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Happy Birthday, Mr. Hooker!
August 22, 2011 7:06 AM   Subscribe

Happy birthday John Lee Hooker! Let's celebrate by listening to some of your older tunes! "Gonna take you down by the riverside, gonna tie your hands, gonna tie your feet, got the mad man blues" ... "Now the war is over, and I'm broke and I ain't got a dime" ... "You know I'm a crawling king snake, baby, and I rule my nest" ... "Gonna get up in the mornin', goin' down highway 51" ... "Well I rolled and I tumbled, babe, I cried the whole night long" ... "I feel so good, let me do the boogaloo"
posted by flapjax at midnite (19 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
My all time favorite JLH tune is still this one. One of the most understatedly powerful performances in the history of American music, IMHO.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:15 AM on August 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


God damn I miss that man. Thanks for this.
posted by middleclasstool at 7:16 AM on August 22, 2011


Happy birthday JLH. Here's my fav
posted by Jibuzaemon at 7:21 AM on August 22, 2011


Boom Boom, the best part of the Blues Brothers movie.

I was lucky enough to see the man play live on two occasions, once in a club in Toronto and again at his all-star tribute show in NYC.
posted by rocket88 at 7:22 AM on August 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


oh and flapjack, couldn't agree more...I love this version too!
posted by Jibuzaemon at 7:30 AM on August 22, 2011


JLH plus Miles equal awesome

also trick bag...

really he is one of my all time favorites, the most emotional, sexy musicians ever.
posted by victors at 7:33 AM on August 22, 2011


i hear you, Jibuzaemon: RL tears it up. Thanks for adding that link.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:39 AM on August 22, 2011


Happy birthday to a man who obviously had about fifteen more fingers than the rest of us, judging from his playing.
posted by winna at 7:53 AM on August 22, 2011


JLH and Ben Harper - Burnin' Hell
posted by euphorb at 7:58 AM on August 22, 2011


I Cover the Waterfront with Van Morrison - heaven on earth.
posted by incandissonance at 8:01 AM on August 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think listening to Boogie Chillen over and over again at 16 made me at least 15% more of a man than I would otherwise be.
posted by penduluum at 8:10 AM on August 22, 2011


Motor City is still burning...
posted by AJaffe at 8:26 AM on August 22, 2011


I do not know if it is indeed an easy, free mp3 download or not, but, on the chance that it is, here, is an instrumental he recorded for King, if I recall correctly, in 1948 under the nom de shellac Texas Slim, Hooker playing his all time John Lee Hooker guitar boogie in open G hottest evar: Stomp Boogie.

And, if not so free, the concept retains merit still: in a heartbeat, it's worth the the price to find it elsewhere. He is young and on fire. Brutally relentless and yet transcendent, too, it is the the Flight of the Hookerbee -- the smokin'est of the smokin', phat city, the Bomb. So sez I.
posted by y2karl at 9:11 AM on August 22, 2011


Blues Singer's Woman Permitted To Tell Her Side.

I come back to it to cheer me up when I have domestic troubles, but frequently I'm unsure whether I am the Singer or the Woman in my scenario.
posted by skbw at 9:50 AM on August 22, 2011


Thanks flapjax, your posts always lead me to dive into an artist I have under-appreciated.
posted by Wyatt at 9:59 AM on August 22, 2011


He always epitomized the blues in my mind. He is the standard against which I judge all blues and seeing him play was one of my all time favorite life experiences. Great songs in this post.
posted by caddis at 3:20 PM on August 22, 2011


Summer of 2001, I'm living in Phoenix, and John Lee Hooker is coming through town. I really REALLY want to go see him, but I'm basically a social creature, so I try for weeks to get someone to go with me to the concert. I ask everyone I know, even people I don't know very well. Nobody will go with me. So I decide, okay, I'll let it pass this time.

Three weeks later he was dead.

That's when I vowed to never, ever let a living legend pass through my area and not go see them if I have any interest at all. Lives are short, there isn't always a next time.

Thanks for this post. Happy birthday, JLH. I'm sorry I never got to see you. Thanks for everything you gave us.
posted by hippybear at 4:25 PM on August 22, 2011


Good one, flapjax.
posted by doctornemo at 5:18 PM on August 22, 2011


Awesome post, flapjax - as per your usual signature stylin. Made my day, thanks.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:47 PM on August 22, 2011


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