George Hawkins, Jr., April 4 - 19, 2000

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Hello George! I'll clear up your nickname story right now. Christine McVie gave you that nickname! Don't you remember? I have a few bootleg Chris concerts (sshhh don't tell) and she refered to you as "George the Body Hawkins" or she commented that you had a "beautiful body". When you said that Chris has a pub, do you mean that she owns it? Or does she just have a favorite place to hang out in? (Christine, Mississippi, USA)

Girlfriend,

I just meant she has a local hang. She doesn't own the pub......although, I could see it, couldn't you? Chris as this totally classy and approachable proprietress with great warm humor and tons of fantastic stories. I'd live there.

Good to hear from you, Christine, I'll get a picture out to you soon.

....george

Mr. Hawkins...Like most of the questioners on this page I have an all-time love for the Christine McVie album that I played so often that all I have left is a very thin, 1,864 foot piece of vinyl cut in a concentric circle. Is it out on CD? Todd Sharp and you should be enshrined for that alone. a MASTERPIECE of making good music GREAT! You seem also to be a "Jack-of-all-Trades" type bass player in that you are so diverse stylistically. Al Jarreau...Ricki Lee Jones...Kenny Loggins...Christine McVie...Delbert McClinton! All soulful yet SO different. WOW! Surely you've got something going on musically that you haven't told us about. Recorded lately? (Rich Gillis, Port Huron, New York, USA)

Rich,

Thank you for your overly kind words. I could listen to you all day. I've most recently recorded with Delbert. His band recorded some tracks for his new CD, and we also recorded some of his back catalogue because all his previous record companies "done gone belly-up", to quote him directly, and by re-recording his material he can release it independently to make it available to the public again.

Other than that I was involved in a track for an upcoming TV series based in Nashville about a group of (surprise, surprise) songwriters and their zany antics. It's a true-to-the-original remake of Cocker's version of "Feelin' Alright" featuring the Nashville siren, Jonelle Mosser on vocals. I haven't begun my new CD yet but hope to begin this summer.

Thanks a lot .......george

Hi, yet again, George! I read in another answer that Bill Champlin worked with you on your CD. You said that he's been in "Chicago for the last 15 years". Would this be the same Bill Champlin who had a band in the late 60's/early '70's called "Sons Of Champlin"?? I remember seeing "The Sons" as an opening act (I'm thinking it might've even been Fleetwood Mac back when Bob Welch was in the band) and being very impressed with them. If this is the same "Champlin" isn't he from the SF Bay area?

Speaking of Bob Welch, he'd said in his Q&A that he'd been invited along on "The Visitor" trip but declined. Have you ever worked with Bob at all?

And, here's my "off the wall" question for the day. :-) Have you ever done something to your hands (i.e., cut a finger preparing a meal, jammed a thumb playing basketball or some other sport, etc.) that has put a gig in jeopardy wondering if the wound would heal in time? (I'm dealing with that this week) If so, how did you deal with it? (Steve Denison, Long Beach, California, USA)

Steve,

Yes, that's him. I use to hitch-hike all over California and the Southwest to hear The Sons with my best friend/drummer right out of high school. We made friends with the crew and helped them set up and tear down and they would let us ride in the camper of their equipment truck to some of the gigs. I was totally in awe of Bill and the rest of the band, too. I couldn't bring myself to say, "You know, I play, too." It seemed so presumptuous and stupid and I was not worthy anyway. They probably thought we were nuts; they called me smilin' George and were used to seeing me in just about any town, it never surprised them. After some years I got my first gig, with Loggins and Messina, and The Sons were going to open our first two dates!!! I'd never been on a big stage, or even used monitors before! (Remember, this was 1976) And my idols are opening for us. I was freakin' out! So, the first date finally comes around and I go back stage to say hi to Bill and the guys just like usual, and I'm dying to say "Hey, man, come out and dig me!", but I'm also afraid I might suck, so I just finished my beer and split. I was a nervous wreck for the first three songs , it took all my concentration to get it together, and eventually I was in the groove. So we were rockin' pretty good and I'm living my fantasy right then, a dream come true, and I look over to the wings on stage right and there's the Sons all standing together pointing with their right hands, arms fully extended. We all cracked up at the same time and they started clapping................man, I can never impart the beauty of that moment. That was a life-changing event for me, and I'll never, ever forget it.

Since then, Bill and I have worked together several times. I've played and sang on his solo records and he has graced my record with his supreme talent. Steve, all his records are amazing, but you should find and buy "He Started To Sing". It's a modern masterpiece of composition, style, and performance. Plus, it's emotional, spiritual, and psychological therapy. I'm NOT bull@#$%*&^g . It's that powerful.

My God, am I still writing?!? O.K.................

No, I don't know Bob Welch, but my buddy Todd Sharp says he's one of his favorite people and really fun to play with. I hope to have that pleasure someday.

As far as injuries are concerned.........shake it off, Big Boy.

See ya at The House of Blues?.......................george

Christine McVie
Christine McVie - Christine McVie

George, darling, THANK YOU SO MUCH for updating us on Christine. It was lovely to hear about her and I'm so glad she's happy and healthy. Of course, you know, I'm always curious about Eddy...did she say anything about him? :) Thanks for indulging my Eddy crush. (Christine, London, England)

Christine,

I'm sorry I can't shed any light on Eddie. Chris and I are such good old friends, we just chattered and giggled and kind of didn't even come up for air, so to speak, and then she was gone. I didn't ask about him, and she didn't say; seems kind of odd to me now, but................ the subject of Big Ed just didn't come up. What can I say? Sorry, Doll. I'm sure some clue about the mysterious Eddie Quintella will surface soon enough.

Cheers...........george

I'm just way too excited now because I just read your response about Christine. My question is: I would LOVE to visit her pub since I live in the area, but do you know the name of it? Thank you so much for giving us the update on Chris--it was really very sweet of you to share it with us. (Kate, Sussex, England)

Dearest Kate,

I'm so sorry to have inadvertantly misled the dear reader : Christine McVie does NOT own a pub; She merely mentioned in passing that there was a cool pub near her home. That's it.

Clearly........george

Hi George. Thank you so much for taking time to do this great Q&A. I've thoroughly enjoyed reading your fascinating answers to the questions posed. I first heard you sing on the "I'm Not Me" album and would like to say that your voice is fantastic (like melted dark chocolate!). In your bio, it says that you have worked in the UK with a few British artists (Paul Rogers and Kenny Jones), and I just wondered if there were any others you'd worked with in the past? - I loved your account of meeting up with and doing "Walk A Thin Line" with George Harrison! Are there any you'd like to come over and work with in the future? (Perhaps Christine, if she ever did do another solo album?) Also, have you ever played any gigs here in the UK and would you like to?

I hope you're having a wonderful time on the tour and good luck with the rest of it. Thanks a lot and best wishes. (Julie, Oxford, United Kingdom)

Julie,

Thank you for your kind words, dear heart.

I haven't worked with British artists (in Britain) other than the ones I've mentioned. I worked years ago with Englishman, Terry Reid, in California. Remember him? I worked in the states briefly with Graham Parsons several years ago on a live benifit concert for the children of Bosnia. I love to work in England, though. Ive been to your beautiful Isle with Al Jarreau, David Sanborn, The Law, and Michael McDonald.

I hope to return as soon as possible with Christine and/or anybody that will have me.

Thanks for writing...........george

Hi George! I've been a huge fan of yours since you played on Christine's solo album! My question for you is what do you think of the whole Pop/ Boy Band phase that is going on today? Do you think it is good or is it putting a damper on the "real" bands who play their on instruments and write their on songs? also what do you think your favorite Christine song is of all time? she has been a huge role model for me and i love her music so much! you are a great musician as well and I think you deserve a lot more recognition!!! Thanks for you time!!! (Lindsey Gardner, Cohasset, Massachusetts, USA)

Lindsey,

As far as the boy-bands go....to each his own. You've got to remember the market those acts are geared for. It's not supposed to be for adults, really. So, they target a young audience with the sound and song content that appeals to that audience. It doesn't concern me.

I can't say what my favorite Christine song is. Probably, Songbird.

Love ya.............george

Hi George, Whats it like playing live with Christine? Her singing has an almost soothing quality to it , I could listen to it forever! What is Kenny footloose Loggins doing these days? (Andy, Reston, Virginia, USA)

Andy,

It's very satisfying to play with Chris. She knows we're pros, we're friends, she knows we won't let her down personally or musically. That's the kind of musical environment I always want to be in. And, of course, she's awesome.

I don't know what Kenny's doing these days. I'm sure he's writing and/or recording some exciting music....or whatever.

Later.......george

Hi, George.

I have now listened to your new cd twice and really like it a lot. I liked all the moods it inspired...I laughed...I cried....ok, well, maybe not quite...but songs like Proof of Love made me very happy, while Old Woman's Face just got me all weepy (in a good way, of course). Who or what was your inspiration for Old Woman's Face? Also, I just read an answer explaining your "inspiration" for Moon Man (which is fabulous)...so, never mind! It's great and one of my favorites...thank you for all your answers and for the very entertaining recording. (If you are ever in NYC...let us know). (Regina, Bronx, New York, USA)

Regina,

My wife and I were on a walk years ago, before we were married, and she told me this story about an old woman she saw in the entrance way to one of those old resident-style hotels in Atlanta, where she grew up. Something about the woman tore at her heart. Melanie (wifey-poo.......hereafter refered to as Mel) felt compelled to do something, exactly what, she didn't know : maybe give her some money, or offer to do some shopping for her, or take her somewhere; or maybe soak up some of the wisdom the woman might have accumulated in her life. She wondered what may have led such an animated and fanciful old gal to this life condition. She was very much, if not exactly, as we described her in the song: overly made-up, frumpy clothes, etc. Finally Mel felt moved to approach this creature and embrace this apparently pre-ordained moment when the woman turned to her and blew one of those giant snot missles right at her. Pretty funny.

So, we thought about what if her story had been something romantic and tragic. We discussed some ideas and had fleshed out a few things by the time we got home. I got in the shower, and when I came out Mel handed me a sheet of paper with what turned out to be the song, almost verbatim. I sat down at the piano and by the time she came out of her shower, the music was done. I eventually wrote the bridge lyrics, but that was about the limit of my lyrical contribution. It's really Mel's story.

Thank you for your thoughtful letter.

God Bless, Regina......george

It's about time! You've played with the best: Kenny, Mick, Christie, Jimmy, Al, Delbert and God only knows who else... I think you were awsome when you were 16. What took so long, bro? (Nick Biren, Westlake Village, California, USA)

Nick,

Good to hear from you. I hope the family is healthy and happy. Will you be able to make it to the House of Blues? Hope to see you soon.

Love.........george

Hi there!! I was wondering two things: one, What's it like to play with Chris? and two, what would your advice to a young musician (namely me.. I'm 14) who wants to get into the music business? Thanks! (Kortni, Louisianna, USA)

Kortni,

I answered both those questions in detail earlier this month, I'm sure it's still posted. I hope you find my responses helpful.

Good luck.........george

I absolutely have to get this out or it's like I'm going to burst. In the past three years of my life, everything has turned a complete one-eighty and I've gone through a divorce as well as thoughts of suicide (and almost got up the will to do it) but pulled myself away from that because I knew that there was someone out there that I was living for. I now know that I'm living for a lot of people and one of them is (you guessed it) Chris. I feel as if somehow I know her, like there's something in my heart connecting us. She's captured a dear place in my heart. I know this sounds strange but.. Anyway, if you will, please tell her that I love her and she's the one who kept me playing the piano and doing what I love, singing and playing? And "Songbird" won me first place in the school talent show (I always have to brag about that). If you want to pass on my email address to her, that's absolutely fine too.. :) Once again, thank you soo very much and God bless! (Kortni, Louisianna, USA)

Kortni,

Sweet girl; I'm so glad you found the beauty of your life again. I think sometimes we have to hit bottom, emotionally, financially, or otherwise, before we realize what an unbelievable blessing our life is. God gave you a thinking mind to wonder at His world, seeing eyes to behold the unbearable beauty of it, and a pounding heart so that you might give and receive love in abundance.

Good luck in the future, and rest assured that I will forward your message to Chris.

Love.......george

Todd Sharp, Billy Burnette, and George Hawkins Jr.; Thanksgiving 1998; Photo provided by George Hawkins Jr.
Todd Sharp, Billy Burnette, and George Hawkins Jr.
Thanksgiving 1998

Mr. Hawkins, it is great to hear that you will be at the HOB here in LA. I had the opportunity to see you with the Zoo and with Christine McVie. It will be great to see you and Todd Sharp again. Todd said he is working on a new cd. Will you be a part of that project? Will he be a part of your prospective project? Do you think that there will be a theme or a thread that will run through your next solo work? Who is the one person you envision contributing to this work? God bless you and keep up the good work. (Carl Swift, Sierra Madre, California, USA)

Carl,

Yes, I will be a part of Todd's next CD, and he will be a part of mine. The only reason he wasn't on my last CD is because I recorded most of it in L.A.; and when I did the Nashville tracks, Todd was in Europe for months with Rod Stewart.

There wil be more of a theme to my next work, I think. I'm not sure what it will be, exactly, but my recent songs are more about the nature of God; also the "romance", so to speak, of man's seach for his place in this carnival. If I could get Christine McVie to write with me, or play piano or sing on my record, I would feel mightily blessed. It would be a beautiful full circle to a very loving and enduring friendship.

Thank you for writing, Carl.

Best wishes..................george

Hey George,

Just bought another turntable not so long ago and have been playing side 2 of 'I'm Not Me' so much I hear 'State of the Art' in my sleep! You're a fantastic bass player and I look forward to picking up some of the albums you've played on. I've been enjoying reading and re-reading your responses to the questions and glad you agreed to extend this session until the 29th. You've contributed so much to the world of music plus your a part of the extended Mac family so you can't be all bad! Your career thus far has been impressive and I look forward to some new work from you. Keep up the great work and, if you can find the time, put out an album with Todd, Billy and some lanky English drummer. Maybe even a short tour that includes the Midwest! That's not asking too much, is it? See ya. (Tony, Wellman, Iowa, USA)

Tony,

What a cool letter. Man, that makes me feel good.

Hey.....ya never know who might throw some music together. Nothing would make me happier than to make a record with my old friends. Thank you for your letters, Tony. Good luck, and best wishes for the future.

Sincerely.....george

Hi again, George!

I'm so proud to have been the first person to send you a question at the start of your Q&A. Thank you very much for taking part in this. I don't have a question, but I just have to tell you how entertaining it's been reading all of your answers! You are such a warm, down-to-earth person with an awesome sense of humor! I was so touched at your comment on your song "When My Dreams Come True" in regards to your wife. Like Rick Vito and Todd Sharp, you also are living proof that it IS possible to be a successful musician and have a successful personal life as well. Thank you for sharing that - it means a lot to me to see that. Hopefully I'll be as lucky as Melanie one day. I wish you the best of luck with your solo album - the sound clips are great! (I love Billy's background harmonies too!) Take care of yourself...you're a sweetheart! (Michele Mategrano, Burbank, Illinois, USA)

Michele,

You are an angel. Thank you for your kind words. Thank you for being so open and receptive. Thank you for making me feel welcome in your life.

Michele, I don't know where Burbank, Il. is but Todd and I will be at the Chicago House of Blues with Delbert June 23rd, and at the Sparta Blues Festival August 28th, in Sparta, Illinois. If you can make either show , I would love to have you and your boyfriend or family or whoever as my guests. You can leave messages for me at Delbert McClinton's web site; which, by the way, I've never looked up, but it's easy to find cuz it's like "www.Delbert.com". k?

Thanks again, so much. Love............george

George, Surprise! No questions! Just wanted to let you know that I have ordered your CD and am anxiously awaiting its arrival. Glad to hear all is well with you! I'm looking forward to your gig with Delbert at HOB on June 2 and would love to say hello. (Suzette Boyd Talavera, Van Nuys, California, USA)

Dearest Suzette,

I can't wait to see you. And my congratulations to Mr. Lucky.

Warmest best wishes,
love........george

Mr. Hawkins, I just got tickets to see you and Todd at the HOB. Do you get to do any of your own music during the show? Does Todd ever sing "Guitar Bug" any more? What ever happens I am looking forward to great music. (Carl Swift, Sierra Madre, California, USA)

Carl,

Yeah, we both usually do a song in the middle of Delbert's set while he takes a short break. The sax plyer does one and the piano player does one,too. It's a great band and Delbert is the best.

I'll see you there, Bro.

Until then, take care..........george

Closing Comments:

Dear Readers, Mac Fans, and New Friends,

I'm not sure where to start, so, I'll just go with the flow for a minute : Thank you all for spending time with me. You made me feel important; but not the cheap kind that comes with flattery, but the really warm kind. I'm just lucky to have known some very influencial musicians and singers that call themselves Fleetwood Mac, and I guess some of their glitter stuck to my shoes and I still leave a trail of that magic where I go. I love that, though. I loved standing on stage with Chris, or Stevie or Mick, and Lindsey too when we did "Saturday Night Live". I got to not only witness, as we all did, but actually participate in a unique part of our cultural history with these powerfully charismatic and talented people. It's a blessing I thank God for. I also thank God for my children, who are healthy ; and my beautiful and brilliant wife; my mother, who's still active and happy; my sisters... nephews..... nieces... friends...... and I have a responsibility to them all : to reflect their light, as the moon does the sun, and to be a worthy father, son, husband and friend.

I feel much more confident now because of the kind and supportive letters, and such thoughtful and engaging questions. I felt like we got closer as the month passed, and that feels good. So, here's another cool experience I can thank the Mac for, and I hope I've reflected some small fraction of their luminescence.

God Bless. All my love...........................george

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