ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 27, 1985
By Steve Newton
Buddy Guy and Junior Wells brought their hearty brand of Chicago blues to the Commodore last Friday and Saturday (September 20 and 21). Buddy’s backup musicians warmed things up with the Stones’ “Miss You” before Guy himself stepped out and tore into a bit of Elmore James’ “Dust My Broom”.
With his Dean Markley amp set up at center stage, 48-year-old Buddy worked his trademark red Guild through gritty versions of Muddy Waters’ “I Just Want to Make Love to You” and Don Nix’ “Going Down”. Then his old blues-buddy Junior appeared–immaculately decked out in a three-piece suit and silver fedora–and it was time for Jimmy Reed’s “What You Want Me to Do”, which Junior sang and played harmonica to.
When Buddy returned after a break for Friday night’s second set he talked about playing the blues “till six o’clock in the morning!” But it didn’t quite turn out that way. After a couple of songs he tried to get the crowd to sing along with him, but only a small fraction of the audience joined in. That didn’t go over too well with Buddy. “We’re not gonna play ‘Boogie Chillen’ ’cause you won’t sing,” he warned. And that didn’t go over too well with some of the crowd. “Bullshit,” cried someone near the stage, “you play it. You play it!”
And once Junior finally came out (Buddy had to go fetch him himself) things got worse. Junior stopped one song just as it was getting going and lectured the band about playing it at the wrong tempo. Buddy seemed ticked off about this and wouldn’t play at all when they started the song over again.
Then he played a few angry licks, leaned his guitar against his amp, and walked off.
End of show, unfortunately.