Thursday, October 12, 2006
history is written by the rca victors
i first heard the name tommy johnson reading some book or other by robert crumb. he had tommy down as the guy who made the pact with the devil at the crossroads. but surely that was robert johnson? that's what i grew up believing.
i wasn't gonna pick no fight with crumb, though. he is the boss.
anyway, robert's fame didn't stop tommy from having his own convoluted influence on the blues scene, even though you'd have to go digging to find out about him. he wrote a song called canned heat blues and a bunch of revivalist geeks in california ripped off the name for their group. they also ripped off all his musical ideas.
canned heat were pretty cool, too, though.
i guess tommy was also ripping somebody off back in the day. could even have been someone white because those slaves sure weren't speaking english and singing gospel when they were herded off the ships and dragged to the market.
you got to give a little, take a little...