As a kid in Juneau Alaska in the late 70’s, when this record came out we were absolutely stunned, I remember listening to it over and over wondering how everything had been recorded and how they played so well….just blew us away, and raised the level of our expectations of ourselves….not knowing anything about how records were actually made, we thought people just played like that, so that was what we did too….and living up there, you had time to work on that in the bedroom or wherever….over and over and over….
Later I was playing with Don Felder and we were opening for the Doobie Bros and Boston, and I sat at a table in the backstage eating lunch with Scholz and a couple other Boston members…I think I was just staring at him….and I think it was kinda annoying him, but you know…I was really just sitting there thinking how much that music had meant to me at the time, and here I was, some dork from Juneau Alaska sitting here at the table with him…I couldn’t believe it….I’ve had a lot of those moments, I’ve been very fortunate….
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. As a musician it’s tricky to understand what we do in the context of money and meaning. Lately I’m finding it much more useful to think of it in terms of how well I do it, and how much it brings to others.
In that context, playing for not much money in some bar just kinda anywhere starts to take on a lot more meaning and value. People are enjoying their time together watching others do something they can’t really do, in a setting that allows and/or validates their feelings….being brought together to feel something that can’t be had alone at home with your tv and your bottle, it’s GOOD for people to do that, and not be alone.
People come up all the time to share how they feel about what they’ve just seen/experienced, and I think we as musicians forget what a gift that is….that they have felt something so powerfully that they need to come up and tell us about it, even to a total stranger who just stepped off the stage, even at the risk of being rebuffed or ignored…. and it’s hard to just walk up to someone and bare your soul, even a little, but they trust us to hear them, because they know we MUST understand, because we just did it!
Yes, maybe we hear it all the time, but for them, it’s special, and it’s NOW, and it really matters to them.
It has nothing to do with money, it has nothing to do with MOST valuations that are recognized as valid measures of what we do, but maybe it’s the most important thing of all, and we should pay a lot more attention to it, I think we would be happier and maybe even better people for it.
Randy Cooke photobombing me at sound check……
Just ran into these, thought I’d throw them up…don’t ask what the hell….I don’t fucking know what gets into me either…..
Luckily the Biscuit got my hair when it ran off…