Trader Jon’s Legendary Book

An interesting note on Trader Jon-
Trader Jon was an effervescent personality with a huge heart cleverly disguised in a sometimes gruff exterior.  I had the privilege of meeting the man while performing for the bar in the 1980’s.  After my first set of music, I was called over to the bar by the man himself, and told to have a seat.  There were only a handful of folks seated  at the time, all “regulars”.  As I was sitting down, Trader hollered for the bartender to, “Get me my book”.  At this point I knew by the surprised expressions on the faces of the people present this was an uncommon occurrence.  The bartender returned with a modest-sized hardcover book and handed it to the old man.  “I want you to sign my book, son.” Trader said gruffly.  I can remember the smiles at the bar to this day. As he placed the book in front of me sitting on the stool next to me, I noticed his socks. He had these mismatched vintage argyle socks on with shorts. I opened the book and was immediately blown away by the signatures contained within.  JFK, John Wayne, Bob Hope, Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, Neil Armstrong, Roy Scheider, they seemed endless.  Politicians, War Heroes, Sports Stars and….Musicians.  I was speechless, which -for me- was a new experience.  Stunned, I think I said something like, “Me?, Really???” He just smiled at me and pointed out the folks he wanted me to be aware of which had signed. He talked about those signatures and their order chronologically, who came in with whom and stuff like that.  The odd thing for me was, being a long-haired musician/songwriter who at the time was somewhat skittish about my path and life choice, had felt so warmed and welcomed by this man.  As I signed the book, a lady at the bar asked, “Do you know what an honor this is?” -Again, speechless…
Thank you Trader, for giving me the confidence to continue my work.


Tommy Rainbow

2,088 thoughts on “Trader Jon’s Legendary Book

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