Friday, July 25, 2008

Beer Chair Observations, part 1.

First of all, we'll discuss the beer chair another time, when I can find a picture of it to scan in. It features on the last album I did with Chris, and has a certain emotional resonance for me; that and a quart bottle of Pabst Blue Ribbon. ("From Milwaukee to Motown, through the Pacific Northwest and back East again....brown, friendly and beckoning" ...this was a lower-end guy-ish beer long since swallowed by the Miller conglomerate) which would be consumed in the chair after work building (somewhat incompetently on my part) inshore trawlers and swordfish boats in Po-town .

And before we say anything else, let me point out that it was
so not Andy who cut me up on the fixed the other day; as the the rider was identified as being from France, not in France, which Andy currently is, which besides everything else makes it literally impossible that he was present in the UK yesterday for the alleged shunt . Paranoid?

I felt I had to answer that post as it was something of a watershed in the life of any blog, that of the first comment; I now feel I have been blooded, in a sense, and now stand ready to blithely delete the expected deluge of extremist rants in howling capital letters, as if the caps lock of the cold, unfeeling universe was accidentally stuck, its blue indicator light winking unseen, just beyond us, under various Hubble-lit nebulae.
No, this post is about that moment of elation that doesn't occur everyday; that of discovering something new: I can practice soprano sax in the hammock. No, really.

After years of standing around for hours with a tenor slung lashed to my neck, like Ahab in the final chapter (I always see Gregory Peck lashed to the whale, waving them on to perdition), giving myself assorted back problems, curvature of the spine, hernias and god knows what else, I finally find this. I could go one further, and add a cold Guinness to the equation; watching the new-fledged wrens pick bugs off the beanpoles in the veg patch while the buzz in my head slowly grows louder. But, as I found many years earlier, it makes your horn smell funny, especially the day after. Better to go with things like, say, vodka, or green tea... or both. The strange thing I found, after exhaustive experimentation, is that only certain kinds of things work: scales and such are fine, from strange altered Messiaen rip-offs, to cod-arty attempts to enter the clean, detached snow-kissed worlds of obliquely-lit ECM artists - cool, close miked, vibrato-free tones cutting through the foliage like a sparrow hawk on the stoop. However, not everything prostrates itself before you in this prone new world, while staring at your toes just above your line of sight. There are still pockets of resistance: if you want to play bebop, you have to stand up.

but we all always knew that.



Revd Andrew James Brown said...

Glad my name is now cleared of the shunt and to have helped you into the complete world of blogging by posting a comment.

Fascinated to hear about horizontal soprano playing in a hammock. I'm sorry to have missed that. In case anyone is interested, this activity is almost impossible to do with the double bass - lying in a hammock with a double bass on top of you is rather like having a whale lashed to you. This is, of course, a massive inversion of the whole Moby Dick image Kev so brilliantly brings to life in his blog and is perhaps one readers won't want to think about too hard . . .

I'll stop now.

Honorclare said...

double bass: hammock. Now there's an image. That definately wouldn't fly. Violin wouldn't work either. Glass of wine, book of poetry and a blank sheet of paper and pen work best in a hammock. bebop: absolutely for standing up only, can't imagine playing that on the sax and being able to stay still. It's hard to stay still even when you're just listening to it let alone playing it.