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Friday, November 11, 2005

PILGRIMAGE

A man has to have SOME rules. As a rule, I'm not much for rules, but I have a few, and I try to stick to them.

When I'm in Chicago I must do two things. I have to have a Cheeseburger at The Billy Goat Tavern (Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger, no Coke - Pepsi), and I have to go to Buddy Guy's Legends. Any true Blues enthusiast will direct you elsewhere, most notably Kingston Mines or Dell Rhea's Chicken Basket, but I love Buddy, and I love his club. He's got pool tables, live electric blues, and a fantastic menu of traditional Creole fare. The red beans and rice comes with big hunks of andouille, and is the best food to eat when embarking on an evening of beer intake.

Last night I made my pilgrimage to Buddy's, as always in the hopes of seeing the man play. I have not yet caught Buddy on his stage, but you gotta be in it to win it. I have seen him there, and have even had a brief conversation with him. He's a class act, very approachable, and dapper as hell.

Superlatives are bullshit. To say that the Cheeseburger at The Billy Goat is the best, or that Buddy Guy is the greatest living guitar player may not fit with what you may find in your experience, but as far as I'm concerned - the Billy Goat DOES have the best Cheeseburger, and with the exception of Jeff Beck, Buddy Guy IS the greatest living guitar player.

Had Jimi or Stevie Ray not been taken from us, well, I suppose they'd be on the same short list. Michael Schenker and David Gilmour are probably my favorite guitar players, but they fall short when it comes to sheer expression and existing within the moment. Buddy goes for it. He, and Jeff (as Stevie and Jimi did) inhabit the song, and thus transcend the form. They are fearless, and they push themselves beyond what they know they can do. What Dave G, and Michael S. know they can do is amazing, beautiful and perfect, but it's safe.

I will say that at my birthday party I saw Dave Cavalier push himself beyond the safe threshold, and that is why I respect Dave's playing, he doesn't rest on his laurels. Keep it up Dave, you're on the right path.

I love Chicago, I love Cheesburgers and I love Buddy Guy's Legends.

Comments:
Wow. Thanks!

Our tastes do run frighteningly close. For sheer invention, it's hard to beat Jeff Beck. Every few years he stops tinkering with his cars long enough to remind us that he's a genius. I wish more of his playing was in a format that I could really dig my teeth into, but I am willing to endure some of the soft-jazz to hear his ideas.

And yes, Buddy Guy is the fucking bomb.
 
Dave does not use his laurels for resting, that's for sure.

his shank, on the other hand...
 
I'd bet that Jeff Beck could get Dave's car running again :>)
 
And the only tool he'd need?

Telecaster.
 
C'mon. Ralph Macchio is the best guitarist ever. Did no see one 'Crossroads?'

Ralph Macchio is also the best cheeseburger in America.

-Ralph Macchio
 
Where is Ralph? How come he doesn't make movies anymore - i could go for a good boy meets chinese man movie.
 
Ralph will be playing the title role in the upcoming epic "Rebel Without a Gauze - to Sop Up the Blood Pouring Out of His Belly: The Sal Mineo Story"

... I just made that up and then I felt guilty.
 
It's funny though, I can totally see it, but you should trim it down some, "Rebel Without a Gauze: The Sal Mineo Story" Starring Ralph Macchio as the Gauzless Mineo.
 
Macchio is certainly not the greatest guitarist ever. According to www.rankopedia.com, that would be Hendrix.
 
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