Non-stop talking blues

VALI enjoyed talking recently with Nate Wilcox, a very perceptive interviewer, for the Let It Roll podcasts over the last few months. We recorded one on Iggy Pop, one on David Bowie, and finally a podcast on Brian Jones.

Now they’ve published our final talk, on my collaboration with Val Wilmer, Portrait Of The Blues – an oral history of the music. This was a strange one, as the book’s now out of print. Val and I discussed this recently, and when we have time we want to produce an updated version.

Both of us travelled thousands of miles through the US tracking down blues musicians. Val was there before me (literally and metaphorically), and both our stories overlapped. It was a magical time for both of us; of course, our memories are all the more poignant now that most of them are no longer with us. I remember them all; from Johnny Guitar Watson, who took me for a ride through LA in his Stutz Blackhawk, to the immortal Hubert Sumlin, who set next to me in his basement, with his cat Lucky sitting on his or my lap, Hubert weaving beautiful, quirky stories, and slapping me on the knee for every good joke.

Of course, it was also wonderful working with Val Wilmer, photographed above. Great to see Val gaining well-deserved plaudits this year, most recently on Radio 4.


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