Pass it Around

"If I made records for my own pleasure, I would only record Charley Patton songs." - Bob Dylan

Oldest Photograph of Doctor John? Little Mac, the District Attorney and "The Right Trip"

Collection Jim Linderman
Is this one of the earliest (and scarce as federal aid to the 9th Ward) promotional photographs of Dr. John?  Some say uh uh.  A photograph which somehow made it all the way to Michigan.  Little Mac.  Yep.  The best act from the glory days of New Orleans R & B and still on the road.  I found it at an effin' flea market for a buck. 

Guess what else, which you may have missed?  Little Mac won a Grammy this year for Best Blues Album.  I know…you were paying more attention to Taylor Swift.  The good doctor, Mac Rebennack Jr., Malcom John, Dr. John Creaux and The Night Tripper.  Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member, personal hero of mine and now Doctor DOCTOR John, as he has an honorary degree from Tulane University.  I think the last time Mac went to school was 1953.

I am going to guess this photo dates to around the time Mac got his ring finger shot off.  That happened in 1960 or 1961, and might explain his "mis-direction" here emphasizing his OTHER hand, fingers extended and intact.

Dig the horn groove Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys (who also won a Grammy for producing the album) lay down on the track "Revolution" from the Locked Down Lp HERE on the good Doctor's website.  Fonky funky FONKY!

Let's use my bully pulpit here to tell a story.  I've seen Dr. John perform several times, and each time been fortunate.  He's the serious shit.  But my favorite show was a small one.  Dr. John played solo piano in a tiny piano bar smack (yes…"smack" as you will see later)  dab in the middle of Manhattan.  Certainly less than 100 in the place.  It was a piano lesson in two-drink minimum.  It came with a bonus.

Shortly into his performance, Dr. John stopped to acknowledge a member of the audience who was at the table immediately behind me.  He introduced former District of Attorney of New Orleans Harry Connick Sr.  You might know his kid, Harry Connick Jr.  He has a pretty good singing career.

Now Mr. Connick is more than a lawyer.  He is a musician himself who is as deep a part of New Orleans as the Doctor.  A singer and pianist himself.   A pretty good one, too, who once had the nickname "The Singing District Attorney" and who belongs to a supercrewe which marches in Mardi Gras.  Mr. Connick had the good taste to have James Booker, the one-eyed genius piano player, give lessons to his son.

However, Harry senior also has a fixation against drug use.  It is here where the "smack" comes in.  As I recall from Dr. John's autobiography (which I read decades ago, so don't hold me to it) Harry Connick Sr. once booted Dr. John OUT OF NEW ORLEANS for drug use.  Yet still Dr. John had the good southern manners to introduce him in the audience.  Two gentlemen, bound by music and culture, respecting each other as the giants they are.  Even if I get the story wrong here…this was two fellows on the two sides of the law respecting each other.   I turned and shook the former D.A's hand.

As this is a Dylan site, but really a place for me to muse on music…I'll add the tenuous Dylan connection!  Remember Dr. John's hit record "Right Place, Wrong Time" from back in 1973?  Bob Dylan wrote a line of it.  Dylan, Bette Midler and Doug Sahm each contributed a line.   Dylan's contribution?  "I'm on the right trip, but I'm in the wrong car."  Now that is a pretty good line to give away Bob, but after all, it's the Doctor.

Would you like to read a wikipedia biography of a musician which simply does not stop?

SEE HERE.  I'd shoot off a FINGER for those credits.

Also, here's that horn riff.  Dig it, but go to the Doctor's website too.  Oh...and CREDIT MY PHOTOGRAPH dammit.  I've never seen another, and if you are going to use it, you better photoshop out the grunge spots, or I'll know you stoled it from me.