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Johnette Napolitano

The singer's post-Blonde ambition

As for Texas, Napolitano says her Lone Star experience has mostly been limited to Austin. ("I love Austin.") When Concrete Blonde was on tour with Sting, one night in the notoriously haunted Driskill Hotel resulted in one of the band's most popular songs, Walking in London's "Ghost of a Texas Ladies Man."

The ghost in question is in fact the downtown hotel's namesake, Civil War-era cattle baron Colonel Jesse Driskill, who kept the Confederate Army in beef throughout the War Between the States. Colonel Driskill completed the "finest hotel south of St. Louis" in 1886 and, according to legend, lost it to his brother-in-law in a poker game two years later.

"It only haunts women, from what I've heard," Napolitano says. "I'd only told the band there was a ghost in my room, and there definitely was because it kept turning the lights on and off. The next night, Paul [CB drummer Thompson] came running in with Vinnie [Sting drummer Colaiuta], because Vinnie had met a woman at the bar who had almost the exact same story — except she had seen the ghost and it had grabbed her."

Johnette Napolitano: well-versed in emotional bloodletting.
Johnette Napolitano: well-versed in emotional bloodletting.

Details

Johnette Napolitano performs 7:30 p.m. Thursday, November 1, at McGonigel's Mucky Duck, 2425 Norfolk, 713-528-5999.

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Did Napolitano know the Driskill is also rumored to be haunted by one of LBJ's former mistresses?

"Really? Woooowwww," she exhales. "That's great. I had no idea."

chris.gray@houstonpress.com

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