Music as A Personal History
But when my Dad and Mom would talk about going to speakeasies in Chicago during Prohibition, to hear jazz and music, and my mom later would tell me that my Dad said he had even tried marijuana back during those days and didn't like it, my Grandmother would outdo any Maxwell Street story of the moment by casually recounting that she had seen Lonnie Johnson perform in a tavern in Detroit, doing a gig of dance music of the times, and her memory would be prompted by Mickey Mouse Club that was on television while all this conversation was going on as one of the Moueketeers was named "Lonnie". Memory is a funny thing, the way it works and draws from sensations in the environment it is almost like improv theater of the mind. I wish I had seen Lonnie Johnson. Chris Strachwitz actually ran into him playing in somebody's living room in Berkeley once. For me, it is sometimes enough just to listen to Lonnie Johnson and feel I have a personal connection to him because of my Grandmother's journey through life.