Friday, August 15, 2008

Isaac "Purple" Hayes is dead.

Perhaps best known as the leader of the Purple Gang, a group from Detroit, the Purple Gang itself was notorious as a mob of bootleggers, so many of them imprisoned that when Elvis went to prison he found that the whole rhythm section was the Purple Gang.

Jimi Hendrix, Seattle-born guitarist, was much taken with Hayes, going so far as to write the song that has immortalized them both: "Purple Hayes," the lyrics of which include this famous line of comradely love: "Excuse me while I kiss this guy."

Hayes is reported to have turned purple at the mention of it, hence the nick-name.

So long, Purple, we miss you.

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