|Concert Performances: Raoul's Roadside Attraction, Portland, Maine|
Although it's enough for me. I started with this [plays an E chord] when I started playing. [plays an E chord] And that was it. [plays an E chord] I didn't need lessons. I didn't need anything after that [plays an E chord], without exaggerating. I played that, sometimes like this [plays a sustained E chord] to see how long it would go before it'd stop. And then sometimes I'd play it [plays two E chords in quick succession] like that. That wore me out, that much invention. [While strumming an E chord]. It's just that that sound is just perfectly satisfying and it was about three weeks later , I did [plays D chord] and then I was in big trouble. Everything after that is just an excuse to do [plays E chord] that, and David and I found we were in perfect agreement about that.
So I thought of a lyric on the way back to the motel and then I got the rest of it the next morning. I was driving through New Mexico a while ago and this was on the radio. I almost drove off the road. When it was over the guy, the disk jockey, came on and he said, "A lot of people don't like that song," which didn't need to be said as far as I was concerned. Thank you very much. So I'd like to play this for you now.
[Leo plays "Jack Gets Up"]
Thanks for coming tonight. I hope to see you next year. Have a wonderful tomorrow. Thanks a lot.
[Few minutes of applause, whistles and hoots]
More! More! More!
[While tuning]. Well, I get to do this again for a while. Classical players, when they sit around waiting to go on, keep their hands on their strings all the time so that the temperature doesn't change and they don't shift as a result. I'm not sure if that's -- I mean, aren't they sort of -- they're making that up, aren't they? That's another world. I'm writing some stuff with a guy named Stephen Paulus, who's composer-in-residence with the Atlanta Symphony, for guitar and orchestra, and I'm beginning to hear... I'm used to hearing stories from people like Buell Neidlinger about people like Peewee Russell -- but I've never heard stories about Itsaack Perlman or all those other flakes who are in that side of the business. And what musician isn't a flake.
Never mind -- Buell -- well, never mind -- goddamnit -- well, one thing -- when I met Joe Pass in Australia, we had to play together along with John Williams and Paco Pena, which was really...nobody wanted to do it, as I found out. I wasn't the only one who thought that seemed like an impossibility. And it was. At John Williams' request, we played "Ave Maria" as a quartet. And this was broadcast live across the Australian continent. And it wasn't bad. It was worse than bad. And we knew it from the first note. And we knew before we played it, it was gong to be bad. It was like a war, somehow you just found yourself in the middle of it. And then it didn't stop, it just sort of petered out with little [plays brief, single notes] and then we were done. By that time I was playing "Pipeline." I'd forgotten what the hell "Ave Maria" was supposed to sound like.
But Joe -- if you're not familiar with him, he's a wonderful jazz guitarist; he doesn't like the term jazz, he suffered for years playing with Oscar Peterson -- he's really a wonderful musician and he said "Look, we're gonna have to do this again, we gotta at least have -- we're no good, so we gotta at least have rhythm. We can't do 'Ave Maria' again, John." He said, "Look, why don't we just play a 12-bar blues?" And John Williams and Paco Pena said "What's a 12-bar blues?" That's a more common song form than "Hang on Sloopy" is. But that's what happens to you when you really know what you're doing. He said, "Leo, why don't you play that thing?" So I played it and he said "That's not a 12-bar blues." Thank you, Joe. I thought it was, I'm pretty sure it was.
I told myself last night I wasn't gonna talk so much, cause that's not what I'm here for.
[Leo starts to play riff from "Available Space"]
I managed to stop for a while. At least now I'm playing while I talk. This is really hard to do, by the way. This is the height of musicianship. The only thing tougher is what I'm doing now which is talking and playing and not looking at the fingerboard. You saw the owner turn on the lamp. That's so I can see the dots on my fingerboard -- it is. John Williams doesn't have any dots on his fingerboard. He doesn't know what a 12-bar blues is.
This is old stuff that I can't stop playing.
[Leo plays medley of "Available Space," "June Bug," "Train and the Gate" and "Machine"]
Good night, thanks for coming. Glad to see you. See you next year.
[More applause, hooting and whistling]
[Leo plays "Echoing Gilewitz"]
[Leo plays "Little Martha"]
Thank you. That was "Little Martha" and "Echoing Gilewitz." Duane Allman and Richard Gilewitz. Thanks a lot. It's been a pleasure. Thank you. Goodnight.
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