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A Fireside Chat With Grachan Moncur III

AAJ Staff By

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GM: Yeah, man. I haven't really been through what Monk was going through. I mean, I am going through what I am going through. But I can relate. Everybody's life is different and we touch here and there with similarities, but I'm not trying to compare my life or what I am going through with Monk's, but it boils down to be the same thing. You get disappointed, Fred. You get beat down.

FJ: One aspect of the health issues you made reference to is the extensive dental work you have had done, of which there is an adjustment period.

GM: Well, I will tell you. Once, I will tell you what would have helped, it is not going to take long. At the most, going really full speed, like everyday, I would give myself between six to eight weeks. I would say nine to ten at the most. That is with me really wanting to put the icing on the cake. But if I bear down, I know I would feel comfortable about what I want to do now because it can't be about where I just left off because it is always different. Once you start like I have to do now, or like I am doing, there is always going to be a change and the change is usually very positive, but you have to work toward making it do what you want it to do. You can hear it, but it just don't drop out of the sky. You have something to reach for. That gives you your enthusiasm. I am not working now. I am beginning to practice again now. It has been a month. The work has been finished. What has been like a stop and go thing with on the practice tip is mainly because life's problem. I am going through the domestic shit, like I have a family. I have a wife and six kids, four grandkids. We have a house. I am blessed in a sense. I've been married thirty-three years to the same woman. I see a lot of things that are positive in my life, but there is a lot of responsibility. There is a lot of things that come with it where I haven't been able to be on top of shit the way I would like to be and the way everybody else would like me to be. That is the damper on your enthusiasm. It is not always about being able to work playing. If I could have just had some kind of a teaching job like I said, the nine years that I did that residency was a breath of fresh air for me. That ended in '91. That began in the early Eighties until '91, straight through, which was very great. I had no idea that it would be so hard to come across something like that again. I've done residencies, but it has been nothing consistent. I miss that consistency of financial stability, to feel like your two feet are on the ground so you can do what you've got to do. The only positive thing I can say is it boils down to what I said earlier. The ball is in my hands. It is not that I can't do things. It is all on me. It is about getting into a position to get a grip so I can go ahead and go straight ahead. It feels though every time I think that I am not going to have to worry for the next month or two, something else comes up and the rug is pulled from underneath me in some kind of way financially and there I was back again worrying about something that I shouldn't have to worry about. I just haven't had that peace of mind, Fred, to do what I really have to do and think about my music and not have to think about nothing else. It is not like when I was young, back in the day with Jackie. I wasn't married. I didn't have no responsibilities. I could do anything I wanted to do. If I wanted to sleep in the park, you know what I'm saying? It's a different ballgame today.

FJ: I have hope. It's all we have and I cling to it daily.

GM: Hey, Fred, I am glad you said that.

Related Article: Grachan Moncur III and Carmell Jones—Mosaic Select

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