Blues: who carried a blade?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Larry F, Nov 17, 2019.

  1. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yeah, "gifted" should've stayed an adjective, like the good lord intended.

    I don't really love "blessed," either. Sounds a little holier-than-wow. Sure beats, "gifted," though!

    Love the Wolf, though. First time a Chicago blues voice really caught my ear, it was his, in '68, when my big sister turned me on to that Super Super Blues Band album he did with Bo and Muddy - the one with the backup singers screeching "Wooooooo!" on every cut (for some reason).
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2019
  2. ronzhd

    ronzhd Tele-Holic

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    Seems to me, things might have gotten worse in Chicago. Here, musicians and everyone else I know carry a knife, from scabbard Case knives to Bowie knives, working knives, I have a 52 in Samurai for fun. For protection, with out looking behind the seat, everyone has a concealed weapon, even if they don't carry the license. Interesting times we live in.
     
  3. dkmw

    dkmw Friend of Leo's

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    Keef usually had one on him back in the day. He famously displayed it a few times.

    And my story (previously told on another thread, but what the hey):

    I had surgery on an umbilical hernia last year. It was supposed to be scoped through one small incision. Things didn't go as planned, though; I ended up with three more slices on my abdomen.

    A couple of weeks after, I took my dog down to the beach. A guy walking past stopped to pet my dog. He looked at my stomach and said ''what happened to you?".

    I responded ''just a little knife fight''. The guy took off so fast he left a wake.
     
  4. telleutelleme

    telleutelleme Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Watch out Ole Mackie's back in town.
     
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  5. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Blind Willie Johnson, a knife, a flat top



    Do you want to know why the knife was ubiquitous and why it seems like every blues man carried one ?

    Because a pistol, for a black man, was much harder to get and more expensive than a knife.

    And a pistol, if found on a black man, would get you a lot more grief/trouble than if a cop found a knife on you.

    Consider us all warned.

    I know what sticker’s on the back of your truck/Prius. Party line baby.
     
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  6. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    One night after a gig, our singer had been racing someone on the highway, when the cops got him. He was in front of his house, cornered by a couple of cops, and what does he? He whips out this damned Gerber pocket knife he had recently acquired and would proudly display every chance he got. The few weeks before, all we heard was Gerber this, Gerber that. "I ordered a Gerber." "My Gerber is almost read." "This is the Gerber I've been telling you about." And on and on.

    I don't know if his enthusiasm for displaying the Gerber in front of a couple of cops was a logical next step for him. Got a slap on the wrist for that. A couple of years later, he was busted for clicking an empty pistol in his wife's new paramour. Wound up getting training for a useful job, haircutting. He actually started to look and act somewhat like an adult. Then his girlfriend shot him to death in self-defense.
     
  7. rand z

    rand z Friend of Leo's

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    Levon Helm, in a Youtube Video, talks about Sonny Boy Williamson (Rice Miller) carry a shaving razor that he kept partially opened with a piece of wood matchstick. He hid it in his pants pocket and could pull it out, catching it on ther corner of the pocket and quickly flick it completely open with his hand, when needed.

    The Delta and Chicago were dangerous places even way back then...
     
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  8. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity

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    Clapton tells a story about meeting Sonny Boy Williamson (2) and saying, "You're not Sonny Boy Williamson, your real name's Rice Miller," and Sonny Boy/Rice pulled a knife on him.
    I think a lot of this violent knife/gun culture came from the fact that the people were Black and the law was White. Black on Black crime wasn't taken as seriously. Ledbelly got out of a murder sentence for singing a cute song to the governor. RL Burnside didn't do much time for shooting somebody in the head.
     
  9. Recce

    Recce Friend of Leo's

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    I also carry a pocket knife. In retirement wearing blue jeans or cargo shorts I carry a Case Stockman. It is very useful. When I worked in my normal khakis, no not car keys I am not from Boston, I carried a Case Peanut. For what I use a knife for either of these work. Conversely, the question being asked is carrying a knife as a weapon. I don’t have experience with that.
     
  10. Torren61

    Torren61 Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Don’t hesitate with your knife and there won’t BE a gunfight.
     
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  11. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    FWIW, Mike Stern decided his life was worth more than his '53 Tele one night in Roxbury, but I believe a gun was presented rather than a knife.

    I've had to surrender my knife to the cops a couple of times when defending myself, but I wasn't playing Blues at the time.
    Today I do some Hospital basement volunteer work so my blade stays home.
    Friends keep dying so Blues is on my mind heading down those stairs...
     
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  12. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity

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    Can we please stop posting about what kind of knife we carry?
    Maybe just substitute your favored string brand and gauges.
    It's no less relevant.
     
  13. Torren61

    Torren61 Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Never use a gun to skin wire.
     
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  14. Torren61

    Torren61 Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    No.

    Blues: who carried a blade?
     
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  15. El Marin

    El Marin Tele-Afflicted

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    Yes, I do

    That's the point... is a tool.
     
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  16. claes

    claes Tele-Holic

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    ]Im reading James Lee Burke thanks to this site. He names 3 blueslegends that did time in Angola. Lead Belly is one of them. Son House is another one I just read about that did time.
    I don't know for what, but prison seems part of the blues like cotton and sugarcanes.

    Is it little Walter that pulls a knife in the movie "chess records" (may be fiction)?
     
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  17. Torren61

    Torren61 Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Same here, except as a last option.
     
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  18. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Gotta have more music here:
     
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  19. kingofdogs1950

    kingofdogs1950 Tele-Holic

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    My experience with using a knife for self defense is limited, but I can say it was, well, interesting.

    I worked at the Texas (Houston) DPW - Dept of Public Welfare back in 1970 as a caseworker. I had a gentleman dispute whatever I told him (can't remember...) and pull a knife on me.
    Well... Thinking fast, I pulled out my knife, a large stockman. I'm pretty sure he was surprised and wasn't expecting my response. We had words, put our knives away and I continued with the interview. Whew...
    A welfare office was a rough and tumble place back then. Food stamps were sold and traded in the parking lot. There was a shoot out been DPW security guards in our lobby. It involved a love triangle between three DPW guards from different offices.
    Shootouts were relatively uncommon in 1970 and it was just crazy.
    I regularly got threatened by applicants. Whew... I carried a knife as a tool, not for self-defense. My father carried the same knife before me, a large Boker stockman.

    Bark the Knife
     
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  20. claes

    claes Tele-Holic

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    i never liked chicagoblues but you guys thought me about the blues that stayed behind and never got to the city (eg. the documentary "last mountainmen" (or something like that)).
    I like that much better. I know son house got to new york but this is more pure in my ears (not electrified)
     
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