Boogie Man

Boogie Man

The Adventures of John Lee Hooker in the American Twentieth Century

Book - 2000
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Acclaimed writer Charles Shaar Murray's Boogie Man is the authorized and authoritative biography of an extraordinary musician. Murray was given unparalleled access to Hooker, and he lets the man from Clarksdale, Mississippi, tell his own story. "Everything you read on album covers is not true, and every album reads different," he told Murray. Murray helps Hooker set the record straight, disentangling the myths and legends from truths so rock-ribbed that we understand, as if for the first time, why they have provided the source for a lifetime of unforgettable sound.Murray weaves together Hooker's life and music to reveal their indissoluble bonds. Yet Boogie Man is far more than merely an accomplished and brilliant biography of one man; it gives an account of an entire art form. Grounded in a time and place in American culture, the blues are universal, and in the hands of the greatest practitioners its power resides in the miracle of using despair to transcend it. "The preacher's mantle," Murray tells us, "passes to the bluesman." This bluesman traveled a hard road out of the American South, from obscurity to adulation and back-and back again. John Lee Hooker has seen it all and sung it all, and his music is both a living legacy and an American treasure. Here is the book that does him and his music full justice.
Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, c2000
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780312265632
Characteristics: x, 499 p. : ill. ; 25 cm


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Jul 21, 2016

"I got a history long as from here to London, England, and back, and back again. I got so much to write, and so much to write about."-JLH
Along with Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, and his friend B.B. King, John Lee Hooker was one of the titans of the blues who laid the groundwork for rock and roll and a whole generation of musicians. Songs like "Boom Boom," "Baby, Please Don't Go," and "Boogie Chillun," are staples of the blues and rock repertoire and he influenced everyone from Van Morrison to Nick Cave. This is a mostly engrossing, if idiosyncratic, biography that benefits from the author's time spent with Hooker during his late career revival. British music writer Charles Shaar Murray has a somewhat eccentric and rambling style (He often uses a paragraph length quote, when just a few sentences would do), but at least he has a style, which is often absent from music music biographies. It includes a discography and photographs.


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