Thursday, June 24, 2010

"I'm a travelin' man...

made a lot of stops, all over the world..."

when as a kid I watched Ricky Nelson sings those words
on the Ozzie and Harriet Show I never imagined one day
I'd be receiving my fourth US passport, the previous three
being so stuffed as to require extra added pages.

and Martha has just informed me I'll be racking up more
frequent flier miles than expected between now and the end
of august since we've just added power trio shows
in Japan, Chile, Argentina, and Uraguay
to the festival in Vancouver island
and my planned visit to Amsterdam in late august
(more on this in an upcoming announcement).

all of which is exciting news and demonstrates how
in the small corner of the music business I occupy some things
can be planned far in advance, but many cannot.
a good example is the new dates just added in Japan.
we've been working on having the trio return to Japan
for more than a year and a half and just now
with only 5 weeks notice we've been booked there.
still, it's all good, and the future continues to shine on.

meanwhile I'm busy loading up my iPad with eBooks
for the long journeys ahead.

just when I thought I knew everything...

about the beatles, a new book of revelations comes along
which renders the fab four mythical creatures into all-too
human beings rife with foibles, faults, and pettiness just like
the rest of us and rips back the curtain of fabulous fame
to reveal the sad truth as Allen Ginsberg once said it to be,
"fame is a curse with no redeeming features".
after all, there could be no worse denouement of fame
than the horrible death of john lennon, killed by a fan.

the book, which I've just finished reading, is called
you never give your money
written by Peter Doggett.
it centers on the dissolution of the beatles, the reasons
for their eventual demise, what happened after their breakup,
and the toll it took on their personal lives.
throughout my teens and into my twenties I dreamed
of how great it would be to be a beatle,
but the "dream" for the four lads themselves
was more like a nightmare.

which only serves to strengthen the feelings I've had for many years now:
I may not be a "household word" but I'm as famous as I ever want to be.

it's a fabulous read. I recommend it to all beatle buffs.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

look out east coast, here I come!

preparing for the two-day drive to the east coast to begin
the second leg of my painting with guitar one-man shows.
I have a few new wrinkles to add to the show this time round
and a brand new silver "production model" signature fly!
it's my first "production model", it's perfectly awesome,
and the best guitar I have ever owned.
my fingers happily fly up and down the neck of this beauty.

daniel will be onboard for a second time and I'm looking
forward to having julie open the last two shows.
with a new power trio live DVD to sign after the shows
and a special pair of silver shoes made by my daughter audie
the only thing left to decide is: conductor's hat or shiny pate?

one thing I enjoy in the show which seems inappropriate
for the rock concerts with the power trio or king crimson
is the question and answer interplay with the audiences.

the question which is most often posed is:
what is happening with king crimson?
so I'll attempt here to answer that question.

a few weeks back I wrote an email to my pal robert
asking him to call me to talk about something of
"heartfelt importance".
he called and we began a conversation about the miserable
plight of the working musician who often is not paid for his
or her contributions to the world of music.
robert said he now spends most of his professional life
chasing down money owed to him or king crimson.
for example, neither robert nor I have been paid
one single penny for our work on the construkction of light,
made how many years ago??
not a single penny.

imagine in your job if this were the case.

then we got on to the "heartfelt importance" part.
I reminded robert that next year 2011 would mark the 30-year
anniversary of what was once called
"the best live band in the world",
the 1981 krimson quartet with robert, bill, tony, and myself.
I said I'd like us to put that band back on the road next year.
I said it would be a shame for the young people who missed it
never to have that experience, especially considering the mostly
lame-ass crap that has passed for "great music" in their lives.
I said I would do everything in my power to make the touring
as pleasant as possible and believe we could hand-pick
what we were willing to do, i.e. how many dates, where, etc.
I offered my home and studio for as much rehearsal as needed.

I said "don't say no yet, think about it, then call back and say no".

there are serious issues of course, such as bill's recent
retirement from live music, but I feel a "heartfelt" urge
to let the world see and hear that band one more time.
robert is considering the matter now which is where we left it
and I hope this entry does not put extra pressure on him.
he has every right to decline, as do bill and tony.
I'm just hoping it might happen.

king crimson has always been one pillar of my career,
the other pillar being whatever solo efforts I can make.
for the last 4 years I've poured my heart and soul
into the power trio with eric and julie slick.
with an incredible amount of work put forth
by a small group of people, mostly my wife martha
we have managed to play around the world
and been successful beyond what I imagined would happen.

but the sad fact is I cannot keep the power trio working
year round so eric has found work in another band
which is keeping him so busy he is not available
for the rest of this year and who knows when next year.
(all the more reason to buy our new DVD:
a crass commercial plug, I realize).

to be honest the loss of eric and possible end of the slick trio
has truly sickened me and caused a paralysing deep funk
over the last few months which I have struggled to overcome.
my salvation has been the music I continue to make.

but I'm truly excited about my future hopes for the one-man shows,
anxious to experience a different power trio with the eight-armed
wonder drummer marco minnemann and julie and myself,
hopeful of an amazing reunion with my pals robert, bill, and tony,
and hoping maybe the slick power trio can reappear
next year if eric's schedule ever takes a breath.

isn't life exciting?
see you at the shows!