But for George West’s Jimmy Hasette, 24, that fantasy became a reality on April 20 when he got the chance to perform alongside 1990’s hit country musician Wade Hayes following his performance at Dosey Doe’s in Conroe.
“It was a dream come true, and I’ll never forget it for the rest of my life,” Hasette said.
The clock was ticking for Hasette to hear Hayes perform live. Hayes was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer in December 2011, and the last of his tumors were removed in March 2012. Hasette didn’t want to miss out on what could be his last chance to see him perform, so he drove three-and-a-half hours by himself to the performance.
“I didn’t know if he was going to turn, so I said I was going to go no matter what,” Hasette said.
He didn’t go empty-handed.
Hasette brought a 1996 concert jacket and a few other pieces of memorabilia he had collected over the years and found on eBay for Hayes to autograph, along with his guitar – just in case.
“I took my guitar thinking ‘if he did this I would be the happiest person on the planet,’” Hasette said. “It is not too often someone like me gets to play with their hero.”
Hasette said he listened to all of Hayes’ music while growing up in the 1990s and 2000s, including his side project with Alan Jackson’s fiddler, McHayes.
So when Hayes finished performing that night for a full house of 250, Hasette asked for his autograph and tried his luck at doing something few musicians have done.
“I said, ‘Mr. Hayes, I don’t know if you would do this, or have done this, but would you indulge me and make a country boy’s dream come true,” Hasette said. “He just smiled and picked up his guitar and said ‘of course I will.’”
Hasette is a self-taught country musician, blending rock, gospel and blues on his Takamine Sunburst six-string guitar. He said he started playing in 2005 when he and his friends would pick, strum and sing along with the radio. While attending George West High School, Hasette performed Rick Trevino’s “Learning As You Go” at the district FFA convention.
But for now, Hasette performs when he can and practices daily while working the pipelines full time and taking classes at Coastal Bend College with aspirations to be a singer and songwriter or a DJ.
“I remember since I was a kid I wanted to play guitar and sing country music like Buck Jones or Merle Haggard,” Hasette said. “Music is one of the driving forces in my life.”
Hasette and Hayes performed one song together, “On A Good Night,” while Hasette had someone take photos and video with his iPad to prove it happened.
To the onlooker, the videos and photos just look like two friends playing a song. But, there was a lot going on inside Hasette’s mind as he fulfilled a lifelong dream.
“Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God; this is one of the biggest names in music, and here I am, a lowly country boy from George West, Texas, getting to play with one of the biggest artists on one of the biggest labels in the world,” Hasette said as he explained what was going through his mind during their jam session. “I just stood there in the place (afterwards) and took in the ambiance; I mean history was right here. I got to play with my idol. I just took it in because it was one of the most beautiful sights in my life.”