I don’t think about time. You’re here when you’re here.
I think about today, staying in tune.
— John Lee Hooker
I remember seeing Mr. Hooker when we performed on the Tonight Show, around 1994 or so, where he was a guest as well. The most Zen-like quote uttered by a musician?
I was listening to Tim Ferriss interview John Paul DeJoria (founder of Paul Mitchell) the other day and John Lee Hooker came up in conversation:
(link to transcript: https://tim.blog/2020/06/20/john-paul-dejoria-transcript/ )
JP DeJoria on John Lee – So he called, he said, “JP, I want you to record this.” I said, “Okay.” He never asked me to record anything. So we went out and bought one of these $29 recorders you plug into your telephone, so you can record the conversation on cassette tape, and we did. So he made up a blues riff, a really cool blues riff. He made it up as he went along the way, singing, and then he stopped in the middle of it. Now, what I’m going to tell you is quite amazing because John Lee Hooker was illiterate until the day he died, couldn’t even write out his own name, just his initials. Illiterate to the day he died. In the middle of this blues riff, he stopped and said, “Remember, you will always be as old as your mind leads you to believe,” and then went right back to the blues riff again.
Thank you for that! :-)
Ottmar, your playing tonight (Thursday 8/27) was especially fine! You were in top form. The tenderness of SURRENDER was nearly unbearable.