While slack- jawed journalist Henry Yates (Classic Rock, The Blues magazine) documented blues-rock guitarist Walter Trout’s monumental tales of mischief, the man who made his bones as guitarist in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers was dying of liver disease. At the time of writing, Walter has received a liver transplant and the prognosis is good, which somehow makes his story of superhuman survival even more enthralling.
It’s all here… from birth to new album The Blues Came Callin’. His horrific childhood is related in such harrowing detail that Yates recalls Walter broke down during that particular interview. Thankfully the raw stuff is tempered with amusing anecdotes (dodging the Vietnam draft by ingesting LSD and refusing to wash for a fortnight) and moments of triumph: quitting the naughty substances in the late 80s and building an enviable live reputation.
“Walter has lived the kind of swashbuckling, death-dicing, hell-and-back existence that beggars belief,” offers Yates. No kidding. Few, with the notable exception of Keef, have taken the rock’n’rock lifestyle so literally and lived to tell the tale… with so much honesty. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you might even hurl (the Chateau Hibiscus anecdote should take care of that). Just be grateful that none of the stuff documented in this excellent book happened to you.