1. Most blues begin "woke up this morning."
2. "I got a good woman" is a bad way to begin the blues, unless
you stick something nasty in the next line. "I got a good woman--
with the meanest dog in town."
3. Blues are simple. After you have the first line right, repeat
it. Then find something that rhymes--sort of. "Got a good woman
with the meanest dog in town. He got teeth like Margaret Thatcher
and he weighs about 500 pounds."
4. The blues are not about limitless choice.
5. Blues cars are Chevys and Cadillacs. Other acceptable blues transportation
is a Greyhound bus or a southbound train. Walkin' plays a major
part in the blues lifestyle. So does fixin' to die.
6. Teenagers can't sing the blues. Adults sing the blues. Blues
adulthood means old enough to get the electric chair if you shoot
a man in Memphis.
7. You can have the blues in New York City, but not in Brooklyn
or Queens. Hard times in Vermont or North Dakota are just a depression.
Chicago, St. Louis and Kansas City are still the best places to
have the blues.
8. The following colors do not belong in the blues: a. violet; b.
beige; c. mauve.
9. You can't have the blues in an office or a shopping mall; the
lighting is wrong.
10. Good places for the Blues: a. the highway; b. the jailhouse;
c. the empty bed; Bad places: a. Ashrams; b. Gallery openings; c.
weekend in the Hamptons.
11. No one will believe it's the blues if you wear a suit, unless
you happen to be an old black man.
12. Do you have the right to sing the blues? Yes, if: a.
your first name is a southern state--like Georgia; b. you're blind;
c. you shot a man in Memphis; d. you can't be satisfied; No,
if: a. you were once blind but now can see; b. you're deaf; c. you
have a trust fund.
13. Neither Julio Iglesias nor Barbra Streisand can sing the blues.
14. If you ask for water and your baby gives you gasoline, it's
the blues. Other blues beverages are: a. wine; b. Irish whiskey;
c. muddy water. Blues beverages are NOT: a. Any mixed drink; b.
Any wine kosher for Passover; c. Yoo Hoo (all flavors).
15. Some Blues names for women: a. Sadie; b. Big Mama; c. Bessie.
16. Some Blues Names for men: a. Joe; b. Willie; c. Little Willie;
d. Lightning. Persons with names like Sierra, Sequoia, Ashley or
Trevor will not be permitted to sing the blues no matter how many
men they shoot in Memphis.
17. Other Blues Names (Starter Kit) a. Name of Physical infirmity
(Blind, Cripple, Asthmatic) b. First name (see above) or name of
fruit (Lemon, Lime, Kiwi) c. Last Name of a dead President (Jefferson,
Johnson, Fillmore, etc.). My personal bluesname: Skip-Toothed Watermelon
McKinnley. My friend Jim
came up with Hobblin' Pickles Washington, although, technically,
a pickle is not a fruit.