Friday, May 29, 2015

Michael Bloomfield, Blues Guitarist & Bullshit Artist

Sweet Blues: A Film about Mike Bloomfield, a DVD included with the CD set From His Head to His Heart to His Hands, features an undated audio interview with the blues guitarist (who died in 1981). In it Bloomfield recounts his experiences playing rowdy clubs in Chicago in the early 1960s.

Bloomfield: I’d be up there playing and some dude would pull a gun on another dude and another dude would pull a knife on another dude and the whole band would hide. Oh man, I remember a time I was standing at a bar and a guy walked in and he took a woman’s head and slammed it on the bar top. He said, “Bartender, get this bitch a beer.” Well, that freaked everybody out. That was just --

Interviewer: How would she recover from it?

Bloomfield (astonished at the interviewer’s obtuseness): Her head! Her severed head!

This tall tale is immediately followed by clips from his ex-wife and his friend, blues harmonica player Charlie Musselwhite.

Susan Beuhler: I don’t think of Michael as a liar because I always knew if he was telling the truth or not. But I think most everybody considered Michael the biggest liar they’ve ever met and they would never trust anything that he ever said.

Charlie Musselwhite: I never knew when he was telling the truth or lying because he could tell both equally well.