June 21, 2001
4:38 PM   Subscribe

One of the last of the blues greats has passed on. John Lee Hooker is dead at 83.
posted by ed (16 comments total)

posted by rebeccablood at 4:46 PM on June 21, 2001

"Blues is the root of all our music,'' Hooker said.

Amen brother.

An era is almost over, and few even realize it. Enjoy it before it's too late.
posted by justgary at 4:56 PM on June 21, 2001

Not silence. A loud, raucous send-off for the man, with thanks for his late renaissance.

And the era ain't over yet: R L Burnside's still teaching the young kids a few tricks at the age of 73.
posted by holgate at 5:03 PM on June 21, 2001

I saw John Lee Hooker by chance when I was a kid and was instantly hooked on blues. I just saw him 6mos ago at the Showbox in Seattle and he still brought it home like a champion. I can't wait to see him again, though I'll have to travel a bit further. How how how how...
posted by roboto at 5:22 PM on June 21, 2001

Caroll O'Connor just died.
posted by owillis at 5:52 PM on June 21, 2001

You know, I could have seen JLH and the Zydeco great Boozoo Chavis at a blues festival in Austin this spring, but I skipped it, and now they've both passed. Learned my lesson, next bluesman that comes through here, I'll skip food for a few days so I can afford the show.
posted by ColdChef at 5:54 PM on June 21, 2001

John Lee Hooker was the man and a huge influence for me. I am deeply saddened by this news, but of course it had to happen sooner or later. I've seen Hook many time over the years and he never ever disappointed.

Justgary I don't even want to think about it... There's another as well

Coldchef, the last picture on this page is how I learned that Boozoo had passed away. Another sad sad milestone.
posted by fooljay at 6:24 PM on June 21, 2001

I'd always been meaning to see Hook myself. Listened to his albums religiously (in particular, "John Lee Hooker Sings and Plays the Blues"). Even when the man opened up a nightclub in my own hometown, I still never got around to seeing him when he played there. I somehow thought that he would be around forever.

It's interesting how we can sometimes overlook the elder statesmen of blues simply because they work their asses off even in their autumn years. Let's just say that when news of this hit me, my paradigm of who I should go and see play expanded considerably. No one lives forever, nor does any genre. And it takes several souls to create such a magnificent form of music.
posted by ed at 9:49 PM on June 21, 2001

I saw John open up for the Stones during their Steel Wheels nonsense. This creaking old man, with an
under-powered guitar, no stage effects, no pyro, no nothing blew the bloated Stones right out of the spacetime continuum.

At 83, there is no tragedy here. The great man did great things, and now his work is done.
posted by dong_resin at 10:01 PM on June 21, 2001

Wow, John Lee is dead! I thought the man was going to live forever. But he had a good life - just more proof that you don't need to live a saintly life to live long.
posted by twistedonion at 1:24 AM on June 22, 2001

okay, can anyone here tell me about this kid jonny lang? I saw a bit on him and I thought it was hilarious, and then I heard a bit of his work and was all "whoa."

to my (uneducated ear) he has the *sound* down; but is he any *good*?

poseur? prodigy? - rcb
posted by rebeccablood at 10:44 AM on June 22, 2001

posted by rodii at 11:08 AM on June 22, 2001

posted by rodii at 11:09 AM on June 22, 2001

It is happening again.
posted by rodii at 11:09 AM on June 22, 2001

Jonny Lang has got it, despite being a little white boy. So does Kenny Wayne Shepherd. And every year these kids are getting better. Last time I saw Kenny play, he was playing with Double Trouble. I swear that you could close your eyes during Cold Shot and hear Stevie...
posted by bonzo at 6:11 PM on June 22, 2001

Jonny Lang's not bad. The first time I saw him was on a Disney special a few years back. He's great live. He's certainly got the voice and soul, and various blues greats have rallied around him at one point or another. I admit that I didn't like a whole lot off his first album, but he definitely seems to be getting better. He's only, what?, 19 now? Younger? Geez, I feel so old. And plain. Ah, screw him! He's just a snot-nosed kid! [ snicker ]
posted by michaelbrown at 2:24 PM on June 26, 2001

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