UnNews:Pope makes visit to historic House of Blues
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1 December 2006
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HOLLYWOOD (UnNews) - Pope Benedict XVI visited Hollywood's House of Blues on Thursday, only the second Roman Catholic Pontiff to take such a step, and sang silently in another gesture of reconciliation to the blues world.
The Pope stood alongside his buddy, Slash, guitarist from Guns n' Roses, during his visit, which came after he infuriated blues players with comments taken as indicating he thought Chicago blues was violent and irrational, compared to Texas or Memphis blues.
He took off his shoes and put on what looked like white cloth slippers to go on stage. He was told its history and architecture by co-owner, and Chicago "Blues Brother," Dan Ackroyd.
Toward the end of the visit, which lasted about 20 minutes, the two stood side by side for about a minute. The Pope was then handed his signature '62 Strat and jammed for about 5 minutes on "Sweet Home Chicago" with Graham Nash, who was headlining. The Pope, who never claimed to be much of a vocalist, moved his lips silently along with the lyrics.
The Pope made a dramatic wind-up gesture at the end of the song. The Pope and Ackroyd exchanged gifts before Benedict left.
As he left the Pope was heard by reporters to tell Nash: "Thank you for the sweet-ass jam, man."
Asked if the Pope had changed his mind about Chicago blues, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said: "The Pope wanted to show that all blues are the work of the Lord, and that each flavor of blues has its own unique vibe. The Pope, though he prefers smoother Southern blues, still recognizes the joy that the other kinds of blues bring to the world."