Houston Music

Rememberin' Lightnin'

Photo by Chris Gray

This bear of a man goes by "Brother-in-Law," and Rocks Off had the pleasure of making his acquaintance while touring the new Lightnin' Hopkins-inspired Thunderbolt Special installations at Project Row Houses in Third Ward this afternoon. Look for a slideshow soon.

Turns out Brother-in-Law, who lives nearby, was a friend of Hopkins'. "We'd chase women and drink and shoot dice," he says."We had a lot of fun together."

Hopkins, it turns out, had interesting taste in women - "He didn't want no woman with hair longer than mine," says his friend - as well as automobiles. "All he ever talked about was getting a Cadillac. He got that Cadillac too."

Brother-in-Law, who snuck into local "honky-tonk cafes" to see Hopkins in the '50s before befriending him in the late '60s, remembers Hopkins as constantly coming up with songs, peaceful and reclusive. "I never knew him to fight nobody - he stopped me from fighting a few times," he says. "He didn't hang out with too many people." - Chris Gray

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray