May 6, 2012


Buddy Guy Covers Marvin Gaye, Cream & Ray Charles at Beale St. Music Fest

Aubree Lennon for Fuse
Aubree Lennon for Fuse

Buddy Guy's return to Memphis for this year's Beale Street Music Festival set was one of the major highlights of Day 2. The 75-year-old blues guitar legend took the audience on a cover-versions tour of some of his favorite songs of all time during the last half hour or so of his smoking-hot set. 

Guy's history lesson by guitar started out with John Lee Hooker's "Boom Boom," an influential blues number that's probably best known by the Animals' version. He warned us before playing that we shouldn't expect a start-to-finish version of the song, using his own pithy wording: "Now I'm not going to play the whole f*cking song," Guy said, "So don't get angry and say, 'He forget it!'" So let the record state: Guy's memory (and verbal candor) remain in top form. 

 He also covered Eric Clapton—a guitarist he influenced—by taking on "Strange Brew," which he called "a record from when Clapton was in the Cream. I'm in love with it." "The Cream?" I'm in love with that. 

Guy also told a story about how covering Marvin Gaye's "Ain't That Peculiar" on the fly got him a job at a jukebox joint job making $1 a day back in the 1960s. He turned in a Spartan, restrained version of Gay's song, in addition to a hip-swinging run-through on Ray Charles' signature song "What'd I Say." 

The only letdown was that this incredible dancer—who grooved to Buddy Guy's Beale Street set back in 2008—did not make a shoe-shuffling appearance on Saturday. Watch these indelible dad dance moves below, and then head over here for our 10 Best Moments of Beale St. Day 2 and here for the best photos from the Beale St. fest overall.