WEIRDEST GIG BLOG !!!
My father counted CHADS in Florida for Bush vs Gore ...and while I was in the basement having a drum lesson with Paul Price at his home, dad taught chess to his son under the photo of Mr. Price playing the World Premier of Standing in the tiny log cabin where I played with the Balinese Gamelan at the
And then I was thinking about the spiritual in music and remembered the time I played at the Esalen Institute in
Then there's the But of course when the Simons-Karrer Band rented two cars on their tour of Europe ('98?) and drove 12 hours a day for a week through blinding blizzards to gig in the Tyrolean Alps, for almost NO money, now THAT was painful.
Zagreb, made history in a 12th century cathedral in Tallinn, was the first to play Theremin in Java (maybe), left the stage during a drum solo in high school, then played for a week at Guantanamo Naval Base in Cuba, invented the Boozaphone just days before conducting a music workshop for recovering alcoholics at Bellevue Hospital, performed at Borubodur while burning our fingers on the hot gamelan keys, played in a Honolulu planetarium so dark I couldn't see the instruments or the sticks, saw Big Brother and the Holding Company live at the Avalon Ballroom in San Francisco during the Summer of Love, caught Elvin Jones' drumstick as it flew out of his hands at Slugs in the East Village, threw our instruments into the audience when we finished our set in Jakarta, performed music with a retrograde striptease dancer in San Diego (and almost got killed for it), kissed the Blarney Stone with my wife on our 1st anniversary...
I've played music for a travelling circus in California, in prison workshops with the Manson girls, in mental hospitals, old folks' home, on a bucket dressed in a tuxedo with an orchestra at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center, at 7am for an outdoor cattle market in Holland, performed as a shopping mall Santa Claus in Florida, jackhammer construction worker, in concert outdoors at an ancient temple in Bali on the first day of the millenium during a tropical monsoon under a leaking thatched roof when the torrential rain drowned out the music (despite the giant speakers that weren't connected), at Coney Island boardwalk gig where Nathan's paid us in hot dogs, at Brooklyn Academy of Music where the stage sank on hydraulics to basement level when the music ended (and we weren't allowed to move the instruments), in Haight-Ashbury in the 70's on Angel Dust in a piece about Aliens, at night in the desert of Southern California to communicate with same, performing on cue while sleeping and actors are getting beheaded (Popul Vu), got electrocuted onstage in
My father counted CHADS in Florida for Bush vs Gore ...and while I was in the basement having a drum lesson with Paul Price at his home, dad taught chess to his son under the photo of Mr. Price playing the World Premier ofIonization by Varese . . . yeah, but have you ever clowned at a bris? (when we asked LISA what's the weirdest gig you ever had) . . . I'm trying to remember, they've all been pretty strange . . . My college graduation recital featured an all nude big band (which played my music), the Looney Bonkers. . . a demo cassette tape I made called "The music that fell through the cracks" was found years later lying on the ground in Brooklyn's McCarren Park by a curator from Galapagos. But that wasn't my big break either . . . .
Standing in the tiny log cabin whereHome on the range was penned, nice spot, it's in Kansas. The Midi Theremin was premiered Upstate NY before an audience of three at a farmers market: the one who hired us, a 5 year old, and their babysitter. . . "Hi John" to Cage as we both bought edible flowers in Union Square, meeting a few days earlier he was climbing up stairs and asked me the way to the 1st floor garden, and i didn't have the heart to be confusionary just then; but in the liquor store I did ask Philip Glass why he wasn't buying the whiskey he was advertising in a glossy magazine ("that swill?") . . . Boulez bragging that he heard Gagaku back in 1945 . . . Penderecki claiming that he only listened to Bach . . .Gong Kebyar was influenced by Dixieland . . . we've changed the length of a day by redistributing weight on the planet . . . when I drank wine with Harry Partch in the San Diego zoo he said we (young music students) were like acorns that fell from his tree . . .
I played with the Balinese Gamelan at theU.N. on the day after we intercepted a ship full of weapons from North Korea bound for Yemen, and I thought: at this moment I am right in the bulls eye target of terrorists - Al Quaeda, Iraq/ it's OK if I die now, this is the best way to go, playing great music fast and loud, right on the big Gong. I played with the Gamelan Son of Lion at the World Trade Center plaza just 2 months before it went down. And then to commemorate the day of the Bali bombing, one year one month and one day after 9/11, the Balinese group performed AT Ground Zero. It was very very sad.
And then I was thinking about the spiritual in music and remembered the time I played at the Esalen Institute inBig Sur, California, in the late 1970's. This was with a dance company called CURRENTS. The performance took place under a giant tree that was covered with millions of Monarch Butterflies that were resting en route from their migration from Mexico. . . Later I hiked halfway down the cliff face to find hot tubs imbedded in caves on the side of the cliff over the Pacific Ocean. I played my nose flute in the mineral baths. Quite a magical place, one with alot of history. We also went to Tassajara Zen Center for more hot sulphur baths, sauna, and to swim at a waterfall in the canyon. We were told the monks &students couldn't tolerate music so we had to be silent until far from them. I felt like a pirate, a free agent, a samurai with a shakuhachi. This echo (of not-sound) would be heard later when the Taliban tried to make music illegal. In my humble opinion, a system destined to fail.
Then there's theTacheles gig, with Denman in EastBerlin. I just had a tooth pulled THAT DAY (payment in champagne ) and came back to find out he'd booked us a performance for that night. Well, it was a winner. . . actually the audience loved us, came up onstage to spontaneously read poetry and spew FIRE, celebrating their new freedoms (this was '91, the SovietUnion was collapsing). The bar was a metal welding scupture shop by day. We improvised on samplers along with audio tapes of KungFu, Gagaku, Alpha 60, and answering machine messages. There was no pain.
But of course when the Simons-Karrer Band rented two cars on their tour of Europe ('98?) and drove 12 hours a day for a week through blinding blizzards to gig in the Tyrolean Alps, for almost NO money, now THAT was painful.