Monday, February 20, 2012


In the laid back desert city of Albuquerque NM, in the heart of downtown , stands the Kimo Theater. Opened in 1927, a competition was held to find a name for the building. A native American chief entered the name Kimo, meaning "mountain Lion" and "King of All", winning the grand prize of 25 dollars.
We arrived for our sound check and were met by our stage manager, Cathy who showed us around and made sure we had what we needed.
"Do you have WiFi here?" I asked. "Yes we do," she said, "the password is Bobby". I thanked her and asked "Why Bobby?". "Bobby's our ghost" she replied. Sensing my piqued interest, she asked me if I would like to see "the shrine". "Oh come on," I thought, "quit pulling my leg."

Sure enough, at the end of the hall, nestled in an alcove under the stage sat a mixed and colorful jumble of tchotchkes and accoutrerments from various acts that had previously graced these halls and left a little something to appease the ghost of Bobby - ballet shoes, masks, candy, drumsticks etc. So finally the obvious question- who was Bobby?
Well, back in 1951, during one of the Kimo's regular movie matinees, a 10 year old boy named Bobby was scared by what he was seeing on the screen and ran from his seat, following a stairwell downstairs beneath the theater, and close o the boiler room where he stayed, safe from the on-screen bogie men. As fate would have it, one of the boilers in the room exploded, fatally wounding young Bobby.
I asked Cathy if Bobby ever made his presence felt here in the theater.
She recounted a tale of one musical act that came to the theater, and on hearing the story of Bobby and his shrine, one of the band members proclaimed quite plainly "I don't believe in ghosts".
That night , just before showtime, the sound-mixing desk refused to power on, much to the frustration and bewilderement of the technicians at hand. In desperation, a staff member ran downstairs, respectfully placed a small bag of candy on the shrine to Bobby, and returned to the stage area. The sound-mixing desk powered up and the show proceeded without a hitch.
Before our show, I took a guitar pick, signed a quick "thank you" on it for Bobby, and left it on the shrine. We had a great show, and left with very fond memories of the KiMo theater in Albuquerque NM. Thanks Bobby.

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