978-0-312-26563-2 / 9780312265632

Boogie Man: The Adventures of John Lee Hooker in the American Twentieth Century


Publisher:St. Martin's Press



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About the book:

Boogie Man is a thorough documentary account of the life and work of the legendary blues-man John Lee Hooker, but it is also something more. Charles Shaar Murray, himself something of a legend as a rock journalist and author of the prize-winning Crosstown Traffic: Jimi Hendrix and Postwar Pop, spent years on the road with Hooker, talking to what seems like everyone who has ever known him, or working his way through his entire recorded output--but he also spent those years learning what he was writing the book for. This is a book about the blues which addresses important theoretical issues about the nature of popular music, and the cult of generic purity, and it is a book about life and the capacity of art to heal our pain. Charles Shaar Murray combines a serious grasp of what he needs to take from post-modernist notions such as intertextuality or shamanism, and chastened common sense about life and sorrow, with an adult capacity to shut up and, a lot of the time, let John Lee himself do the talking: "I'm goin' to say this, and it's true: the blues was here the day that the world was born. Sadness, loneliness; it comes from man and woman. A woman gets sad 'bout her man done left her, a man gets sad 'bout his woman done left him ... started humming sad songs ... And all the people that I don't see, my song reaches them all over the world." --Roz Kaveney

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