Friday, October 3, 2014

show them what's what


Back then --------------- [excerpt, Life by Keith Richards] ---------------- I used to rag Stu and Charlie wicked about jazz.  We were supposed to be getting the blues down, and sometimes I'd catch Stu and Charlie listening to jazz on the sly.  "Stop that shit!" 

I was just trying to break their habits, trying to put a band together, for Christ's sake.  "You've got to listen to blues.  You've got to listen to f-----g Muddy."  I wouldn't even let them listen to Armstrong, and I love Armstrong.

...This band was very fragile; no one was looking for this thing to fly.  I mean, we're anti-pop, we're anti-ballroom, all we want to do is be the best blues band in London and show the f-----s what's what because we know we can do it. 

And these weird little bunches of people would come in and support us.  We didn't even know where they came from or why, or how they found out where we were.  We didn't think we were ever going to do anything much except turn other people on to Muddy Waters and Bo Diddley and Jimmy Reed.  We had no intention of being anything ourselves. 

The idea of making a record seemed to be totally out of the picture.  Our job at that time was idealistic.  We were unpaid promoters for Chicago blues.

...Everything from when you woke up to when you went to sleep was dedicated to learning, listening and trying to find some money....

We needed to work together,

we needed to rehearse,

we needed to listen to music,

we needed to do what we wanted to do. 

It was a mania. 

Benedictines had nothing on us....

You were supposed to spend all your waking hours studying Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Howlin' Wolf, Robert Johnson.  That was your gig.  Every other moment taken away from it was a sin.  It was that kind of atmosphere, that kind of attitude that we lived with.


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