Saturday, January 24, 2009

How I nearly joined The Beatles.

last week at the NAMM convention in anaheim
I was having dinner with john vitale (from parker guitars)
and saul zonana (soon to be the engineer for e).

saul began telling us about a new project he was involved in.
the back story is this:
probably the most famous Beatle tribute band in the states
would be the Fab Faux from new york city
featuring will lee, the bassist from the letterman show
and jimmy vivino, the guitarist from the conan o'brien show.
I've yet to hear them but I'm told they're fantastic.

recently their former keyboard player rob arthur
moved here to nashville and began the idea of starting
another Beatle band to service the needs of the south.
saul auditioned for the new Beatle band and won a seat.
saul is now the paul of the band.

saul mentioned they were still looking for the john.
(I told him it was just around the corner to the left).

to me The Beatles represent pure joy
and anything to do with their music excites me.
so, without much thought I immediately
campaigned for the role of john.
I figured I know the material and I can do
a honorable imitation of john's voice,
why not? it would be such fun!

a few days later after arriving home
saul e-mailed me to ask when
I would be available for the first rehearsal.

that's when reality slapped me in the face:
of course it would be fun
but it would also require my focus and attention
and much time and effort to do the job justice.
I simply don't have that luxury right now.
what with little things like touring the world
with the world's best power trio,
writing and producing records,
filling the pages of this blog,
spending time with my family, blah blah blah.

so I had to write saul that I would
withdraw my name from the hat. I wrote:

"hey paul,
I never thought I'd hear myself say this but:
I don't think I can join The Beatles".

as my buddy robert likes to say:
you don't get much closer than that!

Monday, January 5, 2009

baby's got...

new stage shoes!
(now I'm really getting ahead of myself).

these are exactly the same as the stage shoes
I've worn at every show for the last two years.
I bought them in melbourne, australia
at the same small shop on akland street
in st. kilda where I bought the first pair.
amazingly, it was the only pair they had
and they were in my size.
(european size 41)

so...what is "e" ?

of course it's rather senseless to talk
about music you have yet to hear,
but senseless is my middle name, so here goes.

e is a thematic piece of music in five sections.
it is based on a 16-note chromatic figure
which can be played up and down the neck,
both forwards and backwards and in various keys.
it could be seen as five pieces of music,
since each section can stand alone
but I prefer it as one long piece.
how long? 40 to 50 minutes.

the chromatic e figure is used in compelling ways
both against itself and with itself
to create complex rhythms and harmonies.
each of the five pieces of music flow through
a wide variety of secondary themes and melodies
some of which reappear, but they all are based upon
and eventually come back to
the e figure.

in some areas the timbre of the piece
is much like something King Crimson might do,
but I've used Gershwin, and Stravinsky
for my guidance and inspiration as well.
I have been writing e for more than two years!
it's very difficult (at least for me) to play.
along the way I make 16 different loops.
in order to add parts and solos over top of the loops
each loop has to be perfect, of course.

e has been written and arranged
specifically for the mighty power trio.
but it may also be worthy of classical orchestration.
I could hear a rock trio treatment
and a classical treatment (with horns, strings, etc.)
and even a combination of the two.
but I'm getting way ahead of myself.
classical treatments don't fall off trees.

as diligent and single-minded as eric and julie
and I have been in our approach to learning e,
we have yet to actually record a single note.
this being eric and julie's first "new" record
I'm hoping to make something grand
for them to be proud of.

then we'll have to play it live.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

thank you Penston...

for pointing out how silly I am.
really folks, this is nothing more than a tiny misunderstanding
between life-long friends. it happens to everyone.

last night, without saying anything to me,
my wise wife martha left a book in my reading place.
she knew I would wake up before everyone
and likely I would read for a while.
the book she left was
"Don't Sweat The Small Stuff...
and it's all small stuff" by Richard Carlson.

the title says it all.

I give the blogger the benefit of a doubt.
he shouldn't have used the term "unethical"
but was by his own admission "in despair".
I'm sorry for my overreaction to his overreaction.
by the way, there is nothing in the world
wrong between me and robert.
never was.

but thanks to all of you who expressed your support.
it is uplifting to know so many people care.
now...back to life.

Friday, January 2, 2009

the three truths

before diving into the future
I'm been forced to confront the past.
I feel as though a knife is stuck in my back
and I have to remove it.

a blogger has accused me of being "unethical".
some people are trying to paint me
for the "break up" of King Crimson.
in either case, nothing could be farther from the truth.

in the first place:
I am honorable and ethical.
anyone who has ever worked with me knows that.
what happened concerning a few dates krimson
were supposed to play on the west coast in May
was nothing more or less than a small misunderstanding.

concerning our schedule for 2009,
I remember robert saying he would call in a month or two.
I don't remember anyone saying
"don't book anything in May".
I did not know we were supposed to hold May open.
in fact, our schedule in May was open and it still is open.

secondly, who says king crimson is over?
I believe krimson lives on whether we play
5 more shows on the west coast
or 155 more shows around the world
or we never play again.

I will not allow anyone to shit on
27 years of creative effort and difficult labor
by trying to be divisive at this late date.
I'm proud of our collaborative work
and you cannot take that from me.

and finally:
it is not true, it is not fair, and it will not stand.

only robert fripp can "break up" king crimson
and if he chooses to do so, that's his business.

the internet reminds me of venice, italy.
something new at every turn.
full of surprising twists.
informative, thought-provoking.
and mostly a lot of fun.

but it also has an insidious side.
a realm of half-truths, innuendo, and dark thoughts.
where inaccuracy and passive aggressiveness hold court.
where faceless people can make up anything they want
and there is little their victims can do about it.

even if you jump into this ugly stew and try to fight back,
somehow the whole truth still never quite emerges.
I think it's because of the limited scope of a blog.
to paint a real picture, to tell a complete, vivid,
and true story still may rely on the depth of a book.

it has been said there are three truths:
there is your truth,
there is my truth,
and then there is the truth.

rather than address fabrications,
and mindless partiality on my blog,
I have decided at last to write a book:
My Memoirs of King Crimson (so far)

I'm excited about expressing my truth.
and I have a lot to say.

Happy New Year Everyone!

the audacity of hope is in the air.
2008 was a great year for us,
hopefully 2009 will be as well.
I'm excited about new music to be made.
more travels, more fabulous performances.
I'm happier than ever
and I want to thank all of you
for being a part of our lives.