Chicago, 1967

Smokey Smothers & Applejack

Here is a deteriorating photo of guitarist Smokey Smothers, and myself, enjoying a couple brewskis. We are also deteriorating, ha ha! Looks like I got a head start on my beer. I got the brown coat from an English record collector named Pete Brown, who lived in Chicago at the time. I liked the English tailoring. Oh, this was August 1967. Note the unruly 60s doo. We are standing in front of a Bogart poster, appropriately.

Mother Blues was a club in the Old Town neighborhood on the north side of Chicago. It was run by a woman named Lorraine Blue, who had a great big pet raccoon named Coony Rac.

I got to play a gig here with guitarist John Lee Granderson as well as jamming with various people.

Artists who played here were guys like Otis Rush, Howling Wolf, Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, and a lot of mostly East Coast touring bands like David Blue. Even the Jefferson Airplane came through, and as I recall, nobody in Chicago knew what to make of them at the time.

I would walk a mile through the snow to the club so I could shoot pool and listen to the greats of the blues. We thought those days would last forever.