June 26, 2015
“Today was another day off.. and days off on the road are usually dreaded because we’re stuck in a motel somewhere. Well, today we decided to go on an adventure, we must have walked 5 miles around Savannah. It’s great to stumble upon hidden treasures, and meet special people in our travels when least expecting it.” writes TESLA guitarist Frank Hannon.
Frank and his crew strolled the Historic District of Savannah, Georgia known as City Market and ran into a fellow traveler struggling with some chords. “We ran across a guy playing Rocky Raccoon today on the streets of Savannah…he was stuck on a chord change so he handed me the guitar and I showed him how I had learned it.. He was a cool dude who took a bus from Denver to walk on the east coast.” says Hannon.
They then made their way over to West Bay Street and wandered into a charming bookstore called “Books on Bay” owned by Betsy Hoit-Thetford. The shop was opened over 16 years ago by Betsy and has thousands of books ranging from the 1600s to the late 1900s.
“It was just another slow, sultry summer day in Savannah”, writes Betsy. “(cue slow Southern music) when WHAM! in walked a good part of the Frank Hannon Band (and TESLA), with Frank Hannon himself in the lead. (shift to over-the-top Southern rock with undertones of metal, blues, and folk) And then it was time to go. Another day, another city, another concert, another audience.
Whoa! Screech to a halt here . . . . all that makes for a good novel, but true life is way more interesting!
Betsy continues, “After they checked out what we had in biographies and poetry, we had a great time talking. We kicked around traveling light (people are forever trying to give them things and they have limited room on the road for “things”), Beat generation poets and musicians (I told him to check out Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Mason Williams), San Francisco in the hippie era (Frank was there as a child), and TESLA (Frank co-founded the multi-platinum band). And then it really was time to go because TESLA is doing a tour with Def Leppard and Styx, and the guys just stopped over in Savannah on their way from Florida to Alabama.
Of course, the minute they cleared the door, I had to look up Frank’s ‘Gypsy Highway’ and listen to it. (awesomely good!) . . . by the way, it turns out Frank really does like poetry. Makes sense. After all, what is a musician but a “poet of the streets,” as Jack Micheline, one of the Beat generation poets, would say.”
Frank writes back, “Well Betsy, no wonder you own a book store.. You’re quite the writer yourself! Thank you for a fun afternoon and also taking a listen to ‘Gypsy Highway’. I’m glad you enjoyed it as that’s my most personal album creatively and I made it in my living room at home. You were fun to talk with and I hope we see you again when we return. I was telling Jim that we want to bring FHB to that little club in town when we tour thru Atlanta to Tampa..maybe this winter..ok take care my friend..time to read some poems”
If you are in the Savannah area remember to stop by and say hello to our friend Betsy!
Books on Bay
224 West Bay Street Lower