The Blues

Eddie Hazel turned me onto guitar. He and Ernie Isley shredded that raw dog angularity that got my 6 year old self to convince my mother to take me to loud venues decibels above her nerve’s endurance. By the time we returned to Los Angeles, Parliament was still in command but my love for Lucille and B.B.’s conjoined efforts stayed with me and propelled me forward. Bootsy, Drac, Hendrix, Fulson, Hooker, Hopkins, etc. had that swamp throb… a gait that pushed transcendence with loping menace. Riley’s guitar vamped you in and laid the entire history of the blues on your forehead. An entire bag of notes couldn’t match the one note King would play at the precise moment. He held it and stretched it out. He was the blues and the gateway to the blues. He led me to a deeper appreciation of music.

I remember buying his “Six Silver Strings” album and not liking it much. I remember disliking the hyper clean production and the saccharine arrangements. A lot of people through the years tried to dismiss him because he didn’t immediately seem to represent the cotton picking image that some other blues people emanated. It was like considering someone not having street knowledge because they weren’t banging.

He was fluid and sophisticated. He was the son of sharecroppers and born on a Mississippi plantation. Around the point of that album, being a young musician, I felt that he and his contemporaries were abandoning themselves by jumping on trends and modern practices. I still don’t like the album but I understand now. You have to change and try new things. Do you really want to do the same thing everyday until you die? Some people do. B.B. King changed his diet to vegetarian, opened clubs in his name and lived 89 years in a society hostile to his existence. In my first band’s gig, despite all the Hazel influence imbued in me, a dude in the audience yelled during the first few bars of my solo, “Go ahead, B.B.”! …I didn’t know but I’ll remember.


New vegan project close to completion

New vegan project close to completion

I’ve come to the conclusion of pauses. The voodoo has dropped a mountain on me the last few weeks but I trudge on… bent double… like old beggars under sacks, knock-kneed coughing like hags we cursed through sludge (Dulce Et Decorum Est – Wilfred Owen). I have the remnants of the mustard gas attack making occasional nuisance. I fight the kaisers because the kaiser tries to roll me.

As it is, a couple more cloves must be chopped and the spice must flow so that the funky worm can return strong to the sands of Arrakis. Muad’dib, Mentats and Bene Gesserits prepare your Gom Jabbars and skin suits because time and space is folding to test your humanity.

Oh, it's a multi-trick pony!

Oh, it’s a multi-trick pony!

So despite mixing references from Jimi Hendrix, World War One, Dune, and The Ohio Players, I am babbling, rambling but still in focus on finishing this vegan cooking show. I don’t believe I’ve let the internet cat out of the bag until now. It’s been a bit of a badboy couple of weeks given the stolen vehicle, the extremely rare cold, the bout of leprosy, diphtheria, mange and lava cooties. I’m estimating 2 more weeks to make the cold debut. I should prep the PR more but I’m more concerned about completion than hype. Right now, completion is one of the few things keeping the coco from going completely loco in the pressure cooker.

So boogie on, boogie chillen’. John Lee Hooker made a song for you so you’d best stomp your feet and make that juke joint jump. Wall of fatigue! Wall of fatigue!!! Intermittent verbiage assault arc-factor 1!!! Forsooth!