My favorite anecdote of the day in these "cross-generational" times is from Bettye LaVette (BluesWax, May 4, 2006)
BL: Well, I'm just saying that it's true; I don't think young people, including me, are really proficient. Usually when they are, they're called geniuses. And geniuses are not a dime a dozen.
When I was sixteen, I could not control my singing, the songs controlled me. I had a lot of power, I had a big bootie, I was unusual because I was so young, and that worked.
Now, though, if I walked into a room with a kid...another good example: one night I was in Smalls' Paradise, where I worked with Don Gardner and Dee Dee Ford for almost two years. And I was just runnin' Smalls', honey. Everyone would say, "Oh, she's here!" and I had my little show I was doing. I was just fabulous.
Honey, Big Maybelle got out of jail one night. Out of JAIL! And came to Smalls in some paper slippers from the psych ward, she came in there with a blanket wrapped around her in the most stupidest hat I'd ever seen. I'd heard about her my all of my career. I knew she was old and that I was fabulous and young! And girlfriend came in . . . her hands and feet were all swollen because she was strung out on the heroin. And I laughed; I looked so cute in my little gown. Honey, girlfriend went up on the stage and when she got finished, I couldn't even get up on the stage. They couldn't even find me! That is what a grown woman will do to a kid. [Laughter]