Mike "Dr. Blue" McKeon
Guitar, Harp and Vocals
Are you local?
Yes - E17
Where are you from, originally?
What's your tipple?
What's your earliest memory?
Riding my trike in the lounge.
What was the first record you ever bought with your own money?
Something by Labi Siffre - can't remember the name of the song.
...and do you still have it?
Do you remember the very first gig you went to? What was it like?
Gong and Wigwam at the Hammersmith Odeon, March 27th 1976 - fab!
Worst job you've ever had?
Washing up in a fast food restaurant in Watford. Got fired for chasing one of the waitresses around the kitchen waving a Dog Fish spine at her (she thought it was a snake!).
What's your claim to fame (not necessarily musical)?
Shared a pot of Jasmine tea with Salman Rushdie, in a Chinese restaurant in Milton Keynes.
If you could invite 6 people (past, present or fictional) to dinner, who would you choose?
Been playing/performing long?
As long as I can remember.
Been in any bands?
Many. Can't remember all their names but I can remember the genres: Punk, Folk Rock, Reggae, Solo, Blues and a couple of duos (Country Rock and Contemporary Acoustic).
What first got you interested in the Blues?
Listening to Pete Fountain playing St Louis Blues on an album my dad brought back from New Orleans.
What other types of music do you like to listen to/play?
Almost anything played with passion.
Favourite Blues artists?
Jimmy Reed, Memphis Slim, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Muddy Waters.
Favourite artists (any other genre) ?
Too numerous to mention.
Ever been lucky enough to meet or share a stage with one of your musical heroes?
Buddy Guy once played a guitar solo for me at a gig when he went walkabout in the audiance. I turned round from the bar to be faced by him soloing. I offered him a drink, he said "No son, I'm working here".
Favourite instruments and/or equipment?
My custom Fender Tele - "Dr Blue", my three Martin acoustics and my very beautiful Boucher (hand build) Wild Goose.
If you had to sum up your relationship with the Blues using just one word, what would it be?
Who would you pick (past or present) for your dream band?
- Vivian Stanshall on Kazoo
- Val Doonican on Harp
(He taught me to bend notes on the gob-iron - he was a surprisingly good harp-player)
- Animal from the Muppets on Drums
- Stevie Ray on Guitar
- Lee Rocker (The Stray Cats) on Bass
- Ray Charles on Piano
- Hugh Masekela and friends on Rhythm/Brass
Most embarrassing moment?
Playing an audition at a hotel in Brighton and singing off key (nerves got the better of me)
The birth of my three children.
What do you most enjoy about the Blues Jam?
If you could travel back in time to be present at one moment/event in musical history, what would it be?
The moment Leo Fender strapped a pick up on a lump of wood and plugged it into an amp.
Who would they cast to play you in the movie of your life?
Sophia Loren (good beard).
Marmite: - Yes or No?
If you were invited on "Desert Island Discs", which 8 records would you choose?
- The Lark Ascending - Vaughan Williams
- Say You Will - Paco Peña
- If You Don't Like What I'm Doing, Go Tell Your Other Man - Memphis Slim and Victoria Spivey
- St. Louis Blues - Pete Fountain
- The Piano Has Been Drinking - Tom Waits
- My Baby Just Cares For Me - Nina Simone
- Georgia On My Mind - Ray Charles
- Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Eva Cassidy
...and what would be your luxury item?
Toothpaste and brush.
What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Follow your heart.
Go on - tell us a secret!
I was saved from certain death at the top of Mount St Victoire outside Aix-en-Provence by the collar of a green Harris Tweed Jacket!