Sex and the Jazz Musician: The Brutal Truth!
All right, given what I have told you, when I'm blowin some tune regardless of the tempo, I've got this foundation of recognizable structure to navigate on and using all the rules of music, some that I have just stated, for parameters and logical boundaries of thought in which to express myself and tell you my story in a musical syntax. No! Don't tell me boundaries and parameters impede extemporaneous and new dimensions of thought! That's pure and unadulterated jive! What I'm going to tell you next will be a shock to some of you young bloods out there and that is, Trane's "Giant Steps" was all within the given firm chord structure of the song as was every note of his choruses that ensued after the head. I hung with him musically up to and through A Love Supreme (Impulse!, 1965), which was cool because I was also into Jimi Hendrix up to and through Electric Ladyland (Reprise, 1968). Of course, by that time I was a little fucked-up in the head, toobut hey! What the hell, huh? Onward. Of course all that I've told you and everywhere I'm coming from is from my frame of reference and any and all belief systems that I may have acquired throughout my life, until this moment. Likewise, what and how you're receiving this is predicated on yours. Just wanted to throw that into this mix let's call it a point of referenceOK?
We humans, Homo sapiens genus Rex have to be the most paradoxical things in this universe or in any universe or in any dimension singular or multi-paralleled, from Attila the Hun, Confucius and Aristotle to Bach, Hitler, William Butler Yates, Charles Manson and Mother Teresa toI think you know where I'm going with this train of thought so let's get there. Basic Freudian, Jungian and Adlerian Psychology mostly tells us what I'm about to extrapolate from them and put into the mindset of an artist wanting to express himself to an audience of people who are mostly freakin' bored with their 9-5 and overflowing with pent-up emotions, mostly of the fear and frustrations which occur in the daily grind to pay the rent.
Knowing this consciously or intuitively the artist, let's say a so-called free saxophonist goes onstage and wearing some weird by accepted standards outfitpicture Captain Beefheart throwawaysgets to center stage band behind him all plugged in master volume switches turned to ten on a couple of Marshall stacks (yeah, I know this a jazz gigbut I've seen this shit on Youtube labeled jazz), cats out there and lets go a Janovian scream on his horn like BBBLLAGGGATOUTH SHAWGAHEYBLLAAA ABBB KLLLAAA AHHHH AHH AFFFFUUUUUCCCCCKKKKKZZZZZZ GA AH HU uh uhza phaaaa. People are goin fuckin' nutsscreaming and shouting their approval of this display of fuck your parents, fuck your job, fuck this, that and the other thingour artist is prancing about absorbing all of this adulation from his brothers and sisters In misery and misunderstanding; in fact, the cats so fuckin' moved that he starts throwing personal objects to the crowd: first, his very cool sunglasses- - then his jacket, then histhen hisvery soul.
Back in 1965, during my AFUPP in Hollywood, California, another musician and I rented a house in back of a house on Willoughby St. just off Vine St. near the Musicians Union, local #47. The other cat was a very good musician and going through the just divorced dance with all of it's confusion and heartbreak. He has gone on to become a very well known name in the industry, is now rich, happy and handsome. So he will remain anonymous. I, on the other hand, am not. We were paying $55.00 a month in rent the house had two bedrooms, two bathrooms, two kitchenslike everything was double; I told you, this was in Hollywood.
We each had things to do during the day like scoring, scrounging and looking for work though not too hard on the last one. Oh, I forgot to tell y'all what AFUPP meant. Means, All Fucked Up, Period. Another thing I did most of the day was to practice throwing darts at a dartboard we had set up about 25 feet from the throwing launch pad. It got so that, loaded or sober, I couldn't miss the bull's-eye, even if I tried. Well, word got around: Mort Weiss and Igor Stravinsky had a pad within walking distance from the union and there always was some Mexican food, Mary Jane, Tea, Pot, Marijuana, uppers and downers, juice and a bag of Fritos, plus non-stop jazz on the many LPs that were in residence at said pad. Point of information: if one was caught holding by the man, one freakin' seed, it could come down on your ass as a drug-related felony and you could find yourself doing beaucoup time in a penitentiary. I once spent three days in the "Glass House," the name given the main jail facilities in downtown Los Angeles, as I was caught holding one-and-a-half Benzedrine tablets.