Sunday, December 12, 2010

Tater Red's

One tenth of the survivors of my high school graduating class (North Sunflower Academy, 1979) had a reunion in Memphis during Thanksgiving. 
That means there were three of us. 
One of the high points was a visit to Tater Red's Lucky Mojos and Voodoo Healings on Beale Street. 

It turns out that Tater Red is none other than Leo Allred, another graduate of North Sunflower Academy.  Leo was two or three grades ahead of us at NSA.   

That's Leo on the left, then my friend Tricia's popular dress with Tricia inside it, then me, and my friend Henry is on the right.  Those are autographed drum heads on the ceiling.  Posters and autographed Blues/Rock memorabilia are on the back wall.  The aura coming off my forehead is not a sign of balding, but of my entry into Blues-Rock Geek Heaven. 

Tater Red's has now joined John Evans' Lemuria Books as one of my favorite places in the South.  Leo sells a unique assortment of T-shirts, books, stickers, guitar picks, autographed memorabilia, bizarre Mojo spells, curses, amulets, icons and posters and just...stuff. 
Imagine the polar opposite of a generic suburban Starbucks, Best Buy, or Target. 

Do you need a Mojo Hand?  Leo has them for sale. 

How about an authentic Voodoo doll?  Tater Red's is the only place to go. 

If you can't imagine why anyone would want a Mojo Hand or Voodoo paraphernalia, just listen to Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, and Lightnin' Hopkins for 30 years and get back to me. 

Do you need an Aquarian Tarot Deck, one that you've sought for years, but have never seen for sale in Dallas/Fort Worth?  And do you want to purchase it at a 33% North Sunflower Academy Graduate Discount?   Leo is your man. 

Hey, very few people still believe in any of this stuff.  But you're from the Mississippi Delta, you also know that you can't be too careful.... 

....and if you grew up on a Mississippi farm that was exactly halfway between Highway 61 (as in Bob Dylan's "Highway 61 Revisited") and Highway 49 (as in Howlin' Wolf's "Highway 49" - "I'm gonna get up in the morning, hit the Highway 49"), it's not every day that you'll get a chance at a Photo Op like this one. 

You can hit this link to read a glowing tribute to Leo, his love of music, his friendship with Stevie Ray Vaughan, and everything else that's great about Leo Allred's wonderful patch of Beale Street real estate in Memphis, Tennessee.  This was written by Robert Tooms of AmeriBlues News and it just might be the best tribute to a NSA graduate ever written.  Here's an excerpt:
This paragraph by Robert Tooms of AmeriBlues News turns out to be copyright protected, Dang it.  Therefore I can't copy and paste it, and I'm not about to re-type the whole thing.  Trust me.  Hit that link.  Read some more about Leo and his store.  Then go to Memphis.  Go into Leo's store, fully prepared to be amazed.  Note to Robert Tooms: turn off the copyright protection on your website, and more people will spread your writing around.
Sorry to put you through all of that.  Hope you'll hit that link anyway.  It's good stuff with great (copyright protected) pictures.

Leo, it was great seeing you again.  You growed up good ! *

The pics of Tater Red's merchandise came from the stores's website.  The picture of the store exterior came from Flickr
* The "You growed up good !" quote was originally directed from Leo toward Tricia's red dress.

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