In December of 1984 O’Dell announced that he was leaving The Scott Phillips Band and going back to Slewfoot. With Scott/Phillips, O’Dell was playing drums, booking the band, handling the finances and had just been married, this was probably a relief for him to get back to just playing, as Slewfoot had gigs lined up and, like a comfortable baseball glove, it was a good fit for him. I was disappointed of course that the Scott Phillips Band was no more. Joel and Tommy didn’t want to continue and I was left without a job. I went to work at Homelite, where my mom worked, driving a forklift…..Yay!(sarcasm)
I kept in touch with O’Dell over the next two months, then I lost my job at Homelite to a layoff. Hired in December and laid off in January, wow. Depressed, I decided to drive to Winston Salam, NC because Slewfoot was playing at the SRO Club. The SRO was a pretty big club and I spent two nights there. I stayed at the “Band house” which was an apartment the club rented for bands, you can imagine what kind of shape it was in. There were mattresses on the floor of the living room and each of the bedrooms. You could probably sleep 15-18 people in there! Cozy!
During that trip I got to know O’Dell’s brother Tommy Scott, Mark Ensley and to know Phil and Janet a little better. Slewfoot had an entourage as well, Jerry and Butterbean pretty much went where the band did. They would help load in and out and just truly loved the members of the band. It was like a family, a dysfunctional family, but a family nonetheless! They had a lot of fun!
The last night that Slewfoot played at the SRO, I told them I was driving home immediately after the show. Neal McJunkin approached me and asked if I could give him a ride back to SC. On our trip back one of the strangest coincidences happened. We were on I-85 heading south near Gaffney when an eighteen wheeler came up behind my car, got right on my bumper and laid on the air-horn! Scared the shit out of me and Neal both. Now, let me tell you a little about my car so you’ll know why this happened. I had a 1979 Baby Blue Ford Pinto. Yep! My parents had bought it and I later inherited the Pinto when they got another car. During the time that my Dad drove the car, he put emblems on the rear from the Shriners as my Dad was in The Shrine. Two emblems I believe.
Now, here we are on 85 at about 6:00 AM just as the sun is coming up on a Sunday morning, there is a truck driver wailing on his air horn right on my bumper. Now I’m thinking this guy is pissed over something I did on the road. Neal probably doesn’t know what to think….So, I pulled over to the left into the fast lane, Neal rolled down the window, I think he was gonna have words with the truck driver….
Did I mention the my Dad, Neal Borum, was a truck driver? Yup, it was my Dad in the truck trying, and succeeding, in scaring the shit out of his son! That was a bizarre coincidence. I later told my Dad, “You’re lucky it was me because there could have been another 1979 Baby Blue Ford Pinto on I-85 at 6:00 AM with two Shrine emblems on it just like ours!” lol “You could have driven two complete strangers off the road!” Neal McJunkin and I still tell that story today!
Slewfoot made their way back to SC in February and played at The Alibi. I ran spotlight that night to a packed house and it was truly a great show. There was an electricity in the air when they played. Even before they hit the first note. People came to see them, they had fans, a lot of fans! I was truly happy for the group and of course for my friend O’Dell. Then, that night he told me he was leaving Slewfoot, again…..what?!?
Part 5 – Click Here