Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Robert Johnson Photo Controversy, updated

This just in, about Zeke Schein, featured in Vanity Fair for finding a photo that has been debated ever since as either the third known photo (or not) of Robert Johnson. ...

Chung Wong sez:
"Day of the show, Matt Umanov Guitars featured RJ's guitar and the photo in question ...

... was displayed at Matt Umanov Guitars on May 5, 2011, when Robert Johnson's 100th Birthday Party was celebrated at Caffe Vivaldi (32 Jones, NYC). This was the first of two nights that week we hung out, in tribute to Robert Johnson. The second night at Knitting Factory I heard him play Mojo Pin. Too fabulous."

Here the "Thinking Man's Guitar Hero," Gary Lucas (The New Yorker) performs Skip James' "Special Rider Blues" with John Kruth sitting in on mandolin: 

This night was actually hosted by Zeke Schein (of Matt Umanov Guitars), who found the photo. Now, ever since he unveiled it in Vanity fair, the debate rages about whether or not his find on Ebay is the third known photo of Robert Johnson. Lois Gibson (of JFK photo forensics fame) authenticated it. Although there are blues historians who disagree with her findings, Mr. Wong says, "I am with her and believe the photo has to be Robert Johnson, his fingers were uniquely long (and Lois is too good to be wrong): 

Zeke Schein, btw played guitar at Patti Smith's 1996 Central Park show ... 

Steven "Zeke" Schein at Umanov Guitars

   ...   Patti bought a guitar from Zeke at Matt Umanov Guitars and noted that during a concert at Beacon Theater. "I had no doubt before, during and after the skeptics," notes Wong, "that that was Robert Johnson in Zeke's photo (the spider fingers are just too rare to be someone else whom we've never seen). I spoke about the photo to another blues player with Zeke there and said that ... and then I laughed and said, but what those skeptics didn't ask was, is that really Johnny Shines! I have some questions about that. Zeke had a good laugh."

Here continues my original fb "note." We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming:

The Robert Johnson Photo Controversy

18 August 2013 at 02:08

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