Play It From The Heart

Play It From The Heart
Submitted by Dave

I started having low back problems in my late 20’s and it steadily got worse over the years. At 33, my disk ruptured and I was paralyzed from the waist down until the neurosurgeon performed emergency surgery that night. He told me I would be out of work for about six months recouping and said I would have to go through physical therapy to try to gain back as much mobility as I could.

I was married for 8 years at the time and three months after the surgery my wife decided to leave the marriage. At the time she left, I was only able to walk downstairs at home. I couldn’t bend, twist, sit or anything that would damage the rods and pins they put in my spine. Two months after I returned to work, I was laid off. The time span of these incidents were December 2003 for the surgery, March 2004 for my wife leaving and June 2004 for being laid off work.

While I was recouping from the surgery, I couldn’t do anything but either lay down or walk around the house 10 minutes at a time. I asked my friend to bring my Strat and SG and to hook up my wireless system to my amp in the basement. I have a split level house and my gear is in the basement but my bedroom is upstairs and I couldn’t navigate stairs. I laid in the bed and done nothing for three months other than write music, come up with new original lyrics and play the songs that Buddy, BB, Muddy, John Lee and Bo Diddly had played that led to my style of playing. I still have to attend physical therapy from time to time but I’m blessed to have a great job and take care of my aging family members.

I experienced and gained so much more respect listening to the greatest bluesmen, reading about them and dissecting their music after this happened to me. I have been coming to Buddy and BB’s concerts since I was 7, I’m 43 now. Every concert I attend, I pick up something as a musician that I didn’t know before or some small nuance to add to my repertoire.

When Buddy came to Greensboro 6 years ago he was kind enough to talk to me and a friend for a few minutes after the show and I’ll never forget what he said when I was talking about music and the industry of music success. [pullquote]His words were “Keep playin’ what you’re playin’ son. Play it from the heart and give them 100% of what you got every time you play.”[/pullquote] I have never forgot that simple but yet powerful sentence nor the size of his hand when he shook mine and put his hand on my shoulder. Although he’s never heard me, knows me or seen me before, that moved me to give it all I have every time I pick up the guitar.

I have been fortunate enough to attend two of Buddy’s concerts so far this year and if he comes back to NC I will attend again. I’m always standing at the stage wanting his autograph and to shake his hand at the end of the concert because of the utmost respect I have for the man and for his music. My now girlfriend had never heard of Buddy until I introduced her to his music when we started dating and she experienced her first concert 4 years ago.

It was wonderful to read Buddy’s book and that he received the Kennedy Center Honors this year. It’s my plan to come to Chicago next January and try to get an interview with Buddy at Legends. I just started a website dedicated to the blues and haven’t finished populating content for the founders of the blues as my contribution back to how the blues got me through my hard times. Not surprising, Buddy’s content is the longest one I have because he’s the one I’ve seen the most and now I have a lot more to add from the book.

I wish you the very best Buddy and bandmates and hope you have a prosperous year. You give us 100% every time you take the stage and for that I am most thankful. Attached is my collection of Buddy Guy items.



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