My route to the Blues – Grahame Rhodes
Posted on: Monday, Aug 7, 2006
As you know Rory Gallagher is my main-man and when still at school I acquired a second-hand Italian import of the seminal “Live in Europe” album (1972) – it didn’t have the gatefold sleeve like the UK version. This was undoubtedly when my love of the blues started – from the amazing guitar on “Messin’ With The Kid”, to the acoustic picking on “Pistol Slapper Blues” and the mandolin-driven “Goin’ To My Home Town”. From hearing this stuff I suppose I went back and sought out the original sources of some of these songs.
Like you I have always loved The Fabulous Thunderbirds, and in about 1981/82 saw them support Rockpile at Liverpool University, on a bill that also included a solo Elvis Costello set as a warm-up for a tour – all for Â£2.50 if I remember right. The hordes that stayed in the bar for the T-Birds missed a treat!
Other early blues memories were seeing Muddy Waters support Eric Clapton at the Manchester Apollo – I remember the band delivering a couple of tremendous shuffles before the great man strolled on; also seeing in Manchester the very great Albert King at the tiny International Club. My pal Tony and I were in the club early and as we headed for the bar this imposing figure was seated at another bar puffing on a pipe – the legendary Albert himself! To round off a trio of famous Manchester gigs we also caught Stevie Ray Vaughan at the Apollo – a gig plagued by PA problems that was recorded by the BBC and later played on the Paul Jones Show – happy days indeed!
[Note from Ken : I too was at the SRV gig in Manchester years before I even met Grahame, in fact I was still living in Huddersfield]
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