Archive for Iulie 2009

John Lee HOOKER – Hit the Road…   Leave a comment

1980 to present…

Toronto, August 20, 1978
Photo: Jean-Luc Ourlin

He appeared and sang in the 1980 movie The Blues Brothers. Due to Hooker’s improvisational style, his performance was filmed and sound-recorded live at the scene at Chicago’s Maxwell Street Market, in contrast to the usual „playback” technique used in most film musicals. Hooker was also a direct influence in the look of John Belushi‘s character Jake Blues, borrowing his trademark sunglasses and soul patch.

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In 1989, he joined with a number of musicians, including Carlos Santana and Bonnie Raitt to record The Healer, for which he and Santana won a Grammy Award. Hooker recorded several songs with Van Morrison, including „Never Get Out of These Blues Alive”, „The Healing Game” and „I Cover the Waterfront„. He also appeared on stage with Van Morrison several times, some of which was released on the live album A Night in San Francisco. The same year he appeared as the title character on Pete Townshend‘s The Iron Man: A Musical.

Hooker recorded over 100 albums. He lived the last years of his life in the San Francisco Bay Area, where, in 1997, he opened a nightclub in San Francisco’s Fillmore District called „John Lee Hooker’s Boom Boom Room”, after one of his hits.

He fell ill just before a tour of Europe in 2001 and died soon afterwards at the age of 83. The last song Hooker recorded before his death, is „Ali D’Oro”, a collaboration with the Italian soul singer Zucchero, in which Hooker sang the chorus „I lay down with an angel”. He was survived by eight children, nineteen grandchildren, numerous great-grandchildren and a nephew.

Among his many awards, Hooker has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and in 1991 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Two of his songs, „Boogie Chillen” and „Boom Boom” were included in the list of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. „Boogie Chillen” was included as one of the Songs of the Century. He was also inducted in 1980 into the Blues Hall of Fame. In 2000, Hooker was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

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John Lee HOOKER – Goin to Louisiana…   Leave a comment

Career…

Hooker playing Massey Hall, Toronto Photo: Jean-Luc Ourlin

Hooker’s recording career began in 1948 when his agent placed a demo disc, made by Hooker, with the Bihari brothers, owners of the Modern Records label. The company initially released an up-tempo number, „Boogie Chillen„, which became Hooker’s first hit single. Though they were not songwriters, the Biharis often purchased or claimed co-authorship of songs that appeared on their labels, thus securing songwriting royalties for themselves, in addition to their streams of income.

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Sometimes these songs were older tunes which Hooker renamed as with B. B. King‘s „Rock Me Baby”, anonymous jams „B.B.’s Boogie” or songs by employees (bandleader Vince Weaver). The Biharis used a number of pseudonyms for songwriting credits: Jules was credited as Jules Taub; Joe as Joe Josea; and Sam as Sam Ling. One song by John Lee Hooker, „Down Child” is solely credited to „Taub”, with Hooker receiving no credit for the song whatsoever. Another, „Turn Over a New Leaf” is credited to Hooker and „Ling”.

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Despite being illiterate, Hooker was a prolific lyricist. In addition to adapting the occasionally traditional blues lyric (such as „if I was chief of police, I would run her right out of town”), he freely invented many of his songs from scratch. Recording studios in the 1950s rarely paid black musicians more than a pittance, so Hooker would spend the night wandering from studio to studio, coming up with new songs or variations on his songs for each studio. Because of his recording contract, he would record these songs under obvious pseudonyms such as „John Lee Booker”, „Johnny Hooker”, or „John Cooker.”

His early solo songs were recorded under Bernie Besman. John Lee Hooker rarely played on a standard beat, changing tempo to fit the needs of the song. This often made it difficult to use backing musicians who were not accustomed to Hooker’s musical vagaries: As a result, Besman would record Hooker, in addition to playing guitar and singing, stomping along with the music on a wooden pallet. For much of this time period he recorded and toured with Eddie Kirkland, who is still performing as of 2008. Later sessions for the VeeJay label in Chicago used studio musicians on most of his recordings, including Eddie Taylor, who could handle his musical idiosyncrasies very well. His biggest UK hit, „Boom Boom”, (originally released on VeeJay) had a horn section to boot…

John Lee HOOKER – Black Man Blues…   Leave a comment

John Lee Hooker (August 22, 1917June 21, 2001) was a Grammy Award-winning influential African American singer-songwriter and blues guitarist, born in Coahoma County near Clarksdale, Mississippi. Hooker began his life as the son of a sharecropper, and rose to prominence performing his own unique style of what was originally closest to Delta blues. He developed a half-spoken style that was his trademark. Though similar to the early Delta blues, his music was rhythmically free. John Lee Hooker could be said to embody his own unique genre of the blues, often incorporating the boogie-woogie piano style and a driving rhythm into his masterful and idiosyncratic blues guitar and singing. His best known songs include „Boogie Chillen” (1948) and „Boom Boom” (1962).

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Hooker’s life experiences were chronicled by several scholars and often read like a classic case study in the racism of the music industry, although he eventually rose to prominence with memorable songs and influence on a generation of musicians.

Biography…

Early life..

Hooker was born on August 22, 1917 in Coahoma County near Clarksdale, Mississippi, USA the youngest of the eleven children of William Hooker (1871–1923), a sharecropper and Baptist Preacher, and Minnie Ramsey (born 1875). Hooker and his siblings were home-schooled. They were permitted to listen only to religious songs, with his earliest musical exposure being the spirituals sung in church. In 1921, his parents separated. The next year, his mother married William Moore, a blues singer who provided Hooker with his first introduction to the guitar (and whom John would later credit for his distinctive playing style). Because of this, it can be said that Hooker was raised in a musical family. He was cousin to Earl Hooker. Hooker was also influenced by his stepfather, a local blues guitarist, who learned in Shreveport, Louisiana to play a droning, one-chord blues that was strikingly different from the Delta blues of the time. The year after that (1923), John’s natural father died; and at age 15, John ran away from home, never to see his mother and stepfather again.

Throughout the 1930s, Hooker lived in Memphis where he worked on Beale Street at the New Daisy Theatre and occasionally performed at house parties.[2] He worked in factories in various cities during World War II, drifting until he found himself in Detroit in 1948 working at Ford Motor Company. He felt right at home near the blues venues and saloons on Hastings Street, the heart of black entertainment on Detroit’s east side. In a city noted for its pianists, guitar players were scarce. Performing in Detroit clubs, his popularity grew quickly, and seeking a louder instrument than his crude acoustic guitar, he bought his first electric guitar.

Betrayal… Should we hate Judas Iscariot?…   Leave a comment

Betrayal…

Should we hate Judas Iscariot?..

by Joan Acocella

At the Last Supper, Jesus knew that it would be the last, and that he would be dead by the next day. Each of the Evangelists tells the story differently, but, according to John, Jesus spent the time he had left re-stating to the disciples the lessons he had taught them and trying to prop up their courage. At a certain point, however, he lost heart. “Very truly,” he said to his men, “one of you will betray me.” Who? they asked. And he answered, “It is the one to whom I give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” He then dipped a piece of bread into a dish and handed it to Judas Iscariot, a disciple whom the Gospels barely mention before the scene of the Last Supper but who now becomes very important. Once Judas takes the bread, Satan “entered into” him, John says. Is that a metaphor, meaning that Jesus’ prediction enables Judas to betray him? Maybe so, maybe not, but Jesus soon urges him directly. “Do quickly what you are going to do,” he says. And so Judas gets up from the table and leaves. That night (or perhaps even before the Last Supper), he meets with the priests of the Temple, makes the arrangements for the arrest, and collects his reward, the famous thirty pieces of silver.

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That is the beginning of Jesus’ end, and of Judas’s. Jesus is arrested within hours. Judas, stricken with remorse, returns to the priests and tries to give them back their money. They haughtily refuse it. Judas throws the coins on the floor. He then goes out and hangs himself. He dies before Jesus does.

Did Judas deserve this fate? If Jesus informs you that you will betray him, and tells you to hurry up and do it, are you really responsible for your act? Furthermore, if your act sets in motion the process—Christ’s Passion—whereby humankind is saved, shouldn’t somebody thank you? No, the Church says. If you betray your friend, you are a sinner, no matter how foreordained or collaterally beneficial your sin. And, if the friend should happen to be the Son of God, so much the worse for you.

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For two thousand years, Judas has therefore been Christianity’s primary image of human evil. Now, however, there is an effort to rehabilitate him, the result, partly, of an archeological find. In 1978 or thereabouts, some peasants digging for treasure in a burial cave in Middle Egypt came upon an old codex—that is, not a scroll but what we would call a book, with pages—written in Coptic, the last form of ancient Egyptian. The book has been dated to the third or fourth century, but scholars believe that the four texts it contains are translations of writings, in Greek, from around the second century. When the codex was found, it was reportedly in good condition, but it then underwent a twenty-three-year journey through the notoriously venal antiquities market, where it suffered fantastic abuses, including a prolonged stay in a prospective buyer’s home freezer. (This caused the ink to run when the manuscript thawed.) The book was cracked in half, horizontally; pages were shuffled, torn out. By the time the codex reached the hands of restorers, in 2001, much of it was just a pile of crumbs. The repair job took five years, after which some of the book was still a pile of crumbs. Many passages couldn’t be read.

And then there was the strangeness of what could be read. In the twentieth century, Bible scholars repeatedly had to deal with ancient books—the Dead Sea scrolls, the Nag Hammadi library—that surfaced from the sands of the Middle East to wreak havoc with orthodoxy. These books said that much of what we call Christian doctrine predated Christ; that the universe was created by a female deity, and so on. The 1978 find—called the Codex Tchacos, for one of its successive owners, Frieda Tchacos Nussberger—was even more surprising, because one of its texts, twenty-six pages long, was entitled “The Gospel of Judas.” It wasn’t written by Judas. (We don’t know if there was a historical Judas Iscariot.) It was a story about Judas, and in it the great villain, the Christ-killer, was portrayed as Jesus’ favorite disciple, the only one who understood him.

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The Codex Tchacos, like the Nag Hammadi library, was the work of an ancient religious party, mostly Christian, that we call Gnostic. In the second century, Christianity was not an institution but a collection of warring factions, each with its own gospels, each claiming direct descent from Jesus, each accusing the others of heresy, homosexuality, and the like. In the fourth century, one group, or group of groups, won out: the people now known as the proto-orthodox, because, once they won, their doctrines became orthodoxy. The proto-orthodox were centrist. They embraced both the Hebrew Bible and the new law proclaimed by Jesus; they said that Jesus was both God and man; they believed that the world was both full of blessings and full of sin. Of the many gospels circulating, they chose four, called Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, which, by reason of their realism and emotional directness—their lilies of the field and prodigal sons—were most likely to appeal to regular people.

The Gnostics were different—visionary, exclusionary. They scorned the Hebrew Bible; they said that the world was utterly evil; they claimed that the key to salvation was not faith or good behavior but secret knowledge, which was their exclusive property. The Gospel of Judas is entirely in line with this view. In it, most people have no hope of getting to Heaven. As for Jesus, he was not a man but wholly divine, and therefore Judas didn’t really have him killed. (Only a mortal can be killed.) According to some commentators, this Jesus asked Judas to release him from the human form he had assumed in order to descend to earth. Judas did him a favor.

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Aluminium Box – 17…   Leave a comment

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Aluminium Box – 16…   Leave a comment

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Aluminium Box – 15…   Leave a comment

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Aluminium Box – 14…   Leave a comment

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Aluminium Box – 13…   Leave a comment

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Aluminium Box – 12…   Leave a comment

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