Bill Shaw Part 2
Bill Shaw defined what it was to be cool. He walked with a
distinctive gait due to a motorcycle injury that served to make him
that much cooler. His aura was ten times larger than he was and he
capitalized on it.
Known for outrageous bravado, Bill told a local
newspaper reporter The Shackles would soon be touring with the
Rolling Stones. As implausible as that was, we wanted to believe it
was true just so we could be linked even at a distance to someone
I don't know how it happened but to my great delight and the benefit
of my ego, Bill and I became friends.
Soon after getting to know Bill, he asked me to photograph The
Shackles. They were all warm, fun and friendly as Bill.
Very early in our friendship,
still trembling in the shadow of my idol, I joined Bill for a Coke
sitting at a back table of the Snacktime restaurant in Hinsdale's
Grant Square shopping center. It was one of those "had to pinch
myself moments". I was enjoying a one on one audience with a god and I felt
Before my gloating fully set in, a guy younger than me
recognized Bill and came up to the table to chat. He was also a
musician. Mind you I had already sweated a year of hopeful anticipation
that one day I could hang around with the likes of a Bill Shaw. The younger guy walked
right up to our table apparently unaware of just how powerful an individual
Bill Shaw was. I nervously feared for this youngster worrying that
Bill Shaw actually could breath fire and consume our uninvited
guest in a matter of seconds.
As my tension built, the young man began to talk about the
musical equipment he owned. Did he not know that you just don't
barge into the presence of the mighty Bill Shaw and start babbling
about your gear?
To my astonishment, Bill complimented him and asked questions about
the type of music he liked and encouraged him. He was thoughtful
and kind without talking down to the boy. I was greatly relieved and Bill's standing in my
eyes was elevated yet another notch.
Bill Shaw Part 3