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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Big Mama Thornton-Ball N' Chain

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When Liz gets wasted at Blind Willie's Bar and she is escorted back to her dorm by the professer she has a crazy crush on, this is the song she breaks into. It was fall of '64 so it was before Janis did it for the first time and it was a song that Liz had learned during her summer on Venice Beach. These were her first days of college at Berkley and her first days of crushing on Brian McVie. Although she couldn't know it then, her singing this particular song as he walked her back to the university was actually sort of ominous. The friendship/relationship those two would stumble into (and through) could often be compared to the feelings Big Mama put into this song. What she feels for that man is almost love at first sight and he feels it too but between people trying to keep them apart and their own foolish mistakes, the road of love is a long and winding road....it's not paved either. Nope. It's rocky as hell. I know when I found that man that was almost my love at first sight and he did me wrong, the year and a half that we were split up I listened to Janis's version of this song a million times and I sang it for all I had....usually with a bottle in my lap. When love does you wrong, this is the place to go to get that out in a way that doesn't involve destroying anything or doing bodily harm to the person who did you wrong. :) So, while it seemed harmless that night, her busting out with this particular song with Brian at her side one could get about one hundred pages into the book and go, "Shoulda known better..." hahaha Plus, it's just a really great song...both versions. It is the blues at it's best.

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