Seasick Steve: When you find an edge you gotta milk it

SS Steve1

On 27 Oct 2017 I was interviewed by Leon Economides on Mix93.8 FM on his Rockit Scientist show. We were there to discuss The Story Of Rock and Roll, what the book was about and how it came about. The interview was great and it lead to me getting my own show on Mix 93.8. The first version of TSO3RS The Story Of Rock and Roll Radio Show took place on 21 Dec 2017. It was a significant date 2112, significant for Rush, significant for the show and significant because I gave up smoking that night. The point here is that the start of the radio show led to a slight change in the TSORR website. The website would now evolve in tandem with the radio show and should be seen as a companion to the show. The web site allows me to post stuff that I play on the Radio Show and gives you more insight than what I could do just with either medium alone.

On TSO3RS # 4 I played Seasick Steve and the track Thunderbird. I mentioned that there was more to the story behind Seasick Steve but that I didn’t want to spoil it as the story we hear is very cool i.e. the story is that Steve was a hobo who found his way onto Jools Holland’s 2006 New Year’s eve show, played a song and made a huge impression and basically” got discovered” He ended up winning a MOJO award for best new artist in 2007 and he has pretty much been touring and playing festivals ever since. This is great and I could not be happier because he plays good music and everybody deserves a break.

In the music business you have to have an edge, something that makes you stand out. Being basically a homeless person certainly worked out for Seasick Steve. So that was pretty cool and a nice feel good story, except it isn’t quite like that. According to a guy called Matthew Wright who was working on a biography about the singer, Seasick Steve turns out to be Session Man Steve. I have no problem with this whatsoever. Gene Simmons is not really a Demon, the guy in the Village People was not really a red Indian, Dani Filth isn’t a devil worshipper, Alice Cooper is a normal guy. Rock and roll has hundreds of examples of people who had to invent or reinvent themselves to get to the top. It’s a business built on image and larger than life personalities. The fact that a talented session man who was making a living in the age of disco needed to drop out and come back as a ”66” year old blues bum is just fine with me. Here is the article as it appeared in the Guardian.

https://www.theguardian.com/music/musicblog/2016/sep/29/seasick-steve-session-musician-ramblin-man-book

 

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