Wednesday, June 27, 2012

When I Left Home- Buddy Guy w/David Ritz

When I Left Home: My Story

I love blues. B. B. King is one of my favorite artists ever. I was vaguely familiar with Buddy Guy, and when he & B. B. came to town together a few years ago, I took my dad to the concert with me. Buddy opened the show and was not only an awesome musician, some of the stories he told between songs were a howl. The highlight of his set was when he jumped off the stage and strolled up the aisle, still playing. We had gotten our tickets late and wound up sitting in the back of the theater, and danged if Buddy didn't actually walk & play all the way back to where we were. He was just about to pass our row when he looked up from his guitar and saw my dad sitting on the aisle. He stopped dead in his tracks, said "How do you do, sir?" and shook my dad's hand before standing there and talking to him for 5 minutes. (I now know from reading this book that my dad falls almost exactly between Buddy & B. B. in age) Well, my dad grinned for the rest of the night and Buddy Guy earned two fans for life.

This autobiography filled in a lot of gaps in my knowledge. David Ritz has worked with several other blues artists on books and they always give you a feel of the artist's personality and are entertaining as well as informative.  Buddy never plays the 'oh poor me' card, but is very honest about his humble beginnings and how hard he had to hustle, even after he became a musician. Unscrupulous record execs took advantage of him (and numerous others), yet he retained his love for his music and doesn't seem to hold a grudge.

I would recommend this to any blues fan, as well as anyone who likes a good read.

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