Friday, October 6, 2017

Guitar Slim - Strange Things Happening

We know just what you mean, Slim.

Strange things have happened since forever, but the intensity changes from one historical period to another. Sometimes the strange things come in a trickle; other times they come in such a rush that you can hardly catch your breath. Sometimes the strange things are mostly merely odd; other times there are strange things that are truly shocking and dangerous. We are living in a historical period that will long be remembered for the constant rush of strange things that are as novel as they are threatening. It’s like dodging traffic on the fucking freeway, for crying out loud.

We need relief from this full-on assault, and Mr. Guitar Slim, aka Eddie Jones, can help. His is not, however, a happy story. As much joy as his music brings to me and many others, Slim does not seem to have shared in the joy. As joyful and enthusiastic as he always sounds on his records, it turns out that he carried inside of himself the doom and unhappiness of depression. He had his first hit in 1951, and he was quite popular for a few years, but his star faded quickly. By 1959 he was dead of alcohol related pneumonia after a few years in obscurity.

In New York, no less. There are really eight million stories in the Naked City. By now one of the strangest stories of all New York stories is the duly elected, but hardly respected, President of the United States. That may be the strangest thing that has happened in the history of our country. As usual, there are no recommendations coming from me. Only my warmest best wishes for good luck that is sufficient to save us from the worst. “Oh Lord, in your infinite mercy, may this hurricane of bullshit immediately make a hard right turn and rush away from us, never to be seen again, amen.” 

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