Date: Saturday, January 30, 1999
I suppose there may be some of you who are moved to wonder what, if
anything, is going on with the intricate web that is the day to day
life of the band, and, more specifically, why almost nothing has been
heard from them since the end of the English (and a wee bit of Welsh
Wales) tour last December. Well, you're probably right.
The answer is.....................nothing!!!
I am sitting here in my winter lair looking over a chilled New England
landscape, counting squirrels, deer and other wild beasts who have
to spend their miserable unquestioning lives scrambling for scraps
of food and vying for nooks and crannies of shelter.......... sounds
uncannily like musicians, actually. No, this is a time of rest from
the road - a time to recharge the creative batteries in the hope that
some glimmer of an original idea will somehow attach itself to a part
of the brain which will allow for germination, fertilisation, and
then maybe fruition - in short, write a song again!
I know Eliot has been hard at work developing some of his new ideas
and he is revelling in playing with his new keyboard which we're all
going to see (and touch, and fondle) next week at rehearsals, our
first of the year. This will serve two useful purposes - one to see
if we can remember how to play anything at all, and secondly, assuming
the results of no.1 are positive, to try and shed some of the accumulated
rust from a season of overindulgence in the bacchanalian delights
of the holiday season just passed. You see, the Tom Joyner Radio show
called a couple of weeks ago, and reminded us that it was that time
again (you may recall we did their program last year at this time,
from Florida, at a festival to celebrate the first historic black
township in the USA) only this time we'll be at the Lincoln Theatre
in Washington DC for their Valentine's show, on the morning of Friday
Feb. 12th. That can only mean all the LOOOOOVE songs will be trotted
out ( you have to say that with a Barry White voice to get the true
meaning ) so let the page know what you think we should do, and we'll
try to whittle it down to the five that we'll have time for.
Fabulous, Flying, Funky Freddy V returns from London in a day or two,
where he has been for the last two weeks - putting himself about a
bit at the local gigs, I hear, and hanging out with Hamish Stuart,
some of the guys (and gals) from Kokomo, and himself doing a jazz
thing with our old buddy Jim Mullen, the Scottish guitarist who won
last year's UK jazz poll as top player. Of course, we've all known
for years just how good Jim is, and for those of you who followed
his fortunes with Dick Morrisey in the years with the Morrisey-Mullen
Band, that news, if news it is, will come as no surprise. Let's hope
somebody rolled tape of Fred's gig with him, as there's been precious
little of inspirational value this season in the musical department.
All these wannabe R&B merchants' CDs that almost, but not quite,
get you going.........you know, you want to get on the floor - the
groove sounds like it's going to develop into something more than
a dry tickle - you turn round, gulp down another mouthful, grab the
bird, and as you do the best sliiiide into the fray, it all just seems
to stagnate into another turgid bit of so-called "Oldskool"
with a few loops and samples that we made 20 years ago thrown in to
fuel the track. It is sooooooo frustrating. So, it's been back to
digging out the LPs again and getting down with our bad selves to
the real thing.
Still, there are signs of life out there, and it seems the hibernation
period is about to come to an end, if it hasn't already, and the phone
seems to be affirming that awakening after a month of merciful silence.
Oh, well, if people continue to want doses of unmitigated funk and
soul music, and insist that the words average, white, and band should
feature somewhere in their year's supply of same, then who are we
to refuse to answer the call of the soul-starved multitudes..........who
are probably running around out there right now like those squirrels
and deer I was talking about earlier.
Now, where's my gun