My taste in music has wandered across the landscape of sound for over 30 years. From the moment I was given my first AM radio back in 1973, I began a love affair with music that has lasted to this very day.
One type of music that has rarely been left off my playlists, is the Delta Blues. Yeah, I can hear the gears working in your head wondering, “how can a transplant from Mexico possibly have an affinity for down-home delta music?” Well, I really can’t answer it with any clear understanding as to the “why” of it all. But I can speak to the how. Back in the day there was a late night (for me anyway) show that was on at about 9 PM in San Diego that focused on Blues. I’d sit there, in the dark, mesmerized by not only the music but the mythos surrounding the legends of the genre. With a whole cadre of men with names like Howling Wolf, Muddy Waters, Lightning Hopkins, T-Bone Walker, and Son House, you can see how a boy’s imagination might run away with itself over the hill and into the bayou.
I can still remember the impact of that one particular story that pushed me to learn as much as I could about the music and the men and women who created it. Muddy Waters was in a band in the mid-40s informally known as “The Headhunters,” because the band would ask to sit in with any house band playing in a bar. Apparently, Muddy’s crew was so “tight and vicious” on-stage that they “cut the heads” off their onstage competition in short order.
That image of a group of finely suited bluesmen usurping the stage from a house band is so incredibly attractive to me, it has spawned more than a few attempts to write screenplays about the idea. Much like the movie “Crossroads,” which was inspired by the legend of Robert Johnson’s attempt to “win” back his soul from the devil, the Muddy Waters story would lend itself well to Hollywood adaptation.