CHICAGO (CBS) — Buddy Guy has influenced the likes of some of the most famous guitarists like Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and Keith Richards but his early beginnings were simple growing up in Mississippi.
“We had no running water, no electricity. My parents were sharecroppers,” said Guy.
The 75-year old jokes about how he had to improvise to listen to his first record.
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“We had to buy the needle to put on it, when the needle wore out and we couldn’t afford to buy a new one, I took the straw from the broom and I’d put my teeth down on it just to hear John Lee Hooker’s “Boogie Chillen”.
Guy was 13 years old when he heard that song in 1949.
He told the audience he got his first gig while working at a gas station.
“The guy offered me a whole lot more money than I was making there but I was shy,” he said, adding that he had stage fright on his first paid gig.
“I had my back to the audience with the microphone. I wouldn’t turn around. He said you gotta turn around and I said no way, not this time,” he said with a laugh.
Guy has played on recordings by Muddy Waters and Little Walter. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.
The Blues legend says after 55 years in Chicago, he decided to write a book while he says, he can still remember his life.
“When I Left Home: My Story” was released earlier this year. He talked about his book as part of Speaking of the Blues at the Chicago Public Library.