Blues is for straight guys

April 11, 2009

Last night, sitting around on the porch shooting the breeze with Gareth’s dad (Gareth and Jenny are getting married today), he spoke of his love for the blues scene in London in the late 60s. I told him that I had just taught the 12-bar blues form to my students this week. He continued to wax nostalgic about how Brits really “got” the blues — Americans would come over and try to do the blues but failed. I responded: “I’ve never been a blues guy. Blues is for straight guys. And I say that because I’ve never met a gay man that liked the blues: its’ a straight guy thing. And being a composer, I love harmony, and in the blues, there are only 3 chords — BORING. Yes, I understand that the blues is a perfect venue for improvising, but I am just not interested.” He looked mildly surprised but smiled and acknowledged our difference.

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Brad Wood April 11, 2009 at 3:00 pm

There are a few blues artists (at least) that are/were at least bi—John Mayall among them IIRC. But I can’t think of any that are/were exclusively gay. OTOH it would have been likely career-limiting to be open about it, as it has been and may still be in the jazz world.

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