Friday, July 29, 2016

Muddy Waters - Pinetop's Boogie Woogie

Here's a great live version of Pinetop Perkins' "Pinetop's Boogie Woogie," from 1978, apparently with the Muddy Waters Band. It was an old standard for Pinetop by then, and certainly the model for "Shake It," below.

Or not, the model, that is. These songs came around and went around, sometimes for many decades. That John Lee Hooker riff, the one he sued Z.Z.Top over, was that riff really his? It probably came from one of those 1920s guys that never got famous. Handed down, you know. They were expected to play for hours in those days, and playing some little riff by itself for a while was a break for the musicians but allowed the crowd to keep on dancing.

Pinetop is sure a fine player, though. He's in great form here, and certainly not a kid anymore. Music is what it is, and theft is a part of it, copyright laws notwithstanding. My advice is: if you're going to steal somebody's songs or riffs, it's better not to have any money of your own. If you have no money, no one will sue you. Them's the rules in the US of A.

(I'll prove it to you. Did John Lee Hooker sue Savoy Brown? No, he did not. No money in it. You can go and listen to Savoy Brown Boogie. It's a much closer cop than anything Z.Z.Top every put on a record.)

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