Hey Record Boy,

 Due to the semi-recent passing of John Lee Hooker I just wanted to share this little story.

About five years ago a friend of mine who was a web marketing person for Virgin Records gave me a call to ask me if I wanted to go down to John Lee Hooker's house in Long Beach, where she was going to conduct one of those AOL online chat sessions. I was not a huge fan as I had never had much exposure to his music but I figured what the hell, I'll get to cut out of work early. So we drove down to Long Beach, to see his very non-descript house in a very middle-class type neighborhood.

We were escorted in by an assistant and there he was, dressed in black, sitting on a black leather couch watching the Pirates on his big screen. We were introduced and he immediately remembered my friend from a previous chat session and immediately started flirting which I thought was pretty amusing since he was probably about 75 years old at the time. So we talked about Clapton, Paul Butterfield, Bonnie Raitt and he told us a funny story about his buddy Van Morrison. He autographed some CDs and posters (one of which now hangs in my living room). We also took some pictures, which I like to show off. And that voice-just the tone of it when he spoke (ooh, I LOVE Bonnie Raitt!) was so deep and resonant and full of life. All in all, the coolest celeb/musician I've ever encountered and I felt like I made a friend that afternoon and he certainly gained a new fan.

Rich Hyland