Thursday, June 11, 2009

What's on your mind?

I need your thoughts and questions in order for this Blog to be of value. Do you want more of my recollections and experiences living with Michael? There seems to be an interest in the equipment he played. I will get that technical stuff if you want. If you find that I am not addressing what you wish to explore I will try my utmost to stay on point. Do you want music streamed on this site? Would you like me to make available some of Michael's writings?
This can only work if you the reader participate. We share a common interest in Michael and together new insights can be brought forth. This Blog is really for you please take advantage of it.
Anxious to please,


Mers said...

Hi Allen.

Mike seemed to be a very spontaneous person. Every time I read something about him it's about how he was full of energy all the time, and I think that's awesome. Do you have any recollection of a Mike "outburst" that resulted in a particularly funny or memorable occasion? Even if it were at home, as kids, or after he was a big star....

Thanks a lot for the Blog, keep writing!


Allen Bloomfield said...

Dear Mario,
An incident occurred at the Apollo Theater while waiting in line to see the headliner. He was with his band mate Mark Naftalin and his wife. Apparently the guy behind them started to hit on Mark's wife.
He went so far as to touch her and Michael charged. Filled with outrageous indignation he got right in the guy's face and screamed,"this is his wife!!!! Where do you get off insulting them? What type of man are you? You have no respect motherfucker, your wrong." The people in line realized Michael was right and they got on his case as well. The pressure was building and the guy actually apologized to Mark, his wife and Michael. He had the heart of a lion when confronted with injustice.

Mers said...

That's a great story, Allen, thanks!

One more question, that perhaps you can put on a post:

Did Mike ever talk about his contemporaries? Was there anyone he really admired? Also, I am very curious about his feelings toward Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood and the British blues guys like Peter Green. I'm sure he'd paid some attention to them as he did Steve's "Til the end of time" with Al, and he talks about EC in that Les Paul documentary...
Just curious to see if he had any personal feelings towards their playing..

Again, thanks for the Blog! Please keep writing!


tylerfriedman said...

Hi Allen,

In response to your questions: yes. I am interested in everything you proposed, and whatever else you share. I imagine there are many other frequent visitors, like myself, who greatly enjoy your posts but don't know what to ask or how to comment. However, since it is clear you'd like to be a more participatory blog, I will try to be more vocal.

For the nonce, I'd like to inquire about Michael's writings. What are they on? Was he an avid writer? I tracked down a copy of "Me and Big Joe" and greatly enjoyed Michael's musicological adventures with the legendary bluesman. I am eager to read more.

Thanks for this great blog,

Allen Bloomfield said...

Hello Mario,
Michael was always enthusiastic about technically proficient players. He respected and admired Eric Clapton's facility and range.
Michael would have liked to have been able to sing like Ray Charles and play exactly like B.B. King, a baby B.B., and said so often.
Jimmy Hendrix was seen as the most innovative of all his peers. The sounds he created were so unique and fresh like the rebirth of a Coltrane. Roy Buchanan was another who could not only play in form but had the ability to accent his interpretation like no other.
I know Michael was aware of the players from England but can't recall anything really specific.
We were both at his manger's office when the Joe Crocker "Mad Dogs and Englishmen" just hit the street. There is a blues medley on it and Michael was knocked out by the exceptional mastery of the idiom.
Although not really a peer, we were watching Tom Jones on TV and he had on Little Richard. Richard and Jones shared the piano bench and sang a series of duets that brought the house down. Michael had said many times that Butterfield was the ultimate harp player and blue's interpreter.
I am sure he was aware of SVR, and Ry Cooder, Luther Allison and many others which he may have spoke about in greater detail with his fellow musicians.
If Michael was moved by an other's playing he would be the first to tell all how fantastic it was. I never heard him speak from his ego on this topic.
Many thanks for the question.
Allen B.

Allen Bloomfield said...

Dear Tyler,
I really appreciate your question and support. Michael was from a very early age an avid reader. His tastes spanned the classics's to erotic literature. He also was a spell binding raconteur. Add a splash of colorful bullshitter and
and we have a writer in the making.
"Me And Big Joe" was the only story that was published. I have the tape where he first told of his travels with "Big Joe" and all that happened while on an adventure exploring famous blueman in the south in the company of a legendary bluesman. Many, many years latter I came across a notebook of his and found that he had written other stories. The first is about an abscess on his arm and is written in the first person. You can hear the influences of Jules Feiffer, Bruce Jay Friedman, Salinger, Terry Southern and Phillip Roth in his writing. He wrote another of a dysfunctional family where all the roles of the members are being eroded by dishonesty and concealment. Then there is the one taken from an experience I shared with Michael. I wanted to fix my brother up with a hot date and one thing after another impeded this good intention as if this gesture angered the Gods.
As an aside when we were kids we both had theses cartoon books that were very much like police portrait kits having a variety of noses and mouths and such to choose from. Then one simply placed the tracing paper over the part and completed the face. Many years later Michael started to draw cartoon like characters that he had seen at bars and clubs. He gave them names and accessories and much like a freak show exaggerated their characteristics. These creations were caustic and insulting.
I mention this as another aspect of self expression.
Again thank you for your interest.
Allen B.

Bloomers Bistro said...

Hi Allen,

We finally got "blogfriendly"! Congratulations on the Bloomfield Burst! If there is any advertising material available through Gibson we would love to display it with pride at Bloomers. We reminisce of your visit with Dan and Laurie and hope to see you all again soon.

We are currently developing a new menu which will include Mike's favorite Chicago Hot Dogs! We know Mike had lots of favorites, can you please share some food stories again with us?

All the best to you and yours,

We hope to see you soon!

Thank you again, for Everything,


Linda and Mike

Allen Bloomfield said...

Dear Linda and Mike,
Boy that's a good question. Michael really got great pleasure from food. The funkier the place the better. In Glencoe where we grew up most of the kids ate at a deli. Mike on the other hand found a place called Bartolli which had a long wood counter and the rest was used just for newspapers, comic books and candy. He would sit at the end of the counter with several comic books and a enormous plate of ravioli and home made Italian bread eating and reading. There wasn't a street vendor that Michael didn't know selling grilled Kielbasi or Italian sausage and peppers. He knew where to get fried fish sandwiches or BBQ ribs.
Chicago had a great Italian beef sandwich with peppers and Au Just dip, in fact the whole thing was dipped in juice. He was no stranger to Oriental cooking and loved lobster Cantonese, black bean shrimp and clams in garlic sauce. When we went out with our parents he would explore oysters on the half shell, tournedos, lamb chops and prime rib. My mother has Hungarian roots and so he loved goulashes, chicken paprikash, and egg noodles.
When he came to Chicago on tour he would stay with Grandma Ida who was a wonderful cook from Eastern Europe and she would make him traditional dishes from the old country.

At home he would make triple deckers sandwiches out of leftovers and get a cookbook out and read the recipes while he ate. He really loved reading those cookbooks.

Last time I saw him in New York he wanted to eat at the Stage Deli, or Ratner's and he loved the soups,
kasha and the mile high sandwich
all washed down with a icy creme soda.

Allen B.

Bloomers Bistro said...

Dear Allen,

We would like to send our thoughts and warm wishes on the eve before Michaels Birthday.

We have been closed for two months, after having dealt with some unforseen issues in the kitchen (tempermental chefs) and making some needed repairs to the restaurant.

It just so happened that our reopening date is set for tomorrow! We are so pleased to celebrate Michaels passion for life, music and food!

Thank you for sharing your memories of and love for your brother.

We hope to see you again soon,

All the best to you and yours!


Mike and Linda

zimbo said...

I think it would be great if you would post some guitar tabs of MB songs such as Albert's Shuffle. What Don Mock did was great but whole songs would be much more helpful.I'm sure there are some members here that can transcribe.

Plus why not ask Hal Leonard to think about doing a whole book on MB guitar tab.