The media coverage of Gary Garcia's death on November 17th was understandably focused on his status as half of Buckner & Garcia (I'm not going to embed "Pac-Man Fever" here, but if you simply must hear it, you can see them perform it on American Bandstand here). Here in Ichiban-land, though, we mourn him as the leader of Akron, Ohio's Outlaws. You can hear them perform "The Scavenger" here, courtesy of Bob the Sponge. Side note: the still-living Jerry Buckner was apparently a member of the Rogues, who made a couple of records backing up Harvey Russell, the "Singing Cop". Here's the first one-- a fine Isley Brothers cover.
|Photo swiped from Buckeye Beat|
While they met in Akron as students at Perkins Jr High School, Mr. B and Mr. G plied their trade in Atlanta from the mid-'70s on, and that's where they created their most important contribution to American culture. Any Southerner-- or anyone who's ever gotten hungry on the interstate in the South, for that matter-- is familiar with the row of site-specific singles on every Waffle House jukebox. Most of those singles are produced or performed by Buckner and/or Garcia. Here's a label shot of one, courtesy of our own Greg G.
So, next time you're eating hash browns by the off-ramp at 2:45 AM, punch up a couple of WH anthems and raise your glass of sweet tea in a toast to Mr. Garcia. Make sure your food's already on the table, though... I've encountered Waffle House employees who aren't all that thrilled to hear "Waffle House Woman" or "844, 739 Ways to Eat a Hamburger" yet again, and they're not willing to say that they won't spit in your food. Fair warning.