The Ever So Gracious and Ever So Humble Mr. Dick Waterman

Walter Potter
Sun May 2 12:09:41 EDT 2004

I bought the Junior Wells Story on DVD last week and lo and behold, there was Dick Waterman in it. It's a decent DVD if anyone is interested but I would have liked to have seen more older footage. Guess you can't have everything.
> We should not forget that Dick is one of the very few, direct links to
> the birth of the Delta blues.  Son House is what I consider a 1st
> generation bluesman.  That's kinda like knowing George Washington, or
> Christopher Columbus...1sts.
> I remember walking around the Dockery thinking, "this is where Son House
> (along with Charley Patton and Robert Johnson) use to play."  Quite an
> emotional experience for the 1st time.
> To learn Son House songs is not difficult, but to capture his feeling is
> (to say the least) elusive.
> What I wouldn't give to be able to sit down (one on one) with Son House.
> It would open up the world to me. Even though Dick is not a player, he's
> had that opportunity and I can only imagine what an amazing experience
> it was.
> I envy him.
> mike
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Blues Music List [mailto:BLUES-L@LISTS.NETSPACE.ORG] On Behalf Of
> hoodoojimmy
> Sent: Saturday, May 01, 2004 3:32 AM
> Subject: The Ever So Gracious and Ever So Humble Mr. Dick Waterman
> I had the rare opportunity and good fortune to join and meet Dick
> Waterman
> this past Thursday. Dick was in Baton Rouge with his blues photo
> exhibition,
> and we all enjoyed two hours of reception, fine wine, intuitive
> conversation, wrapped in truly epitomal photographs of those in his
> company
> of the last 50 years.
> The company kept includes Son House, Skip James, Howling Wolf, Muddy,
> Willie
> Dixon, Lightnig Hopkins, B.B King, Buddy Guy, Bonnie Raitt ( and now
> OutKast) <g> and a host of those folks we call the "real thing" when we
> really mean the "real thing".
> This particular Thursday afternoon reception,  I entered the
> the Grand Hall of the Old Louisiana Govenor's Mansion, and found Dick in
> conversation with some patron friends.
> Always a wry smile on his face, Dick speaks softly, and maintains an
> unassuming posture. A tall and well stocked man, Dick speaks in what
> grabbed
> me as a higher than expected voice, which I truly found delightful. I
> quickly noticed how he pays close attention to the goings on around him,
> and
> how he measures the words he uses. We seemed to share a good sense of
> humor,
> and a somewhat less serious approach to life, the blues, and yeah.....we
> talked a little about you, chuck n. (lol)
> Dick at one point asked me if I thought we was anything like I might
> have
> imagined through this blues-l fantasy to key strokes. I said straight up
> that he was damn close to the man I expected to meet. ( no - it wasn't a
> blind date...that's another story)
> Dick finds humor and irony in the fact that he was never really a
> photographer, and most shots taken were very "off the cuff". Dick even
> said
> that "most times I spent talking with these blues legends, it was
> totally
> inappropriate to even bring out a camera. I'm sure those private
> memories
> are the memories Dick savours the most.
> I introduced Dick to a couple of our local "blues lovers/photographers",
> all
> who were astounded at the sense of capturing the moment. I personally
> enjoyed so much the 1967-69 era shots, as I was at many of these
> locations,
> and remember the young slick Buddy Guy, the (pretty thin), and jumping
> through the audience B.B King, the young girlish shyness of Bonnie
> Raitt,
> and the "ain't got a clue" youthful gazes of Bob Dylan and Mick Jagger.
> I
> found Eric Clapton unrecognizable (to me) in a 1967 shot, as was his
> sidekick.
> Though Dick professed no more than grabbing a quick shot in a rare free
> moment, I see much more intention through his lens. Every one of Dick's
> shots captured a defined moment..a moment when you as a viewer are
> drawn,
> when dimensions lose meaning, and when you see, feel, and are as much a
> part
> of the photograph as it is of you. Each shot evokes a personal
> conversation
> with the subject, you can really "almost hear" the subject, and two
> dimensions become three.
> oky when we finished the wine and cheese and the
> snapshots.......I head to Phil Brady's to set up for the Thursday Night
> World's Greatest Blues Jam. Headlining tonight is the little known Kenny
> Neal. Add to that a little Gregg Wright, some David Hyde, Darnell Neal,
> Lester Delmore, HoodooMan, Scott Anderson from Jackson, MS Ed Johnson &
> some
> of the Blue Notes, yadayda........
> and who shows up but Dick Waterman. (actually we'd begged him to come
> earlier). now................. i say the night jammed all night long,
> the
> crowd was boppin',surgin', and dancin' right with the music. i say even
> the
> tired stormy monday &  buddies ....all...... took soulful and
> adventurous
> avenues..........and on at least that night, there was little evidence
> of
> the death of the blues, or the death of the blues club.
> .......I'll leave any more comments here to Mr. Jinxblues.
> hoodooJimmy
> (very proud owner of "Between Midnight and Day"..signed)
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