Wednesday, October 26, 2011

"LET’S GET ON THIS THING!" (Or, "MR. ITCH, MEET DR. SCRATCH")

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It was beginning to drive me a bit insane. (OK, that’s more of a putt than a drive but...)

Over the last couple months one of my most frequently used expressions has become “Let’s get ON this thing!”

Then one day brother Napoleon asked me, “Where’d you get that one from?” and I confessed that I couldn’t quite remember. It was definitely something I’d picked up along the way, not an STMcC original, because in the dark recesses of what’s left of my mind I could hear the “correct” vocal inflection, I knew the way it was “supposed” to be said, and so I also knew I was borrowing it from someone.

I continued using that expression while the source of it remained on the tip of my mind, just out of reach, teasing me, itching me. Arrgghhh! I just can't... quite... scratch it ...damn it!

I told Nappy it reminded me of the Howlin’ Wolf expression I’ve used for 30+ years (“Alright, let’s get on it”) but I knew this was something different – it’s meant to be said more forcefully. And yet I couldn’t quite shake the feeling that “Let’s get ON this thing!” went back to the Blues. It seemed, and even felt, “Black” and “musical” to me . . . but if not Howlin’ Wolf, who?  And where?



Well, just 15 minutes ago – after many weeks of mental anguish – I finally GOT IT! It struck me suddenly, like a Bolt O' Lightnin’!

I was about to play Gary Moore’s album “Blues For Greeny”, and that got me to thinking about the Blues in general, and the Blues in general got me to thinking about Lightnin’ Hopkins, and that inspired me to look up a certain Lightnin’ Hopkins album on a website. Yes, that Lightnin’ Hopkins (is there another?) – the singer of “Coffee Blues”, “Gambler’s Blues”, “Lonesome Dog Blues”, “Big Car Blues”, and--
WAIT!  STOP!  HOLD IT!

"Big Car Blues"? . . . "Big Car Blues"?! . . . "Big Car--"
Holy Amnesia, Batman, I think that’s it!
Mr. Itch, meet Dr. Scratch! Ahhhhh...



So, instead of playing Gary Moore’s “Blues For Greeny”, I put on a certain Lightnin’ Hopkins album I have which contains songs (including “Big Car Blues”) I’ve owned since before my waters were muddy, and here’s what I heard :



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBQHSwV9ByA

OK, so it’s really “Step ON this thing!” rather than “Let’s get ON this thing!” (Please don’t “86” me; I only missed it by that much.)

I loves me some Lightnin’ Hopkins, but more, much more than this,
I’m gonna say it my way!

~ Stephen T. McCarthy

YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t Amazon.com, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.
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7 comments:

Pooh Lynth said...

Every boy should own or befriend someone who owns a 59 Caddy before they die. Oh the fins, the fins, and the dangerous points, sharp as the American Dream was in 59. I miss the fins but most miss the point.

Git on it!

DiscConnected said...

Stephen-

You hooked me with the first sentence.

I ususally follow up "driving me crazy" with a driving analogy that would indicate it's not a long trip, but the golf reference was one I'd not heard and I may just be pirating for future use.

So if I say it to you after I forget where I got it, remember, it's a homage, not theft.

Isn't it funny the little phrases that stay with us?

Now I wanna listen to "Blues For Greeny"

LC

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

GENERAL POOHREGARD ~
Amen, Brotherman, amen!

I used to think it was so funny that we'd be riding around in Cranium's Classic Caddy, but we'd all have to climb out and push it whenever it was necessary for the car to go backwards. Do you remember? His Caddy had NO REVERSE! Damn, that's GREAT stuffs! Someone oughta write a book...!

>>...sharp as the American Dream was in 59

Alright, who is this really, and what have you done with my friend Pooh? ("Is your friend retahded?") Who's writing your material for you, my retahded friend?!

Hey, McPooh, question here...

Q: When we saw Warren Zevon at the Wiltern Theatre, what year do you suppose that was? Gimme yer best guess. (The reason I axe is because in this Zevon biography I'm reading, which I done had borrowed from my friend DiscConnected, mention is made of a great show he played at the Wiltern Theatre; even his ex-wife is raving about it, and they give the show's date. So... what year do you think that was? We might have been at the concert in question, and if so, (surprise!) we were far from being the biggest stars in the audience!


DOCTOR DISCDUDE ~
Ha! Pirate it all ya want, Captain Jolly Roger, but ya won't be stealing it from me 'cause I stole it from someone else.

I've heard that one a number of times. In fact, I almost didn't use it because it's so "unoriginal". But then I thought: Oh, hell, I'm just "insane" enough to reuse this oldie but goodie.

Truth is, that's probably the only unoriginal phrase in the whole blog bit. (No wonder you liked it - it's the one thing that didn't come from MY mind. Ha!)

>>...Now I wanna listen to "Blues For Greeny"

And that's funny too, because you got it reversed. You're supposed to wanna listen to Po' Lightnin'. (I don't think Hopkins could sing four consecutive songs without making a self-reference to "Po' Lightnin'".)

Anyway... glad ya liked the line I stole. As a thief, I've always prided myself on my fine taste; I only steal the best.
[;o)}

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Kelly Robinson said...

Always borrow your catchphrases from the best!

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

KELLY ~
Yep, I only steals good stuffs!

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

julie fedderson said...

I've recently started a fascination with the blues, and your blogs are helping me to find some fabulous artists. Thank you!

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

JULIE ~
You're welcome! I'm glad to be of assistance and happy to know that you're finally getting... "ON this thing!"

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'