[18.2.09] New Orleans guitarist, Snooks Eaglin, 72, died, Feb 17, 2009.
Snooks's most infamous of stories, entails him driving his intoxicated bandmates, 'The Flamingos,' home after deciding their blind guitarist was most qualified. Eaglin claims he navigated a '49 Studebaker by memory. Pulling by his house early Sunday, his mother suggested they proceed directly to church.
Eaglin's impossibly fast hands, both picked and strummed his guitar. The "Human Jukebox" thrived on his audience, challenging musicians to keep up, while rendering blistering runs. Eaglin was born Fird Eaglin Jr, 1937. Glaucoma robbed him of sight, and his behavior earned his nickname, after radio's 'Baby Snooks.'
He attended LA School for the Blind. At 14 he dropped out, becoming a full-time musician as guitarist for "The Flamingos'" R&B band, along with young Allen Toussaint.
Some of his studio CV includes Sugarboy Crawford's "Jockamo," among many others; as well as 3 yrs. house guitarist at N.O.'s Playboy Club, Bourbon Street.
Semi-Reired, the first N.O. Jazz Fest - 1970, gave Snooks the inspiration to come out again from its enthusiastic following. His Jazz Fest appearances were must-see's for legions of locals and prominent musicians from around the globe.
Eaglin had been privately battling prostate cancer since January, saying in July that he'd wait until Jazz Fest to do any gigs.
Eaglin checked into Ochsner Hospital last week, regrettably phoning Quint Davis, telling him he wouldn't make it this year.
He went into cardiac arrest on Tuesday. Funeral arrangements are pending.