How-to Kit for writing The Blues
1. Most Blues begin, "Woke up this morning."
2. "I got a good woman," is a bad way to begin the Blues,
'less you stick something nasty in the next line, like "I got
a good woman with the meanest face in town."
3. The Blues is simple. After you get the first line right,
Then find something that rhymes ...sort of: "Got a good
woman...with the meanest face in town. Got teeth like
Margaret Thatcher and she weigh 500 pound."
4. The Blues are not about choice. You stuck in a ditch: you
stuck in a ditch, ain't no way out.
5. Blues cars: Chevys and Cadillacs and broken down
trucks. Blues don't travel in Volvos, BMWs, or Sport
Utility Vehicles. Most Blues transportation is a Greyhound
bus or a southbound train. Jet aircraft and
state-sponsored motor pools ain't even in the running.
Walkin' plays a major part in the blues lifestyle. So does
fixin' to die.
6. Teenagers can't sing the Blues. They ain't fixin to die
yet. Adults sing the Blues. In Blues, "adulthood" means
being old enough to get the electric chair if you shot a man
7. Blues can take place in New York City, but not in
Hawaii or anyplace in Canada. Hard times in St. Paul or
Tucson is just depression. Chicago, St. Louis, and Kansas
City are still the best places to have the Blues. You cannot
have the blues in any place that don't get rain.
8. A man with male pattern baldness ain't the blues. A
woman with male pattern baldness is. Breaking your leg cuz
you skiing isn't the blues. Breaking your leg cuz a'
alligator be chompin' on it is.
9. You can't have no Blues in an office or a shopping mall.
lighting is wrong. Go outside to the parking lot or sit by
10. Good places for the Blues:
c. empty bed
d. bottom of a whiskey glass
Bad places for the Blues:
b. gallery openings
c. Ivy League institutions
d. golf courses
11. No one will believe it's the Blues if you wear a suit,
happen to be a' old black man, and you slept in it.
12. Do you have the right to sing the Blues?
a. you're older than dirt
b. you're blind
c. you shot a man in Memphis
d. you can't be satisfied.
a. you have all your teeth
b. you were once blind but now can see
c. the man in Memphis lived.
d. you have a retirement plan or trust fund.
13. Blues is not a matter of color. It's a matter of bad
luck. Tiger Woods cannot sing the blues. Gary Coleman
could. Ugly white people also got a leg up on the blues.
14. If you ask for water and Baby give you gasoline, it's
Other acceptable Blues beverages are:
b. whiskey or bourbon
c. muddy water
d. black coffee.
The following are NOT Blues beverages:
a. mixed drinks
b. kosher wine
d. sparkling water
e. double, decaf, lowfat latte
15. If it occurs in a cheap motel or a shotgun shack, it's a
Blues death. Stabbed in the back by a jealous lover is
another Blues way to die. So is the electric chair,
substance abuse, and dying lonely on a broken down cot.
You can't have a Blues death if you die during a tennis
match or getting liposuction.
16. Some Blues names for women:
b. Big Mama
d. Fat River Dumpling
17. Some Blues names for men:
c. Little Willie
d. Big Willie
18. Persons with names like Sierra, Sequoia, and Rainbow
can't sing the Blues no matter how many men they shoot in
19. Make yer own Blues name (starter kit):
a. name of physical infirmity (Blind, Cripple, Lame, etc.)
b. first name (see above) plus name of fruit (Lemon, Lime,
c. last name of President (Jefferson, Johnson, Fillmore,
For example, Blind Lime Jefferson, or Cripple Kiwi
20. I don't care how tragic your life is: you own a
cannot sing the blues. You best destroy it -- with fire, a
spilled bottle of Mad Dog, or get out a shotgun. Maybe
your big woman just done sat on it. I don't care.