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Friday, January 1, 2010

Speaking of Blue Moons and stuff, here's a Blues primer for your review as we wind up the decade.

Yes, wind up. This is the LAST year of the first 21st century decade, not the first one of the second. But of course, that's just another rational thing that nobody wants to accept. Anyway, here are the Blues rules for all you would be wailers out there:

1. Most Blues begin, "Woke up this morning."

2. "I got a good woman" is a bad way to begin the Blues, 'less you stick
something nasty in the next line, like " I got a good woman, with the
meanest face in town."

3. The Blues is simple. After you get the first line right, repeat it.
Then find something that rhymes ... sort of: "Got a good woman -
with the meanest face in town. Got teeth like Margaret Thatcher -
and she weigh 500 pound."

4. The Blues are not about choice. You stuck in a ditch, you stuck in a ditch;
ain't no way out.

5. Blues cars: Chevys and Cadillacs and broken-down trucks.
Blues don't travel in Volvos, BMWs, or Sport Utility Vehicles.
Most Blues transportation is a Greyhound bus or a southbound train.
Jet aircraft an' state-sponsored motor pools ain't even in the running.
Walkin' plays a major part in the blues lifestyle. So does fixin' to die.

6. Teenagers can't sing the Blues. They ain't fixin' to die yet. Adults sing
the Blues. In Blues, " adulthood" means being old enough to get the
electric chair if you shoot a man in Memphis.

7. Blues can take place in New York City but not in Hawaii or any place
in Canada. Hard times in St. Paul or Tucson is just depression. Chicago,
St. Louis, and Kansas City still the best places to have the Blues.
You cannot have the blues in any place that don't get rain.

8. A man with male pattern baldness ain't the blues.
A woman with male pattern baldness is. Breaking your leg cuz you skiing
is not the blues. Breaking your leg cuz an alligator be chomping on it is.

9. You can't have no Blues in an office or a shopping mall.
The lighting is wrong. Go outside to the parking lot or sit by the dumpster.

10. Good places for the Blues:
a. highway
b. jailhouse
c. empty bed
d. bottom of a whiskey glass

Bad places:
a. Ashrams
b. gallery openings
c. Ivy League institutions
d. golf courses

11. No one will believe it's the Blues if you wear a suit, 'less you happen
to be an old ethnic person, and you slept in it.

12. Do you have the right to sing the Blues? Yes, if:
a. you're older than dirt
b. you're blind
c. you shot a man in Memphis
d. you can't be satisfied

No, if:
a. you have all your teeth
b. you were once blind but now can see
c. the man in Memphis lived.
d. you have a retirement plan or trust fund.

13. Blues is not a matter of color. It's a matter of bad luck.
Tiger Woods cannot sing the blues...(
Well, he probably can now !)
Gary Coleman could. Ugly white people also got a leg up on the blues.

14. If you ask for water and Baby give you gasoline, it's the Blues.

Other acceptable Blues beverages are:
a. wine
b. whiskey or bourbon
c. muddy water
d. black coffee

The following are NOT Blues beverages:
a. mixed drinks
b. kosher wine
c. Snapple
d. sparkling water

15. If it occurs in a cheap motel or a shotgun shack, it's a Blues death.
Stabbed in the back by a jealous lover is another Blues way to die.
So is the electric chair, substance abuse, and dying lonely on a broken
down cot. You can't have a Blues death if you die during a tennis match
or getting liposuction.

16. Some Blues names for women:
a. Sadie
b. Big Mama
c. Bessie
d. Fat River Dumpling

17. Some Blues names for men:
a. Joe
b. Willie
c. Little Willie
d. Big Willie

18. Persons with names like Sierra, Sequoia, Auburn, and Rainbow
can't sing the Blues no matter how many men they shoot in Memphis.

19. Make your own Blues name (starter kit):
a. name of physical infirmity (Blind, Cripple, Lame, etc.)
b. first name (see above) plus name of fruit (Lemon, Lime, Kiwi,etc.)
c. last name of President (Jefferson, Johnson, Fillmore, etc.)

For example, Blind Lime Jefferson, or Cripple Kiwi Fillmore, etc.
(Well, maybe not "Kiwi.")

20. I don't care how tragic your life: you own a computer, you cannot
sing the blues. You best destroy it. Fire, a spilled bottle of Mad Dog,
or get out a shotgun.
I don't care.


Michael Sanborn said...


The following are NOT Blues beverages:
a. mixed drinks
b. kosher wine
c. Snapple
d. sparkling water

Mad Dog 20/20 is likely a Kosher wine, produced by the #1 Kosher winemaker: Mogen David.

Truth be known, Blues players were probably more likely to sip from Gallo's lovely fortified wine: Night Train Express (Jake Blues' wine of choice). And Townes Van Zant made Thunderbird famous. Thunderbird is also a Gallo creation.

Guys who sing the blues NEVER have a good woman. I've met a lot of these guys and Pinetop Perkins said it best when he was explaining the huge scar on his arm: "I gots tangled up wid a bad bad woman..."

Additional means of transportation: Hudson Terreplanes, freight trains, and anything onto which one could "flag a ride."

In Memphis, you can be executed at age 18 for shooting a man. So teens can sing the blues if they meet the criteria. Lethal injection, electric chair may be chosen by the condemned if the crime was committed prior to Jan. 1, 1999.

Tiger Woods can't ever sing the blues. Anyone who is trying to figure out how to keep his yacht in his divorce from his Swedish model wife, doesn't qualify.

Additional place for blues: any bar where you have to walk down stairs to get to; whorehouses.

You're wrong about wearing suits. All great blues musicians wear suits, which often cost more than their guitar and pignose amp.

Other acceptable presidential names:
Clinton, Carter, Lincoln, Washington, Roosevelt, Bush, Madison, Harding, Taylor, Hoover, Cleveland, Monroe, Jackson, Polk, Pierce, Hayes, Wilson, Ford.

Unacceptable presidential names: Eisenhauer, Nixon, Reagan, Adams, Grant, Harrison, Taft, Truman, Garfield, McKinley, Van Buren, Buchanan, Arthur, Coolidge, Obama.

Bill Fleming said...

Roy Buchanan, Rita Coolidge and George Harrison being the exceptions, huh Mike?

I agree on the suits and the vino, BTW.

But not the wimmin.

They ain' no bad wimmins, y'all.

[aaron] said...

I guess the local musician, Sequoia, is going to be very disappointed that he is, in fact, not singing the blues when he thinks he is singing the blues... based purely on his name.