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WIld Bill:  The Gunslinger
 
In September 1963, between gigs with the Salt City Six, WIld Bill Davison and some musicians played at a private party in Aspen, Colo.  As he was leaving, the host, knowing Bill was a gun collector, gave Bill a .357 magnum pistol and a .22 caliber pistol.  The host had even provided bullets. On the way to the airport, the drunken musicians loaded the guns and took some shots out the bus windows.  Unfortunately, Bill repacked the guns in his
bag without unloading them.  
On the way back from the airport in a cab to Manhattan, his bag was in the front seat and he sat in the back.  Bill decided to show the cabbie his gifts.  Reaching over the front seat, he grabbed the magnum. As he raised it, it went off and blew a hole in the windshield. “That’s the first time I ever saw a colored guy turn white,” Bill later recalled. Although Bill offered to pay  for the damage, after leaving Bill at his apartment, the cabbie went to the police station and reported it. 
The police came to the apartment and took him to the police station in the paddy wagon. Bill said he was handcuffed to a prisoner who had strangled his wife. “He was a very nice guy and I’m sure he had good reason to strangle her,” Bill said.

The local media loved the story and carried photos of Bill in the  wagon.  When the story came on tv while he was in jail, he became an instant star among his colleagues.  When I heard about it, I sent a telegram to his apartment on Park Ave. saying, “Heard about your latest booking. Hope they don’t hold you over.”