Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Wonder and The Why

So I’m thinking about things I don’t understand…of which there are many! I don’t understand things on a wide variety of subjects. Everything from why Hot Dogs are sold in packs of ten and hot dog buns are sold in packs of eight, to why a nation as rich and powerful as ours can’t do more to heal the world and eradicate hunger and injustice. Why gas is so high and no one’s connecting the dots on who’s actually making money! Why aren’t there more shows like Lost on television? Why did we actually go to the moon? Why can’t we find Bin Laden. Why hasn’t someone come up with a foolproof way of keeping two socks together in the dryer? Why, with all of our advances in technology, can’t we have a voting system that’s based on the popular vote? Why aren’t there more memorable television theme songs? Gilligan’s Island, Andy Griffith, Bewitched, Love Boat, Dallas, Family Ties, Good Times, the Jeffersons, etc.
These are just some of the “why’s” that I have. I also have some “I wonder if’s”. I wonder if Guitar Hero really makes kids want to learn how to play an instrument or is it like all other video games and just sucks them in deeper. I play video games, but playing Madden Football never made me try to get a gig as a walk on with the Titans (although sometimes I think I could make the team!!) I wonder if our next president will be the candidate I’m voting for …or John McCain. And in a related question, I wonder how many presidents have had sex in the Oval Office? My guess is 4, counting Lincoln of course. I always have to relate it to sex somehow. If I was president, that’s the first thing I’d do. Just to say I did. I wonder if anyone will ever win a million dollars on Deal or No Deal. I wonder if universal peace is really possible. I wonder if we’ll ever have jet packs to fly around with. I wonder if I could take a punch from Mike Tyson. I wonder if I could out run Mike Tyson if I hit him first? I wonder if Prince could beat Michael Jackson in a wrestling match. I wonder how many romantic comedies Owen Wilson and Kate Hudson will actually make before the idea seems just a little bit old??? I wonder if any guitar will ever be built that is a sexy as a Fender Stratocaster? I wonder if we’ll ever realize that we’re all more alike than different. I wonder if the Martin Scorsese movie about The Rolling Stones is as good as I thought it was on Saturday (I say yes…probably better!) I wonder how many kids can name the most recent winner of the Nobel Peace Prize...can you???...want a recount was needed! I wonder how many kids can name the winning quarterback in the last Super Bowl.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Messing With The Kid

I realized today as I was updating the music on my space, that this year is the 10Th anniversary of my first record Messing With The Kid! Time flies! No really, it flies!! I remember recording that record like it was yesterday. My band at that time consisted of Chris Kent on bass, Derek Wiseman on drums and Derek's brother Drew on keys. We also had Bobby Inman as our road crew/spiritual advisor. We did the record at a place in Nashville called Fireside Studios and the engineer was actually named George Clinton! We had been playing together for probably 4 or 5 years by this point. I was with Buddy Guy and when we would come home from the road, I would book gigs around Nashville with my band. These guys were ferocious!
If I remember right, the record was done in about 4 days. 2 days of basic tracks followed by a day of vocals and overdubs and a day to mix. Pretty fast even by the standards we work under today! We'd start in the evening, (Derek and Drew had day gigs) and finish around 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning. Then Bobby and I would go to Mary's BBQ on Jefferson St and get a BBQ sandwich from the walkup window. I wish I could stll eat like that!
We had a littl circuit of local clubs that we played; 3rd & Lindsley, The Bunganut Pig, The Big Apple, The Boardwalk, 12th & Porter, we even played at The End one night for all you Nashvegas rockers. The songs were half things we were doing live and half new songs that I had written. Listening back to it today, (not something I usually do with my own music), I hear plenty of things I'd change in my own performances of course, but I hear a lot of things that I really love. There was an energy and a total sense of adventure in that band. We never rehearsed, we rarely discussed any specific aspects of the songs, we just played and listened to each other and it just poured out. Effortless. Some nights, we'd play 4 hours straight, without a break.
I remember we were doing He Stopped Loving Her Today as sort of a joke in our live show, but I played it one night with Buddy and he liked it so much that some nights he'd make me do it at his shows! The whammy bar stuff in it was sort of what we did with it live, just louder and longer! The only song I wish I could take back or at least re-do, would be Who Knows. I am such a card carrying Hendrix freak that I have a lot of trouble listening to that song without cringing! It was the very last thing we did and the guy who was producing the project and financing it (his name escapes me)wanted us to do a Hendrix cover. I was being a little hard headed and didn't want to do it, so I thought if we did it poorly, it would just be left off the record. If I could go back and visit that little smart ass guitar player that I was, I'd smack him in the head!
I remember the photo shoot for the artwork to the record was done on a hot summer day by a creek that was almost dried up but they wanted me to wear my leather jacket for the cover! If you look real close to the inside photos, you can see we're all sweating! Except of course for Bobby!
I haven't seen the guys from that original band in ages. I see Bobby some, I communicate with Chris through my space sometimes and I just recently heard from Drew, but I haven't heard from Derek in forever. I know the phone works both ways, it just sad when I think about the people that I've been blessed to have in my life and how we drift away from each other.
Just as I learned from Buddy, I learned from Chris, Derek, Drew and Bobby. They were some great teachers and I'm better for knowing all of them.
I'm blessed to be surrounded by great people/musicians now like Richard and Tyler, but when I think back to how it started I realize just how blessed I've truly been.