Fred Grady and Alan Harper outside the B.L.U.E.S. nightclub in 1982

Fred Grady and Alan Harper outside the B.L.U.E.S. nightclub in 1982

Alan Harper left his home in England in 1979 on a pilgrimage to find the blues.

His journey led him to Chicago where he worked at a sandwich restaurant and headed to the city’s blues clubs at night.

On his first visit to a blues club Harper accidentally bumped into Big Walter Horton, who patted him on the arm with a “howdy.”

Harper found a treasure trove of musical heroes playing at places like The Kingston Mines and B.L.U.E.S. and The Wise Fools.

But nearly every week he would have to make a trip to the Checkerboard Lounge.

“In the Reader, every week it said Buddy Guy was going to be there,” Harper said. “I would sit there with a warm can of Old Style, waiting for Buddy Guy.”

Harper discusses his book Waiting for Buddy Guy: Chicago Blues at the Crossroads with Nick Digilio on Chicago’s WGN radio.

Listen to the interview here.

 

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