Released on Places I’ve Been, 2008, backed by Johnny Harper (electric guitar), Marty Holland (electric bass), and John Hall (drums).

This is a true story about a rite-of-passage experience that happened to me at the age of 21. It took fifteen years before I could put it into a song, and another six months to finish it. (Previously released in a condensed version on the Storm Coming album Mitch and I made in 1979 and now available on CD.) This new arrangement by Johnny includes all the lyrics.


I’ll tell you all the story of my first time on the road
And the bad guy is a good ol’ boy by the name of Jimmie Lee Wood
He picked me up near Reno in a topless ’51 Ford
And said that he could shelter me in Fort Smith, Arkansas
      I’d seen things happen that way at the Saturday matinee

I did my share of the driving, spent my cash for food and gas
Two days of snow in an open car — I like to froze my ass
Now the good guys in the movies don’t get bogged down in the blues
They face a bum trip with a stiff upper lip and keep a good shine on their shoes
      It seemed to work OK at the Saturday matinee

He dumped me east of Tulsa when I was half asleep
My Dobro and my bag of clothes went speeding down the street
I want to a policeman — he didn’t give a damn
Salvation Army here I come — sweet Jesus take my hand
      Roy never let ‘em treat him that way at the Saturday matinee

I hitchhiked back to Tulsa and sold a pint of blood
Toothbrush, socks, and cigarettes — nobody had a job
I was riding my luck in a westbound truck when something set me free
No matter what mistakes I make, nobody knows but me
      It’s not like some damn play or the Saturday matinee

Oklahoma City, Lord, Reno Avenue
Tramps and whores and liquor stores — a city’s residue
But I found a job pearl-diving in a little greasy spoon
And I went to bed contented in a six-bit hotel room
      And I spent my holiday at the Saturday matinee

Third Saturday I drew my pay and I started out to hitch
I made my way to the Arkansas hills and found that son of a bitch
I got me back my suitcase and satisfied my pride
I faced him down, then turned around and took a Greyhound ride
      Like a man I saw one day at the Saturday matinee
      Like a man I saw one day at the Saturday matinee

    By Mayne Smith, 1976 © Hillgreen Music <>