Monday, August 14, 2006


The Warden and I were talking about music Monday night at dinner. She mentioned that she’d bought a Muddy Waters DVD set, which pleased me. She said she’d been meaning to find a MW DVD set for years (we’re huge blues fans), but never had. She went on to tell me something like, “Yeah. I was ordering my school books on line and stumbled….” I interrupted: “…On some site and just had to shop, even though I really wasn’t looking for anything other than school books…” I went on, but I’ll spare you.

You girls are a laugh a minute! :-)


Speaking of blues….I’ve been to my fair share of blues concerts (John Lee Hooker twice, BB King twice, Etta James, Koko Taylor, Pinetop Perkins, Jerry Portnoy twice, Johnny Winter, etc) and shows, and have always been really disappointed how few black folks -- or African Americans if you prefer (I don’t) -- there are at them. I’ve never been able to figure out why for the life of me.

I’ve always been under the impression that (and correct me if I’m wrong) blacks are fiercely proud of their heritage and their roots, which makes this all the more perplexing. Every blues gig I’ve been to and watched on TV/Video/DVD has had an audience the majority of which is non-black. I’ve been to some pretty dark and seedy blues bars in the back alleys of New Orleans to see blues where the only blacks in the joint were on stage and/or behind the bar slingin’ drinks.

I just don't get it. Hell…I’ve been listening to and studying the blues since 1969 when my mom played the “Muddy Waters, Live at Newport, 1960” album for me. I’ve been hooked ever since. I started playing blues harmonica in 1974 and don’t see myself quitting until either my lungs cease to function, or my lips fall off, whichever comes first! It's a fine music with a long and storied history.


Memory du Jour:
Petaluma, California, 1984
Speaking of blues ... The Warden and I had taken a friend and his girlfriend to the courthouse to get a marriage license (I'd met her a couple of weeks before). While we were waiting, she opened my glove box for some reason. She saw a harmonica and asked me if I played. "A little bit," I answered. Without another word, she opened the case, took it out, and started laying down a few blues riffs. I was stunned, for lack of a better word. She was only the second girlbluesharpplayer I'd seen in my life. (The other was an amazingly beautiful and talented blondie I stalked [not really] in Key West at the bars her band played). Turns out the Warden and I were both huge ol' blues fans and blues harmonica players. Although she has been slacking supremely for many years, she still always has a harp somewhere, and will play it every once in a while.

Quote of the Day:
Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It's what separates us from the animals ... except the weasel. --Homer Simpson

Image du Jour:
Me (right) and a couple of other dudes
with a 80 (or so) pound bale of weed,
Somewhere in the Caribbean, 1984


Miss Cellania said...

Whoa, awesome picture! Now that the statute of limitations has passed...

Webmiztris said...

80 POUNDS? holy shit! I'm guessing you guys didn't stuff that one up your ass to get through security. ;)

you know, you're right about the lack of black people at blues show. I saw BB King a year ago and I don't remember if there were ANY black people there! that's fucking crazy.

jules said...

Bad boys, bad boys whatcha gonna do?

The_Gator said...

Where did you hide your weed?


Bunny ~N~ Early said...

That pic brought back some awesome memories. I have a pic of Ney that you'd like, I'll have to post it soon.
Black people are fiercely proud of their heritage when your talking rap music though, ya know the stuff with all the violence. Been to a rap concert lately? Bet ya didn't know rap was invented by whites, the first rap tune was actually done by a white chick. The blacks just added the hood part.

Karlos said...

Dudes/Dudettes: As much as I’d like to claim that was personal stash, it wasn’t. That bale was but one of about 100 tons of tasty bud that we seized from a ship while patrolling the waters of the Caribbean. That was after I switched sides ;-)

Y: Yeah….it really is a shame. Rap is such shit. It really is. At least when we were growing up we weren’t listening to music about “bustin’ caps” and all that gansta shit. It was about having fun and partying, and the sexual references were a good bit more creative and subtle.