Friday Night: Jerry Lee Lewis At Nutty Jerry's

Ed. Note: A reader wrote in Wednesday informing us that the reason Mickey Gilley required assistance moving at Friday's show is because he fell down some stairs in a 2009 accident. After several months at TIRR, where U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is now, Gilley has resumed performing (though not playing piano) both at his theater in Branson, Mo., and on the road.

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Photos and video by Brittanie Shey
Jerry Lee Lewis, Percy Sledge
Nutty Jerry's, Winnie
January 21, 2011

The Killer ain't dead. At least not yet.

Aftermath was nine years old when the movie Great Balls of Fire was released. At the end of the film, the closing title card reads "Jerry Lee Lewis is playing his heart out somewhere in America tonight."

It was a line that has stuck with us for two decades, always betraying a trickle of hope that someday we might get to see the rock and roll patriarch in person. Twenty years is a long time to wait.

Still, when we heard he was playing at a joint called Nutty Jerry's in Winnie, we hesitated. We didn't even know where Winnie was on the map. And at 75 years old, who knew what kind of product JLL could put out? For years we'd heard stories of his cantankerous persona, and last fall's disastrous webcast concert sure didn't help things.

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Except that it kind of did. A few weeks ago, Chuck Berry collapsed onstage. Berry is 84 years old, and still duck-walking his way across America, but the collapse was a scare. And so the prospect of passing up what might be our last chance ever to see his colleague Lewis simply would not stand. (More on Berry, who by all accounts has fully recovered, in a minute.)

And so Aftermath did the only thing we could possibly imagine doing. We set the bar as low as it would go, and made the one-hour drive east on I-10, alone, to the rodeo barn/ABA basketball arena/concert hall named Nutty Jerry's. It was bound to be awful, but it had to be done.

When we pulled up to the building, a line of cars was creeping along the driveway, desperately looking for stray parking spots. Nearly everyone in our sight was wearing creased jeans, Carhartts, cowboys hats or something bedazzled. Surely Nutty Jerry's is the only place to be in Winnie on a Friday night. Not all of these people were here to see The Killer?

In the door, we spotted familiar faces: Honky-tonker Mike Stinson and Blues in Hi-Fi helmsman Clint Broussard. Neither had been to the concert hall before, and both has press badges, so we stuck together for the rest of the show.

It was nice to have someone to joke and people-watch with as two atrocious opening acts worked their way through Memphis standards. Maybe atrocious is too strong a word, but these were bands you'd normally see playing at the county fair or something.


Location Info

Venue

Map

Nutty Jerry's (Winnie)

18291 Englin Road, Winnie, TX

Category: Music

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9 comments
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Guillermo
Guillermo

Folks in Winnie and proprietors of "Nutty Jerrys;"

Calm down. The blogger was not making fun of you. She was describing the scene as she saw it. She did criticize the opening bands, but that is the job of a critic, to offer their opinion and criticize. ZMickey, I am heartened your son fights for our rights to say what we want. But that doesn't give you the right to supress someone's impressions of an evening out. You country folk are supposed to be thick skinned, but it sounds as if you are thinner skinned than the biggest indie rock poseur in Montrose.

Peace in the Middle East,Guillermo

Najela
Najela

Wish I knew about this concert earlir so that I could have attended. Just watched the movie Great Balls of Fire a few days ago, again, I like it that much. Would have loved to go see Jerry Lee Lewis live. Hope you comes back to Winnie or somewhere close by soon.

Najela
Najela

oops, hope he comes back soon.

Z71mickey
Z71mickey

I understand Freedom of Speech, My son is a Marine and fights for your rights.I do not understand how you can be so Mean spirited to someone you do not know. how you can talk about how someone dresses and make negative remarks about about an area you do not have a clue about. By the way, if you are from Houston and YOU did not know where Winnie was maybe you should get out more.

Ms. Humphrey
Ms. Humphrey

We here at Nutty Jerry's are not a fan of any press coming in to degrade the city, our customers, establishment, or any entertainers. We apologize that someone would come in and say negative things that would cause our customers any harm. This was something that we did not intend when we were being a gracious host to Houston Press blogger Brittanie Shey. Again we send our apologies to our customers, Mr. Jerry Lee Lewis, Percy Sledge, & other acts that took time out to perform their God given talents for our family, friends, and customers that we spend so much time making sure they are able to have outstanding family friendly entertainment.

TC Humphrey, PR Director

Blackjackdavid
Blackjackdavid

I saw Jerry Lee Lewis at Gilley's, circa 1985. Still remains one of my top 10 shows of all time.

Chef504
Chef504

Damn, Damn, he does still have it. What a great experience that must have been!!

Red
Red

Wow. Just wow. I can't believe he's still got it! Way to go Killer!

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