Over the weekend, hip-hot artist Jasiri X posted this image on his twitter feed. It’s taken from the front page of the New York Daily News’ website. Note the screaming headline and the sympathetic caption: “Accused killer Dylann Roof had one chance at a stable family life — and his abusive dad ruined it for…
My brother Tom would have turned 55 on May 1st if cancer hadn’t stolen his life a few years back. Lung cancer, man: that’s some awful shit. He was just 51 … the same age I am, as of a few days ago.
Tom was a great guitar player and a pretty good singer, too. Over the years, he played everything from rock to country, but it all began with the blues. When Tom was in high school, he studied the blues like Luke Skywalker on Dagobah, and of all the great Chicago blues artists, Muddy Waters was his Yoda.
Tom used to say you can’t be a rock guitarist until you first learned to play the blues, because that was the root of everything. He loved to quote Muddy’s song, “The Blues Had A Baby (And They Named It Rock ’n Roll)”:
Queen Victoria said it … the blues got soul
I’m not sure Queen Victoria actually said that, but who knows. What, am I? A historian over here? Still, it is an indisputable fact that the blues had a baby, and they named the baby rock ’n roll. You can look that up.
So, here’s to you, Tom:
Not that I’m condoning champagne and reefer, necessarily, but they’re a hell of a lot better than cigarettes. That shit’ll kill ya.
(Photo Courtesy of Flickr user Scarlatti2004)