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In Memory of Widespread's Mikey Houser: His Golden 50th B-Day by Anand Shastri

In Memory of Widespread’s Mikey Houser: His Golden 50th B-Day
By Anand Shastri
January 6th, 2012

On what was probably a humid day in North Carolina exactly 50 years ago in January of 1962,
The birth of Mike Houser & his music would 2 cite Skynerd “pick me up when I’m feelin’ blue.”

I always loved how you pulled down the guitar strings making Widespread one of my fav bands,
& as I left the Amphitheatre in Milwaukee after my 1st Panic show, I yelled, “Ain’t Life Grand!”

Anyone like me who has suffered from health problems as you did, remembers your brave fight,
& in your memory we must ensure that the sick, to quote a WSP cover, will be “Feelin’ Alright.”

Having lived mostly up “North,” I’ve generally not been around “sunny rocks and funny trees,”
But only cuz’ u r in a better place Mikey, that not being able to c u again “Makes Sense to Me.”

Still though, I wish I could “summon the Holy Ghost from the battlefield” to bring you back,
& let me be “ready to ride, ride, ride” your guitar riff-wave as JB’s raspy voice says in “Jack.”

Going back 2 places, now living in your region, I’m often “sittin’ around, watchin’ the rain fall,”
& whenever listening to you jam, especially on the 2000 Oak Mountain DVD, I’m having a ball.

I remember not finding my friend after a great Spread show, Panic(king) I’d have 2 walk alone,
But given you’re 1 of his fav people, I knew he’d never “leave me in the dark here on my own.”

I owe ya cuz during yours & Jo-Jo’s jam in “X-Mas Katie” after JB said, “make it last all night,”
The vibes I gave off groovin’ 2 it made literally every chick there think I was a very pretty sight.

Your riffs brought me a major spin throughout my body, yet paradoxically, also peace of mind,
An example being psyched 4 an ab-routine, but also after a tough week, being able 2 unwind.

While I really, really love college football, especially hangin’ with the die-hard fans of the SEC,
Cheering for the Georgia Bulldogs is more correlated 2 the unity of WSP co-founders, you & JB.

I love how partly for “spiritual justice”& tunes, WSP covers Stevie Wonder & Curtis Mayfield,
& 4 being so natural at playing “Superstition” & “Pusherman,” as well as you play “Hatfield.”

Whenever I saw you play guitar, wanna’ take a guess how I knew it was a really connecting jam?
It was when you’d turn your head, & crack a warm smile at JB & Schools, as I would to my fam.

Please hang on 2 da “Angel on High” up there cuz like u say, “she’s got wings, she’s got wings,”
& speaking 4 all Spread-Heads, know that “(your) spirit (will always) move in all (of our) things.

We love you Mikey! Sincerely,
Anand Shastri & Every Widespread Panic fan there is

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