Monday, June 13, 2005

It's a musicians life

Simon came to see me today, he was spitting blood. He's fed up with doing stuff other people tell him. He said "I want to play Rock and Roll that's what I'm good at. Fuck the duos and solos. I want to be in a band playing stuff I want to play." I can see his point. He's been playing all Davids stuff for years now and although Davids songs are nice and well crafted, they're just nice. They don't grab you by the throat and shake the living shit out of you. It's almost elevator music. Written to perfection, every note exactly where it should be, every chord progression exactly by the book. Result: Musak. I know exactly what Simon means. He wants it to be rocking. he wants to stir the blood. He wants it raw and immediate. Fun. How many time have you seen people dancing to the music in a department store. Never.
This is one thing I learnt in my eighteen months with Del and Tony. You don't need to be a brilliant musician to be successful. You need to be competent but most importantly you need to want to have fun with your music. Because only then does your audience have fun. We made mistakes, we made howlers, not just me but Del and Tony alike. But we got away with it because we were having so much fun playing and the audience latched on to that. You can't play live without making mistakes. So if any aspiring guitarists or musicians are reading this take careful note. It's not what you play it's how you play it. It's your attitude not your technical brilliance thats most important. In the grand scheme of things I'm a shite musician. I wish I was better. I keep improving though. But in the meantime I just play because I love to do it. There's nothing like being on stage in front of an audience and playing.
There was a time when I had terrible stage fright. I would be throwing up before a gig. I would be shaking like a leaf. I had to sit on a stool to play I couldn't play standing up. I was so afraid of making a mistake. I'd wrap my legs round the stool so people didn't see my legs shaking. Eventually the stage fright got the better of me and I stopped playing live for 16 years. I'm back now. I will never be famous. I wont ever be on MTV. I have no desire to get into the rat race of music. I'm happy being a pub musician. I know my place. I know I am now too old to start. I'm 46 now. Kids less than half my age can leave me standing. Musically they could tear me to shreds. But that doesn't matter. I love what I do. There is nothing to beat the feeling of entertaining a crowd. It doesn't matter how small or how insignificant the crowd. It's that moment, when everyone is behind you cheering you on. Wanting more. Del and I had that moment at the Fox Folkesworth. Tony went home leaving Del and I to continue.We played and played, the crowd wanted more. OK they were pissed. We had to stop when our fingers couldn't play any more. When it became physically painful to go on. I think that night we started playing at 8:30 and Del and I came off stage about three in the morning.
So Simon wants to form a Rock and Roll band. I don't know if he was hinting that he wanted me to play with him. But he said he had asked Smashy to quickly learn to play drums. Smashy is a wonderful guy. Not a brilliant musician but he tries hard. He has potential.

Tomorrow every body and his dog in blog land will have made a comment on the Michael Jackson trial. I don't really want to comment but I want to make an observation. We were playing pool at the time and as each vote of not guilty was announced there was a cheer from the clientelle. N0 one booed. It seems everyone who cared wanted him acquittted and the rest didn't give a shit. There didn't seem to be anyone who wanted him guilty.
So that's my question. Is there anyone who actually wanted Michael Jackson to be guilty? For my part I think he had a gross error of judgement. In that he invited young children into his home. He was terribly naive. He made huge mistakes that people took advantage of. He was very lucky to get away with it. MY advice would be to get rid of Never Never land. Grow up for chrissakes because next time he wont be so lucky.
There can not be a next time. There can not be a possibility of a next time.

Walk away. Get real. Play the music.

That's my advice to everyone.

Just Rock on dudes. You better believe it.

iPod now playing- Roads to Moscow by Al Stewart


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