Louisville Magazine

MAR 2012

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

Issue link: https://loumag.epubxp.com/i/56636

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Page 38 of 116

how he met the Rolling Stones, who became regular customers. Te client list through the years has been a who's who of rock, names such as Eric Clap- ton and Pete Townshend, Robert Plant and U2. (Te store gets a shout-out in the liner notes of U2's How To Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.) Brown recently helped find a rare Fender amplifier and a Beatles bass for Bob Dylan. (He didn't deal directly with Dylan — stars usually have people to take care of such things — but he did get the Bard's au- tograph.) And while they never made a deal, Brown found Joni Mitchell most impressive and remains a huge fan. His wife and business partner, Mary Jane Aboud, 58, still gets a little fan-girlie about those interactions (Ryan Adams once gave her a hug at the store!), but Brown has long taken them in stride. He does acknowledge that his life and career trajectory seem a bit surreal. "People ask me to sum up this thing," Brown says, "and I ask if they've seen Almost Famous. It was like that was my world, and it just carried on." Te '80s were pivotal for Brown. Around 1983 he began to get his personal life in or- der after getting too cozy with the excesses of the rock 'n' roll lifestyle. "I got real in- volved in that, real involved," Brown says. He finally completed a business degree from the University of Louisville, which helped him realize that running a guitar store was exactly what he wanted to do, now that he'd grown up. After meeting Aboud during a gig with the band Murphy's Law at Air Dev- ils Inn, he bought the old F.W. Woolworth Co. store at 1610 Bardstown Road. Built in 1910, it's been the Guitar Emporium's home since 1990. T "His own truncated two-step": Brown on bass performing with the Stray Cat Band at Zanzabar. [36] LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 3.12 he entrepreneurial side of Jimmy Brown, he says, is secondary; he is a musician first and foremost. Today he plays in multiple bands — Bodeco, a hard- charging roots-rock group that is on its lat- est hiatus, the bluesy Mr. Jimmy (formerly Hellfish and named for frontman Jimmy Garner), and the Stray Cat Band, a revolv- ing assortment of blues-based musicians who perform periodically. On the sales floor, Brown is soft-spoken, but onstage he turns into something else altogether. Arguably, it is with Bodeco that this stage persona is most acutely observed. Bearing his prized cream-colored 1965 Fender Jazz Bass, his instrument of choice, or perhaps an upright bass, Brown is kinetic. He struts, his own truncated two-step, and seems to float on his tiptoes. He folds at the waist, his torso nearly horizontal. When Bo- deco crests into its signature groove, front- man Rickie Feather may be wielding the sword, but Brown is the gleeful catalyst.

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