The World According to Keitho

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Yeah, man.

Posted by keithosaunders on February 14, 2010

You may not realize it by our gruff exteriors, but us musicians are a fragile bunch.  Our egos are akin to high performance sports car,requiring constant attention.  This self-esteem, or lack thereof, needs to be tweaked and kept in tune.  To this end, I have to say that you, the audience, do not always do your job.   

I will grant you, kind reader and prospective audience member, that not every venue demands the rapt attention of, say, a Carnegie Hall, but c’mon —  a little applause between shovelling in that linguine and swilling down that house wine wouldn’t kill you.  Here we are — the musicians — and we’re giving, and we’re giving, and we’re giving some more.  What the hell are you doing to add to the urbane experience?!  Are you bringing your A game or are you merely phoning it in? 

The musicians understand, however, that there are times when we are going to have to self-medicate, and by this I don’t necessarily mean getting loaded.   Let me offer an example.  The song ends — a beautiful, introspective ballad replete with verse, solos, and coda.  

Crickets. 

 What do we do? I’ll tell you what we do.  Piano player turns to the bass player and.using his best hipster voice…”Yeahhhhhh.”  

At this point you might be thinking “how pathetic.”  You’re wrong.  Somebody has to say some fuckin’ thing!  If it’s not you it will have  to be one of us.  The band I play with on Thursdays and Sundays  has found the perfect solution.  After the song ends if there is no applause, or just a little applause, we turn to each other and say “BASTARDS!”  Very cathartic.  I’m surprised more cats don’t use this one.

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3 Responses to “Yeah, man.”

  1. noleftturnz said

    Keith,

    Thanks for stopping by my site and leaving a thoughtful comment.

    As an aside, I am (was.. too many egomaniacal singers..)a drummer (since age 10)and can completly identify with the “crickets” thing..

    I used to just look at it as though we were getting paid to practice. These silent gigs usually ended up being wonderful performances from OUR perspective.

    Do you play around New York? Got back from AMERICA’S GREATEST CITY a few months back and would have enjoyed stopping by to hear great jazz.

    Don’t want to go on too long but, ALL jazz in great but I have always had a warm spot for fusion as long as it doesn’t end up sounding like “con-fusion”.

    Now my sound proof room awaits with Tama Starclassics and Zildjian cymbals where silence is the norm. The “crowd” is in my mind, the music is in my heart..

    Don’t you feel that no matter what, we really play for ourselves? Remember those nights where you were so off you couldn’t find your ass with two hands and a map and people came up after saying, “great job, man..” Even when they are paying attention, they may not know what they are listening to. Do it for you and the guys.

    The crowd SHOULD pay attention and they SHOULD be considerate and we always hope that they recognize and appreciate the effort at least.. If they don’t, it’s just for us.

    I’ll count it off, something in five, maybe?

    Larry

  2. Hi Larry,

    I am old enough to remember when fusion was really popular back in the late 70s. That’s when I was in high school and everyone in the band wanted to play Weather Report’s Birdland. And of course Herbie Hancock and Chick Coreaa, among others had some great records out in those days.

    I don’t listen to much fusion these days but I’m sure there is still some great under-the-radar stuff out there. I do have this CD that I love by a drummer named Denis Chambers. Great great recording.

  3. tsandv said

    Isn’t it what’s all about – Find that magic moment, and share it with others ??
    I recognize what you say about turning to the bass player being a former bass player myself.

    Tore

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