A Primer For Beginners
1. Most blues begin with "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, such as "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 else that rhymes. Sort of. "Got me a good woman with the meanest dog in town. He got teeth like Margaret Thatcher and he weighs ’bout 500 pounds."
4. The blues are not about limitless choices.
5. Blues cars are Chevies 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. Only 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 minor 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 d. taupe e. peach
9. You can’t have the blues in an office or a shopping mall; the lighting is all wrong.
10. Good places for the Blues:
a. the highway b. the jail house c. an empty bed
11. Bad places for the Blues:
a. K mart b. Gallery openings c. weekends in the Hamptons
12. No one will believe it’s the blues if you wear a suit, unless you happen to be an old black man.