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Boogie Man: The Adventures of John Lee Hooker in the American Twentiethcentury: Adventures of John Lee Hooker in the American 20th Century Hardcover – 28 Oct 1999
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Boogie Man is a thorough documentary account of the life and work of the legendary blues-man John Lee Hooker, but it is also something more. Charles Shaar Murray, himself something of a legend as a rock journalist and author of the prize-winning Crosstown Traffic: Jimi Hendrix and Postwar Pop, spent years on the road with Hooker, talking to what seems like everyone who has ever known him, or working his way through his entire recorded output--but he also spent those years learning what he was writing the book for. This is a book about the blues which addresses important theoretical issues about the nature of popular music, and the cult of generic purity, and it is a book about life and the capacity of art to heal our pain. Charles Shaar Murray combines a serious grasp of what he needs to take from post-modernist notions such as intertextuality or shamanism, and chastened common sense about life and sorrow, with an adult capacity to shut up and, a lot of the time, let John Lee himself do the talking: "I'm goin' to say this, and it's true: the blues was here the day that the world was born. Sadness, loneliness; it comes from man and woman. A woman gets sad 'bout her man done left her, a man gets sad 'bout his woman done left him ... started humming sad songs ... And all the people that I don't see, my song reaches them all over the world." --Roz Kaveney
This is the authorized biography of one of the most influential blues musicians of the era. The book tells two stories; how a Delta farmer's son born in 1920 became a bestselling R & B entertainer who cut his first million selling record in 1951 who, at 70 became an international celebrity, elected to the rock and roll hall of fame. Its secondary intent is to depict a social and cultural history, following the Southern black experience of which John Lee Hooker's art is the quintessential expression on its journey from the Mississippi Delta to the music known all over the world.See all Product description
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With the passing of John Lee Hooker the world lost it's last link with the orginal blues, personally I am glad that the writer has Mr Hookers life written down so that future music fans can read about a wonderful musician that still influences todays players of the blues.
After "Crosstown Traffic" I didn't think Charles Sharr Murray" could top that but he has with this book.
If you enjoy a well written and researched book seek this one out you will not be disappointed...
Thsoe criticisms aside, this is quite an enjoyable book, liberal use of quotes from John Lee and his contemporaries, and fans. It charts his story from his broken home in Mississippi, his move to Memphis and on to Detroit and his slow rise to fame, through Boogie Chillen - still such a popular, dance floor killer boogie record - Dimples, Boom Boom and through the 80s/90s mega superstar albums The Healer, Mr Lucky and so on. His marriages are touched on, as are his relationships with other blues stars such as BB King, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and onwards through Buddy Guy and Robert Cray, plus Clapton, Richards and so on.
Until something else comes on, this book will have to do.
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