The following is an imagined conversation between 18 year old and current day (57 yrs.) me. We are meeting in a club at a jam session…..
Old Ted: Hey son, you sound great. May I talk to you a bit about what you played?
Young Ted: Um… I guess so, but you're not my Dad. Also, should you be standing up right now? A person of your advanced age should probably be sitting.
OT: What? ( These young punks…) Anyway, did you know the form of that tune you were playing?
YT: Form? Yeah, it was medium swing tune.
OT: Well, that's the style, but there's more to it than that. Do you know the melody to that tune, "Sonny Moon for Two?"
YT: No, I would have read it, but I forgot my Real Book. What are you getting at anyway, Gramps?
OT: GRAMPS??!!! Look, kid, you have some talent and enthusiasm, but I don't feel like you're really playing for the band….
YT: Look Mr. Warner, I'm sure you mean well, but I'll have you know, by mid-May of my grade 12 year, I was the best drummer at my high school…..
OT: Have you ever listened to any Sonny Rollins recordings?
YT: Sure, I have his album, "Don't Ask" which was recorded waaaaay back in 1979, and contains his greatest composition, "Disco Monk"! I probably have 2 or 3 other Jazz albums as well. Anyway, why are you asking? I play drums not saxophone!
OT What?? You listen to all the instruments…. Look here young man, when I hear you play, it doesn't feel like you're playing the form of the tunes or representing the soloists…..
YT: Mr. Weber, I'm sure when dinosaurs walked the earth and you were my age, unsolicited advice like this was appreciated but…..
OT: LOOK HERE YOU LITTLE DOUGH-HEAD! YOU'RE NOT PLAYING THE MUSIC OR SUPPORTING THE BAND!!! YOUR TIME SOUNDS LIKE IT"S BEING PLAYED BY A HUMMINGBIRD WITH HEART ARRHYTHMIA AND NO AMBITION IN LIFE! YOUR SOLOS AND TRADES GET EVERYONE LOST, NOT BECAUSE THEY"RE SO COMPLEX BUT BECAUSE THEY DON'T MAKE ANY MUSICAL SENSE!!! ARE THOSE YOUR DRUMS? BECAUSE THE SNARE SOUNDS LIKE A WET FISH WITH CAT POOP ON IT!!!!!! AND THE SNARE IS THE BEST SOUNDING DRUM ON THE KIT!!!!
YT: YOU'RE JUST A BITTER OLD GEEZER WHO DOESN'T UNDERSTAND MY GENIUS!!!! I KNOW I'M HIP, BECAUSE I WORRY ABOUT IT CONSTANTLY WHILE I PLAY! BESIDES, I WEIGH ABOUT HALF OF WHAT YOU DO, HAVE LOTS OF (non-grey) HAIR, AND AM REALLY CUTE WHEN I BOUNCE UP AND DOWN ON THE DRUMS FOR NO APPARENT REASON, SO I"LL GET WAY MORE GIGS THAN YOU!!!!!!
OT: Hmmmm…..need a drum tech?
Youngsters: Realize that there are people that have been doing this a lot longer than you and may have learned a thing or two….
Veterans: Appreciate the enthusiasm (and hubris) of youth and realize that wisdom comes with time….
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