...more songs than even I remember. My oldest musical friend, Sue Lothrop, called the other day and said she was working on an old tune we had worked up together a long time ago (that would be the early 70s). She said it was called “Blown Away Again” and recited a few lines on the phone but I drew a total blank. In fact I denied writing it and when she told me she had me on cassette singing it I still thought it must be somebody who sounded like me. Well last week I was in Montreal (sadly, for the funeral of a cousin who had been a big supporter of my music) and she sat me down and played me the tape and there’s no denying it – it’s me, singing and playing chords I never played before or since. She filled in the blanks and cleaned it up (literally, as she replaced the line “so I had a drink and a toke” - and I guess that line might even explain my memory lapse. So is it still intellectual property if you can’t remember you wrote it?
Speaking of old songs, I had a great Blues in the Schools session with the youngest class I’ve ever had to deal with (grade 2 or 3) and when I opened it up for questions, one of the little ones asked me to sing the first song I ever wrote. Well I happen to remember the first song I wrote, though I couldn’t quite get through the whole thing. It’s called “The Family That Cared”...”You went off to war in 1939, came back a hero after serving your time, thought you fought as well as you could, you were very sure that you understood, some of the quys who came back said ‘nobody cares’, but thank heaven you’ve got a family that cares”. It was a song for my dad, but he never heard it. The kids were loving my version of blues history but I restrained myself from launching into the legend of Robert Johnson. The last time I was with a group this age and had them all wide-eyed telling them Robert Johnson had made a “deal with the devil” at the crossroads and how Robert was chasing women until the husband of one of them gave him some poison whiskey...at which point the teacher stood up at the back of the class and gave me a bit of a dirty look. We wrote a song called the “Room 5 Blues” and their teacher recorded it and put it up on YouTube <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClmpaG6OCe4> . You won’t see the kids on the video (privacy issues) but you’ll hear them singing.