Happy Birthday, Buddy Guy!!

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Today is the day the godlike guitar legend Buddy Guy graced the world with his presence. Buddy’s rip-roaring, tearing, wailing guitar ability is every bit as legendary as his wild, polka-dot wearing, walking through the crowd, playing with his teeth, one hand tied behind his back stage antics. He’s a Rock and roll Hall of Fame inductee, a five-time Grammy Winner, a record 21 time W.C. Handy award winner, and still putting out some of the best Blues this world has ever seen. Born to sharecroppers in Louisiana, Buddy is, by definition, one of the purest bluesmen alive.

September 25, 1957, he boarded a train bound for Chicago, (to commemorate the day, he has 92557 engraved on all of his guitars) with no place to call his home. He didn’t go with the intention of being a professional musician, but instead just wanting to be a part of the Blues and see the greats as they played. His first break came when he played after Otis Rush at the legendary 708 Club. He played so well that someone called Muddy Waters himself down to see Buddy that night. Not long after that; he got his first recording contract after playing against Otis Rush in a now legendary battle of the bands. When they introduced Buddy, all the audience could hear was him playing guitar… then he burst out of the bathroom, walked across the top of the bar, and, still playing, walked right out the door into the snow, still plugged into the amplifier. Thus began the larger-than-life stage presence that was Buddy Guy. Soon, he was playing as session guitarist at what could be considered the greatest Blues record label to have ever existed, Chess Records, and the rest is sweet Blues history.

[pullquote]“Guitar Legends do not come any better than Buddy Guy. He is feted by his peers and loved by his fans for his ability to make the guitar both talk and cry the blues… Such is Buddy’s mastery of the guitar that there is virtually no guitarist that he cannot imitate.”
– Bill Wyman, The Rolling Stones[/pullquote]

Stevie Ray Vaughan and Eric Clapton, among many other larger-than-life musicians, named Buddy Guy as their greatest influence. Jimi Hendrix, whose crazy style of one-handed and behind the back playing came straight from the book of Buddy, even canceled his shows to watch Buddy play in bars. He once described his affinity for Buddy; “Heaven is sitting at Buddy Guy’s feet while listening to him play guitar”. Buddy’s work is a powerful, wide-ranging, Grammy-winning book of some of the best music in the world. Buddy divides his time between touring, recording, and running his club, “Buddy Guy’s Legends” in Chicago.