Bluesman Announces 12-Bar Delay In Bringing It On Home

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Vol 32 Issue 07

Airline Food Under Fire From Area Comedian

ROYAL OAK, MI—The airline industry is reeling following a scathing indictment of its in-flight cuisine Saturday by stand-up comedian Tony Campanelli. "How about that chicken breast? It tastes like Wayne Gretzky ought to be shooting it on goal," said Campanelli, publicly blasting the food served by major air carriers in a speech delivered at the House O' Yuks in Royal Oak. "Guys," added Campanelli, addressing the nation's pilots, "you've got the planes. Fly in some fresh ingredients!" No airline has yet issued a response.

Sales Disappointing For First-Ever Hustler Swimsuit Issue

LOS ANGELES—Spokespersons for Larry Flynt Publications are scrambling to explain the poor sales of Hustler magazine's first annual swimsuit issue, crammed from cover to cover with beautiful young women modeling the latest sexy swimwear. "We are utterly baffled," LFP public relations director Kenneth Micklos said of the issue, which sold 17 newsstand copies nationwide. "Our readership demographic is overwhelmingly heterosexual and male, with a strong interest in looking at beautiful women. It's a mystery."

Rwanda Gets Plant

KIGALI, RWANDA—Wracked by years of famine and political unrest, Rwanda bought a plant in an effort to "brighten things up."

U.S. Agriculture Secretary: 'Aw, Let's Not Do Farming Anymore'

DES MOINES, IA—Citing the massive economic woes plaguing the nation's farmers and the severe physical hardship of farming itself, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman announced Monday that he would like to "forget about the whole farming thing altogether."

Local Dad Gets This Show On The Road

ASHEVILLE, NC—Citing an abundance of great things to do in Virginia Beach and a limited amount of time in which to do them, area husband and father of three Ed Minton strongly urged his family to get this show on the road Friday. "Let's go, let's go, let's go," said Minton, eager to get his wife and children into their Dodge Caravan and begin a "super-duper fun" family weekend getaway. After a 40-minute delay, the show finally got on the road at approximately 2 p.m., when Minton's wife and children finally decided to chop-chop.

Merry Zweibelmas To You!

The season of the Zweibelmas-tide is upon us at long last! Only a few shopping-days remain before Sept. 21, the glorious and solemn Day of the Zweibelmas itself. Several months ago in this space I advised my readers to begin preparations for this most holy and auspicious event, which celebrates all things Zweibel. Well, now it is time to behead the fatted ox, eat blood-pudding, and grease the staircase! Zweibelmas is upon us!
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Bluesman Announces 12-Bar Delay In Bringing It On Home

CHICAGO—Area bluesman Willie "Skipbone" Johnson announced plans late Saturday to extend his rendition of the Robert Johnson standard "Dust My Broom" by an additional 12 bars before recapitulating the chorus and bringing it on home.

Blues legend Willie "Skipbone" Johnson, seen here performing on Chicago's South Side. In a surprise mid-song delay Saturday night, Johnson opted to keep it going before bringing it on home.

"We going to keep this thing going," said the Mississippi-born Johnson, 63, officially announcing the delay to an estimated crowd of 250 at Buddy Guy's Legends blues club. Johnson's mojo is widely believed to have been working at the time.

Johnson's backup players, bassist Luther Stubbs and drummer Sonny "Mudcat" Vinson, were the first to be informed of the delay. According to Stubbs, upon the completion of the song's third verse, Johnson gave each of them a sly grin and slight head nod, indicating his desire to keep it going all night long.

The stinging 12-bar guitar solo that comprised the delay was the last in a series of extensions to "Dust My Broom," leaving some in attendance wondering how long Johnson, Stubbs and Vinson would be able to sustain the improvisational intensity of the prolonged instrumental before being forced to take the whole thing on down.

"Man," said Charles "Fathead" Lockwood, a session drummer with Elmore James in the late '50s, sitting in a smoky recess near the back. "Every time he do another D-C-G progression, I think there ain't no way Skipbone can burn it up any hotter, no sir. But ever' time, somehow he do."

While a majority of the blues enthusiasts in attendance were pleased by Johnson's unexpected continuation, relishing the 12 surplus bars of searing, Chicago-style blues guitar, a few voiced concern that Johnson's protracted guitar work might ultimately serve to detract from the song's finish, anticipated by many to be apocalyptic in its mojo.

"No question, Johnson is a great blues guitarist and he did a good job with 'Dust My Broom,'" said David Yablonsky, a Highland Park, IL, blues lover and stock broker. "But in any performance, you reach a point of diminishing returns, and I feel he reached such a point following the verse about his woman leaving him. Had he skipped the extended bridge and brought it on home after verse number two, I think it would have been far more effective."

Yablonsky denied that his opinion was in any way affected by his having to get up early for work the next day.

While the extra effort Johnson put into "Dust My Broom" pleased a majority of the crowd, it also served to fuel speculation that the song would be the last he would play before beginning a self-imposed, half-hour silence.

Peter White, a bartender at Legends, estimated that the band had been playing for "an hour or so" at the time of the delay, and deemed a post-"Dust My Broom" respite likely. "Yeah, he'll probably take a break and then come back," White said at the time. "He's booked to play another set."

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