While I don't remember much about taking these photos, I can tell you what the show was like: Hooker playing his hits ("Boom Boom," "Boogie Chillen," "Crawling King Snake") to an enthusiastic (and almost entirely white) audience while the pick-up band backing him up cling by their nails to his fluid time signatures.
Hooker was born in Mississippi where he picked up his strange, droning, open chord blues style from his stepfather, William Moore, before heading to Memphis and then north to find a job at the Ford plant at Rouge River. He was ripped off mercilessly by the Bihari brothers, the owners of Modern Records, who issued his earliest records and gave themselves his songwriting credits under a variety of pseudonyms.
The venerable bluesman, seventy years old at the time, shares a roll of film in my negative binder with proto-indie rock legends Dinosaur Jr., who were playing the Cameron House on Queen West a day or two previous. Film was expensive, I was poor, and so I rarely spent a whole roll on anyone.
(Update: An e-mail from my friend Chris Buck: "Regarding John Lee Hooker, I must have been standing right next to you as my shots of him are almost identical." I have no memory whatsoever of this shoot, or Chris being there. Sometimes I worry about myself.)
(2023 Update: I've gone back and re-scanned and re-edited these photos, which are now much improved from what I originally posted.)