Rock and Roll, People -
Damn, I love to play guitar. I really need to get a group of people I can play with on a semi-regular basis. The issue is there is some part of me that wants it to be great in a professional way. I think this is a problem I have with self-judgment in general.
I mean, I’m a very limited player. I feel it, but I’m not really a musician. I respect musicians and I would never claim to really be one. When I do play, it’s sort of like sports, which were never really my thing because the competition element was too intense. If I played shitty or was on a losing team the real game played out in my head. A fight between me and me about my performance and I always lost that one. It’s fixed.
I like when I can do something well out of the gate but I don’t love working on it or the discipline required to really work on it. I do with comedy and the podcast but that’s all very in the moment stuff and I’ve worked on it all of my life. The feedback and freedom is so immediate but I always feel like I should work harder. So, with music, even if I do it casually, I compare myself to people who make it their life and it makes me insecure and not want to pursue it even for fun. Weird and stupid. I mean, I’ve been working hard at guitar but do I really think I’m going to become a singer songwriter or a front man of a relevant band? Some part of me does. I guess that’s the fantasy. I need to get over it.
I played ‘out’ the other night. Brendon Small did one of his ‘Baked’ comedy shows where a comic tells a somewhat music-specific story and then you can sing or play or both with the amazing musicians he puts together. Last night it was Brendon on guitar, Joe Travers on drums, Pete Griffin on bass and Walter Ino on keyboard and guitar. I wanted to do ‘What Goes On’ by the Velvet Underground. I’d played it before in front of people but I wanted to do it again because my leads are getting better and I wanted to hit that lead note for note.
The rehearsal was at Walter the keyboard guy’s house. I had never been there. Wasn’t sure if it was the right place. No one was picking up their phone or responding to texts. I had my Nash Telecaster with me, no case, and I was sitting in my car losing my shit, again. I thought I wouldn’t get to rehearse. I acted like a child. Texted, ‘I’m out.’ And started to drive off. Then Brendon called, met me outside and we went in to play. I apologized for being a dick. We warmed up with literally three minutes of blues and I was so worked up and mad and caffeinated that I think I played the best I ever played. Then we played the song. It was perfect. Best I’ve ever done it, lead and all. Then I had five hours before the gig.
Long story short, I joined the band for the opening number of La Grange and nailed it. When I went up to do my song I had realized that most of the audience wouldn’t know it and we were at the Improv and a lot of them were there for a comedy show—they had no idea the show they were about to see. I was nervous. I did some bits, got some laughs and we went into the song. It sounded great. Then, we got to the lead and I CHOKED. I botched it. We came back around to it. I botched it again. No one would’ve known because I just jammed something else but not THE lead. So, instead of leaving it be I said, ‘Fuck, I’m going to get this lead.’ Then on the mic I said, ‘we have to stay in the song until I nail this thing.’ I did, but it was clearly not the cool-headed thing to do. I beat myself up for hours. So, I guess what I’m trying to say is I don’t think I can just play music casually. I need to start a serious band and do the work. Someday. Right.
Today on the show I talk to a very post-Harry Potter Daniel Radcliffe. Great guy. Solid. On Thursday, I spent a little time with Aziz Ansari and talk about his new show AND I spend some time talking to bass badasses Robert Trujillo and Flea about Robert's film project ‘Jaco.’ It’s a doc about Jaco Pastorius. I don’t generally do these type of talks but we got a lot of other stuff in and I think it's an important story about an American genius that needs to be told and seen.
Rock and Roll, People -