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Third Message from Gary
November 12, 1995
Hey guys, just back from the Knitting Factory minitour of San
Francisco and Chicago doing my solo guitar version of "The Golem",
and what a thrill to meet so many new and old friends and fans!
San Fran was a dream—near perfect clear weather, a funky theater in
the close-to-scuzzy area of the Mission, and a real turn on seeing
Gayle Kelemen (all the way from Phoenix Ariz. for this gig!), Tanya
Weiman (my indispensable eyes ears and mouth on the Net), Frank
Gorham and the Buckley posse, plus original Tin Huey member Ralph
Carney (featured also on many Tom Waits albums), and John Zorn (my
downtown NYC buddy/rabbi who hooked up a great Golem gig for me in
Munich in '92 at his Radical Jewish Culture Festival, wherein I made
friends with Lou Reed... but that's another story!)—the only sore
spot was the late start time of my gig which was supposed to begin at
10:30 pm but due to the projectionist running Anthony Coleman's film
"Sunrise" at 18 frames per second what was supposed to be a 1-1/4
hour Sunrise turned into a a 2 hour moonrise...
anyway most of the crowd stayed and what a great response! Again I
must say to get the kind of instant positive feedback/vibes from you
all is what keeps me out there doing this and God bless you... also
spent a great day with my old Syracuse buddy Tom Prowda, who's
relocated to the Bay area and has a cool mail order business going in
trippy ambient CDs suitable for all sorts of arcane pleasures and
pursuits (Tom's company is EarthWave Music, for info you can email
him at 'firstname.lastname@example.org').
Chicago was also excellent although weather was your typical snowy
bluster, but the Vic Theater is a hell of a cool venue (in the
Lakeside district) with a really nice staff and they made us (Rebecca
Moore, Anthony, Mark Dresser, Liminal, Judith Ren-Lay and Ken Butler)
feel most at home. Rebecca by the way did a great job coming up with
a new score for "Potemkin" with only hours to go as due to a screw-up
they had booked the Disney sound version of "20,000 Leagues Under the
Sea" instead of the silent 1916 version—her new album is really good
too! I got to go second this time which was much appreciated and
again what a great response—also meeting a lot of old fans who had
seen me perform in Chicago at the Lounge Axe in '93. Your loyalty is
really incredible to me!
Had a really nice late night snack with Mindy Giles from blues indie
Black Top Records and her friend (fellow Old Blue ex-Yalie) Amy
Ludwig who are also big fans of Jeff Buckley's—really sweet people.
Hope to come back to Chicago soon as I can with Gods and Monsters.
Meantime, as I write this Joan Osborne, for whom I wrote and arranged
and played on her debut album "Relish" (Mercury/Blue Gorilla Records)
is absolutely *stomping* up the Billboard Pop Album charts and is
*number 52* with a bullet this week. All I can say is if you haven't
heard this album do yourself a favor and run right out and get it
immediately—she is a first class talent and "Spider Web" is one of
my best musical collaborations if I do say so myself (also check out
my guitar derangement of Sonny Boy Williamson's "Help Me")... this is
the most successful project I've ever been involved in from a sales
standpoint wherein I particpated in the writing and all I can say is
- just keep on rising Joan! And I hope that doesn't sound too selfish
- even if I had nothing to do with it she is an amazing talent and
deserves to make it bigtime.
Also as I write this, everlovin' Fred Schneider of the great B-52's
is in the studio cooking with Steve Albini (PJ Harvey, Nirvana,
Shellac) producing and they just cut the basic tracks to a tune I
wrote with Richard Barone for Fred called "Bad Dream"—its a
*really* primordial rocker. With Steve (Sex Pistols) Jones playing
guitar on the sessions, the album promises to really put Fred in the
punk rock pantheon of all time (not that he isn't already there with
amazing work like "Rock Lobster" and "Private Idaho").
Also—right before I left I did a wonderful live recording to DAT in
my livingroom (shades of "Brain from Planet Eros"(!) from the "Gods
and Monsters" album) with legendary singer/songwriter/ scenemaker Bob
Neuwirth for an album to be released next year on Watermelon Records.
I first met Bob when we played at the 1990 Winnipeg Folk Festival
(sometimes it blows my mind that my music can be played at folk
festivals, blues festivals, avant-garde festivals, rock festivals,
jazz festivals—I've played 'em all!) and became friends/mutual
admirers. I first heard of him when I saw DA Pennebaker's incredible
documentary on Bob Dylan's 1965 tour of England "Don't Look Back" -
he was Dylan's road manager/right hand man at the time and went on to
become Patti Smith's lover, Edie Sedgwick's boyfriend, Jim Morrison's
minder, the Rolling Thunder Review's organizer, and a zillion more
catalytic roles that helped move the culture forward—he cut solo
albums on Geffen and last year had an album on MCA with John Cale
(Velvet Underground) called "Last Days on Earth"... anyway I was
immensely flattered to work/play with him as he had just come from
doing another duet for the album with the amazing Dr. John. We cut a
truly haunting track with him singing and playing my Gibson J-45
(which I *never* lend out with only rare exceptions—same is true of
all my gear—I even turned Vernon Reid down when he was recording
the first Living Colour album and wanted to borrow my National
steel...) and me playing space guitar on the Strat plus delays... I
haven't been able to get this tune out of my head since we cut it and
I hope the record comes out soon so you guys can savor it.
That's all for now—next gig is this Wednesday at St. Mark's Church
on Second Ave. and 10th doing my raucous electric slide version of
"Amazing Grace" at Ed Sander's (Fugs, Manson book) mini-fest—Todd
Colby, who has at times read his poetry with me and has a cool group
called Drunken Boat, can't make the gig unfortunately as he is
shooting a commercial in LA but Allen Ginsberg and Rebecca Moore will
be there and more cool performers...
Love you all, Gary.