The Blues

September 15, 2017
In the backyard - Linda’s Lair, Monroe, Washington State


[1988 interview with Stevie Ray Vaughan]


“I woke up one morning on the tour bus, in Germany. I couldn’t hardly get up. I was scared of everything - my friends... just being awake... I was scared. I tried to say hi to my bass player - I started cryin'. I was, uh, a wreck. And I realized right then, that the only way to win this thing was to give up, and I did. [Commentator] “What did you do?” [Stevie] “I had a breakdown. Thank God that happened, because then I was able to ask for help, as opposed to, [clenches teeth] ‘I’ll make it through this!’ I’ll make it through this if I ask for help, is the reality of it.”

When I was voted out of Heart in 1979, I had a similar reaction: I thanked God for sparing me any more of the lifestyle and direction I’d been choosing, which probably would have been the death of me. A year later, I realized what a state-of-non-reality I, and many other “stars” can get trapped in. I vowed to never again let myself perceive Roger Fisher as being anything more or less than any other person on this planet. After all, we are all members of the HUMAN TRIBE. All cry; all laugh; all suffer; all rejoice. All breathe, all die.


[From the Seattle Sunday Star on October 29, 1887]


AUTHENTIC TEXT OF CHIEF SEATTLE’S TREATY ORATION - 1854
“Day and night cannot dwell together. The Red Man has ever fled the approach of the White Man, as the morning mist flees before the morning sun.
It matters little where we pass the remnant of our days. They will not be many. The
Indian's night promises to be dark. Not a single star of hope hovers above his horizon. Sad-voiced winds moan in the distance. Grim fate seems to be on the Red Man's trail, and wherever he will hear the approaching footsteps of his fell destroyer and prepare stolidly to meet his doom, as does the wounded doe that hears the approaching footsteps of the hunter.
A few more moons, a few more winters, and not one of the descendants of the mighty hosts that once moved over this broad land or lived in happy homes, protected by the Great Spirit, will remain to mourn over the graves of a people once more powerful and hopeful than yours. But why should I mourn at the untimely fate of my people? Tribe follows tribe, and nation follows nation, like the waves of the sea. It is the order of nature, and regret is useless. Your time of decay may be distant, but it will surely come, for even the White Man whose God walked and talked with him as friend to friend, cannot be exempt from the common destiny. We may be brothers after all.

We will see.”


This is the blues. This is pain. This is reality.


[From the Fisher Brothers’ new album, HEART OF THE BLUES]


Black Boy
Born in the jungle, jungle, caring kin, peaceful, sane, nature's ways
Beautiful black boy, black boy no idea what future before him lays
One day his parents, many friends are gunned down, then the young and strong taken,
taken away
Black boy hides in the bush, crying, crying, crying,
what had they done that was so wrong
He follows behind, sees his sisters, brothers whipped onto a ship, tall and long
Surprised from behind, they take him, laughing and stinking to the brig they say he
belongs

Poor boy, black boy, black boy, black boy, black boy, black boy
Many days at sea surrounded with misery, urine, starving, crying, why?
Lands in America, home of the free, whip-scarred back, full of grief, he watched his
brother die
They're sellin' people, people, sellin’ people, selling people to the bidders, hands held
high

Poor boy, black boy, black boy, black boy, black boy, black boy
Now he has a home, though it's hard, at least he can cultivate a dream
Working in hot sun, buckle down, get it done, hot sweat, whip on back, silent scream
Some day some day some day, break away, break away, maybe live his dream
Black boy, black boy, black boy, black boy, black boy, black boy
One day while working alone, sees a white lady, white lady, white lady wave
Something inside her had said this black boy, black boy she must save
Holds her hand and runs, hoping, hoping to escape an otherwise certain grave
Black boy, black boy, black boy, black boy, black boy, black boy
Now looking back on his life, the tears, the fears, the pain, he is filled with joy
A champion of forgiveness, he understands that some men are way behind, fall short,
destroy
Looking down, a tear of knowing falls on a beautiful little boy
Little black boy, black boy, black boy, black boy, black boy black boy

 

Even though it won’t strike you as a blues song when you hear it, it’s the blues... a real
story about what really happened. This is the blues, but with hope.


In our present context, the world seems to be on-edge. Everybody feels it. Everyone seems to be getting the feeling that we have to act now, that major change is about to occur, and we’d better know where we stand. The blues, while painful, are always an open door to opportunity... the opportunity to make things right. The opportunity to break the pattern and embrace our enemies; to forgive those who have wronged us; to see things in a positive way that de-escalates the anger and hostility. It’s so easy to despise someone, but I swear it causes cancer.


People, let’s ask for help! Let’s recognize that which causes the blues. Let’s make things right! Like Chief Seattle said, “We may be brothers after all. We will see.”


[From the new album, HEART OF THE BLUES]

No More Blues
Introduced to a sunny southern day
Front porch pickin’ makes the world go away
Whatever way the river flows that’s OK
We’ll go anywhere the current takes us today
Introduced to a friend I didn’t know
Fills the air with stories from long ago
Anywhere the story takes us is where we’ll go
When we’ll make it home nobody knows
He tells me, “Depending on your views”
He says, “I’ve got good news
Anytime you wear someone else’s shoes
There’s no more blues”
My new friend smiles at me, “Now sing along”
Lays down some slide guitar and plays this song
Whatever way he plays he can’t go wrong
And everything he says seems right on
He tells me, “Depending on your views”
He says, “I’ve got good news
Anytime you wear someone else’s shoes
There’s no more blues”
The smell of magnolias mingling in the breeze
With sweet wisteria buzzing with bees
Takes us both to heaven or so it seems
As we play a part in each other’s dreams
Introduced to funny southern ways
Pickled pigs feet corn bread whiskey - homemade
Blackeyed peas hush puppies catfish OK
Music on the menu no more blues today
My buddy tells me “Dependin’ on your views”
He leans over, “I’ve got good news
Anytime you wear someone else’s shoes
There’s no more blues”

This is the blues... with hope.