Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Couldn't Stand the Weather (bleak is back)

Imagine you are John Lee Hooker in 1991. You are 74 years old and have lived through World War One, WW2, Korean War, Vietnam War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and any number of high profile assassinations like Martin Luther King's. You're black and from Mississippi in The South. You know a thing or two about the sadnesses of life commonly called The Blues.
Imagine you record an album of da Blues at 74 with the likes of Carlos Santana, Keith Richards, Johnny Winter, Ry Cooder, Robert Cray, John Hammond Jnr,Van Morrison and Booker T Jones. So what are you going to call that sonic gem? Mr Lucky of course. And who do you dedicate your album to? 
Stevie Ray Vaughan, the late great white Texas legend of the electric six-string who died at age 35 in the year before. SRV's cover of the late great Jimi Hendrix's Voodoo Chile (Slight Return) from his 1984 album, Couldn't Stand the Weather is playing as I try to land some type on this ancient CRT computer screen - 8 minutes of joy even on this bleak, soggy, wind driven midweek morning. 
When I consider the lyrics of Voodoo Chile's first verse in light of the recent devastation in Chile, I too feel like Mr Lucky.
"Well, I stand next to a mountain
And I chop it down with the edge of my hand.
Well, I stand next to a mountain
And I chop it down with the edge of my hand.
Well, I pick up all the pieces and make an island,
might even raise  just a little sand.
Cause I'm a voodoo chile,
Lord knows I'm a voodoo chile, baby."
Jimi Hendrix Voodoo Chile (Slight Return) 1968

No comments:

Post a Comment