The Rolling Stones, Howlin’ Wolf, James Burton & Dope

I remember seeing this when it first aired, I must’ve been five or six years old and I worshipped the Rolling Stones the way my older brother worshipped the Beatles.

My asshole stepfather (who voted for George Wallace in ’68, if you’re still alive out there die you vile prick) never had much to say about the Beatles but the site of the Stones on our b&w tv would send him into a red faced drunken Irish rage. “Dope fiends”! It was the first time I’d ever heard of dope. But I knew, from that moment that some day I’d be a dope fiend.  Anything that made him mad had to be good. 
Anyway, it was because of this cameo I picked up on Howlin’ Wolf and even got my grandmother to buy me his Evil album for Christmas the next year, setting off another life long obsession— old blues records.  Seeing this clip now brings all that back, but I never realized that James Burton, star of Dale Hawkins’ “Suzi Q” and many Ricky Nelson, Bob Luman, Elvis, Gram Parsons, Merle Haggard, etc. hits was backing up the Wolf. He sure sound good, no?  It’s a bit of a long clip but it reminds me of just how the right bit of stimuli could change a kid’s life. I knew I’d never have a 9-5 job or house and family in the suburbs as soon as that first door to another world was cracked open just an inch. If you watch the whole clip there’s a funny Righetous  Brothers ripoffs doin’ a pretty cool version  “Work With Me Annie”, them I don’t remember.

1 thought on “The Rolling Stones, Howlin’ Wolf, James Burton & Dope”

  1. Boy, it’s REAL funny you posted this because a few months ago I was watching this Wolf/Stones clip on YT and wondering, “Man, what would’ve been the reaction to this scene — these rude long-haired Brit pansies sitting adoringly at the feet of their “idol,” a big buck Negro — in the household of some real redneck dad (or, in this case, step-dad)?”And now I know.:)Wolf + Burton = Heaven.And what was with The Explosions? A couple of greasy switchblade-weilding pervs I would NOT want to run into in an empty men’s room.


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