Hannah, The Guitar & Our Friends That Don’t Get Their Due
July 25, 2005
Well, I FINALLY got my baby back, and it was great to see Hannah at the LAX terminal. The first thing we did was get some BAJA FRESH Mexican and chat about the tour and the wedding she went to in Dallas (she’d been there for a few weeks now) and how she hung with our friend, Chris Purdy, who’s in a great band called NOPE (www.nope.us) and how her brother, Ben, and her hit up the pubs in Dallas. The brit ones, by the way! I teased Hannah that there was this Brit restaurant in Santa Monica (caddy corner from the King’s Head) and they post their menus and serve things like ‘Blood Sausage’ and ‘Black Pudding’, you know, all the things that make Britain GREAT. Speaking of Britain, I can’t stop doing that “Yaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyessssss” that the guy from little BRITIAN does where he plays the nutty Scottish B&B proprietor. i think it’s starting to annoy Hannah! ( for people who don;t know, the guy answers every question like that and then plays a passage from his flute. also, he thinks he’s the only person in the world that knows anything so he’ll recieve a compliment on his tomatoe soup and they’ll ask him how he made it and and he’ll play a bit of flute and then say something like,” Well, there’s this large animal. And i’ve discovered the mammories produce this thick, sweet while liquid…” and the customer will say, “you mean MILK?” and the nutty guy will say, “Yaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyessssss, but how did you know?” And then he’ll go on to describe the rounded, firm red vegetable he added…of course which is a tomatoe of course…)
So at least Hannah’s back so that’s one problem solved. Also, many things in the works this week, music-wise, but no announcements of any sort till next week probably, most likely. Been finishing lyrics for some of the new songs and was concerned in that they were a bit TOO real and maybe TOO personal. but in a creative way that also fits in with the storyline of what i was trying to accomplish. i even, at one point, asked Johnny a few questions because i had written something nearly a year ago (and John E is the witness) but lyrically, it totally applies to right now yet it wasn’t even written for now. it’s eerie and i don;t want to think about how people might judge me but i guess that’s part of the gig; people are SUPPOSED to judge you. if it’s art then it’s open to interpretation and i actually really like that. i try to stay true to my heart and my ideas and at the end of the day, if i can say i really like it and i wouldnt change it, then i’ll go with that. i think i’m open minded enough to know if something’s crap. i sure as hell don’t intend to play crap. I’ve been feeling more ‘socially conscience’ lately but i try to also maintain a bit of irony and a sense of humor. if i can balance those AND rhyme AND we (the group) make some great music for it, then i think we’ll be on our way to winning a different respect from not only LOVE fans but from beyond that, where an expansion of new fans here in the states would be welcome. I think fans have got to hold us to the flame in that respect. Of course i do realise they didn’t hold us to the flame BEFORE (just polite, “Auuurthaw, wor ah the noo soooongs?” comments. of course, the standard, “We got a new album comming out” or, may favoritie, “Folks, I got a new book coming out…” usually quieted those knaves!
So, i’m working hard at that. The band has started recording some basics to 4 songs. John Leckie was very excited about that and in the beginning (about 6 months ago) he was hoping ‘our kid’ would come round and contribute to these ideas and such. then it was becoming obvious that wasn’t going to happen (we’d given up on expecting lyrics and were now just down to, ‘come on man, come up with a classic melody. i KNOW you can still do it, come on…) because, as someone only recently reminded us, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink it. and such has been our love story for quite some time now. i’m sure this plays like a very enjoyable soap opera to some people and you can tell some people actually get enjoyment out of all this, either pretending to be clueless or maybe they just really are completely 100% out of the loop. i think it’s worth adding that it takes more than just a one-time genius with an amazing catalog AND a really good band behind him. We had that. in ’93 to ’96. Our Kid played with Shack, a few gigs. but nothing happened after that. We still played to less than 80 people for teh next 2 years. What happened? well, Gene Kraut and Jazmaan. Those two guys, without those two guys none of us would even be talking about any of these. And most LOVE fans haven’t a clue about that.
But think about it, after the ‘triumphant return’ to England and a few gigs with Shack and the High llamas, it was back to business as usual, which was to play gigs for no money but to great press, most of which were people that were following and writing about Baby Lemonade and saw the LOVE connection as an even greater and more worthy story (and rightfully so). What Gene did was deal with all the burnt bridges and all the enemies our kid had made (and i’ll be damn if he didn’t have his work cut out for him) and what WE did was inject some credibilty back into our kid’s career which, depending on who you believe, had disappeared around 1974,75,or 76. Gene arranged a ‘prove it tour’ which means the bands take it up the arse (sound familiar? say, didn;t we just DO one of them tours?) for little money but the stakes are high in that, if we perform great and keeop our kid together, EVERYTHING will get better. FAST. And we did that tour (Jazmaan came along as well) and we were triumphant and everything looked great.
Of course, what we didn’t know was the gun charge (he’d actually fired a gun in the air, which is a felony when you are already a felon in the state of California) along with 2 previous felonies (one was an attempt to burn a woman’s house down and i’m not sure what the other was but it may have been gun-related…like possession or something…i don;t know so maybe i shouldn’t speculate) and so, just-like-that (snap yer fingers), he was hit with a 12 year sentence. Now we all learned at the sentencing (i was there, that june 1996 day, along with Daddyo, Ringo, Jazmaan and Rusty. Don’t remember why Chap couldn;t make it.) that our kid was actually offered 11 months and had turned it down, choosing instead to go to trial. But Van Nuys is quite a conservative city and a jury in that area…well that’s a tough call.
But all in all, people like Gene and Jazmaan really were instrumental and reviving our kid’s career, not once but twice. I miss Gene but it’s a good thing he wasn’t round to see stuff like Benecaissan and the two SF shows or the CoachHouse show. Some really don’t understand how we effectively covered up the mistakes on stage so you could only see the magic. Some shows that people thought were good -and there were MANY – would have a totally different opinion were another band doing the same songs but without the knowledge and experience of how to catch the mistakes, wrong versus, wrong lyrics, ommitted choruses, singing over solos…you name it. you might have been a bit bummed cause when you’re hearing your favorite song you would have had to endure seeing and hearing a band STOP on stage. cause, see, that’s what used to happen appearently before Baby Lemonade. And that’s what happens when you aren’t good enough to be way ahead of the game, musically. it takes a certain amount of talent to play LOVE’s music. It takes even MORE talent to play it RIGHT. it takes even MORE THAN THAT to play it with our kid. way more than that. But as i sit down with my guitar in my little home studio and work on stuff i just follow my bliss, knowing that if i don’t first feel it in my soul, no one else will. i feel very blessed to know so many people who not only love music but really KNOW and UNDERSTAND music. the live it and breathe it. that’s why you can converse with them because they are just as knowledgable about music as you are. But at the end of the day, it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing. And that’s our job; to see to it that it does.
all the best,