T-Model Knows Better: an advice column by life coach/musician T-Model Ford (Arthur, Jan. 2005)

Originally published in Arthur No. 14 (Jan. 2005)


T-Model Ford is the 84-year-old self-styled “Boss of the Blues,” also known as The Taildragger. Every two months, Arthur calls up T-Model at his home in Greenville, Mississippi and asks some questions about things we have on our mind. T-Model gives his sage answers, then we transcribe the conversation with some interpreting help from the fellas at Fat Possum Records, the Mississippi label that releases T-Model’s all-bets-are-off blues albums (more info at fatpossum.com). If you’ve got questions for T-Model, and we suspect that you do, email ‘em to editor@arthurmag.com

What’s the best way for a woman to lose a little weight?

Well, she can’t eat everything, and be eating all the time. She have to find her a little snack, and eat it. That’ll lose weight. 

Is there any food she should avoid?


What about exercise?

I ain’t never had exercise. I always, if I was pickin’ up too much weight myself, I’d slow down on my eatin’. Whatever I’d be eating, I’d slow down  on it. And I’d lose weight then. Then I know I’m losing weight, and I’d want to get back at eating the same thing as I was eating in the front. 

What’s the best way to make some money quick?

Play the guitar good and get you with the right bunch, doing tours and they paying you right, and they do you right, that’s quick money. That’s what I’m doing. That’s all I’m able to do now is play guitar, make a little money in that. I’m trying to work on a few records now. I just got me another amp, a Fender, so I can practice. 

What’s your favorite way to travel? Plane, train, automobile or horse?

If you got a long way going, overseas and like that, the best way is to go on a plane. But now if you ain’t going oversea traveling, the best that I know, had good luck with, is get a van, and ride. You can have another person drive, you can help him if he needs it. You go like that, you won’t be in no strain or jammed up. 

What do you want for Christmas?

I’d like to have me one of them good amps for Christmas. One of them Twin amps. I’ve got already two good guitars. If I just had Black Nannie [T-Model’s old guitar that was stolen and pawned off by one of his sons] back, I’d be alright. 

Are you planning anything special for Christmas this year?

No, my money’s light. I ain’t got the money. I’m staying home, or be round some of them little honky tonks, or out of town, playin’—if they want me to play. 

Categories: "T-Model Knows Better" column by T-Model Ford, Arthur No. 14 (Jan 2005) | Tags: , | Leave a comment

About Jay Babcock

I am an independent writer and editor based in Tucson, Arizona. In 2023: I publish an email newsletter called LANDLINE = https://jaybabcock.substack.com Previously: I co-founded and edited Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curated the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages, Grand Royal and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was somehow listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. From 2010 to 2021, I lived in rural wilderness in Joshua Tree, Ca.

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