Eventually, Don began hauling his electric guitar to weekly local open mics at The Palms and Joshua Tree Saloon, enticing assembled musicians to back him up so he could plug in, crank up, and crank out a feedbackladen version of a Jimi Hendrix, Cream, or Peter Green classic. It was always a loud, sloppy, chaotic blast of noise-infused performance art when Don took his turn centerstage. It was also raw, unadulterated exuberance. He was on Cloud 9 for those ten minutes on stage, and that energy created some truly magical moments.
This past year, as Don’s health deteriorated and he dealt with a weakening heart and excruciatingly painful leg infection, Don still steadfastly continued to attend open mics. Every Tuesday, he’d grit his teeth, wheel himself to his driveway, throw his guitar and wheelchair in the car, drive to Joshua Tree Saloon, unload, roll in, and sign up. When his turn came, he’d hobble up to the stage, plop onto a stool, plug in, and let loose in glorious fashion.