Boulevard Blues Combustion Technology - Official Sponsors of The Boulevard Blues
Official Sponsors
of the
Boulevard Blues

Quick Nav: BoulevardBlues / Greg / Interview Part 2 Part 3

Greg Smith's Interview
with Blin' Pinky Detroit - Part 1

(Just for the record, this interview was conducted on the 29th day of February, 2008 by Mr Detroit, a blind and inebriated, washed up, juke joint, two-bit journalist from the USA.  Mr Greg Smith, the interviewee, out of necessity had to record in writing, all the dialog. Read on)

Interviewer: Mister harmonica player, have you ever done time?

Interviewee: (A lousy question for starters, so I'd better behave and keep my answers brief.)

Please call me Greg.... and yes, I have done some time. I was married for five years and then I got let off for good behaviour.

Interviewer: I thought so, .D'you ever get married again?

Greg: Nooit exę, I mean No, I can't stand wedding cake (that's a blatant lie).

Interviewer: Now tell me uh Greg, (Takes a huge swig from his dented hip flask, concealed up until then) What got you playin' the blues harp in the first place and when exactly, was that? (This oke's really blind and here's me, furiously writing down this interview on his behalf and he's getting paid for it. Can you b'lieve it?).

Greg: Well Sir, way back at the end of the 60's, (More or less the time when Pontius was a pupil Pilate - pause for dramatic effect) my dear sister had a suitor from a neighbouring town named Keith Hutchinson .

Blin': Hold it right there!!! Call me Blin'!!!...Now!!! What the haill is a suitor and is the town's name Keith Hutchinson?

Greg: (I'm thinking, this oke's lekkah blind exę and check out his guava juice socks and "mal" suit) Oh no, Mr Blin' Pinky Detroit! That's a boyfriend and the big town is named Springs.

Blin': Oh, good ol' Springs ! Never heard of it keep talkin' and call me Blin', like I said.

Greg: (Cheeky bar-stuard!) Well Blin', Keith used to visit regularly, on his little Yummi and haul his vinyl discs with him under his anorak, to get me into some decent music while I was still young and pliable

Blin': What kind o' music was that then?

Greg: Jimi Hendrix mainly

Blin': And where'd he get to know of Jimi Hendrix in that day and age?

Greg: He'd seen 'The Experience' in some huge hall in London before he himself immigrated to Afrique de Sud

Blin': (Another swig) What's all this got to do with you playin' the harp?

Greg: He's the first guy that I ever heard, playing those bluesy, bent notes on a harmonica.

Blin': He probably picked that up in that French place that you mentioned earlier.

Greg: D'you mean Afrique de Sud?

Blin': Yea..

Greg: That's just the French way of saying South Africa, but he actually learned the harp stuff  in the UK and played me some licks in my bedroom in SA, on my own "F" Echo Vamper that happened to be lying on my desk, picking up dust.

Blin': So, did he show you how to bend them blue notes?

Greg: Not exactly. Y'see everything you do on a harmonica happens inside your mouth and so it's not exactly plain to see.

Blin': And you (flattens the last hit in the flask) did what, to get the blues out of that measly little silver thaing?

Greg: I chose one hole that I learned to isolate and then eventually bend.

Blin': Sounds pretty flakey to me

Greg: Each hole is a chamber that houses a flexible brass reed, and when air passes by that reed, the pressure causes it to vibrate, thus delivering a sound.

Blin': Some mighty fancy words you're usin' thair, but.... How long till you got it right?

Greg: A couple of days, maybe 10, of trying hard and a 30 Kilometre 'Big Walk', and then all of a sardine it just happened - I got my first note bent.

Blin': (Hauls a nifty nip bottle out of his other 'inside' pocket)  So, what does it take to play like you do?

Greg: You've got to have real apoca-lips for good control, note isolation and leakage prevention

Blin': (Cracks the seal and fills his cheeks)  What's that supposed to mean? (Meticulously plaing his calling card on the occasional table)

Greg: You can't get by on this little thing if you were born with lizard lips. You need to envelope the harp with a good pair of 'dihk' lips that just don't let go until the harp squeals just right

Blin': Oh, is that how you do it?

Greg: Yezzzz

Blin': What else?

Greg: You have got to have a good ear. The only real reason that I can hear so very well is because as a kid I got "moer-ed" for not listening. That, of course cured me once and for all, because the 'rod' kind of warms up your backside, which heats up your blood, which in turn melts the wax in the ears and voila! problem solved

Interview: Part 2 / Part 3