A million or so years ago, and a thousand or so miles from where I live now*, I was in a band with this guy ratchear. He’s gone on to success, and I; well, I’ve gone on to success as a carpenter.
Even if I hate dealing with ‘music people’ and especially just plain hate ‘other musicians,’ I still like to ‘do music,’ even if I don’t get to have an audience anymore. I laid off making Youtube videos ‘cos they all look like they were made by the hapless kid brothers of the dudes in that one documentary on tribute bands.** Or, for that matter, the one on the Minutemen — all the guys in a)typical Youtube solo guitar performance videos and b)various aging scenesters from the Minutemen doc and c)’music dudes’ in tribute bands all live in sad little apartments, all painted ‘Jizz Stain Hiding White’, or, more accurately, Just Plain Original Oil Kilz, Straight Out Of The Can. ANYWAY, Dan’s vid had the bare minimum of art direction, which led me to make my own, less visually impressive video.
The song I did was a cover of the Landines Bros ‘Alone on the Plain.’ Dan left a cassette of the Landine Bros. demo in my car; I never gave it back to him. Being grim and serious back then in the way that young people are prone, I was drawn to the song of a lonely survivor of an indigenous/homesteader outrage. Anyway, if Dan was gonna do a sad song about a cowboy stuck in a dust storm, I had to find something similar. Way back when, he made me transcribe Roy Rogers’ ‘Blue Prairie,’ and over the years I’ve learned a few more, like ‘Four-Legged Friend,’ ‘The Old Spanish Trail’, and ‘The Old Chisolm Trail,’ but I wouldn’t ever do anything like that in public. I’m really not as well-suited as Dan to approximate Roy Rogers.
*960 miles as the crow flies; I like to ROUND UP for dramatic effect!
**YOU LOOK IT UP. I’m not the f*cking internet, you know. It’s the one with the hilarious enmity between all the ‘Monkees tribute dudes’ in one particular town, with a ‘Mickey Dolenz guy’ and a ‘Mike Nesmith guy’ who’d rather eat a sh*t sandwich than deal with the only decent ‘Davy Jones guy’ in town.
***Factory worker wages are roughly 10 to 15 times what ‘original musicians’ make.