Thursday, August 17, 2006

A Look Inside Blues, Jazz and Folk

Music is a funny thing. A lot of people have silly notions about music. I once heard someone say that Eric Clapton was by far the best Blues musician ever. Now wait a minute. Maybe he is a crafty guitar technician but besides that he is a choir boy. Does anyone think that Clapton has ever suffered? Yea he was addicted to heroine and his kid jumped out of a window, but he has all his teeth and lots of money. How can you have the blues when you can pay to fix any problem that may arise. Your girlfriend leaves you…you buy another one. You find yourself hitting the bottle too much, you go to a private rehab clinic. People who have millions of dollars don’t qualify to have the blues. They are exempt from the blues.

Does anyone really believe that BB King has the blues? Another choir boy…

I have the blues…so if anyone wants to share a million in research grant funds with me I’ll show you how quickly the blues will go away.

Jazz people are one step away from the blues. I once knew a sax player who was living on the street with his sax. He told me that he was finally living the Jazz life. He killed himself two weeks later. See, he could have played the blues and become a cross over hit. He could have made a million.

Jazz people strive to be cool, but sometimes Jazz people can really be cold. I knew another sax player who had a message on his answering machine the day Miles Davis died. The message was, “hey man, Miles is dead. It looks like you move up a notch.”

OK, I’ll take this one step further. Folk music is next on my list. Do you know why folk music is so bad?

It’s because it is written by the people.


Anonymous gearhead said...

Eric Clapton sucks the bag.
Many years ago, we were playing for tips in a bar and a drunk came up during a break and started ripping into the band, saying that we were not real musicians. Just to cool him off, I gave him a quarter and told him to drop it in the jukebox and we would play any along with any song he could find.
He chose a 2 cord, worn-out Clapton hit.
Duh Duh Duh, Dunt, Duh Daaaaaaaa,,,Cocaine!!!!!!!!
That one really sucks.

8:38 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Clapton was dead to me when Cream broke up and he bacame "slow hand."

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Moosehead said...

I think you have inadvertently stirred the pot and hit on a misconception that is at the root of most people's blues - ie money = happiness and you can buy your way out of the blues. Speaking of..,we used to have a saying that pot will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no pot.

Sure, guys like Lightnin' Hopkins or Robert Johnson and numerous others are at the root of a lot of good music but to equate dental hygiene and money with not being a good blues musician is a stretch. The quality of a good blues musician and a good poet for that matter is their ability to make the listener or reader feel the emotion on thier own level. Someone scratching a record on a turntable or raphoping doesn't do much to arouse me other than to get up and turn it off. West Coast grunge never did too much for me either or,for that matter, all the pretty boy bands. I'll take Clapton unplugged any day over that stuff regardless of the size of his bank account because he can put into music something we can feel. Cream was great and you can go back even further like Paul Butterfield Blues Band or Blind Faith etc. Not a whole lot of the people from those days have survived but the music lives on. I feel sorry that the kids today can't grow up with that kind of backround and have to revert to body piercing to stand out and be different.

4:25 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

For me it is the package and its believability. Clapton doesn't fit the blues package. It's kind of like having an attack poodle, wrong package.

As for the money = happiness, I would happily accept a research grant for the topic. By the way make it big, I will become very happy if I get a back hoe and a loader.

As for the kids today, there is a lot of stuff out there away from rap that is amazing. Frankly I'm surprized rap has lasted this long. The alternative music out there is pretty complex and far from the stuff we listened to that was based on the basic blues progression. If you have access to an alternative station or you have a dish, spend a day with it and you may be hooked.

5:15 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

And a nother note to Gearhead. You had me. I thought it was your crazy uncle writing all this time and it was just you writing like your uncle. Funny dude!
Your uncle never played in bars, he fights in bars.

5:20 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

One more thing, Moose, when anyone does "Unplugged" they should also be unplugged because they severed what they were all about and sold out to the VH1 world where things have to be soft and cozy.

Yep, Cobain, too.

7:38 AM  

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