Happy 80th Anniversary Cowboy Luke !

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Happy 80th Anniversary Cowboy Luke !

Postby Tom » Fri Aug 31, 2007 7:02 am

Well, I'm a few weeks late on this post but who cares, right ?

On August 13, 1927, a grizzled downtrodden cowboy named Sad Luke appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post. A Norman Rockwell painting titled Dreams Of Long Ago, Luke , or Rockwell for that matter, had no idea just how long his career would last.


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It's up for debate who actually picked this picture for the PPL debut LP. But the top candidate appears to be Dennis Katz, a good friend of the band and a firm believer in their talent. He is noted in the credits on Bustin' Out, and was instrumental in tracking down Craig Fuller for The American Flyer project. But one thing is certain : all the band members agreed on it.

Katz cleared the way with Norman Rockwell and his estate, and just like that, a star was born. Producer Bob Ringe : " ...it really said for us what we wanted to say. It was funny because in our later days when we thought about doing a third album before we didn't get the opportunity, we were going to call it Dreams Of Long Ago, from the record ( held by the cowboy) but we may use that some day. "

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Mike Reilly had this to say in 1975 " He dresses like we do and has as much road grit. He's Pure Prairie."

Craig Fuller recently took a more practical approach: " Instead of having the band on the cover, we could hide behind him. It didn't draw attention to the personnel changes."

Luke suddenly was a permanent part of the PPL team, appearing in some way on every release that followed. Back in the days when there were LP's it certainly was easy to spot that new LP, just look for the cowboy. Fans loved him , always looking forward to his next predicament or perhaps to see if he'd change at all. Bustin' Out had the memorable setting of the poor old guy being tossed through barroom doors, cards flying in the air.

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Two Lane Highway saw him looking rather hopeless, thumbing for a ride that you know never came.


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If The Shoe Fits was actually an optimistic cover, as Luke somehow came up with the scratch to buy some new boots. Dance saw him do what he probably did best: drink. Live ! Takin' The Stage saw the old boy actually driving the coach, taking the band out of harms way. While he took a bit of a breather on Just Fly and Can't Hold Back ( he was in the now familiar circled logo), he returned to full time duty on the cover of Firin' Up, once again alone in a desert setting,this time at night, with a prairiedog by his side. Something In The Night saw Luke in the city, a rarity, something he probably wasn't too comfortable with, peeking around a corner.

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In 1987 it looked like the emergence of a new Luke. Incredibly, he had cleaned up his act. The cover of Momentos caught Luke in an attic, his prized possessons ,his momentos, the hat, knife, boots, strewn about as he gazed into an old miror. But he could never really change, you can lead a cowboy to the water but you can't make him drink. What Luke saw was the same grizzled cowpoke he always was and always will be. A haircut, shave and new set of clothes can't change that.

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With the release of the new CD, All In Good Time we actually had proof for the first time that , contrary to popular belief, Luke really did bathe.

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And if there was any doubt that Luke would forsake his cleaned up look and revert back to his more natural state, that was quicly dispelled as we found him gazing at a pocket watch held in his hand, his reflection in the watch clearly showing the same grungy , downtrodden figure we have come to love.

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80 years of trials, tribulations , and yes, the music Luke brought to us. No doubt the band members of PPL feel a great deal of loyalty to the figure who has never given up on them.

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Luke still manages to keep himself busy when not on the road with the band. He was last seen celebrating his anniversary, announcing it as only he can, in his quiet, but effective way.

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All the best,
Tom
Last edited by Tom on Tue Sep 11, 2007 8:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Luke 8:13

Postby Vice Admiral Swiss Navy » Sat Sep 01, 2007 6:29 pm

Tom:

Not sure if you remember what it says but I thought I would share it as I thought it was quite interesting indeed.

Luke 8:13

13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.
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Re: Luke 8:13

Postby Tom » Thu Oct 11, 2007 9:51 pm

Vice Admiral Swiss Navy wrote:Tom:

Not sure if you remember what it says but I thought I would share it as I thought it was quite interesting indeed.

Luke 8:13

13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.


Oh ye of little faith !

Oh Mike ! C'mon now. Not sure if I remember ? Please, go ahead, hit me with any verse, any chapter, be my guest.

Thanks for looking that up and posting it. I agree it's quite interesting but far be it for me to shed any light on it. I've assigned this to the top theologian on my staff.

In the meantime , here's another look at Luke in his travels. This time he's heading to Antioch TN to catch up with the band.

Take care Mike,
Tom


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