Definin' the blues (humor)

From time to time, we've talked about the blues on this forum. Blues, however, aren't easy to explain to the novice, and they hence may not understand that blues is both a form of music AND a state of mind. A fellow blues fan sent the following item to me, and I pass it along both to amuse and to educate:


1. Most Blues begin, "Woke up this morning..."

2. "I got a good woman" is a bad way to begin the Blues, 'less you stick something nasty in the next line like, "I got a good woman, with the meanest face in town."

3. The Blues is simple. After you get the first line right, repeat it. Then find something that rhymes...sort of: "Got a good woman with the meanest face in town. Yes, I got a good woman with the meanest face in town. Got teeth like Margaret Thatcher, and she weigh 500 pound."

4. The Blues is not about choice. You stuck in a ditch, you stuck in a ditch-- ain't no way out.

5. Blues cars: Chevys, Fords, old Cadillacs and broken-down trucks. Blues don't travel in Volvos, BMWs, or Sport Utility Vehicles. Most Blues transportation is a Greyhound bus or a southbound train. Jet aircraft and state-sponsored motor pools ain't even in the runnin'. Walkin' plays a major part in the blues lifestyle. So does fixin' to die.

6. Teenagers can't sing the Blues. They ain't fixin' to die yet. Adults sing the Blues. In Blues, "adulthood" means being old enough to get the electric chair if you shoot a man in Memphis.

7. Blues can take place in New York City but not in Hawaii or any place in Canada. Hard times in Minneapolis or Seattle is probably just clinical depression. Chicago, St. Louis, and Kansas City are still the best places to have the Blues. You cannot have the blues in any place that don't get rain.

8. A man with male pattern baldness ain't the blues. A woman with male pattern baldness is. Breaking your leg cause you skiing is not the blues. Breaking your leg 'cause a alligator be chompin' on it is.

9. You can't have no Blues in a office or a shopping mall. The lightin' is wrong. Go outside to the parking lot or sit by the dumpster.

10. Good places for the Blues: a. Highway, b. jailhouse, c. empty bed, d. bottom of a whiskey glass.

11. Bad places for the Blues: a. Dillard's, b. gallery openings, c. Ivy League institutions, d. golf courses.

12. No one will believe it's the Blues if you wear a suit, 'less you happen to be a old ethnic person, and you slept in it.

13. Do you have the right to sing the Blues? Yes, if: a. you older than dirt, b. you blind, c. you shot a man in Memphis, d. you can't be satisfied.

14. You do NOT have the right to sing the Blues if: a. you have all your teeth, b. you were once blind but now can see, c. the man in Memphis lived, d. you have a 401K or trust fund.

15. Blues is not a matter of color. It's a matter of bad luck. Tiger Woods cannot sing the blues. Sonny Liston could. Ugly white people also got a leg up on the blues.

16. If you ask for water and your darlin' give you gasoline, it's the Blues. Other acceptable Blues beverages are: a. cheap wine, b. whiskey or bourbon, c. muddy water, d. nasty black coffee.

17. The following are NOT Blues beverages: a. Perrier, b. Chardonnay, c. Snapple, d. Slim Fast.

18. If death occurs in a cheap motel or a shotgun shack, it's a Blues death. Stabbed in the back by a jealous lover is another Blues way to die. So is the electric chair, substance abuse, and dying lonely on a broken down cot. You can't have a Blues death if you die during a tennis match or getting liposuction.

19. Some Blues names for women: a. Sadie, b. Big Mama, c. Bessie, d. Fat River Dumpling.

20. Some Blues names for men: a. Joe, b. Willie, c. Little Willie, d. Big Willie.

21. Persons with names like Michelle, Amber, Debbie, and Heather can't sing the Blues no matter how many men they shoot in Memphis.

22. "Make Your Own Blues Name" starter kit (pick one from each item): a. name of physical infirmity (Blind, Cripple, Lame, etc.); b. first name (see above) plus name of fruit (Lemon, Lime, Kiwi, etc.); c. last name of President (Jefferson, Johnson, Fillmore, etc.). For example: Blind Lime Jefferson, Jakeleg Lemon Johnson or Cripple Kiwi Fillmore, etc. (well, maybe not Kiwi.")

23. I don't care how tragic your life: if you own a computer, you cannot sing the blues.
24. High fidelity recorded blues ALWAYS has the guitar on the left or the right side and NEVER in the center.
No. 21 is so true. Cant even put those names in a blues lyric. Try it: "Woke up this morning and Heather wasnt there, woke up this morning and Heather wasnt there, life without my Heather is just too much to bear." Impossible.

Thanks for cheering me up.
Not only does SD know jazz--he appears to know the blues as well. Loved it!!
SD, great post...if people have any humor left. I was about
to add something about needing to have a left hand guitar
re-strung for a right-hander...or a right hand guitar
re-strung for a left-hander...'cus pappy was "po"..but
my try at humor failed on the "Canadian" thread earlier
this who knows?

I have already e-mailed this to a few friends that are
Blues fans...and they thought it was very "on"...
Maybe I'll move ta Melfus......
Sd; I'm a long time blues fan and so have much respect for the music. I've gotta say that this is one of the best and funniest threads I've seen on this site. I love the late "Hound Dog" Taylor's music. Can a medium sized white boy from North Dakota have the blues?

Nobody who has completed college can have the blues, but if you are kicked out or at least drop out, it's OK if you meet some other criteria, especially if you've shot someone in Memphis. If you use the word criteria you can't have the blues either. No one in therapy can have the blues either-- unless you get kicked out of course.

Can high-end audio types have the blues? What if you blow your tweeters out? I think woofers are much more bluesy. How about if a drunk babe emptied a bottle of Jim Beam on your pre-amp? I need a ruling on this;>) Thanks, and Cheers. Craig.
Garfish: I'd agree with your additions, although I think that someone who has completed college might, under the right set of circumstances, be able to have the blues (lost my fortune on junk bonds, got laid off and lost my home, etc.). And high-end audio buffs could certainly get the blues. Someone dumping a bottle of cheap bourbon in their preamp may or may not qualify, but losing your entire system to your ex-wife in a divorce would certainly cause one to have the blues (I know what I'm talking about on this one...).

Glad you enjoyed the post. Thought we needed something to lighten the gloomy pall that seems to have fallen on our forum the past month or so. This hobby is supposed to be FUN, people -- though maybe compulsive -- and the forum hasn't been much fun lately.
SD- You da (blues) man!
Sd, remember J-L Hooker's "Stripped Me Naked"? "Took ta money in da bank.. took my Cadillac, too...stripped me naked..." substitute Cadillac & ad lib: took ma monos, da ell pees in da room, ...took ma stators too... stripped me nekkid...)!

Blowntoobe DistortionJoe Jefferson (silicon somehow doesn't cut it here).

Greg,(LOL) so you think a song like: " Woke up this morning, got the solid state blues..."would only sound right in a tubed system?

Scott, this was the best thing I've read on Audiogon in a LONG time. I love the blues and listen to all kinds, plus get all kinds too, but I have to say I laughed out loud at your observations.
Thanks for the comments, everyone. Intellectual integrity compels me, however, to reiterate that I did NOT write this piece. It was sent to me by a colleague at work who is also a blues lover. Whoever the author is obviously knew the blues AND had a good sense of humor.

Sarah's comment brings home another point: if this piece is the best thing she's read on the forum in a LONG time, we all need to get to work. Too much doom and gloom, attacks on the Audiogon staff, members having hissy fits and leaving the forum, etc. If everyone would make a point to make one good post -- humorous, informational, review of a record or piece of equipment you own, recap of a good article that you read, etc. -- every 2-3 weeks, it would make the forum more appealing, and a hell of a lot more FUN.

We're fortunate to have a site like Audiogon, which charges us nothing to sponsor this forum, but it's up to the membership to make the content of the posts worthwhile. I've been concerned about the ongoing threads criticizing Audiogon as a site, and can't help but reflect that we may cause the "self fulfilling prophecy" to come true. I, for one, would be sorry to see Audiogon close down this discussion forum. Just my 2 cents, FWIW.
Great post, SD! Reminds me of "Wierd Al" Yankovic's "Generic Blues" on one of his old albums, which included one of my son's favorite lines, "my brothers and sisters hated me 'cause I was an only child". Followed many of the rules you mentioned. You know, there is an old "blues" song for us Wall Street types, a take-off on the song "John Henry' called "John Henry the Accountant," where Henry takes on and beats a calculator, but "the stress and the strain was too much for his brain; he laid down his pencil and he died, dear Lord".
See above.
Spinal Tap does Chicago! &*^*%& hysterical !

When I lived in Chicago, I always thought it was funny to see old blues guys like Jimmy Johnson talking on their cell phones during breaks on stage.
I don't know if I should laugh or cry. The Blues is a serious business man. And yes, Canada is a place to sing the Blues, especially Québec. The Blues ain't nothin' but a botheration on your mind. Believe me I got plenty of that. But the Blues is a serious business. Do you guys snicker at funerals or what?
Two questions? We all get sucked into 13d (can never be satisfied) -- does 23 (owning a PC) cancel that out? If not, we should start a band!

To Pbb's point, Quebec might be a great place to sing the blues. I recall hearing some fine blues from Bavaria. Any other great blues locales outside of Mississippi (i.e., traditional US blues spots)?
Bavaria Ozfly? What? Where? That's only a hundred miles from home! Please tell us more! Cheers,
Detlof, the last time I was in Germany was about 25 years ago. Someone turned me on to Bavarian "blues" -- it sounded great to me at the time and I even bought an album (Willie somebody). I looked for it but cannot locate it today -- I've moved at least ten times since that trip and that album must have been one of the casualties. Sorry. It sounds like any vestiges of the blues are gone from there today though. Any inner city clubs in the larger metro areas?
I wouldn't know about Bavaria, Ozfly, but here in Zurich at least one has remained, though you can harly hear any really good blues anymore. Its a crying shame!!
Ozfly, Detlof, I *think* I can locate "Willie" and other (german) blues. Something I heard on a Clearaudio recording ??
Will report back when I get home.
Failed to find Willie, sorry. DID find two German blues samplers, however: one from the Inak label (German; as to Bavarian, I don't know!) containing people such as, The Blues Company, Toscho & The Blues Company, Bernard Allison Gp (son of Luther). Great recordings...
Another sampler from the CLEARAUDIO label on *CD* -- how 'bout that -- that sports groups such as: Farnbach & Spieb, Bar Scott, Dunmore, Charly Schreckschuss Band (try spelling THAT from memory... not you, Detlof, the rest of us:-).

There are a couple of blues pieces sung in German. Interesting!
German Blues! What a tangent! I ain't about to give up though on the Delta, Chicago and Texas (with the occasional foray to the West coast) as a primary source of the blues. I wonder, actually, if there is a German Tom Waits, does anyone know (or care)? Regards.
Pbb, it's a tangent all right, but one inspired by your very own recent response ;-)

Gregm, thanks for looking. Good news! My brother has the Willi somebody album and is looking for it now. He'll even burn a CD! I'll let you know if it's any good and will happily make copies for you all if it is ... provided that 25 year old Bavarian blues off a mid-fi record player is something worth sending! Cheers.
Knee Jam Green Bean Lincoln...

On behalf of my ethnicty, I ask, can the Asian sing the blues?

Bad Math Lychee Mao...

Bad Breath Water Chest Nut Kai-Shek...

Bad Driver Pear Ho Chi Minh...

Ok, maybe not.


Fell off my horse while laughing too hard when reading this post.

Head Ache Tomatoe Carter
Viggen, thanks, beautiful, just beautiful!!!!