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Monday, August 15, 2016

Son Seals and the Tel Aviv tour that never happened

Son Seals had a birthday a couple of days ago, he would have been 74 years old, and as I played his recordings, listening to his powerful screaming guitar solos and his rich unique voice, I couldn't help but thinking about the meeting that ALMOST was...

I think it was in the winter of 1998/99 - I was asked to recommend a number of Blues artists that the Camelot club in Tel Aviv could bring over for a week's stay. Son Seals was one of the names I suggested, and one day the Camelot club phoned to ask me to prepare some questions for a phone interview with a Chicago based artist who might come to perform here. I soon found out it was Son Seals I was about to interview for the monthly Camelot music magazine. They set a date for the tour, sometime in mid winter, when he wouldn't be too busy with festivals and touring the USA. At the end of the phone interview, we both said "See you soon in Tel Aviv..."

Son Seals - Friday Again

Well, the night of his arrival came and went, I kept calling the Camelot management to see if maybe his flight was delayed due to winter conditions, but no news was to be had... I started sending out emails to people in the Blues community, including Bruce Iglauer the owner/founder of Alligator Records, where Son Seals was on contract for over 35 years...finally, word got out that Seals was hospitalized and had his lower leg amputated due to complications with diabetes. Son recorded one more album, but he stopped touring, and the show in Tel Aviv never happened... Son Seals had a fairly hard life, went through many serious troubles, and passed away at the end of 2004, leaving behind a small treasure of ten albums, 2 of them live albums recorded in downtown Chicago.

the Son Seals story