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John Lee Hooker and the fine art of translation
November 21, 2008 6:11 AM   Subscribe

You know, I want you to pick up on this. You know, these lyrics are something else. Just dig this.

Yeah, whoever put those subtitles on that clip was... um, shall we say, not listening? Let's take a look at that one more time:

"Now, I want you to pick up on this" = "Now I want you to pick upon this." "You know, these lyrics are something else." = "Your delirious is something else." "Just dig this." = "This did this."... Knuckleheads. Fortunately, some were listening a little more closely: the same introduction gets rather more accurate subtitles (albeit translated into French) in this clip. Well, whatever. Mainly it's just a great performance from a great bluesman.

Here's more from the John Lee Hooker of the 1960s: The awesome, quiet power of Hobo Blues, plus Maudie and Tupelo. And a real treat: Hooker backed by the Muddy Waters band (!) at the Newport Jazz Festival of 1960. Just for reference (and a kick ass performance) here's the band with their usual leader at the same 1960 event in Newport, RI: Muddy Waters at Newport Festival 1960, Hoochie Koochie Man and Rollin' Stone.
posted by flapjax at midnite (20 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
OK, Clever Dick, transcribe the lyrics to this one.
posted by Wolfdog at 6:21 AM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


No thanks, Wolfdog. Not my cuppa tea.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:23 AM on November 21, 2008


Really? I had imagined it was exactly your cup of tea and it was aimed squarely at satisfying your particular interests.
posted by Wolfdog at 6:28 AM on November 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


This is exactly what I needed on a snowy, still day. Thanks.
posted by piratebowling at 6:42 AM on November 21, 2008


Great clip. If only there was one for I Cover The Waterfront from the same source. The best JLH song, bar none.
posted by Paid In Full at 7:11 AM on November 21, 2008


John Lee Hooker is a God.
posted by From Bklyn at 7:31 AM on November 21, 2008


How? How? How? How?
posted by Spatch at 7:56 AM on November 21, 2008


He's not God, obviously, but that face has more soul and character than 10,000 modern music stars.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:13 AM on November 21, 2008


Jesus, was John Lee Hooker *ever* young? It's like he sprang from the womb a grizzled and grizzlin' old man.
posted by Jofus at 8:16 AM on November 21, 2008


I like that his doctor wrote him a description. Useful things descriptions, very handy down the chemist.
posted by mandal at 8:24 AM on November 21, 2008


I dug it flapjax. Thanks for always turning me on to the good stuff :)

(and give the drummer some )
posted by vronsky at 8:24 AM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


A fun post. I love finding these little treasures on the net.
posted by Muttoneer at 8:31 AM on November 21, 2008


"My doctor put me on milk, cream, alcohol and alcohol." Heh. Mine too.

Y'know, to augment Burhanistan's observation, listening to this guy makes me pine for the days (before I was alive) when...well...when men were men. The longstanding trend toward male lead singers whose voices are as high as mine sometimes leaves me feeling a little less like a lady. While I'm generally fine with that, it's nice to hear a big, booming, low, velvet male voice.
posted by nosila at 8:38 AM on November 21, 2008


Bad. Ass.
posted by mrducts at 8:47 AM on November 21, 2008


I've spent the last 20 years of my life trying to transcribe the lyrics to this.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:06 AM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Back in 1987, a few years before he passed away, my dad and I spent a great evening at a John Lee Hooker concert. It is one of my favorite memories. Just me and dad, drinking beer and listening to the blues.
posted by DaddyNewt at 9:43 AM on November 21, 2008


I worked for the man for many years and always got a chill picking up the phone to "Isda Boogieman" (and I actually got a kick out of those subtitles, he was hard as hell to understand). He was a generous and gentle person and a national treasure as a musician. Completely unique.
posted by quarterframer at 10:04 AM on November 21, 2008


I've spent the last 20 years of my life trying to transcribe the lyrics to this .

Nigh on impossible I'd think. I enjoy seeing the various attempts at Jabberstroker by Guided By Voices.
posted by Paid In Full at 10:56 AM on November 21, 2008


Yes yes yes.
posted by nola at 1:05 PM on November 21, 2008


McKinley Morganfield (Muddy Waters) is the smoothest bluesman of all time.

Not that John Lee is any slouch. Check out Bonnie Raitt and John Lee Hooker doing "I'm in the Mood" (originally from Hooker's excellent album "The Healer").
posted by Benny Andajetz at 3:54 PM on November 21, 2008


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