Musician, May 1994

The Guitar Virtuoso Meets the Producer Who Lays on The Ground

by Fred Schruers

Page 5

MUSICIAN:  You two co-wrote "The Albatross" with [bassist] John Leftwich.  I hear analogies to touring in the seagoing imagery.

KOTTKE:  Rickie and I did talk about my experiences in the Navy, and about the constant movement, the isolation of it.   Rickie uses pieces of herself and a song like that or "Running from Mercy," which I also got to take a hand in, isn't about finding a metaphor - - it comes from some deep place, purely felt, intuitive stuff.

MUSICIAN:  Rickie, when you set out to write this record, did you sense a theme -- of the sort people talk about on Pirates?

JONES:  You know, I can't say that.  It's not only because I object to defining myself, you know, but I can't stand outside and tell you what the meaning of  that is, or even what brought it on.  Once it's done, it's done.  I don't know what made it, and I don't know what it means, I don't think that you can articulate impressions.

MUSICIAN:   Interesting as the individual lyrics are, it does seem you're heading more toward pure vocal expressiveness -- that your voice is more than instrument than ever.

JONES:  I think maybe what you're not hearing is the strong particular thread of a recurring theme and "This is what this is about."   Because I don't have that in my life, I don't dwell on anything.  I just don't live like that anymore.  So there I am, I'm explaining myself and I don't want to explain.  And I have always hoped that doesn't make the stuff weaker.  In a pop sense it probably does, you know.   But I don't think in the long run, in the true art of it, that it is.  I hope it isn't.   But weaker or not, that's where I am.

MUSICIAN:  What's your favourite moment on Leo's record?

JONES:  "Parade."  There's a kind of moody blues thing that comes out in people I really love, different writers, and I do feel a kinship with that kind of strange, beautiful painting that is of no consequence doesn't reveal its intentions. It's just a little painting with words and beautiful melodies.  [The End]

Traffic Signals

LEO KOTTKE owns 30-odd guitars (including a '50s vintage Telecaster he likes to plug in occasionally), but "If I only had two seconds I'd grab what I'm using onstage, my Olsen six-string and my Taylor (Kottke model) 12-string."  He favors GHS strings for both, "white bronze" for the 12-string.  

RICKIE LEE JONES uses a Taylor six-string Leo gave her.  She plays with a Sunrise pickup through a Sunrise Tube Interface.  

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