Boogie Man is a thorough documentary account of the life and work of the legendary blues-man John Lee Hooker, but it is also something more. Charles Shaar Murray, himself something of a legend as a rock journalist and author of the prize-winning Crosstown Traffic: Jimi Hendrix and Postwar Pop, spent years on the road with Hooker, talking to what seems like everyone who has ever known him, or working his way through his entire recorded output--but he also spent those years learning what he was writing the book for. This is a book about the blues which addresses important theoretical issues about the nature of popular music, and the cult of generic purity, and it is a book about life and the capacity of art to heal our pain. Charles Shaar Murray combines a serious grasp of what he needs to take from post-modernist notions such as intertextuality or shamanism, and chastened common sense about life and sorrow, with an adult capacity to shut up and, a lot of the time, let John Lee himself do the talking: "I'm goin' to say this, and it's true: the blues was here the day that the world was born. Sadness, loneliness; it comes from man and woman. A woman gets sad 'bout her man done left her, a man gets sad 'bout his woman done left him ... started humming sad songs ... And all the people that I don't see, my song reaches them all over the world." --Roz Kaveney --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Murray's book represents a paradigm of investigative biography: musical nuts and bolts threaded through vividly recounted social history and philosophical muscle, written by a thinking writer who knows exactly how to operate and manipulate language. Sprawling over 500 pages, Murray is word - and comma - perfect." (Philip Clark Gramophone2013-11-11)
"Charles Shaar Murray combines a serious grasp of what he needs to take from post-modernist notions such as intertextuality or shamanism, and chastened common sense about life and sorrow, with an adult capacity to shut up and, a lot of the time, let John Lee himself do the talking" (Roz Kaveney)
"The new foreword drops tantalising hints that the chronology on which the book is based may be out by five or six years...this is a fascinatingly detailed account of an equally fascinating life." (Record Collector)
A vivid biography of John Lee Hooker, from a critically acclaimed journalist
About the Author
Charles Shaar Murray (born 1951) is an English music journalist. His first experience in journalism came 1970 when he was asked to contribute to the satirical magazine Oz. In particular, he contributed to the notorious Schoolkids OZ issue, and was involved in the consequent obscenity trial. He then wrote for the New Musical Express from 1972 until 1986. His writing has also appeared in Q , Mojo, New Statesman, Prospect, Guardian, Observer, Daily Telegraph, and Vogue. He currently writes a monthly column about his life-long love affair with guitars in Guitarist.