Dreams Do Come True
Central Valley born and bred Gary Tackett’s DREAM as a 10 year old was to “play guitar on a Merle Haggard record”. “That was my only dream”. “Not to be a policeman, fireman, or doctor, but to be a sideman for Merle Haggard (Be one of the Strangers featuring Norm Hamlett, Roy Nichols, Mark Yeary, Biff Adams, Jimmy Belkin, Tiny Moore). Gary’s dream came true on October 16th 1989 when Merle’s keyboardist Mark Yeary called Gary to “drive up to Merle’s” to play on the new Curb album! Dream realized- Gary got to record in the same room with his heroes, the Strangers, and watch Merle do his thing into that original huge microphone he used on all his early recordings. Merles home studio was state of the art at the time and had a “Swinging Doors” bar room with an acrylic train track suspended from the ceiling that ran around the whole room.
“We spent a lot of time in that bar waiting for Merle to come back to record the next song” Gary says. ” I went into his vocal booth and saw hand written lyrics on a legal pad that Tommy Collins, and Merle. I played an old Martin 12 string on the song “When It Rains It Pours”, and I think it’s one of only a few songs of Merle’s that had a 12 string on it”. After moving to Nashville in 1992 I got the chance to audition for one of my other heroes Vern Gosdin(The Voice) and got the gig. Our first show was with Conway Twitty and Charlie Daniels at an arena in Ohio. I had learned all of the parts on electric, and when we got to the venue, the road manager pulls out a Gibson Chet Atkins and said, “Here you go”, ” It’s and acoustic show”. The strings on that thing were green and stuck to the frets…needless to say, that was the ultimate trial by fire.
I then went on to play for Eddy Raven, Tammy Cochran and then most recently with Billy Currington putting his first band together and playing his first show and mine at the Grand Ole Opry. Another dream come true. I then became band leader, tour manager and left after a few years when Billy went into an anger management facility in Hawaii and canceled 83 tour dates. 5 wives and 6 children later, I can say that I’ve been there and done that, and have lived to tell about it. SomethingsI can’t tell, but are still great memories. I can honestly say DREAMS come true. I’m Living The Dream!
Please visit my new website at www.garytackett.com.