When I was twenty-one years old a wonderful girl came into my life by the name of Kathy Reinmann. As if having her in my life as a friend, a wife and a friend again for the next twenty three years, until she died of lung cancer in 1995, was not enough, she brought along with her a two year old Irish Setter named Shannon. She was an uncannily human dog whose ability to manipulate her human counterparts cannot be understated.
I was touring around the country quite a lot in 1975 promoting an album called HENRY GROSS, the one with the yellow cover on A&M Records. I had the pleasure of doing long strings of dates with The Beach Boys, a group whose music always inspired me, Carl Wilson, lead singer on God Only Knows and Good Vibrations, was warm and welcoming from the very first show I played with them.
Carl invited me to his house in Los Angeles to spend a day talking guitars, cars and rock & roll. While he was preparing lunch his two Alaskan husky dogs reached up on the counter and inhaled our food. Carl was no nice he couldn't stop apologizing but I told him, while admiring the military perfection of the raid executed by his huskies, that I had an Irish Setter at home named Shannon and had seen this act many times before! He was quite moved as he told me that he had an Irish Setter named Shannon that had been killed only recently when hit by a car. We spent the rest of the day jamming and driving around Carl's world, which as a friend and to be honest, a Beach Boy's fanatic, was quite a thrill.