2 November 2010
Backyard Heap Blues
Some people love the blues. Some people like the blues. I like the blues, like the blues a lot, but I do not love the blues. The blues do not speak to me the way they speak to some people, way down deep in the dark night of the soul, motherfuckers.
I would not trade in my blues records ever even if I only like, not love, the blues. Sometimes the blues is the only fuel that will burn in the old backyard heap that is me.
Maybe the first blues player I ever saw was a young white guy in a club in England. Cannot even remember his name but he could sure play. I reckon he must have died soon after I saw him; he had too much talent, too much feel for the game, to go unnoticed. Not in England.
Saw Muddy Waters. Around 1980 it was. I was the punk rocker in the house. Muddy did not give a fuck. I did not like the way the blues people danced. Not then. The blues people did not appear to have a taste for speed.
Rory Gallagher would have been my next blues show. There were a few punk rockers at that one. Rory was a god to me, like maybe Neil Young is to you. Could be I saw Rory twice. Maybe that is just wishful thinking. Rory never let anybody down, not even his undertaker.
The last bluesman I saw singing on the stage was Jim Byrnes. Jim, of course, is Vancouver's very own Rory Gallagher. He played acoustic, all by himself, friendly, kick you in the motherfucking gut blues. Must have been twenty years ago but I remember it well.
That night Sonja said to me, "We should go see more blues shows," between hits from her wine.
We never did. It is hard to take in a blues show once you have seen the Runaways.