A week from today, Fenway Park will host its second annual "Hot Stove, Cool Music: The Fenway Sessions" concert, an event that couldn't have happened without Peter Gammons. A few years ago Gammons, now 61, became a crucial link between Boston rockers and the Red Sox, and his friendships on both sides of the rock and jock aisle led to a series of benefit shows at the Paradise, which then blossomed into full-scale Fenway production. We've yet to hear an official word on whether Peter will be there in the flesh; there is no question that he will be there in spirit.
OTD spoke to Gammons almost a year ago at the first Fenway Sessions, standing in the on-deck circle at Fenway Park, where he reminisced that one of his first published articles was a review of a Traffic album in the early years of Rolling Stone. During the same hang, Gammons mentioned that he had recently switched from Les Pauls to Stratocasters at the urging of an old friend from Inman Square named George Thorogood. And he also said in passing that about a month before he'd written a song called "She Fell From Heaven," which, as he pointed out, "might be the first song to use ‘Karl Rove’ as a verb." A few weeks ago, before his brain aneurysm, he gave us the thumbs-up to post that song -- in the version that appears on his debut album, Never Slow Down, Never Grown Old -- and we're sharing it hoping that Gammons will stay in your thoughts as much as he's been in ours.
This year's "Hot Stove, Cool Music" is turning into a monster: James Taylor, Howie Day, the Click Five, Kay Hanley, Cowboy Mouth, the Gentlemen, Furvis, Buffalo Tom, and local American Idol contestant Ayla Brown are among the performers who do not wear Red Sox uniforms. The proceeds from the concert (and, by the way, from Gammons's new CD as well)benefit the Brothers Epstein's A Foundation To Be Named Later.
Aside from being a legendary columnist, a Cooperstown hall-of-famer, and a pretty damn good guitar player, he's also a helluva guy. We've been told by folks close to Gammons that he'd be cheered by this song appearing here, so if you feel like sending him some get-well wishes in the comments section, we'll make sure he sees them.
DOWNLOAD: Peter Gammons, "She Fell From Heaven" (mp3)
BUY: Peter Gammons, Never Slow Down, Never Grow Old from Rounder RecordsBUY: Tickets for Hot Stove, Cool Music