Etchings In Stone

I’ll never forget coming home from work one evening in 2002, to find Rick excited about a new song project.

We were in the planning stages for his new CD, “Etchings In Stone,” and he wanted someone to collaborate with him in writing the title track. He’d reached out to several of his songwriter friends, but so far no one had been inspired. That was until that day.

He told me to go to the phone in the bedroom and he placed a call, then yelled for me to pick up.

I did and found our good friend, John Beam, on the other end.

“John’s written the song I need to put on the album,” Rick said.

Then he proceeded to ask John to play and sing it. Tears ran down my cheeks while I listened and I had chill bumps all over. The song was the profound emotion-filled song that we’d been searching for.

So, with a little work and tweaking, we had the title track, “Etchings In Stone.”

I’d love it, if you’d listen! “There once lived a man, who did etchings in stone. He told others’ stories, but could not tell his own…”

It was with great sadness that I learned of John Beam’s passing three days ago. He was only 61 and his story intertwined with our lives from way back in the sixties.

Rick and his band, The Rhythm Rebels, played the historic London Dance Hall near Junction, Texas, on a regular basis throughout the fifties and sixties. John Beam was just a little boy, and his family came to every dance Rick played. Even at that young age, John had the passion and desire to play music. He would stand in front of the stage, play air guitar and mouth every word to the songs that Rick sang.

In my book, “Flowers and Stone,” I wrote a scene where Luke Stone (aka Rick) was playing at the London Dance hall one New Year’s Eve. During the course of the evening, he got the John up on stage, strapped his guitar around the boy’s neck and lowered the microphone. John sang and played for the first time in public.

After that, he never stopped. Once Rick returned home from prison, John quickly came back into our lives and never left. At Rick’s funeral, John sat with our family. Why? Because he was family.

He and his wife and children lived in Mason, Texas. He was the first to raise his hand whenever anyone needed help and the last to back down when someone needed defending. He had a passion for classic cars, Harleys and country music. He loved his family fiercely and was loyal to his friends. He will be missed.

So, this post is a tribute of sorts to John Beam, the man and the music. You can find several of John’s songs on Reverbnation. But I am sharing one of the most personal songs he ever wrote, “Three Old Cans of Beer,” about the Vietnam Wall. John was a veteran.

I don’t know how to properly say goodbye or to give this man the credit he deserves other than to write about it. I hope you’ve enjoyed meeting John Beam.

Life is short, folks. Friends are a precious gift. Don’t waste any of your gifts!

Rick Sikes and John Beam

38 thoughts on “Etchings In Stone

  1. Thanks so much for this beautiful post about your dear friend, John and how much he supported Rick. I listened to all the songs – it’s been a real encouragement, even though I feel a bit teary eyed at the moment. Your’re right, Jan. Friends are the best gifts one can have, and yes, they are the sort of gifts one should cherish. Sorry I’m only responding now, but I think that I finally managed to get passwords and snags sorted out. Kind regards and best wishes to you and your family!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Maretha. No need to apologize for just now responding. The beauty of blog posts is that they remain forever! I’m honored that you took the time to listen to the songs and leave this sweet comment. Have a GREAT day! Hugs!


  2. I am so dreadfully sorry for your loss, Jan. Friends like that don’t come along that often. John must have been a special man to touch your life and Rick’s as he did. I’m sure he would say you and Rick did the same for him. Your tribute is beautiful and heartfelt. Thank you for sharing your story and the music!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Wonderful story! John Beam is irreplaceable to his family and his community. He was always the first one to step up and help anyone who had illness or some tragedy in their lives. After over 44 years of friendship, I am at a loss as I know his family and many friends are too. Ride high, John!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. John was my double cousin, more like my brother. He was such an awesome artist. I’ll miss his wonderful long hugs and storytelling. He was such a warm caring person that would have given his shirt off his back to anyone who needed it. He’ll be missed by so many people. John, I love you so much. Wish I would have told you more. Birdie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Birdie, and leaving a comment. It’s a reminder to tell those we love every day how we feel! All too soon, the opportunity is lost! Hugs!


  5. Thank you for such kind words and thoughts. It’s great to know my Dad is still inspiring people. Jan this is written so beautiful. Such a wonderful story to tell. I have memories of Dad and Rick that I will forever cherish. Hope all is well. Love you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for leaving a comment, Jacob. I love you guys too, and will always hear in my head, John saying “Hey, girlie! How are you?” I still have some messages that I will keep around for a long time. My heart is with you and your beautiful mom and sister during this dark time. If I can do anything, please do not hesitate to ask!


  6. Oh Jan, your tender story left me in tears. Rick and John come alive through your storytelling, and we become reflective of our own lives through them. Thank you for sharing your heart; mine has opened even more because of yours. ♥

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Jan- My condolence to John’s passing. I’m so glad you shared another great part of Rick and your story with us. You are right, life is short, friends are precious gifts. Don’t waste a gift.
    Love you dearly and Happy Easter to you, your girls, and your grandchildren.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello, Lance. You have no idea how much your comment touched me. I am sharing with John’s family. And, I’m heading over to your blog to share it everywhere as well. Thank you!

      Liked by 2 people

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