BODY BY DESIGN'S guest columnist - Ken Veenstra
This brief article is a eulogy and a warning to fellow musicians and entertainers that they do not have to die 30 years before their time! I speak plainly about Tampa's best blues harmonica player (white or black) to have ever emerged from the Tampa and Tampa Bay Area - "Rock Bottom" There is NO ONE on the national stage that could touch his feel and complete mastery of his instrument the blues harmonica. I was lucky enough to back him up in South Tampa as a bass player and in the greater Tampa Bay Area I was blessed to sit in on stage as a piano player with him. He was the greatest bar none - he had an open heart and encouraged many less talented harp players to sit in and be surrounded by blues that WILL NEVER BE REPEATED. Why do I put that in caps? - to underscore that this great musician DID NOT HAVE TO DIE SO YOUNG! I produced "Flo Mingo and St Petey Twigs back in the day (over 30 years ago) with Rock Bottom laying down the funkyist blues riffs around and released 1000's of their cassettes. Flo was taken by cancer but St Petey still rocks. I personally credit Mark Misner and Body By Design here in Tampa with the mere fact that I, (Ken Veenstra) am still vital doing crazy stuff like snow boarding and just getting back from Puerto Rico surfing some of the most challenging waves in the world. We all NEED someone to watch our backs - what if Rock Bottom had someone watching his - think of the next 30 years of great music WE WOULD NOT BE DENIED IF SOMEONE HAD WATCHED OUT FOR ROCK BOTTOM!