Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Music Parable # 5: Keith Richards and Muddy Waters


The Rolling Stones are recordings sessions at the legendary Chess Studios in Chicago. The label owner, Leonard Chess, tells the stones that there is someone who really wants to meet them. The Stones are taken around the corridor and into one of the studio rooms which is being painted. There they find Muddy Waters, paint brush in hand and white paint rolling down his face touching up the roof of the studio. Waters looks to at the Stones, laughs and says, “I like what you boys are doing with my music.”

Muddy Waters (born McKinley Morgansfield), like most black blues musicians, did not sell many records until the late 60s when a white blues audience, having their attention drawn by white rock groups like the Stones and the Beatles began to listen to the original versions of the blues classics that were the staple of many early rock bands. At the time that the Stones first met him, Waters would occasionally take odd jobs, when not working, to try to make ends meet. He lived in a very modest house in a working class neighborhood of Chicago’s South Side. Waters, along with Howlin’ Wolf, Bo Diddley, Little Walter and a score of others would be the first to electrify the blues, effectively inventing the template that rock and roll would be built upon.

Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards would worship Waters - the Stones even taking their name from the Waters song "Rollin' Stone". Richards and Waters would eventually become good friends and Richards would actively advocate for Waters' music citing it as one of his main influences for picking up the guitar in the first place. Richards notes that whenever the Stones were in Chicago, he would stay with Muddy and his wife, where he fondly remembers that: “Every morning, you would be pulled out of bed, thrown in the bath tub, and shoved full of food – whether you wanted it or not.”


Trudy said...

HEllo Alex,

Were did you get this picture?
I would like to use it as a background pictures among many other blues artist.

with kind regards,

Alex Deley said...

Trudy, I just found it in a book. Feel free to grab it as I don't own the copyright.