“Forever is composed of nows.” ~ Emily Dickinson
Tonight, I watched a documentary on the band Chicago. This brilliant band made some of the best music to ever come out of the U.S., then they hit the 1980’s click-track-over-bearing-producer-let’s-make-a-video era and it sent me into my own brand of PTSD. I wouldn’t trade my musical experiences for anything, but it was unfortunate that so much of it was during this same era. When you say to a drummer like Chicago’s Danny Seraphine – the guy who laid intricate tracks for their most classic music – that he’s not good enough to play to a click, there’s a real problem. That’s not music. That’s money and ego (two words: David Foster). I know that MO far too well. What happened to Seraphine just furthers my argument, at least in my mind – ha ah – that all the technological “advances” of the 1980’s actually did more to destroy music than help it. Business forced musicians to change, and when that happened, the music itself changed, and now here we are 30+ years later and a good human-made song is hard to find. I said as much to Steve Winwood one time when he asked what I thought about drum machines. In retrospect, I could have made my point better with a little less venom in my answer. (He’s a very nice man, by the way, and he took it really well) There is hope, however. We’ve got the likes of Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson, and Ryan Adams crankin’ out some good tunes. Thank God the Stones are still kickin’. But ya know what? PTSD or not, I would do it all over again. What a ride! The fact that I got to do what most players only dream about is not lost on me. It didn’t quite work out as I’d have liked, but it worked out the way it should. I’m good with that.