ceciliatan: (darons guitar)
( Aug. 11th, 2016 11:43 am)

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

The venue was a large outdoor place. Have I explained the term “shed and festival” yet? If you do a lot of “shed and festival dates” it means a lot of summer outdoor venues, and the ones like this and Red Rocks, Great Woods, and Lakewood in Georgia are the best, but there’s a seedy end of things, too. You hear sometimes about bands past their prime eking it out on the shed and festival circuit, i.e. playing the local amusement parks, the multi-band bills with bigger names or better draws, that sort of thing. The thing about a place that only does shows for a couple of months out of the year is a lot of them are somewhat–shall we say–rustic in their facilities.

I’m not even talking about the plumbing or lack thereof but that the backstage areas are sometimes literally shed-like. This place was pretty nice, but there are some where you know they get away with stuff being substandard because they know you’re only there for a matter of hours so you’re not going to make a big fuss about it and if they’re the only large venue in an area they know they’ll have acts coming through trying to pack their tour schedules as efficiently as possible.

I’ll tell you about some crappy places later.

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ceciliatan: (darons guitar)
( Aug. 4th, 2016 09:00 am)

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

That night we went to what I was told was a legendary hole-in-the-wall to see Cray’s new band play. I guess you would describe the venue as a honky tonk. It was a club so no-frills that the stage was backed with wood paneling like a suburban TV room and only had two different colors of lights. Like in some of the jazz clubs I’d been to, you didn’t go there for a “show,” you went there for the music. The audience sat in plastic chairs at formica tables and could get pizza from the bar. The ceiling was low and so was the stage itself, which was maybe twelve inches at best. I’d say the capacity topped out at 200 and that would be if they pushed it to the absolute max.

Cray’s band were going to play two sets. Before the first set he came over to say hello. Flip gave him a bear hug just to make him uncomfortable but it didn’t really work because Cray either wasn’t as uptight as he had been in Japan or he he’d gotten better at hiding that he was. We introduced him and Jam, who looked about as out of place in there as a circus clown on a submarine, and they shook hands and then mostly ignored one another.

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ceciliatan: (darons guitar)
( Jan. 25th, 2014 10:00 am)

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

(Saturday bonus post! This is the one I owe you guys from the week of the Christmas norovirus when a couple of donations came in while I was too sick to do math! -ctan)

I know it makes no sense that Remo saying one little word freaked me out. Especially in light of the fact that I pretty much suspected the truth all along. Well, not ALL along, but certainly recently. I mean, part of me felt like I had when he’d said Clapton played the lead guitar and not George Harrison on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” Like it was so obvious, and yet until I heard him say it, it wasn’t part of my worldview.

In this case, something with him and my mother was something I strongly suspected, and even joked about, and we had even talked about once before though we’d stopped short of a bombshell. But somehow hearing him admit that he’d had sex with my mother was different from merely being pretty sure it was true.

Why would hearing it aloud suddenly make me question things when speculating about it hadn’t? I don’t know. But it did. I suddenly questioned my talent. I hadn’t expected the answer to shake the bedrock of my self-image, but there you go–I suddenly wondered. I’d always assumed the sole reason Remo had put up with me was because my talent was unquestionably prodigy-level. The only possible explanation for all the bending over backwards he had to do to drag a 12-13-14 year old into his band was that I was simply that good. Right?

Why did I question that now that I knew he and my mother had played hide the salami?

“You doing okay?” Cray asked.

I still had half a bottle of whatever the stuff was he had brought me to drink. There was no English I could recognize on it, but then again my eyes were too crossed from alcohol to read the fine print. “Uh, think so,” I said.

“Because you look like you’re either having constipation or an angst fest between the ears.” He swigged back the last of his own bottle and put the empty down on the side table. He was sitting in a chair Remo must have pulled over beside the bed.

“Uh, the angst fest. It’s all right. It’ll pass.” I leaned against the wall, thumping my head a little harder than recommended against it, but I couldn’t feel well enough to tell.

“You want to talk about it?”

“You remember what you were saying about how him fucking your mother gives him the right to treat you like a son?”

Cray shook his head. “Doesn’t give him the right. Does-n’t. But you don’t seem to mind it.”

“Except all of a sudden, I do.”

“Clearly I’m a bad influence on you.” Cray smiled thinly. “How’d he meet your mother?”

“No fucking idea.”


“Well, okay, he was my father’s best friend.” I felt a wave of queasy pass through me and I thought maybe this wasn’t from drinking. “Shit. Remo never struck me as the kind of guy who would have sex with his best friend’s wife.”

Cray merely shrugged.

“Seriously. What the fuck.”

“I thought you said your dad was a piece of work?”

“He is. But back then, Remo and he were friends. Close friends.” I couldn’t imagine Digger actually approved of the tryst. Could it have been a threesome? Ugh. I thought maybe I’d be sick again.

I slammed back the rest of the drink instead. “I don’t want to think about it. I don’t. God. But now I can’t stop.”

That’d be like, like… if I got interested in women and had sex with Michelle. I could not fathom how such a thing could possibly come about.

Somehow that tore the scar tissue off a really old wound, a wound so old I had pretty much forgotten it was there. Remember when Ziggy and Carynne were sleeping together? She’d been afraid I would be angry at her. As it turned out, I was all too ready to place the blame squarely in Ziggy’s lap, but somewhere in the back of my head I’d felt a little betrayed, too. She knew she should have said no, but she hadn’t.

Then again it’s not like I could get on my high horse. I’d slept with both of them. And Colin. Why did I feel guilty about Colin? Why? There was no downside to it. Was it just that I’d told myself I wouldn’t? And then when I did I discovered how morally weak I was?

“Doesn’t anybody have any fucking morals anymore?” I whined.

Cray, who I’d half forgotten was still sitting there, murmured an answer. “Not in this business, my friend.”

“Don’t call me friend. I’ll just feel even more betrayed when you sleep with someone close to me,” I said joking but bitter, very bitter.

Cray, amazingly, didn’t take it personally, and joked right back. “Tch. Your mom’s not my type.”

I tried to retaliate by hitting him with a pillow but missed.

“Seriously, Daron, you don’t strike me as a prude.”

I hunched over, my arms crossed. “Not a prude.”

“Then why’s it such a big deal who sleeps with who?”

“There should be rules,” I insisted.

“Okay. What should those rules be?”

“I don’t know but I’m pretty sure your best friend’s wife is off limits. And so is anyone in your band.”

“You’re kidding, right?”

“You don’t think so?”

“I don’t think I’ve ever known a band that didn’t have somebody sleeping with somebody else, unless the situation was they were all straight guys, in which case I guarantee you one of them slept with one of the other one’s wives.”

“That can’t be good for band harmony. And I don’t mean the musical kind.”

“Maybe not. I’m sure it leads to a lot of strife. But maybe that’s just how people are.”

“People suck.” I hid my face in my arms again, fully aware that I sounded like a surly seven-year-old.

“Maybe so,” he said after a while. “But people need to fuck. It’s hard wired, just like the need for food. People need it so bad guys will even turn gay in prison.”

Here we go with the anal sex obsession, I thought. “Just because I need to eat doesn’t mean I take a sandwich away from a friend.”

“Yeah but fucking, unlike food, is infinitely sharable. Just cause you get some doesn’t mean your friend doesn’t.”

“Ah, fuck you, Cray, stop making logical sense when I’m trying to be miserable!” I pulled the pony tail holder out of my hair so I could hide behind it.

I think he was trying hard not to smirk. “I think you need to get laid.”

“No I don’t!”

“Okay, maybe you gays are different, but if you haven’t dipped your wick since the States–”

“Shut up!” This time I hit him square in the face with a pillow. It came right back at me and then it felt to me like the whole bed flipped over. But no, it was just me that flipped, and Cray had me pinned face down on the bed. And, damn it, I was hard as a rock. Even though I knew he was straight. Even though I wasn’t the slightest bit attracted to him. It was like my body didn’t care about anything like facts, or only the fact that someone’s body was close to mine.

I had to clench my jaw–my whole face really–to keep from bursting into tears. I remember Ziggy approaching it so matter-of-factly on tour: where and when are you going to get your rocks off, Daron? You need to plan for these things.

“You going to simmer down or do I have to get Flip in here to sit on you, too?” Cray said.

He didn’t seem aware I was horny or on the verge of losing it. I forced myself to go limp. Relax. “Sorry. Got carried away.”

He patted me on the back and then let go, stepping back from the bed. “Thanks for sticking up for me with Remo, by the way.”

I rolled onto my back so I could look at his face. “What? Oh. You’re welcome.”

“Really didn’t think you would.”

I tried to shrug but the effect was lost when I was lying on my back. “Reem said you’ve got anger management issues. All I said was he should hear this song we’ve been working on.”

“Well, thanks. Didn’t want you to think I was an ungrateful sonovabitch.” He cracked his knuckles. “I’m thirsty. I’m going to get more of that drink. Don’t go anywhere.”

I shook my head. “Not planning to.”

He left and a few minutes later a knock came at the door. I opened it, expecting it to be Cray again.

It was Mitch, the sax player. He had two more bottles of the soda, the long necks threaded through the fingers of his left hand. He held them up invitingly and said, “Hey, wanna fuck?”

“Yes.” I pulled him into the room and slammed the door.

ceciliatan: (darons guitar)
( Jan. 23rd, 2014 03:41 pm)

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

The next day’s show was in Hiroshima, which I had been pronouncing wrong my whole life. In my history class in tenth grade the teacher called it Hero-SHE-muh. Rocky spent a while trying to get us all to say Heh-ROE-shima. I think, as Americans, we felt like having bombed the crap out of the place the least we could do was try to respect the name. At least, that’s how I felt about it, and I tried to get it right.

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ceciliatan: (darons guitar)
( Jan. 21st, 2014 10:00 am)

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

Dinner was a formal affair, on flat cushions at a low table like the ones they had in the back room at the fancy sushi places in Boston. The waitresses were all in traditional kimonos, and they refilled the sake and plum wine in our glasses whenever they dipped under half full. As a result, everyone was too plastered to care that the seats weren’t that comfortable.

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ceciliatan: (darons guitar)
( Jan. 16th, 2014 10:00 am)

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

The next day was a day off. The whole entourage relocated to a hot springs resort where the main order of business was soaking in hot water. Some of the tubs were outdoor, and there was much talk about how zen-like the experience could be when sitting in geothermally heated spring water while snow fell. Like something from a haiku. Yeah:

Get me out of here
Sitting still is my nightmare
Get me the fuck out

And it wasn’t even snowing.

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ceciliatan: (darons guitar)
( Jan. 14th, 2014 10:00 am)

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

The kind of dumb thing about the next day was we took the train almost all the way back to Tokyo, to do a show in Yokohama. I guess since it only takes a hundred minutes by train, it didn’t matter that much, but in my mind that was like playing a show in Boston, then New York City, and then Great Woods in Mansfield, Mass. Then again, I know there were tours set up like that so maybe I should just enjoy the fact that for the most part Moondog Three’s last tour had so few switchbacks in it. How much of that was clout and how much was simply Carynne bullying the hell out of the venues, I don’t know.

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ceciliatan: (darons guitar)
( Jan. 9th, 2014 10:00 am)

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

We took the train to Nagoya–not the subway train, the fancy, high speed train. The equipment had all gone ahead of us already days before, so we didn’t have that much to carry. By car it would have been four or five hours–the same distance as going Boston to New York.

By “bullet” train it was 100 minutes. Whoosh.

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ceciliatan: (darons guitar)
( Jan. 7th, 2014 10:00 am)

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

In the morning my head hurt from drinking too much without realizing it. But the bigger discomfort in my head was the feeling I’d discovered my entire worldview was skewed. Now that it had skewed another direction, it was like walking off balance all the time.

Let me see if I have it right. Buddhism, the martial arts, spiritual enlightenment, musical modes, most of the ancestors of the instruments we play, the highest form of improvisational music and the classical tradition, all came from India? How could it be I’d never even given the entire country more than a passing thought?

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ceciliatan: (darons guitar)
( Jan. 2nd, 2014 10:00 am)

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

Our last night at Budokan I got around to asking our translator about the magazine thing. He was a kind of skinny, nervous guy with glasses, who I would have described as nerdy in America, but in Japan I think was normal. His nickname was Rocky. I did ask for his Japanese name and he assured me I should call him Rocky. He said he would ask around about the magazines and would get me some as a souvenir if he could find them.

While talking to Waldo after soundcheck that day I found out there were three Australian dates at the end of the tour. He was futzing around with the daybook and I asked him, “Hey, Wald’, did you book me a flight back to L.A. at the end or to Boston?”

He looked up with that long-suffering look of his. “L.A. You want to go somewhere from there, you’re on your own. Besides, flying all the way from Sydney to Boston would be a bitch and a half.”

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ceciliatan: (darons guitar)
( Dec. 21st, 2013 10:00 am)

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

One of the best things about being a small person physically is that it’s not a big deal for me to spend 18 hours on an airplane in coach. They had booked me on whatever they could get at the last minute, which meant I changed planes in Seattle, and then went non-stop to Tokyo from there. The trans-Pacific leg in those days took like fourteen hours because there was some dodging of Russian airspace necessary.

Fourteen hours is a long time to think about something. Not that I sat there thinking about Jonathan, or Ziggy, or anything for fourteen straight hours. Sleeping and eating occupied a fair amount of time, too. But the thing you find about long haul trips like that? Fourteen hours actually isn’t that long. Time passes. What seems beforehand like it’s going to be “forever” actually goes by a lot quicker than you think it will.

Yeah, yeah, insert relationship comment here.

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