Ben Fong-Torres sings on stage in Texas with rock legends and lives to tell the story.
[Editor's Note: This article was written for the music maga- zine Paste and will appear, in a slightly differ- ent form, in its October issue.]
We were re- hearsing, and Id just run through my Elvis number when Jim Messina issued a threat.
Hey, Ben, he said, I just want to let you know Im gonna be writing a review about this!
Fair enough. After all, back in the day, when I was at Rolling Stone , I used to write about Messina, who was in Buffalo Springfield and Poco before becoming half of Loggins & Messina.
Standing near Messina was Richie Furay, his bandmate in Springfield and Poco. And huddled in a far corner were Mickey Raphael, the harmonica wizard behind Willie Nelson, along with Tony Brown, Nashville label executive, producer, and former keyboard player foryes, Elvis Presley. Yikes!
We were in the Hunt Suite in the Mansion on Turtle Creek, the Dallas luxury resort hotel where Dean Fearing, the ebullient executive chef and guitar-slinging leader of a mostly-chefs band, the Barbwires, gathers as many ringers as he can every year to play at his fundraising Summer Barbeque Fest.
On this seasonally hot July Saturday, some 600 people would soon show up, at $250 a ticket, to sample grilled and barbequed dishes whipped up and served by celebrity chefs from around the country, and to be coerced into overspending for items in an auction run by Al Roker and Peter Greenberg of the Today...