The Memory Man #2

Well here we are the second part of the story, not much background need here, once I move on to Michigan more background will be needed

The chappy I met at the bar at Buddy Guys.

Now since I wasn’t quite sure of the dress code for Buddy Guy’s I did make a little effort with my blue shirt and my lovely green trousers and made my way to the bar. Now being America the age for drinking is different so it was something of a change to be ID’d, but since I always carry my Driving License it wasn’t a problem apart from the guy on the door laughing at how young I look in the photo…. six years isn’t that long ago is it?First up there was a free live acoustic set by a trio who was very good and was much based on the call and response elements which I tend associate with the late Cab Calloway. They were very good and getting the audience involved was a feat worth mentioning because the majority, myself included, were stuffing their faces with food. I opted on the BBQ chicken and when it arrived: Flippin’ Heck! I think they’d slaughtered an entire hen house and stuck it on my plate! I did try my best but eventually it overwhelmed me and I had to concede defeat. While I was there I got chatting to a guy at the bar (no not like that) who had been something of a regular at the bar that week as he was in Chicago for a week’s conference and Buddy Guy’s was right on his doorstep, so being a big blues fan he’d pretty much stayed there all week. I only wish I could remember his name as it’s somewhat disconcerting to continually refer to him as that guy at the bar. Anyway as the warm up set continued the guy at the bar advised me to check out the memorabilia adorning the various walls. They all ranged from photos of blues legends such as Howlin’ Wolf, Son House, Muddy Waters and of course Buddy Guy himself, to signed record sleeves and blues records which went gold. Above the pool table was a huge Muriel of that guitar legend Jimi Hendrix, this amused me somewhat even though I do know about the influence the Blues had in his playing. Once I’d gone round the various articles I returned to my seat at the bar and renewed my acquaintance with Bass ale (which as the week progress would eventually become my undoing…. I’ll explain latter…maybe but only to highlight what a fool i acted) which I pretty much enjoy drinking but hate managing as the motherfucker does tend to backfire when tapped. Then realizing the (passable) Goose Ale was cheaper I switched to that. Then the doorman did his rounds as the main act was due to come on to see who was staying and who was going. It was $15 so I decided to stay and enjoy the blues. The band was an electric blues band somewhat akin to the Allman Brothers’ Band and they were awesome, I made a small inquiry and discovered it was okay to take photos provided there was no audio or video content so I set about taking a few snaps for the album, sadly the lighting wasn’t brilliant so the photos didn’t come out very well, which is a shame because the lead guitarist was very visual in his performance with which playing guitar behind his back and jiving on the table. Shortly after that happened I swear I saw a exact double for Kate in the bar (Kate who may or may not of attempted to chat me up a few weeks ago), it’s funny how no matter where you go, you’ll always find someone who looks vaguely familiar. Hannah’s (ex-girlfriend) friend Kate (different from Horseshoes Kate) looks roughly like my old friend Manda from the Severn Gorge, Andrea has a uncanny resemblance to Amy Acker from Angel and the Martinique’s trumpeter Tony Billingsly looks like a Chuckle Brother’s granddad, it’s a small world. Well the guy at the bar was interested in the Blues scene in England so I did my best to explain it and admitted that my field is more Jazz then Blues and he was cool with that as he wanted to know all the details about the British Jazz scene. The evening went on and I did attempt to get some photos at point blank range but they still didn’t really come out which is a shame. Then the dreaded thing happened….. Jet Lag caught up with me. Chicago is six hours behind the UK so by eleven o’clock my body was telling me it was 5am! As you may imagine I started to feel a little bit on the drowsy side, but I was determined to hang on and get the maximum bang of my bucks. The guy at the bar kept suggesting I should take a few shots of Tequila to keep me awake or scotch (which I’ve always treated as a nightcap… the consumable kind not the sort you wear on your head. Imagine that, sleeping with a glass of scotch on your head, it’d certainly be an experience), but I stuck with the Goose Ale. Then some people from Florida arrived and noted “You have a strong accent, are you Irish?”, okay evidently they’ve taken Gareth Hunt’s Irish accent as genuine so I correct them and their reply was “English/Irish, same thing isn’t it?” It’s not you know, try saying that to an Irishman and you’ll see what I mean, having said that they were very nice people and it was a nice change from the guy at the bar. However by then it was 12:30 and my body really did give up the ghost and I reluctantly headed back to the hotel and despite the constant train noise I probably had the best night’s sleep I’ve had for years.Coming up: Fully adjusted, find my way round Chicago and various other shenanigans.
To be continued…..

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