Thursday, August 6, 2009

Little Leroy 'Hog' Cooper - Making music with magazines, hangers and body language

Leroy Cooper started his music career at a very young age. Or at least he had already begun fantasizing about it. Here's an excerpt from Leroy 'Hog' Cooper, A Memoir by Leroy Cooper & Susan Cross with Foreword by David Ritz.

When I was a little boy, 7 or 8 years old, I was a one man band. I had a rolled up magazine and wooden boxes for drums and coat hangers. I’d blow through the magazines and beat on the boxes. I’d be having a ball, just beating on the boxes and blowing through the magazine. I had a picket fence and I could take the coat hanger and scrape it along the fence to add another sound. The old lady neighbors were saying, “He ain’t right. He ain’t gonna make it!” I’d be just having fun.

My mother would come up with some kid to play with me and say, “Surprise, I brought Johnny, Jr. to play with you.” I would get mad because Johnny, Jr. would interfere with my fun.

Awhile later I started blowing the horn. I would get up on top of the barn, the garage was a barn, I’d get up there with my horn and the cat staying across the alley would get up on top of his barn, and he had a saxophone and we’d be blowing at each other. Then my daddy would come home from work and he’d be standing there laughing. Back then we used to practice body moves because we couldn’t play any music. So we figured we had to get some body language. We practiced that stuff.

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