played like a trained circus animal performing against his will. After about the thirtieth song, a fat man went up on to the stage and turned off the music. An exhausted Jesco was grateful to be put out of his misery –apparently he is unable to stop performing when the music is playing no matter how tired he is.


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"Miracle Woman"

Jesco's mother, "the miracle woman,"  was Jesco's number one fan.   Despite the fact that she made it clear that Jesco shouldn't be doing these silly Elvis routines in the video, she was very proud of her son's fame and new money making profession.  Donald Ray would be proud of his boy, Boone County's very own Elvis Impersonatig dancing outlaw.


On our way out the door, we encountered Maimi on her way to sell another shirt in the parking lot. Richard, who didn’t buy one before, decided to purchase one. After making the purchase:

Maimi: I’m all lit up. Time to go back to Boone.

(She was not kidding. When Jesco was doing his Elvis bit, she was outside smoking weed on the patio. Brian and Richard went outside thinking they would get some fresh air, but instead were offered a hit from Maimi’s bowl).