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Diamonds Pinned to My Underwear 173
was well again and I was so mad I raved and hollered and left the house.
. . . Fooled around and organized a band and we played dates in the Imperial Valley as far south as San Diego. Had a nice set-up at the U.S. Grant Hotel, at least I thought it was okay until I heard their white band was paid double what my boys were getting. Then I pulled my band out of that joint with no notice!
My old friend, Bob Rowe put me onto the horses. Before I knew it, I owned one, a nag named Red Cloud. The owner told me, "Red Cloud is the fastest racehorse in the world. Yon can blindfold him and he can outrun anything on the tracks, by feeling his way along." The truth was that horse couldn't outrun me; he wasn't even a good mule and the officials wouldn't permit him on the track because they claimed 1 wasn't feeding him. So I had to forget old Red Cloud and the former owners had to forget the $400 they wanted me to pay.
The horses had taken me to a little place called Tia Juana on the borders of Mexico, where I got a job in a place called the Kansas City Bar. Tips ran as high as forty and fifty dollars a night. An old friend, a Negro millionaire out of Oklahoma, owned the place and I taken a fancy to him I wrote a tune and named it after his hax-The Kansas City Stomps.
There was a very pretty little waitress at the Kansas City Bar and I dedicated a new composition to her. This was The Pearls, consisting of several sections, each one matching the other and contributing to the total effect of a beautiful pearl necklace. There are very, very few pianists, if any, that can play The Pearls, it being the most difficult piece of jazz piano ever written, except for my Fingerbuster.
But this good thing had to come to an end. The owner was a very unfortunate gentleman, even though he did have a million dollars. It seems that he had murdered his partner before he left Oklahoma and so the authorities caught up with him and, with all his millions, he had to go to jail for twenty years.