Last night in Atlanta, there was a memorial for George Maddox. As one of several people on the program, I remembered George:
On The Road...
To support himself while living the rock and roll dream, George started working on the road crew for bands from Atlanta who were touring nationally, even internationally.
He worked for The Brains just as they were breaking. He then worked for The Producers as they were becoming an MTV favorite.
Kyle Henderson of The Producers called him “a roadie but not a cliché,” and recalled the times they would have lengthy discussions about a wide range of topics while making those long drives from gig to gig.
I met George in the early ‘80s when he worked for The Producers. As part of my college radio station, I did a lot of events with them and, over the next year and then some, we became friends.
And, as with Kyle, we had long discussions about many things – you all know George loved to talk, converse, discuss and even lecture on whatever subject got snagged in his mind at any given time.
There are two things I know that I wouldn’t have known had I not met George.
First, if I’d never met George, I wouldn’t know what the ZZ Top song “Pearl Necklace” is about. He explained it to me in that somewhat professorial tone, enjoying my embarrassment.
And second, if I’d never met George, I wouldn’t know Lisa. He set us up, so to speak, because he thought we would get along.
And we did. And we do.
She and I moved to Atlanta, paving the way for George and Lisa to get together. Even after he left town to go to flight school, they tried to make it work.
One night at 688, some guy was getting a little too friendly with Lisa. She told him, trying to be heard over whatever band was playing, “I have a boyfriend in Florida.” Somehow, the guy heard “I have a boyfriend in Foreigner.”
Well, George certainly had the hair for it.
In the years he was not in Lisa’s life, he likewise was not in mine. But I thought of him often and remembered him fondly.
When they were reunited, I was so happy for Lisa. While it might seem to some that they wasted years apart, I think they came back together at exactly the right time. And pretty soon, it was the right time for Lily too.
After they moved to Pennsylvania, the distance seemed so great. But in July, here in Atlanta, Lisa and George spent a long weekend revisiting some of their favorite places – homes, landmarks, restaurants - and sharing memories with Lily. I am honored to have been a part of that weekend.
I will miss George. I will miss the very idea of George. But his essence provides great material for memories: his love of music, his bad jokes, his strong opinions, his smile and his sparkling eyes.
There’s one more thing I know because of George. I know that my friend Lisa will be okay because he was in her life.
And now, he is wherever we want him to be: in our hearts, in the sky, on the road.