AK DOC Today

News, Events, and Activities in the Alaska Department of Corrections

John Lee Hooker Jr. visits Spring Creek

On a September day remarkable for its sunbursts, a member of blues royalty paid a visit to Spring Creek.

John Lee Hooker Jr., a dapper, dynamic, showman and, himself a man with a past, walked purposefully, back an forth before the guys sitting on the bleachers. And, as if on cue, the sun reached down through the high gym windows and lit everyone up. “I’m from the streets just like you,” his voice boomed. And over and over he threw out the challenge: “Why sit here and not change?”

To hook his audience, to get bodies swaying and heart rates up, the Reverend gifted us with a taste of his award-winning gospel.

He energetically moved on to biblical stories and, most powerfully, shared his own saga of three prisons, alcohol and drug addiction, that he was stabbed, that he was shot, and that he overdosed. “I once tried to rob a blind man. He beat me up.” There was laughter. There was genuine introspection. And there was a connection. And there was that Autumn sun enfolding us all.