Pellegrino's Blues | Letters | Chicago Reader

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Pellegrino's Blues


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To the editors:

In response to Doc "Plantation" Pellegrino's quarter-page policy statement [an advertisement in Section Three, November 27], I will attempt to deal with the subject item by item.

1) Doc must be wailing and singing the blues. Why else take the ad out? Best blues club in the country? Hardly. Seen Buddy's or Antoine's among others? He made a slight error in fact in point one. He should have said, "The same music on two stages all year 'round." Annual growth rate of 20 %? Is this a nightclub or a branch office of Merrill Lynch?

2) In a sense, the "New York fella" is right: The blues scene IS dying--at least in Doc's place. Yes, Chicago has the greatest blues scene in the world, unfortunately you won't find it booked in the Mines.

"Black-balled"? Wrong word choice. White-balled would be more apropos. The handful of stiffs he has playing there are told to dump any "white" sidemen because the customers came to see the "authentic" blues. You'll never see a predominantly white blues act in that club despite the fact they exist right here in this city. Oh sure, if some famous fake asshole like Belushi or Willis wander into that shoe box, they'll fawn all over those creeps trying to coax their talentless asses onto the stage for one of those contrived "miracle moments" the tourists love to fax home about. But a real "white" blues musician? Forget it.

Twenty percent growth rate? Plantation hiring practices? Bottom of the barrel band fees? Egotistical "Visitors at Kingston Mines" ad addendum?

Hell, Doc's not wailing or singing the blues. He's laughing all the way to the bank.

PS: Doc, I wouldn't worry about Brother Jimmy's. The postcollege mopes populating that barn don't even know what music is. You ought to see the vacuous response the bands get from those self-absorbed MTV babies.

Bob Foley


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