I do not (repeat NOT) want to play Foggy Mountain Breakwind. Ok, ok, before you jihadists of the One True Blue Nation of Grass start going all fatwa on this nice, middle class, liberal English infidel, let me assure you I have nothing against Mr Scruggs, or his playing or his tunes. Great guy, fine music, love to listen (repeat LISTEN).
But does the world really need another imitation 50th rate Earl? I’m sure there are enough of them already – come on, you know who you are. Same way as the guitar world doesn’t need any more BB King clones, Nuno Betancourt wannabes or Metheney soundalikes. After stumbling around for quite a few months now, getting over some initial hurdles with help from friendly BHO types, I’ve hit upon my banjo goal. Turns out it’s pretty much like my guitar philosophy, which is pretty much an extension of my life plan – there is no plan.
Best way is to cite the examples of sport and sex. I don’t like watching either except to pick up a few techniques I hadn’t thought of. I’d rather be doing it (sex, sport or banjo) but doing it my way, doing it as an extension of my intellect, my emotions, finding out and bringing into being some tiny element that no one has hit upon before, some crazy slide, weird pull-off or chord that sounds like a caveman trying to play Stockhausen.
I don’t care if you like it. I’m not planning on performing or pleasing anyone but myself (which is why I couldn’t hack it as a professional muso, all that crowd-pleasing).
My banjo playing is becoming like stick whittling, the activity beloved of old timers in John Ford westerns. Sit there, do a bit of wood carving, put it down, come back later. I find the cliché I’ve seen so often in BHO actually applies – pick ’n’ grin (I can pay attention to detail, you’ll notice – look at the apostrophes in that contraction: both the right way round … you don’t often see that in word processor text – I can learn if I need to).
But hey, I’m all for no quality control, no ‘learning’, no one telling me it has to be done this way or that way to be ‘authentic’.
That’s me done. Now I’ll go back to playing and trying not to spend too much time in BHO … all the sport and sex here is proving too much for me.
on “Foggy day in London Town (well Rothwell anyway)”
Sunday, September 9, 2007 @8:05:33 PM
Nice to hear from you, Sid.
Don't worry, I am not peeking, either.
Sunday, September 9, 2007 @10:58:30 PM
Most things are best in their natural state from any individual - sport, sex, or banjo as you said. I'm glad you're not trying to mimic others. Good on ya mate.. have fun playing in whichever arena you are involved at the time. Good to hear from you. -Karyn
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