Posted June, 2010
I’m fascinated with people. I like to know what makes people tick and why they do what they do. More importantly, I like to know peoples background and their upbringing because this gives tremendous insight into what makes those people what they are today. This is especially the case with famous people. Even more recently, I became interested in the lives and background of children of celebrities.
One such person that I recently had the privilege of interviewing was Michele Bramlett. She is oldest daughter of late rock legend, Delaney Bramlett and wood carver/folk artist, Patty Stanley. You’ll know him as the male half of the 60’s rock duo, Delaney, Bonnie and Friends. You will know Michele as a successful and renowned painter in her own right and fascinating to chat with.
Early in our conversation, I told Michele that I read that, as she was growing up, she heard some pretty big names jamming in her dad’s home. I asked her what are her earliest thoughts of Delaney. Michele’s response is very reflective and seems almost therapeutic to her as she shares her thoughts.
“Earliest thoughts? Wow, that’s a hard one. You know, moms and dads seem to have always been in the child’s mind. One of my first memories is being on the set of “Shindig”. Joey Copper looked after me when dad was working. I remember dad taking me to ‘Small World’ at Disneyland. I remember we loved that ride so much we just kept getting’ on, over and over, and didn’t ride on any other ride in the park!
“I remember lots of dad’s ‘friends’ sittin around our kitchen table, backyard, front porch playing and singing as us kids played and danced. ‘Uncle Eddy’ (actor Edward James Olmos) and ‘Stuff’ (Little Feat bassist, Kenny Gradney) lived next door. I remember sitting at the piano with Leon (Russell) and watching him play and being intrigued by his long white hair and beard. Bobby “Yityock” ( we couldnt pronounce Whitlock) and George, Eric, on and on. I know all of this now but understand that to us girls, these amazing artists were just friends who played music with dad . . . and Dad and Baba (the name Michele called the legendary Bonnie Bramlett, who Michele lovingly refers to as her “other mom”) were just our dad and mom.”
Michele’s childhood memories continue to flow out of her like quickly flowing streams of consciousness.
“Sweet Duane Allman, my dad loved him so. Dad was devastated by his death and I remember the ‘feeling’ at the house was dark for a long time. I remember the moment my other mom, Bonnie, graced my life. She would brush my hair and talk to me about deep and beautiful things. She and Dad took me on a trip right after ‘we met again’ . . . we were staying in a motel and Baba (that’s what I call her) and I were jumpin’ on the bed. BIG FUN! We laughed and laughed.
“I remember going to Mississippi to see our kin...my papa had horses, and my dad was a great horseman (Native American way). I was beggin’ dad and papa to ride one of the horses. He kept sayin’, ‘no ‘Shel, now honey they just got fed’. They finally, after much pouting, gave in but made me SWEAR not to ‘run that horse’.
“So what did I do? YEEHAW and took off runnin’! Darn horse took me right under
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