Wednesday, February 21, 2007
I remember seeing a white guy that played guitar like Jimi Hendrix....
Because of my radio show at a college station (CiTR), I was exposed to all kinds of music that I wouldn't have known about otherwise. One of my favorite guitar players was Roy Buchanan, mainly because he sounded just like Jimi Hendrix, all bendy and trippy....yet plain as day on the cover of his album, he was a grey haired white man. I loved the paradox this presented to me!
When I heard he was coming to town, I bought a ticket right away. I figured when I got there, I'd run into all the other people I knew...but as I entered the main area of the Commodore, I realized I was wrong. The club was full, but not of my scenester friends. I was surrounded by a club full of men, men with short-cropped beards, men with jean jackets, men who had no fashion sense at all. I was surrounded by blues fans! It was quite funny! I think there were about 800 men, and maybe 6 women. I had entered the blues universe.
It was an amazing show. Roy Buchanan played guitar in some other dimension, he was a complete master of his instrument. I never noticed anything else until the lights came on at the end of the show, he really took me somewhere, I tell you. Once the show was over, I hightailed it out of there...too much testosterone for me to handle, even though apparently I was man enough for the blues.
The next year, I heard that Mr. Buchanan had hung himself in his jail cell. I felt very sad about that, he had seemed so happy when he was playing guitar on stage...it made me wonder about happiness and the things that bring it, and why is it so fleeting? Why is happiness unable to penetrate to the dark parts of our soul? It didn't seem fair to me.