||From a post by Nikki Goldman at the Undercover Mailing List ( http://www.netaxs.com/~rzepelaa/undercover/ )
'Other Mick' testifies in local lawsuit
By STEVE TERRELL/The New Mexican December 13, 2001
It was an unusual request for a jury to make of a witness in a wrongful death trial: Can we get your autograph?
But it's not every day that a former member of The Rolling Stones - the "other Mick" - comes to a Santa Fe courtroom.
Mick Taylor - a guitarist in the late 1960s and early 1970s for the group then known as "The World's Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Band" - was the final witness Wednesday in the case spurred by the 1997 death of Santa Fe musician Jeffrey Barr. Taylor came to Santa Fe from a European tour.
Barr, 43, was crossing Guadalupe Street when he was struck by a truck driven by Ricardo Bustamante, who was coming out of the Tomasita's restaurant parking lot.
Barr's parents are suing Bustamante and Bueno Foods, the company he was working for at the time of the accident.
Although Barr probably was best known locally for playing in Jono Manson's Mighty Revelators, he also had worked with many famed musicians, including Taylor.
Taylor - whose gray-specked hair is noticeably shorter than it was in his Stones days - was called to testify about the economic value of a musician's life.
Barr, the soft-spoken Taylor testified, was beyond "professional."
"He was an exceptional musician," he said.
He told the jury that he met Barr while working on an album called Once in a Blue Moon by the late Gerry Groom, a blues guitarist who also lived in Santa Fe in the early 1990s.
Later Barr played on Taylor's 1995 solo album, Coastin' Home.
The Barrs' attorney, John Aragon, played the jury songs from those compact discs, as well as a demo tape Barr had done.
After lawyers finished questioning Taylor, the jury had two written questions for the rocker.
The first was how much he was paid to testify. Taylor said he was only given expenses.
The second was the question about autographs. State District Judge Art Encinias said Taylor could do so outside the courtroom. Several jurors took him up on the offer. He even signed an autograph for bailiff Henry Kavanaugh.
Taylor's testimony didn't draw a big crowd, although one local lawyer and longtime Stones fan, Doug Couleur, couldn't resist.
"It was more interesting than the Val Kilmer divorce trial," Couleur quipped after the hearing. He said he was impressed by the guitarist's intelligence displayed on the stand.
The judge also seemed impressed. "I almost wore my Rolling Stones tie, but I thought that might be too much," Encinias said.
"As a judge I am required to keep a sober demeanor," Encinias said. "But that didn't stop me from tapping my toes."