A Message from Dave Gonzalez about Chris
Chris Gaffney, The Soul Soldier! Gaff was so truly talented. He was such a rare and wonderful American treasure…one of the last of the real deal cats! He was an old cowboy, a soul soldier, a brother and absolutely a mentor to me. I can only say he was the coolest. Such an “old soul” and so humble. I looked up to him in so many ways, for such a long long time.
We met back in ’89 at the Palamino Club, but once we joined forces and became The Hacienda Brothers; Gaff absolutely took me under his wing and changed my whole way of looking at and dealing with all aspects of life. He taught me so much constantly and gave me so many opportunities. And I swear he’s still giving ‘em to me! …I think he really likes his new job!
I’m so very lucky to have been able to hang with him so much…and to tour and record with him. A lot of times it’d just be Gaff and I doing the drives to or from where the tours started and ended. He’d say, “I’m riding with you, I want you going by yourself!” Sometimes we’d hardly talk, sometimes we’d laugh on…just absolutely hilarious. He was sooooo funny and once he’d get on a roll it would be unreal. We stopped at a lot of kool places, he knew all the great dive bars from coast to coast. We were driving all of them roads together and we usually got along great! I look back now on the few times we didn’t’ and realize now that Big Bro Gaff just didn’t feel that good. I think he knew, but didn’t ever talk about his problems…ever. Old school.
I was so proud he was my Big Bro! And that I was his guitar player, his driver and mechanic! I will miss the great Gaffney soooo much. As our friend and great soul singer Curtis Salgado put it…”Gaffney was a man amongst men!” And our great boss in Omaha, Uncle Rex said of Gaff, “A man’s man!” Another friend of ours, Bootleg Steve said, “The thing about Gaffney…he was still on his way up!” Amen! And our great brother, founder and manager Jeb Schoonover recently said, “Gaff, he was like George Jones, he just kept getting better!” Our great producer Dan Penn said, “Ol’ Gaff, he was a nice guy…the world was sure a better place with him in it!” Dan told me recently that Gaff used to call him up and say, “Pennington, I like the way you sing.” Amen!
The very last brotherly advice Gaff gave me was just before Easter. He called my cell phone, I was in home depot, we talked for a good while and I told him I was doing a bunch of work on a big shed out in my backyard. And Gaff said in his low gruff, growling voice, “Well don’t f**k it up!” There won’t be a day that goes by for the rest of my life that I won’t think of Gaff, and him always telling it to me straight!