Wednesday, May 12, 2004

The Blues

The blues is a dying genre of American music. But I can guarantee you this: No matter where you go in this world, you can always find somewhere, someone is playing the blues. And the same thing can't be said about reggae or country or pop.

B.B. King once said, "Blues is not about sadness or depression. It's just a form of music we call the blues." Buddy Guy quips, "A lot of people tell me, Blues, they make you cry. I say, then you better not come see me, because I will make you the happiest person you ever seen!" Lou Donaldson says, "Not many people can play the blues. You can practice all you want, but you gotta eat the right food." Son House comments, "The blues is about the conflict between a man and a woman." Bill Heid says, "Anyone can play the 1-4-5, but not everyone can play the 1-4-5."

For years I've been re-formulating my own definition of the blues. Today I realized there's no need. The blues hit home hard this week: failing the bar and losing a dear friend and hearing my beloved ones cry but can't do anything about it.

The blues called me when I was 15. Today I'm living it. Maybe that's why Eric Clapton understood the blues immediately after he lost his son. The blues is not a concrete concept. It's a spontaneous feeling. It's about coitus, love, hate, acceptance, forgiveness, infatuation, the first thing that comes to your mind. Everyone's version of the blues is different. The blues is a unique experience that one's gotta live it to feel it. I once wrote a song with the following lyrics:

The blues is just the beginning
The beginning of the end
The blues is my only lover
The blues is my only friend

They still ring true to this day.

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