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October 04, 1991 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-10-04

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

One Guy
who will
not forget.
by Andrew J. Cahn
The year is 1967. Buddy Guy, a
young blues guitarist well-known
in his hometown of Chicago, hits
the road. Where does he make his
first stop? New York? Austin? LA?
Wrong: Ann Arbor.
"It was a little place they called
the Canterbury House," says Guy.
"It was a coffee house, and there
was kind of a religious place in the
basement. Vd always doubted
myselfmabout attracting an audience
on the road. I was working days and
someone talked me into going."
At first the audience thought
Guy sounded like Jimi Hendrix, but
eventually they realized that he was
just playing the blues. "I'll never
forget that day," he says.
Guy came to fame in the late
'60s, a time when San Francisco.
psychedelia and Chicago blues were
competing for the reputation of the
hottest scene around. And often, the
two sounds were mixed by bands
like Paul Butterfield, the Grateful
Dead and Hendrix. To find the
source of that 12-bar thing called
blues, many listeners ended up in the
Windy City to hear the masters in
action. Guy was just entering his 30s
at the time, but he was looked upon
with as much respect as Muddy
Waters and Howlin' Wolf.
Guy says his big break came when
he met Howlin' Wolf one day, who
told Guy to come play with him at
4:30 in the morning. "He started
mumblin'... I started playin'... it was
my dream come true," Guy says. "I
always wanted to meet (the great
players) so I could play behind
them."

The Michigan Daily Friday, October 4,A1991 - Page 9
Acting talents of Johnson and
Griffith are lost on Paradise

Paradise
dir. Mary Agnes
Donoghue
by Aaron Hamburger

As Bo Diddley might say, Buddy Guy is The Man, M-A-N, Man!

I n the movie Paradise, Don
Johnson and Melanie Griffith play
Ben and Lily Reed, a couple who
have been distanced from each other
since the death of their boy. Based on
the 1987 French film Le Grand
Chemin, Paradise shows the Reeds
finding love again when they take in
a friend's son for the summer.
At first young Willard (Elijah
Wood) is far from excited about
spending a summer in the small ru-
ral town of Paradise. His first reac-
tion to the town, upon his arrival
from New York City, is, "This is
it?" Gradually, however, Willard
becomes fond of the Reeds (the film
never explains why - wouldn't
this grouchy couple seem frighten-
ing to a ten-year old?) and even
makes friends with a neighbor's
daughter, Billie Pike (Shirley Tem-
ple wanna-be Thora Birch).
Paradise is aptly named, as the
town is like no place on Earth. Only
in Paradise do people suddenly pour
out their hearts to young children
for no apparent reason, or say things
like, "The air is so soft tonight you
can feel it on your skin." And only
in Paradise would you find such
stock Hollywood characters as the
oversexed sassy waitress with a
heart of gold, the witch who actu-
ally turns out to be a nice old lady,
and the stuffy, hypocritical preacher
who gives long, boring sermons.
Indeed, the film seems to mount
an unmerited attack on Christianity.
When Lily goes to church on Sun-
day, the director portrays her as
weak and shallow, and her husband
accuses the other churchgoers of be-
ing hypocrites. Later on, presumably
to manifest the character's emo-
tional development, we see Griffith
asleep in church.
Every character in Paradise
seems to have a broken heart, and the
movie offers some very interesting
solutions to their problems. Never
mind the fact that these solutions
would never work in real life; in the
film, they work out just fine. If
your father isn't around very much
or at all, cry and make friends with a

hermit, or walk the railing on the
top of a 50-foot watch tower. If
you're having man trouble, just get
engaged to a nerd and then break off
the engagement in an act of great
nobility. If you want to make.
friends with someone, show them
your sister without her shirt on.
And if you lose a child, simply take
care of your best friend's little boy
for the summer.
Johnson's and Griffith's perfor-
mances in Paradise also break your
heart, not only because the actors are
so accomplished, but because they
are so wasted on the clich6d script.

PARADISE is playing at Showcase.

Writer/director Mary Agnes Do-
noghue is no stranger to the Hol-
lywood weepie, as evidenced by her
1988 tear-yanker Beaches. Johnson
and Griffith do some of their finest
work here and almost save the
movie. Unfortunately, however, the
director ruins many of the touching
moments that the actors achieve by
drowning them in David Newman's
syrupy musical score. The cine-
matography is beautiful - Par-
adise looks great. Too bad they
couldn't turn off the sound.

is not an angry person. "First of all,
about ninety percent of the songs
I've recorded, I didn't write them
nowhere," he says. "I just wanted to
sing them like the greats did. Most
blues songs are written by
experience, and most of the stuff (in
blues songs) I haven't experienced.
It's like 'Five Long Years' (a track
from the new record) - I never
worked in a steel mill.
"I got that from Eddie Boyd, and
it was a big hit back when

other other Black musicians. I found
out later that he was the only guy
on his label (Epic) who was a true
blues player."
In addition to Vaughn, there are
other blues musicians who have
become quite popular in the last few
years, including Jeff Healy, Robert
Cray and Bonnie Raitt. B.B. King and
John Lee Hooker are selling more
records than ever. Is there another
blues revival? "I was talking with
B.B. King the other day," Guy says,
"and he do know more than I do, and
he seemed to think so. It's got more
exposure now. I've got my first
video coming out."
Recently Eric Clapton called
Guy" the best guitar player alive."
What does Guy have to say about
this? "I think Eric's number one."
And blues players are supposed to
be arrogant...

Ain't they cute? Don 'n' Melanie (along with Paradise co-star Willard
Young) rank just above Bruce 'n' Demi and just below Johnny 'n''Nona on
the Annoying Hollywood Couples charts.

In the words of Bleeding Gums Murphy, 'The
blues ain't about feelin' good, it's about
making other people feel worse.' But Buddy
Guy says he is not an angry person. 'Most
blues songs are written by experience, and
most of the stuff (in blues songs) I haven't
experienced,' Guy says

His early solo records - A Man
and his Blues and the live album,
This is Buddy Guy, as well as
Hoodoo Man Blues, a Junior Wells
record with Guy on guitar - are
considered some of the finest
recordings of electric blues by many
critics. Guy's new record, Damn
Right, I've Got the Blues, is his first
in ten years, and he hasn't lost a step.
Guy is very pleased about how the
new album came out, but he says his
favorite is still Stone Crazy. "It's
more along the lines of what I've
been playing lately," Guy explains.
In the words of Bleeding Gums
Murphy, "The blues ain't about
feelin' good, it's about making other
people feel worse." But Guy says he

predominantly Black people
listened to blues. Now young
people, especially young Black
people, don't want to listen to that
anymore." Why not? Because they
haven't lived through it, Guy says.
This point may be confusing,
since in one of Guy's own songs, "A
Man and His Blues," he sings, "I'm
going to drink myself some
gasoline, light a match and burn my
blues up in steam." "Oh," Guy says.
"I got that from my Dad."
Along with tributes to the elder
greats, the new album includes one
track, "Rememberin' Stevie," which
salutes the late Stevie Ray Vaughn.
"I'll never forget that kid for as
long as I live," Guy says. "He did so
much for myself and a whole lot

BUDDY GUY will be playing at
Majestic Theater in Detroit
Saturday at 8 p.m. Ticketsc
$12.50 at Ticket Master p.e.s.c.

the
on
are

Joanne
Brackeen
Quartet
with Greg Osby, Cecil McBee
& Billy Hart

I.

The University of Michigan
SCHOOL OF MUSIC

Friday, October 11 8pm & 10pm
The Ark

{j

r I

'HAVE A LITTLE ROOM
LEFT ON YOUR WALL?"

Mon. Oct. 7
Tue. Oct. 8
Wed. Oct. 9
Thur.-Sun.
Oct. 10-13
Fri. Oct. 11
Sat. Oct. 12
Sun. Oct. 13

Composers' Forum
School of Music Recital Hall, 8 p.m.
Piano Forum
School of Music Recital Hall, 8 p.m.
University Philharmonla
Orchestra
Donald Schleicher, conductor
Beethoven: Symphony no.1
Stravinsky: The Firebird (1919)
Hill Auditorium, 8 p.m.
University Players
Heinrich von Kleist: The Broken Pitcher
Tickets: $9, $5 (students)
Trueblood Theatre
Thur.-Sat. 8 p.m.; Sun. 2 p.m.
Symphony Band and
Concert Band
H. Robert Reynolds, Gary Lewis,
Dennis Glocke, conductors
Hill Auditorium, 8 p.m.
Guest Harp Recital by
Gillian Benet
School of Music Recital Hall, 8 p.m.
Stearns 2+2+2 Lecture Series
Paul Gifford: "Midwestern Hammer
Dulcimer Makers and Players"
School of Music Recital Hall, 2 p.m.

"BEST POSTERS in Ann Arbor" -TMD

STAIRWAYTO HEAVEN

OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK !!!

Mon - Sat 11-7
340 1/2 S. State (upstairs)

Sun 12 - 6
. 994-3888.

The Broken Pitcher
A courtroom satire about tipping the scales of justice

Autumn Festival of Choirs
Sponsored by the American Center of
Church Music in conjunction with the 31st
Annual Conference on Organ Music
Hill Auditorium, 4 p.m.
Michigan Chamber Players
Lynne Aspnes, Hamao Fujiwara, Stephen
Shipps, Owen Carman, Martin Katz, Paul
Kantor, Yizhak Schotten, Andrew Rubin,
and Jeffrey Gilliam
Saint-Satns: Fantasy for Violin and Harp
Arthur Foote: Piano Trio no.2
Gabriel Faur6: Piano Quartet no.1
Srro ol of-M siRtali St8n n

~.' t

by Heinrich von Kleist
University Players
Trueblood Theatre
Oct. 10 -12, 17 - 19 at 8 PM;
Oct. 13. 20 at 2 PM

I

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