The End / Terminé

Another bit of brilliance from Frederic!


Will ashes remember the Fire?
Will the Night hear from the Light?
“I” was a play on words
and so were the shadows of the world.

The stars are veiled, the poet has failed:
nothing will remain
but the dark whiteness of Silence.

© Frédéric Georges Martin

Les cendres se souviendront-elles du Feu
et la nuit, de la Lumière ?
“Je” était un jeu de mot,
de même que les ombres du monde.

Les étoiles sont voilées, le poète a échoué
et rien ne restera
que l’obscure blancheur du Silence.

© Frédéric Georges Martin


Illustration: White Line on Black (Jiro Yochihara, 1968)

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Tribute to Rock genius – John Lee Hooker

Tribute to Rock genius – John Lee Hooker


John Lee Hooker

In the 1940s John Lee Hooker recorded under numerous names to avoid contractual disputes. There were hundreds of little recording studios, some in rooms above grocery stores or such like, and John must have signed a myriad of exclusive contracts. He probably spent his days going from one to the other laying down exclusive tracks. At the time he was mainly acoustic, had a great imagination and improvised a lot. So even if it was the same track that he started off laying down by the end it would be something different.

Like every other blues singer who stayed in the business he went electric after the war and by the 1950s had developed a number of different styles. His most successful was his boogie style. He’d always had this natural broken rhythm. It was quite typical for the Mississippi Bluesmen to base their songs round a repetitive rhythm. It was most pronounced in the North Mississippi Country Blues but it pervaded the area. Coming from a poor share-cropping background John would have been steeped in it. John’s was different because he would interrupt and break that rhythm. It created a more jerky style. When coupled with John’s deep, rich, resonant voice it was hypnotic. His first hit came with ‘Boogie Chillun’ using that boogie style. It was different to the piano boogie of the 1930s and 40’s but even more effect on his electric guitar in the sweaty blues clubs. It created a great rhythm to dance to.

Unlike other Blues singers from Mississippi John migrated to Detroit and missed out Chicago. That was mainly because he worked in the car industry performing in the blues clubs in the evenings. He made Detroit his home and signed to labels such as Vee-Jay and Modern. He did record some stuff for Chess and I wonder how his style would have fitted in there alongside Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters. But that was not to be.

When the British Beat boom took off in 1964 John found his boogie style particularly popular with the British Bands. Numbers like ‘Boom Boom’ and ‘Dimples’ were on the repertoires of many bands. The Animals were firm devotees and did a great version of his chilling ‘I’m Mad’. He toured Britain and found an eager young white audience.

As time passed some of John’s songs became standards with people like Johnny Winter and George Thoroughgood giving them a real shift of gears. ‘One Bourbon, One Scotch and One Beer’ being a real crowd pleaser. Others like ‘I’m in the mood’ and ‘Tupelo’ were slower numbers. He could do a real sensual style, as with on ‘I’m in the Mood’ with that rich voice burning with sexuality. A number of his songs were little vignette’s of stories that he put together. ‘Boogie Chillun’ is about a young kid who was burning to get out into the clubs and dance. ‘Tupelo’ was about the terrible flooding that occurred in the 1930s when the Mississippi burst its banks and many lives were lost. ‘I’m Mad’ was about infidelity and murder.

He was always successful but it wasn’t really until he made the album ‘Healer’ late in his life that he really became a megastar. Doing duets with Bonnie Raitt, Carlos Santana and George Thoroughgood found him a wider appreciation. He followed that up with albums like ‘Mr Lucky’.

It was a great end to an illustrious career and much deserved.

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5 thoughts on “Tribute to Rock genius – John Lee Hooker”

    1. Hooker’s story is actually as thus:
      As a teenager he lied about his age to get into the army. Later he drifted to Memphis, Cincinatti and finally to Detroit where he settled, aged 23. Although he had been taught how to play guitar by his stepfather earlier, he didn’t have one until given it by T-Bone Walker in 1947.
      He worked only as a janitor at a car factory in Detroit by day, playing clubs at night.
      He always maintained he didn’t like Chicago because there were too many other guitar players there. He made his first recordings in November 1948 – Boogie Chillun was one of them.
      In 1949 he recorded as John Lee Hooker, Delta John, Birmingham Sam & His Magic Guitar, The Boogie Man and John Lee Booker.
      In 1950 he recorded as Texas Slim and Johnny Williams
      1951 as John Lee Booker and from summer as John Lee Hooker and remained as such.

            1. I should really thank the Bluesologist Robert Palmer – he who wrote and published ‘Deep Blues’ in 1981. I sent him a letter back then with a load of questions and he replied and we subsequently corresponded every 6 months or so over several years. He showed me the way, who to listen to, who not to, who was original, who wasn’t (too many of them) etc.
              I couldn’t have had a more knowledgeable person.

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Poetry – The Magic Word

The Magic Word

I’m looking for that magic word

That could change the whole world.

It doesn’t exist.


I’ve tried stringing words together

To create a supernatural sequence

They simply can’t resist.


I’ve resorted to writing stories

To capture mystical connections

And will not desist.


In frustration I’ve tried whole novels

To recite the esoteric truth

With clenched fist!


The reality finally hit home

That there is no magical solution

But I will persist!


Opher – 3.1.2020



When I look around me at all the horrendous problems of the environment, war, poverty, overpopulation and cruelty I throw my arms up in despair.

It seems to me that the solutions are so very simple. There is no need to create a hell-hole out of the planet. It is purely greed and selfishness that creates this mess. There is plenty enough to go around.

It strikes me that all we need is better management and leadership with compassion, altruism and fairness.

But that is far too much to ask for.

What is that magic word to put things right?

800 billion dollars spent on weaponry in the Middle East. Has mankind got its priorities right?

Iran is looming!! Must be a Presidential election – or impeachment!!

Opher's World

Christine Valentor sent this through in a response to my post on wishes for 2017. It certainly made me think. Thank you Christine.

‘800 billion dollars has been spent on weaponry in the middle east. (Yes BILLION!) Somehow, the US produced it all. Just pulled it out of their back pocket, you know how they do. Miraculous, is it not? And yet, kids in school cannot have desks, heat, air conditioning, text books, safety nor proper food. Not to mention music, art and theater education.’

We live in times of austerity where there is no money for the disabled, for the poor, for schools, social services or the NHS, yet there is a bottomless pit for military force.

800 Billion to blow countries to pieces, send populations migrating, destroy homes, kill children, breed fundamentalism and terrorism and make the world unsafe.

No money for nurses, care workers or schools.


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Behind the Blue Door

What better password could there be Frederic? The garden awaits! Thanks Frederic!


Behind the Blue Door
there’s a garden and more,
flowers falling from an apple tree
and all what the eyes cannot see.

Before the Blue Door
one must stand still and silent,
there’s no door handle
but a Message to your heart:

Love! Love is the password!

© Frédéric Georges Martin


La Porte bleue © 2020– F.G.M.

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The Blues Muse – A unique novel that tracks the course of Rock Music – Chapter 1

I know of no other book quite like this. I love it.

Opher's World

I wrote this book in 2015. I think it is quite unique. What do you think?

This is Chapter 1

Tutwiler Mississippi

It was a desultory day at the railway station at Tutwiler. The Mississippi August sun was unrelenting and the air thick with moisture. No matter how used I became to the sultry heat, it was draining. The sweat beaded on my skin and refused to evaporate into the over-laden air. My overalls were already sodden and my shirt, with all its many holes, was clinging to my body. My red bandana, tied loosely round my neck, soaked up some of the moisture and stopped the sweat running down my back. It was still early morning and sure to get worse before noon. I was grateful not to be labouring in those fields. My guitar was my passport to an easier life. I wanted free of those plantations and…

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Tribute to Rock Genius – The Last Poets

These guys were militant and wrote poetry that were the seeds of rap. I love them.

Opher's World


The Last Poets

The Last Poets were a group of Black New York poets who put their highly political, Black consciousness poetry to music. The result was chilling. It had great power and the ability to move people. The poets changed but the message and music remained and the message was clear.

This was the early seventies with the Black Panther movement fresh in the memory, Black Power and Black Pride on the agenda. They didn’t pull the punches. They wanted fairness, justice and equality and knew that history proves that nobody gets to move forward without a struggle. The establishment do not relinquish an inch of ground without a fight. They were prepared for battle.

Their message was so strong, so strong in fact that the CIA pricked up their ears and started showing interest..

They might not have entered too much into the collective consciousness or bothered the…

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Australia is Burning

soulgifts - Telling Tales

Bushfire in NSW

I guess you have all seen and heard the news about the fires that are ravaging our parched country here in Australia.  I don’t want to inundate you with yet more images and stories of the devastating losses to property, human and animal lives.

So many stories are emerging of the good, the bad and the downright ugly. The looters. The scammers. The ones who deliberately light yet more fires.

People are venting their anger. Looking for who to blame. And it is not a surprising reaction to extreme trauma and unbearable grief. Our Prime Minister is copping a lot of it.

What is also emerging is a groundswell to move away from that and begin to focus on community and unity. So many unsung heroes are digging deep to help. Much needed overseas assistance and donations are pouring in. And here in Australia – here in…

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Sid Vicious Quotes – A sad character from Punk.

You’ve got to love Sid!!

Opher's World

Sid burst upon the scene in 1977 when he was drafted in by Johnny Rotten to replace Glen Matlock in the Sex Pistols. Glen had fallen out with the others. The irony was that Glen could play and Sid couldn’t. But he was John’s friend and he looked good. Besides – it was Punk. All you needed was attitude.

Having said that the Sex Pistols were not only a breath of fresh air but Johnny wrote some amazing songs.

Sid didn’t last long. He rapidly entangled himself with Nancy Spungen and heroin and ended up probably murdering her and killing himself with a overdose.


I’ve only been in love with a beer bottle and a mirror.
I think a lot of the attitude was fabricated. He was a good looking lad out of his depth. The violence and attitude was a cover. He was quite mild mannered really.
I just cash…

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