Tue Feb 6 12:06:08 EST 1996
*I read with keen interest the interview of James Peterson by Brett
*Bonner (Living Blues #125). Having known James and having spent time
*with him over the last several years, I notice a few things that, if
*the quotes are accurate, James has "revised" his answers to. This
*makes me wonder just how much of this "revision" of one's life is
*"normal" in the Blues world, and how many biographies are based on
*similar interviews where the subject was either being less than
*candid, or "legend building".
A lot of bluesmen have stories about their lives that they tell over
and over again. These stories often change over time or are told
differently to different audiences. I have heard John Jackson and
Archie Edwards repeat stories about themselves that have changed
slightly over the years. Barry Pearson's book "Sounds So Good To Me:
The Bluesman's Story" deals largely with how blues men and women create
and change their stories.
Also, unless the article you read is edited by the author, don't take
it to be exactly what the author wrote (or intended to say). Editors
often drastically change the text - something I recently found out
after I started my first professional writing job.
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