Wednesday, October 22, 2008

nice work, part 2

Well, yes, that was pretty fucking fun.

Garth Hudson wore black. Black pants, black shirt, black gaucho cowboy hat. Black bomber jacket with "Los Lobos" on the back and "Garth" embroidered on the lapel. He still has long hair and the beard. Says he shaved once. In 1973.

He told me about McKinney's Cotton Pickers, Charles Brown, Sonny Boy Williamson. About playing in bars with chicken wire in front of the stage. He talked about the jazz pianist Art Tatum as if he was an infinitely mysterious alien force.

He even talked about Bob Dylan a bit. He said Dylan worked an Olivetti typewriter like a jazz player taking a solo. He told me that he and Dylan used an Ampex tape recorder to make the Basement Tapes.

He told me about The Band, his band. He said the great and tragic Richard Manuel was the finest "energy" piano player he ever saw, and that Manuel's favorite sandwich was whole grain bread, a sweet red onion, and peanut butter. And he said The Band liked to play "the kind of music that could be performed by guys who wanted to be young forever."

What is it about talking to musicians and hearing stories about the making of great albums that still punches my ticket? I'll probably never know....

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