Monday, March 23, 2009
Lightning Hopkins was born in Crockett, Texas. He could strum a guitar like no one else. He came down to Houston and began performing in the Third Ward. He was sucked into a deal to go to the West Coast. When he found out he had been screwed he became bitter and also suspicious of all white agents. I persuaded Lightning to play for a movie I was making at the Institute of Texan Cultures. This led to performances at Rice University and the University of Houston. His wife was only five feet tall. She had long hair. She became jealous when Lightning began getting calls from other women. In order to keep her happy, Lightning had the phone disconnected. To reach him you had to go down into the Fifth Ward in person. I remember watching Lightning perform at Rice University. He gave a noisy performance which was unique. There was no one quite like Lightning. His material was home grown, peculiar to him.