Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 95

CHECK THIS ACTION
slow, brooding side
of Hooker, w it h
no chord changes,
sometimes just letting his acoustic's low
E ring, like a church
bell tolling. Then
he cranks up "Bus
Station Blues," in
the mold of his many
open-A boogies.
Hooker's influence
stretched around the
globe, from ZZ Top
to Mali's Ali Farka
Toure, but was particularly indelible
on what became the
British Invasion -
artists like the Animals and Van Morrison. Tom McGuinness, who plays lead
guitar with the Blues
Band and was Manfred Mann's bassist,
was co-guitarist with
Eric Clapton in the
short-lived Roosters.
He recalls, "Around
1961 or '62, my girlfriend brought home
a Crown LP by John
Lee Hooker, which
she'd borrowed from
a friend of Eric's at art college. We listened
to it transfixed. That combination of voice
and guitar was spine chilling, thrilling, sexy,
menacing, warm, human, and superhuman
at the same time. I'm pretty sure it was all
late '40s/early '50s tracks recorded in Detroit
by Bernard Besman - but that knowledge
came much later. Hearing for the first time
'Crawlin' King Snake,' 'Boogie Chillun',' 'I'm
In The Mood' was a miracle, a revelation - a
window into another world. I didn't know
what he was doing on guitar, but I loved the
way he just suggested the chord changes.
And his disregard for bar lengths was an
eye opener that came in very useful when I
played in '64 with Sonny Boy Williamson.
"Gradually, more John Lee tracks became
available," he continues, "and by June '64, he
made the U.K. charts with 'Dimples,' and
I appeared on Ready Steady Go! with him
plugging his hit and Manfred Mann plugging
'Doo Wah Diddy.' I was too much in awe to
even talk to him. And it was amazing to me
John Lee Hooker

HOOKER: THE MAN
By Dan Forte

John Lee Hooker: Jay Blakesberg.

T

o commemorate the centennial of the
August 1917 birth of blues legend John
Lee Hooker, Craft Recordings has
released an ambitious, five-disc, 100-song
box, King Of The Boogie.
Like most musicians, harmonica great
(and longtime John Lee friend) Charlie
Musselwhite can vividly recount his first
encounter with Hooker's music. "My first
memory of John Lee," he says, "is hearing
'Crawlin' King Snake' about 2 a.m. over the
radio in 1959 - either XERB or WLAC. That
sound of John Lee's solo, open-tuned guitar
and his voice in the dead of night, with his
foot-tapping, had an ominous and sinister
sound unlike anything I'd ever heard. From
then on, I was hooked on John Lee's sound. It
just sank into my bones, and it's still there."
I finally heard Hooker on the amazing Blues
At Newport 1963 compilation, about four
years after that appearance at the Newport
Folk Festival. "Sometimes You Make Me
Feel So Bad" is a perfect example of the

February 2018

95

that the music I loved found a new, young
audience - most of whom, like me, not knowing that it was a good 10 years old by then."
In the early '70s, after Hooker moved to the
Bay Area, I got to see him numerous times,
fronting a great band consisting of Luther
Tucker and Benny Rowe on guitars, Geno
(invariably misspelled "Gino") Skaggs on
bass, Ken Swank on drums, and John's son
Robert on organ.
Later additions featured Ron Thompson,
John Garcia, Mike Osborn, or Roy Rogers
on guitar. Osborn, who played with Hooker
from 1981 to '94, states, "It was an honor to
play with one of the greatest blues musicians
ever and also see the world! Gary Alongi
was playing guitar with Hook in '81, but he
wanted to retire from showbiz and asked
me if I wanted the gig. Of course I said yes!
I was always amazed at the way John played
guitar and, as much as I tried, could never
duplicate what he was able to do. John was
very personable. He loved to laugh and
loved having a band to interact and share
experiences with. We had so much fun just
traveling with him. We still miss him today
and forever."
Elvin Bishop points out, "John was universally known and respected by all musicians,
even country guys, even before his renaissance. He was my first musical hero, and he
ended up my friend - can't get any luckier
than that! So many things come to mind
when I think of him it's hard to narrow it
down, but one time I was on the road with
John, as part of his revue, and I called him
in the afternoon. I asked, 'What are you up
to?' He said, 'I got some chicken.' I asked
him, 'Is it good?' He said, 'It's so good, I'm
not even gonna eat it; I'm just gonna sit here
and kiss on it!'"
The renaissance Bishop refers to began
with 1989's The Healer, featuring Musselwhite, Bonnie Raitt, George Thorogood,
Robert Cray, Canned Heat, Los Lobos, and
Carlos Santana - personal friends rather
than mere star cameos. Grammy-winning
collaborations with Morrison and Charles
Brown followed.
McGuinness sums up, "I saw him around
that time, and he still had it. That lazy dronelike rhythm, that cool vocal. I'd rather hear
John play one note than any fast-fingered
guitarist play a thousand."
Next month, we'll dive into "Hooker:
The Box."

VINTAGE GUITAR

© 2017 Dan Forte; all rights reserved.


http://youtu.be/961r6brtuag http://www.vintageguitar.com/

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vintage Guitar - February 2018

Contents
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - Cover
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - IFC
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 3
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 4
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 5
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 6
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 7
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 8
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 9
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - Contents
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 11
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 12
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 13
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 14
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 15
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 16
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 17
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 18
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 19
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 20
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 21
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 22
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 23
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 24
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 25
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 26
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 27
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 28
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 29
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 30
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 31
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 32
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 33
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 34
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 35
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 36
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 37
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 38
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 39
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 40
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 41
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 42
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 43
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 44
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 45
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 46
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 47
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 48
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 49
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 50
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 51
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 52
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 53
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 54
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 55
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 56
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 57
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 58
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 59
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 60
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 61
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 62
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 63
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 64
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 65
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 66
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 67
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 68
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 69
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 70
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 71
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 72
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 73
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 74
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 75
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 76
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 77
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 78
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 79
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 80
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 81
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 82
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 83
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 84
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 85
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 86
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 87
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 88
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 89
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 90
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 91
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 92
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 93
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 94
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 95
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 96
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 97
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 98
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 99
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 100
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 101
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 102
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 103
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 104
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 105
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 106
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 107
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 108
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 109
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 110
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 111
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 112
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 113
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 114
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 115
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 116
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 117
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 118
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 119
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 120
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 121
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 122
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 123
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 124
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 125
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 126
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 127
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 128
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 129
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 130
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - IBC
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - BC
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201903
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201902
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201901
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201812
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201811
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201810
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201809
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201808
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201807
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201806
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201805
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201804
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201803
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201802
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201801
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201712
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201711
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201710
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201709
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201707
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201706
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201705
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201704
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201703
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201702
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201701
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201612
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201611
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201610_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201610
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201609
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201608_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201608
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201607
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201606
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201605
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201604
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201603
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201602
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201601
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201512
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201511
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201510
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201509
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201508
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201507
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201505
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201504
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201503
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201502
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201501
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201412
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201411
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201410
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201409
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201408
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201407
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201406
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201405
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201404
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201403
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201402
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201401
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201312
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201311
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201310
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201309
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201308
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com