To kick things off, I’m going to let a little bit of the cat out of the bag to wet your appetite for this story.
Here’s part of what it’s going to be about. I know for a fact that some of the best fiction writers like to blend truths with lies. The truths are what give stories credibility. The lies are needed to make all of the pieces fit, and to add drama to the story. In this country, the golden rule for writing fiction was created by none other than Mark Twain. He said in, “Following the Equator: A Journey Around The World,” which was first published on January, 1, 1897, “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't.” BTW, I like his use of capital letters.
I was greatly interested in Bob’s plectrum banjo because I’m left-handed. It would be no problem for me to reverse the strings on one, and that’s what did when I finally got one. It was undoubtedly my best e-bay purchase ever. I stole it from someone who didn’t know what he had. He advertised an old Vega four string banjo. When I got it and opened the case, which looked like it had been to hell and back, the first thing I saw inside the rim were the words “Tubaphone.” I about had a heart attack. The reason I could see this was because it had one of those clear heads.
When I asked Bob what happened to his plectrum, he said he gave it to one of the road managers. He thought on this for a minute, and couldn’t remember which one it was. We know who some of the road managers were when Stewart joined the band, but I’ve never heard who any of them were when Dave was in the Trio. This is where my story begins. The road manager that Bob gave his Bacon & Day Silver Bell plectrum banjo to is older than dirt now. But, he’s still alive. There’s just one problem. He no longer has the banjo that Bob played when he Trio recorded Tom Dooley.
I’ve said in the past that, due to the number of TD records that were sold, which were more records than any other banjo tune, this made the Tom Dooley Bacon & Day Silver Bell plectrum banjo that Bob played on the recording of this song, which was on the first Trio album, the most valuable banjo in the world. The former road manger that Bob gave the banjo to has a granddaughter, or maybe she’s a great granddaughter … I forget … anyway, my story is all about what she has to do to get it back for her grandfather. When I write, I like to visualize real actors for my characters. So, Think of Kris Kristofferson as the actor who plays the former Trio road manager, and Brandi Carlisle as his granddaughter.