ZZ Top Blues

5 Sep

“Is it better to feel pain, or feel nothing at all?” was asked. I thought for a moment then concluded that it was better to feel pain. At least you know you exist.

But feeling vapid and void has its own low merits on occasion.

Stratocaster on lap, hands wiped clean of sweat and condensation from the short, sculpted glass that’s been seeing a lot of neat VO poured, a perfunctory deep breath that doesn’t come close to cleansing and the fingers lay waiting on clueless frets for cue to follow as the deflated day moans it’s last promise for tomorrow while evening has stealthily enveloped the room within her darkened grasp.

The blues always has a way of combining both the pain and the nothingness, doesn’t it? In either case, the blues are always there to gently cradle your damp and throbbing heart and also offer the experience of empty consolation. At least it’s with someone you have history with.

Sure Got Cold After The Rain Fell
Blues, the real get down on your knees, tears mercilessly battering insignificant meteorite craters into the passé sun blistered dust, elbows to belly, overgrown fingernails digging in palms, incoherent caterwauling to the newly now believable God … these are the blues that deconstruct with a sinister scalpel to the soul.

Beyond the MTV antics, the fuzzy guitars and all, ZZ Top is a top-notch, righteous blues outfit that deserves more than an afterthought to the videos.

I especially enjoy the biting lyrics “Your worry’s superficial / Cause you slept on through the night”.

If you’re home early in the mornin’
You hear that rain to fall,
With thunderbolts and lightning
The wind begins to call.

Your worry’s superficial
Cause you slept on through the night
But stormy weather keep you wond’rin’
If ev’rything’s all right.

And it sure ’nuff got cold after the rain fell,
Not from the sky but from my eye,
Not from the sky, from my eye.

2,000 Blues
Meant to be heard live this one is, in a seedy, Pabst-flowing, not enough chairs for the few beat-up tables, shot dispensing, dank and dingy roadhouse known not for its ambiance, but for the house band that plays electric blues well past state law closing time.

Ten thousand clouds
On a rainy rainy day
Couldn’t wash away
All the dust and the haze.
But I tried and I tried
To search for all the clues,
Why I can’t wash away
These 2,000 blues.

Sure Got Cold After The Rain Fell

2,000 Blues
ZZ Top: One Foot In The Blues [1994]

Addendum
Burned to a crisp. Both my skin after a week in Vermont (let me tell you that SPF4 is not good enough), and my body after the long, brutal and inhumane hours I worked to catch up on my own pile and then cover for someone else. Yesterday was a day I’ll have to account for at the end of my life when someone asks me why I was so lazy on 09/04/10. Did nothing but watch movies on Netflix, read, and kept falling in and out of sleep as if Morpheus was a treasured friend.

But, the thinking … the gnawing … the fantasy … still there and palpable. So unlike me.

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