|Muddy Waters in Toronto photo by Jean Luc|
In the summer of 1969 I was 22, in my last year of university, and number 8 in the US draft lottery. I was not interested in being a soldier so I headed up to Toronto to visit a friend, Chris Lawrence. Chris was selling used cars in Toronto. I knocked around Toronto some and it didn't seem all that friendly. We went to Toronto Pop Festival that summer. There was a club in Toronto then called the Colonial Tavern where a lot of jazz and blues players came. My only exposure to Muddy Waters at that time was his psychedelic album "Electric Mud". We thought it was a great sound and only later learned that it was not at all what Muddy Waters normally played. I remember seeing the advertisement for Muddy Waters someplace in Toronto and telling Chris we had to go hear this guy who was like Jimi Hendrix. We went to the Colonial Tavern and got a table right in front of the bandstand. It was a small club. Muddy played his traditional stuff about three feet from us. It completely knocked us out. I have never listened to Electric Mud (I did actually to write this) again but I have a lot of his great records. That experience was like going behind a mask and discovering a whole world of music.