1. The blues is depressing. Deal with it.
2. By default, any decent blues has to begin with the following: “I woke up this morning…” However, “I woke up this morning and my Internet didn’t work…” is not a good blues liryc.
3. “I got a good woman” is a bad way to begin, unless you qualify it in the next line: “I got a good woman with the meanest face in town.”
4. You can’t smile if you’ve got the blues. Simon Cowell cannot sing the blues. Unless he wants to, of course.
5. The blues is simple. After you get the first line right, repeat it. Then find something that rhymes. Sort of: “Got a good woman, with the meanest face in town. Yes, I got a good woman, with the meanest face in town. Got brown teeth and weight 90 kilos.”
6. The blues is not about choice. If you’re stuck in a ditch, you’re you’re stuck in a ditch – ain’t no way out. Bitch!
7. Describing your problems on consumer’s green line does not a good blues make.
8. Blues cars: Chevys, Fords, Cadillacs (generally, any broken-down trucks). The Blues will not entertain the Toyota Prius, Volvo or Smart. Most blues transportation is inter-county bus or a train. Jet aircraft and state-sponsored carpools aren’t in the running (nor is a shuttle from the airport to the hotel). Walking plays a major part in the blues lifestyle, as does fixing to die and sweeping the porch. If you have a porch, that is.
9. The blues is still depressing.
10. The blues is not recreational.
11. Listening to to the blues on your iPod outside the beach villa in a resort defeats the point.
12. Teenagers can’t sing the blues, because they ain’t fixing to die yet. Adults sing the blues. “Adult” means being old enough to get the electric chair if you shoot a man in Memphis, or someone who recalls how bad Van Morrison’s blues records were (very band).
13. The blues may happen in NYC but never in Hawaii, Alaska or Canada. Hard times in Britain – even Liverpool or Manchester – is probably just clinical depression. Chicago, St. Louis and Kansas City are the best places to get the blues. You can’t get the blues any place it doesn’t rain. That doesn’t mean that you can get the blues in Wales.
14. It is perfectly acceptable to get depressed thinking about the blues.
15. A man with male pattern baldness hasn’t got the blues. A woman with male pattern baldness has. Breaking your leg skiing is not the blues. An alligator eating your leg is different (although it might be too exotic to include such an animal in the blues).
16. You can’t have the blues in an office or shopping mall. Or in Starbucks. Or in a Stella McCartney store, come to that. The lighting will be wrong. Got outside to the parking lot or sit by the skip. Now you’re talking.
17. Good places for the blues: a) the highway; b) the jailhouse; c) the empty bed; d) the bottom of a whiskey glass.
18. Bad places for the blues: a) KFC; b) Museum of Modern Arts; c) Oxford; d) Tennis court.
19. Are you depressed yet? The blues will do that to you.
20. No one will believe you have the blues if you wear a suit, unless of course you happen to be an incredibly old, ethnic person and you sleep in it.
21. Do you have the right to sing the blues? Yes, if you’re: a) older than dirt; b) blind; c) you shoot a man in Memphis; d) you can’t be satisfied. No, if you: a) have all your teeth; b) were blind but now can see; c) the man in Memphis lived; d) have a securities account or trust fund; e) have a subscription to a men’s magazine.
22. The blues is not a matter of skin color. It is a matter of bad luck. Tiger Woods can’t sing the blues (especially now we know what he’s been up to on his “slow” afternoons). Ugly white people can.
23. If you ask for water and your significant other gives you gasoline, then it’s the blues! Other acceptable blues beverages are: a) cheap wine; b) scotch or bourbon; c) muddy water; d) black coffee (but no skinny latte). The following are not blues: a) Evian; b) chardonney; c) cider; d) Campari-Orange (even if you are calling the brand).
24. If death occurs in a cheap motel or a shotgun attack, it’s a blues death. Stabbed in the back by a jealous lover is another blues way to die. So is electric chair, alcohol abuse and dying lonely and broken. You can’t have a blues death during a golf game or getting liposuction.
25. Some blues names for women: a) Sadie; b) Big Mama; c) Bessie; d) Billy; e) Dinah; f) Bitch. Some blues names for men: a) Joe; b) John Lee; c) Willie; d) Little Willie; e) Big Willie; Blind Willie; g) Big Blind Willie; h) Big Little Blind Willie; i) Leroy.
26. Persons with names such as Peaches, Amber, Tiffany, Jennifer, Brooke and Heather can’t sing the blues for toffee no matter how many men they shoot in Memphis. The same for Tarquin, Piers, Jeremy, Jeffrey and Rio. Oh, and Wayne. No great bluesman was ever called Wayne.
27. Make your own blues name starter kit: a) name of a physical infirmity (blind, deaf, crippleleg, lame); b) first name (see above) plus name of fruit (lemon, lime, kiwi); c) last name of president (Jefferson, Johnson, Clinton, Nixon, Fillmore). For example, Blind Lime Jefferson, Crippleleg Lemon Johnson or Lame Kiwi Fillmore (well, actually, maybe not “kiwi”).
28. It doesn’t matter how tragic your life is: if you own an iPad, you cannot and will never be able to sing the blues.
29. “The Blues Is My Business, And Business Is Good” is a record. There are many bad blues records.
30. God, the blues is depressing!