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Robert Johnson


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#41 HeteroBoy

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 09:50 PM

QUOTE (okiejohn @ May 3 2008, 09:14 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (AcousticSmash @ May 3 2008, 03:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
He isn't such a great live performer these days. I saw him live a couple of years ago and he did the same thing The Eagles do, play the songs exactly like they were originally recorded. I felt rather disappointed though because I was shelling out 150 bucks a ticket for the show and it was typical that he played all the standard tunes that made him famous like Crossroads, White Room, Layla etc. The only real difference were the extended guitar solo sections which were filled with the persistent wankery of Doyle Bramhall, a guy who does not deserve to play in Clapton's band, he kept f*cking with his amp for the whole show and was drowning out the rest of the band half the time with his back to the audience.


Someone accused the Eagles of loitering on the stage back in the mid 70's...maybe it was a Rolling Stone article, ain't sure, but even though they didn't move around and prance like ol' skinny Mick, they sounded damn good.

I go for the music, I don't give a crap for the showboat stuff.

I said they play it like the album.
He said nothing of visual aide.

I don't know about Clapton live now or anything, but I can't stand when people do that.
On American Idol or Dancing With the Stars or something, I saw Def Leppard (:X) perform.
It literally sounded like it was just the recording. (I personally think it was but who knows)
I don't even really like them to begin with but I was still mad. It was stupid.
http://moresquar.es
QUOTE (johnnynapalm @ Dec 30 2007, 09:03 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Fck I love the thought of someone being so bad at standing that they seriously injure their beanbags.

http://moresquar.es

#42 caprico

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 10:11 PM

speaking of antics (or lack of) during playin and back to robert johnson.... they say the guy recorded his album facing the wall in a corner,,, its thought that was for the 'ambient' effect though...

wtf is that noise?

youtube.com/user/caprico82

#43 HeteroBoy

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 11:03 PM

I heard it was because he wanted to keep his 'style' a secret or whatever.

Apparently it was done amongst some of the blues players for that reason.

But I really don't know.

Blues is a lot of just listen and play what you hear, so I can't imagine not seeing the hands would be that big a deal..
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QUOTE (johnnynapalm @ Dec 30 2007, 09:03 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Fck I love the thought of someone being so bad at standing that they seriously injure their beanbags.

http://moresquar.es

#44 ninjato

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 06:26 AM

QUOTE (HeteroBoy @ May 4 2008, 03:03 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I heard it was because he wanted to keep his 'style' a secret or whatever.



According to my music clas on historical black performers, you are correct.

#45 dadfad

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 03:25 AM

Maybe, but it's probably just part of the perpetuation of the Robert Johnson Legend (O-o-o-o-o...). He didn't use any tuning or play in any style any differently than a lot of blues musicians before him. Not knocking the quality of his work at all, but he didn't use any "secrets" or anything. Playing into a corner was the 1930s cheap way of controlling bounce-back, etc. He gigged regularly and he didn't play with his back to the people at his gigs full of Blacks, including other blues musicians, where it would be much more likely somebody might try to learn his "secrets" than in some office building studio full of White recording-tech and A&R guys. Just another RJ-myth that sounds cool.

Un-plugged is not the same as never-was-plugged-in-to-begin-with.

jacksontz.jpg

 

John Jackson -My Teacher and My Old Friend

When the roll is called up yonder he'll be there...


#46 HeteroBoy

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 05:14 PM

QUOTE (dadfad @ May 5 2008, 04:25 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Maybe, but it's probably just part of the perpetuation of the Robert Johnson Legend (O-o-o-o-o...). He didn't use any tuning or play in any style any differently than a lot of blues musicians before him. Not knocking the quality of his work at all, but he didn't use any "secrets" or anything. Playing into a corner was the 1930s cheap way of controlling bounce-back, etc. He gigged regularly and he didn't play with his back to the people at his gigs full of Blacks, including other blues musicians, where it would be much more likely somebody might try to learn his "secrets" than in some office building studio full of White recording-tech and A&R guys. Just another RJ-myth that sounds cool.

Oh.
I had heard that he did it in gigs too.
Either way, I don't think they'd have THAT much trouble figuring it out even if there was a secret.
And yeah, makes him kind of creepy..
http://moresquar.es
QUOTE (johnnynapalm @ Dec 30 2007, 09:03 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Fck I love the thought of someone being so bad at standing that they seriously injure their beanbags.

http://moresquar.es

#47 dadfad

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 04:17 AM

QUOTE (HeteroBoy @ May 5 2008, 09:14 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (dadfad @ May 5 2008, 04:25 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Maybe, but it's probably just part of the perpetuation of the Robert Johnson Legend (O-o-o-o-o...). He didn't use any tuning or play in any style any differently than a lot of blues musicians before him. Not knocking the quality of his work at all, but he didn't use any "secrets" or anything. Playing into a corner was the 1930s cheap way of controlling bounce-back, etc. He gigged regularly and he didn't play with his back to the people at his gigs full of Blacks, including other blues musicians, where it would be much more likely somebody might try to learn his "secrets" than in some office building studio full of White recording-tech and A&R guys. Just another RJ-myth that sounds cool.

Oh.
I had heard that he did it in gigs too.
Either way, I don't think they'd have THAT much trouble figuring it out even if there was a secret.
And yeah, makes him kind of creepy..


I don't think he did. I've met and talked with both Johnnie Shines and Honeyboy Edwards who hung out with Robert back then. (Honey is a pretty good friend of mine.) Now neither of them actually said something like "Robert didn't play facing the wall." because the subject never came up, just like it wouldn't about any typical guitarist two people might be talking about. If he had been facing the wall, then it would have been something unusual that probably would have been mentioned because it would be outside the norm. However, Honey has mentioned several times things like "Yeah, ol' Robert would be sittin' there playin'... skinnin' an' grinnin' with the ladies while they'd be a dancin' in front of him... The more he'd grin the higher they'd lift them skirts an' grin back at him..." or "Once we's in Helena. Bobby and Willie was playin' an a man come in an' Bobby saw him come through the door. He quit playin' an' handed me his guitar an' said I got to go or there's gonna be some trouble an' he went inta' the back room an' crawled out a' the window..." Johnnie said similar things, like "He was kinda famous in them parts after "Terraplane" come out. All the womens 'd be there dancin' at him an' he'd be smilin' an' winkin' at 'em. An' I'd say Robert, you gonna get us in trouble..." Things like that, that thinking about it, pretty strongly imply that he played like everybody else, facing the crowd.

And with no amplification back in those days it wouldn't make any practical sense in those loud juke-joints and barrel-houses to sit projecting your volume into a wall. People came to drink and dance, not sit and sip latte' discussing music and existentialism with a bit of soft background music! laugh.gif

And then again, he didn't play in any special way that would be some big secret. Standard-tuning, open-Sevestapol and open-Spanish, and probably dropped-D (which he copied from the older already-famous dropped-D master Lonnie Johnson, who Robert often said was his cousin, although they were not related in any way and had never even met.) And they were all tunings and styles that most decent blues guitarists in that area had been using since the early '20s. Of course Robert used them in his own personal way.

Probably the single-most biggest thing that made Robert the "legend" he is today is that at the height of the late-50s/early-60s "folk-boom" when labels were looking around for anything they could release as "authentic folk music" was when Columbia (who had much earlier acquired Vocalian's catalogue) found sixteen old folk-blues tunes by a single artist that could be compiled onto one modern LP, which they released in 1961 as "King of the Delta Blues Singers." That album is the one that influenced everyone from Dylan to Clapton to Richards and pulled traditional country-blues, and Robert, from almost complete obscurity and back into a new audience.

Un-plugged is not the same as never-was-plugged-in-to-begin-with.

jacksontz.jpg

 

John Jackson -My Teacher and My Old Friend

When the roll is called up yonder he'll be there...


#48 HeteroBoy

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 06:16 PM

So, I heard that some people had said that he would be talking to you in a bar with music playing in the background.
Hours later, he could play the music back almost note for note.

Even if it's true, I imagine it's exaggerated.


Do you know if it's true at all?
http://moresquar.es
QUOTE (johnnynapalm @ Dec 30 2007, 09:03 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Fck I love the thought of someone being so bad at standing that they seriously injure their beanbags.

http://moresquar.es

#49 dadfad

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 03:41 AM

QUOTE (HeteroBoy @ May 6 2008, 10:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So, I heard that some people had said that he would be talking to you in a bar with music playing in the background.
Hours later, he could play the music back almost note for note.

Even if it's true, I imagine it's exaggerated.


Do you know if it's true at all?


No I don't. I never heard anything about it one way or another, but that wouldn't surprise me. The places he would have hung around at were probably virtually all blues-joints. Having a good handle on the common blues tunings and regional styles could make him able to do something like that. (However I'd doubt the "note-for-note" thing too. The original musicians themselves probably rarely if ever played their own tunes identically note-for-note twice. (Even Robert's own recorded out-takes aren't identical to each other.)

Un-plugged is not the same as never-was-plugged-in-to-begin-with.

jacksontz.jpg

 

John Jackson -My Teacher and My Old Friend

When the roll is called up yonder he'll be there...


#50 HeteroBoy

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 06:28 AM

Yeah.
I can believe that it happened, but way toned down.

If it was true, I imagine he could remember tunes or melodies pretty well and was able to more or less copy that sound to guitar.

Just wondering.
http://moresquar.es
QUOTE (johnnynapalm @ Dec 30 2007, 09:03 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Fck I love the thought of someone being so bad at standing that they seriously injure their beanbags.

http://moresquar.es

#51 dadfad

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 07:33 AM

And Robert wasn't opposed to "borrowing" tunes himself. Scrapper Blackwell recorded a tune called "Kokomo Blues" around 1929 or 1930 (I forget). Honeyboy Edwards told me that a guitarist named Kokomo Arnold was performing that tune almost exactly like Blackwell's tune on the street in Greenwood, Mississippi, which he called "Sweet Home Kokomo" (Arnold recorded that tune shortly after as "Sweet Home Kokomo.") and that he and Robert saw him doing it. A few weeks later Robert was doing "Sweet Home Chicago." laugh.gif

And the Son House (Robert's old mentor) tune "Walking Blues." Robert's "Malted Milk" is a virtual Lonnie Johnson clone tune. His "They're Red Hot" was in a style simplified but very similar to one used in the late '20s by Blind Blake. In "Hellhound" he was obviously trying to imitate the very dark-blues sound of Skip James' earlier recordings and came very close, using the open-D DADF#AD tuning he was familiar with. But Skip actually used Open-Dm DADFAD which at that time was an extremely obscure tuning, used only by a few musicians who came from the Bentonia, Mississippi area. (That region was more mountainous and remote than the Delta region of Mississippi and had several very specific regional styles, including the use of open-minors and a pretty unusual fife-and-drum style of blues, much more African-sounding.) Robert wasn't yet a sophisticated enough guitarist to copy Skip's tuning, but he was good enough to create a tremendous tune with very close to the same sort of feel using his own methods. It seemed like Robert was trying to draw on the styles of several of the old-masters who had pre-dated him and incorporate it into his playing.

(As well as a bit of down-right plagerism! .... "... mmmm... babe... don'cha wanna go? Better pack yo' little suitcase... we're off to Sweet Home Kokomo"... laugh.gif )

Un-plugged is not the same as never-was-plugged-in-to-begin-with.

jacksontz.jpg

 

John Jackson -My Teacher and My Old Friend

When the roll is called up yonder he'll be there...


#52 HeteroBoy

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 03:17 PM

QUOTE (dadfad @ May 7 2008, 08:33 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
And Robert wasn't opposed to "borrowing" tunes himself. Scrapper Blackwell recorded a tune called "Kokomo Blues" around 1929 or 1930 (I forget). Honeyboy Edwards told me that a guitarist named Kokomo Arnold was performing that tune almost exactly like Blackwell's tune on the street in Greenwood, Mississippi, which he called "Sweet Home Kokomo" (Arnold recorded that tune shortly after as "Sweet Home Kokomo.") and that he and Robert saw him doing it. A few weeks later Robert was doing "Sweet Home Chicago." laugh.gif

And the Son House (Robert's old mentor) tune "Walking Blues." Robert's "Malted Milk" is a virtual Lonnie Johnson clone tune. His "They're Red Hot" was in a style simplified but very similar to one used in the late '20s by Blind Blake. In "Hellhound" he was obviously trying to imitate the very dark-blues sound of Skip James' earlier recordings and came very close, using the open-D DADF#AD tuning he was familiar with. But Skip actually used Open-Dm DADFAD which at that time was an extremely obscure tuning, used only by a few musicians who came from the Bentonia, Mississippi area. (That region was more mountainous and remote than the Delta region of Mississippi and had several very specific regional styles, including the use of open-minors and a pretty unusual fife-and-drum style of blues, much more African-sounding.) Robert wasn't yet a sophisticated enough guitarist to copy Skip's tuning, but he was good enough to create a tremendous tune with very close to the same sort of feel using his own methods. It seemed like Robert was trying to draw on the styles of several of the old-masters who had pre-dated him and incorporate it into his playing.

(As well as a bit of down-right plagerism! .... "... mmmm... babe... don'cha wanna go? Better pack yo' little suitcase... we're off to Sweet Home Kokomo"... laugh.gif )

Of course of I have heard all about his copying of tunes (Although I must say, I had not heard a lot of the stuff you had said. Thanks happy.gif ), but all I got from them
which is generally what the author wanted you to get
Was his unoriginality and blah blah.

But what I just realized from your post is how cool it is how he brought influences from different genres.. well, types of blues.. and time periods.
http://moresquar.es
QUOTE (johnnynapalm @ Dec 30 2007, 09:03 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Fck I love the thought of someone being so bad at standing that they seriously injure their beanbags.

http://moresquar.es

#53 caprico

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 10:22 PM

so he was active for just a few years right... about 4-5 i think..

wtf is that noise?

youtube.com/user/caprico82

#54 dadfad

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 03:50 AM

QUOTE (HeteroBoy @ May 7 2008, 07:17 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (dadfad @ May 7 2008, 08:33 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
And Robert wasn't opposed to "borrowing" tunes himself. Scrapper Blackwell recorded a tune called "Kokomo Blues" around 1929 or 1930 (I forget). Honeyboy Edwards told me that a guitarist named Kokomo Arnold was performing that tune almost exactly like Blackwell's tune on the street in Greenwood, Mississippi, which he called "Sweet Home Kokomo" (Arnold recorded that tune shortly after as "Sweet Home Kokomo.") and that he and Robert saw him doing it. A few weeks later Robert was doing "Sweet Home Chicago." laugh.gif

And the Son House (Robert's old mentor) tune "Walking Blues." Robert's "Malted Milk" is a virtual Lonnie Johnson clone tune. His "They're Red Hot" was in a style simplified but very similar to one used in the late '20s by Blind Blake. In "Hellhound" he was obviously trying to imitate the very dark-blues sound of Skip James' earlier recordings and came very close, using the open-D DADF#AD tuning he was familiar with. But Skip actually used Open-Dm DADFAD which at that time was an extremely obscure tuning, used only by a few musicians who came from the Bentonia, Mississippi area. (That region was more mountainous and remote than the Delta region of Mississippi and had several very specific regional styles, including the use of open-minors and a pretty unusual fife-and-drum style of blues, much more African-sounding.) Robert wasn't yet a sophisticated enough guitarist to copy Skip's tuning, but he was good enough to create a tremendous tune with very close to the same sort of feel using his own methods. It seemed like Robert was trying to draw on the styles of several of the old-masters who had pre-dated him and incorporate it into his playing.

(As well as a bit of down-right plagerism! .... "... mmmm... babe... don'cha wanna go? Better pack yo' little suitcase... we're off to Sweet Home Kokomo"... laugh.gif )

Of course of I have heard all about his copying of tunes (Although I must say, I had not heard a lot of the stuff you had said. Thanks happy.gif ), but all I got from them
which is generally what the author wanted you to get
Was his unoriginality and blah blah.

But what I just realized from your post is how cool it is how he brought influences from different genres.. well, types of blues.. and time periods.


Yes, I don't mean it in a negative sense when I mention him drawing on the styles of those guys. We all do it. Robert did it, and did it quite skillfully. I think that's how guitarists grow, by listening to as much as they can and incorporating it into their own "bag of tricks" so to speak and then taking it in their own direction. I think the fact that Robert could assimilate other styles into his work (and he chose the styles of true masters of their genre) shows that he had great promise and abilities as a guitarist, some of which we can still listen to now, but that had he lived longer he might have taken even farther and developed his actual technical skills even more and may have eventually equalled or even surpassed the level of those he imitated. Like Caprico mentioned, his time as a guitarist was very short. He had probably been playing no more than six or seven years when he died and only four or five when he recorded his existing tunes. That kind of put his potential, had he lived, into perspective. The fact that shortly before his death he chose to "tour" (I use the term loosely, "explore" might be closer) different areas of the north where more "sophisticated" styles were developing kind of implies he was looking to take his music to another level. Like Hendrix, we'll never know just where or how far Robert might have gone musically. (Although I was told once by a woman I met who knew Jimi extremely well that very shortly before his death he had told her as soon as he "got himself together" he was going to return to the US and get out of the whole rock-scene and get into pure old-school blues.)

Un-plugged is not the same as never-was-plugged-in-to-begin-with.

jacksontz.jpg

 

John Jackson -My Teacher and My Old Friend

When the roll is called up yonder he'll be there...


#55 rob295

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 09:39 AM

He is supposed to have played a lot of tunes that were popular at the time, and he is supposed to have a nack at playing back a song having heard it, but thats probably just froma lot of practice. A lot of the blues players at the time played not only their own blues stuff, but a lot of the popular music of the time. Often you would hear them play their songs and any requested popular songs.

Anyway, the myths are a shame, because it takes away from the talent. People like Robert Johnson and Jimi Henndrix aren't great because they were purely born that way or through some magic ceremony. They just loved their guitars and practiced really hard.

#56 HeteroBoy

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 09:50 PM

QUOTE (dadfad @ May 8 2008, 04:50 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (HeteroBoy @ May 7 2008, 07:17 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (dadfad @ May 7 2008, 08:33 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
And Robert wasn't opposed to "borrowing" tunes himself. Scrapper Blackwell recorded a tune called "Kokomo Blues" around 1929 or 1930 (I forget). Honeyboy Edwards told me that a guitarist named Kokomo Arnold was performing that tune almost exactly like Blackwell's tune on the street in Greenwood, Mississippi, which he called "Sweet Home Kokomo" (Arnold recorded that tune shortly after as "Sweet Home Kokomo.") and that he and Robert saw him doing it. A few weeks later Robert was doing "Sweet Home Chicago." laugh.gif

And the Son House (Robert's old mentor) tune "Walking Blues." Robert's "Malted Milk" is a virtual Lonnie Johnson clone tune. His "They're Red Hot" was in a style simplified but very similar to one used in the late '20s by Blind Blake. In "Hellhound" he was obviously trying to imitate the very dark-blues sound of Skip James' earlier recordings and came very close, using the open-D DADF#AD tuning he was familiar with. But Skip actually used Open-Dm DADFAD which at that time was an extremely obscure tuning, used only by a few musicians who came from the Bentonia, Mississippi area. (That region was more mountainous and remote than the Delta region of Mississippi and had several very specific regional styles, including the use of open-minors and a pretty unusual fife-and-drum style of blues, much more African-sounding.) Robert wasn't yet a sophisticated enough guitarist to copy Skip's tuning, but he was good enough to create a tremendous tune with very close to the same sort of feel using his own methods. It seemed like Robert was trying to draw on the styles of several of the old-masters who had pre-dated him and incorporate it into his playing.

(As well as a bit of down-right plagerism! .... "... mmmm... babe... don'cha wanna go? Better pack yo' little suitcase... we're off to Sweet Home Kokomo"... laugh.gif )

Of course of I have heard all about his copying of tunes (Although I must say, I had not heard a lot of the stuff you had said. Thanks happy.gif ), but all I got from them
which is generally what the author wanted you to get
Was his unoriginality and blah blah.

But what I just realized from your post is how cool it is how he brought influences from different genres.. well, types of blues.. and time periods.


Yes, I don't mean it in a negative sense when I mention him drawing on the styles of those guys. We all do it. Robert did it, and did it quite skillfully. I think that's how guitarists grow, by listening to as much as they can and incorporating it into their own "bag of tricks" so to speak and then taking it in their own direction. I think the fact that Robert could assimilate other styles into his work (and he chose the styles of true masters of their genre) shows that he had great promise and abilities as a guitarist, some of which we can still listen to now, but that had he lived longer he might have taken even farther and developed his actual technical skills even more and may have eventually equalled or even surpassed the level of those he imitated. Like Caprico mentioned, his time as a guitarist was very short. He had probably been playing no more than six or seven years when he died and only four or five when he recorded his existing tunes. That kind of put his potential, had he lived, into perspective. The fact that shortly before his death he chose to "tour" (I use the term loosely, "explore" might be closer) different areas of the north where more "sophisticated" styles were developing kind of implies he was looking to take his music to another level. Like Hendrix, we'll never know just where or how far Robert might have gone musically. (Although I was told once by a woman I met who knew Jimi extremely well that very shortly before his death he had told her as soon as he "got himself together" he was going to return to the US and get out of the whole rock-scene and get into pure old-school blues.)


Yes, I had heard a similar quote where he said he was getting tired of the psychodelic scene.
http://moresquar.es
QUOTE (johnnynapalm @ Dec 30 2007, 09:03 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Fck I love the thought of someone being so bad at standing that they seriously injure their beanbags.

http://moresquar.es

#57 dadfad

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Posted 09 May 2008 - 03:39 AM

QUOTE (HeteroBoy @ May 9 2008, 01:50 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (dadfad @ May 8 2008, 04:50 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
(Although I was told once by a woman I met who knew Jimi extremely well that very shortly before his death he had told her as soon as he "got himself together" he was going to return to the US and get out of the whole rock-scene and get into pure old-school blues.)[/b]


Yes, I had heard a similar quote where he said he was getting tired of the psychodelic scene.


Yes, at a party in NYC I met a woman named Pat Hartley who had been Hendrix's on-again/off-again girlfriend for many years. (He wrote "Dolly Dagger" for her.) She said she'd talked to him on the phone the week before he died and he'd said as soon as he could get himself together he was returning to the US and getting out of the whole electric-rock thing and into blues as far back as he could take it. It sounds like he might have actually even meant old acoustic country-blues (which he was pretty skilled at but very little of it was ever recorded and none of which released before his death. I've only heard two tunes he'd done. One was his 12-string version of "I Hear My Train A' Comin' " (which is now available) and the other a bootleg six-string version of "Red House" that sounded very much influenced by Robert Johnson.) But of course we'll never know.

Un-plugged is not the same as never-was-plugged-in-to-begin-with.

jacksontz.jpg

 

John Jackson -My Teacher and My Old Friend

When the roll is called up yonder he'll be there...


#58 rob295

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Posted 09 May 2008 - 09:50 AM

QUOTE (dadfad @ May 9 2008, 12:39 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
One was his 12-string version of "I Hear My Train A' Comin'


I've heard that one, and its my favourite of all Henndrix's songs. So soulful and bluesy. He was always a blues man at heart.

#59 one_who_rocks

one_who_rocks

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Posted 09 May 2008 - 10:30 AM

it's weird to hear that because at the end of his carrer Hendrix really wanted to expand the band. In his last interview(at least the last "official" interview) he was talking about all the instruments he wanted to add and how he was learning to read music so he could arrange for instruments. It's funny because, Jimi Hendrix wanted to do stuff more like Miles Davis(They became very close fans and were going to do an album together but Miles wanted 50,000 bucks and Jimis management wouldn't bite.) and Miles Davis wanted to be more Jimi Hendrix. I wouldn't be surprised if we would have gotten one acoustic blues album then six months later we got the Jimi Hendrix equivalent to Bitches Brew. He always wanted to do more and something new. He was fantastic.

#60 SmashySmashy

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Posted 09 May 2008 - 07:54 PM

QUOTE (dadfad @ May 7 2008, 11:33 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
And Robert wasn't opposed to "borrowing" tunes himself. Scrapper Blackwell recorded a tune called "Kokomo Blues" around 1929 or 1930 (I forget). Honeyboy Edwards told me that a guitarist named Kokomo Arnold was performing that tune almost exactly like Blackwell's tune on the street in Greenwood, Mississippi, which he called "Sweet Home Kokomo" (Arnold recorded that tune shortly after as "Sweet Home Kokomo.") and that he and Robert saw him doing it. A few weeks later Robert was doing "Sweet Home Chicago." laugh.gif

And the Son House (Robert's old mentor) tune "Walking Blues." Robert's "Malted Milk" is a virtual Lonnie Johnson clone tune. His "They're Red Hot" was in a style simplified but very similar to one used in the late '20s by Blind Blake. In "Hellhound" he was obviously trying to imitate the very dark-blues sound of Skip James' earlier recordings and came very close, using the open-D DADF#AD tuning he was familiar with. But Skip actually used Open-Dm DADFAD which at that time was an extremely obscure tuning, used only by a few musicians who came from the Bentonia, Mississippi area. (That region was more mountainous and remote than the Delta region of Mississippi and had several very specific regional styles, including the use of open-minors and a pretty unusual fife-and-drum style of blues, much more African-sounding.) Robert wasn't yet a sophisticated enough guitarist to copy Skip's tuning, but he was good enough to create a tremendous tune with very close to the same sort of feel using his own methods. It seemed like Robert was trying to draw on the styles of several of the old-masters who had pre-dated him and incorporate it into his playing.

(As well as a bit of down-right plagerism! .... "... mmmm... babe... don'cha wanna go? Better pack yo' little suitcase... we're off to Sweet Home Kokomo"... laugh.gif )

People have been ripping each other off musically for hundreds of years, I don't think RJ was the first guy to do it.



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