Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Muddy Waters — Sons And Fathers

by Bart Bull
published in Sounds (an excerpt)

There isn’t anybody in the room that he doesn’t outweigh by 40 years. What album? somebody wants to know. Muddy rears back and shouts it —"Hard Again!” — his voice cutting through the cigarette smoke like an electric fan. One of the more truly drunken musicians wants to know if the title means what it says. Muddy rolls off another big laugh, a boomer. “Hell, I look like it, don’t I? Sometime it do and sometime it don’t!”

Another one of the acolytes crouching at his feet asks “You’re a grandfather now, right?”

“I’m a great-grandfather now. I got two great-grandchi’ren. I got one of my big grandsons here with me -- where is he? Six foot somethin’ . . . I got four grandchi’ren and two great grandchi’ren . . . and a young wife! Woooooooo-oooooooo! Gahdamn right! I got a young woman! “

Muddy’s rollin’ now. He’s got the whole room entranced. “See, my wife passed in ‘73 and I got a young woman! Gotta keep playin’, boy! ‘She got ways like a baby child! Sleep with her hand open, not her fist doubled up!' Yessir! Ahh, boy . . . so young she still have milk on her breath! At’s a young baby! And I like her, too! I run home every time I get a chance, I’m on my way. Three days there, and that seem like a month! Ready to play again!”

Muddy’s son, who serves as his father’s road manager, has been moving in and out of the room through all this. A slender, dapper little man, he stops to watch the last few moments of his father’s impromptu performance and then turns away. In the grand tradition of sons and fathers everywhere he’s a little embarassed by the old man and his hi-jinks.

[Excerpts will follow until this story is complete and entire.]

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