Radio

Sundays 8pm to 11pm on Radio 2

New Episodes at CBC Music

New Episodes at CBC Music

Need more Strombo Show? Head over to our page on CBC Music for new episodes, playlists and video extras.

CBC Music Past Shows

 

 

Buddy Guy On The Night Martin Luther King Died
May 8, 2012
submit to reddit

In his 75 years, Chicago blues legend Buddy Guy has played with all the greats -- like Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and B.B.King -- and has witnessed some serious social change, like the Civil Rights Movement. Sometimes the two overlapped.

He's in the red chair tonight, along with actress Kathleen Turner .

George Stroumboulopoulos: Do you remember where you were the night Martin Luther King died?
Buddy Guy: Yes
GS: Tell me about that night.
BG: New York City. I was playing at the -- Jimi Hendrix bought the place,
GS: In Greenwich Village?
BG: Uh-huh, I think it's a recording studio now. That was the only place they didn't sell booze that night. The mayor of the city of New York came out and walked the streets to try to calm the riots, and every club that was selling booze had to close, and they all came there. There was me, B.B. King, Janis Joplin, everybody else wind up at this big place in the village and played until daybreak -- cried and played, all night.
GS: What were you thinking?
BG: Ah, "why?" You know. That's what the time was, man, people was just crazy everywhere. My thinking was don't nobody want to hear the truth. Like Albert King made a record about: "Everybody want to go to heaven, but don't nobody want to die."
GS: What's going to be the legacy of B.B.? He's got the club, he's gregarious, people love him. What do you think his real legacy is going to be?
BG: If I may answer you right, there will never be another one. He's like Muhammad Ali, Rocky Marciano, and people like that. I mean you can play - I don't care how well you [the DVD tape stops] special effect that Jimi Hendrix came up with, he didn't need that, you know, he got that in his wrists. And I think he's one of a kind. That will never be replaced.

Buddy also talks about the experience of the emerging white culture in blues clubs and the one time Mick Jagger wouldn't give in:

Buddy Guy: My club is full of signed guitars by Eric Clapton, Stevie and all those guys. As soon as I ask for a guitar, it shows up. They [The Rolling Stones] were the first one I asked for a guitar from before I left 43rd street. Charlie, I got the drums from about a year and a half ago. I got the guitar from Keith doing Shine a Light. Mick still ain't give up nothing. I was on tour with him, now, and he had this jacket with the big tongue on the back of it, I don't know if you've seen it or not. And I said, "I want one of those jackets." And all his people who work for him -- you know how tight he is -- they just look at you and say, "I'll see about that it. Let me see Mick. Let me see Mick." So I just walk up to him and said, "I want the jacket." And he starts stammering like John Lee Hooker, "uh, uh, uh..." I just reached and got the jacket and put it on and walked out.

Comments

Starting soon: To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, for all new accounts, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted for existing community members in June.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Submission Policy

Note: The CBC does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines.