Being a member of PB required a very particular mix of personal traits. These were non-negotiable fingerprint-templates for our own brand of madness. Like so many, you either knew you belonged or you got the hell out, tail between your legs, hugging your privates for dear life...wondering if it was just a dark dream.
--I'll list some necessary qualities here:
1. ardent philosophical zealotry
2. extreme musical sado-masochism
3. death-wish-style exhibitionism
4. go-for-it, what-the-hell, let's-murder-traditional-idioms fanatic glee
5. being at ease with self-ridicule and self-imposed poverty
6 .a constant carnal craving for jam-time and noisemaking
7. a non-judgemental willing embrace of the odd and disenfranchised
8. a refusal to connote pleasant with good or ugly with bad
9. complete disenchantment with any 'popular' music
10. near complete lack of social life, almost pariah-like
--let's just say I fitted in quite well, thank you.
BTW-these 10 items sum up for me the zeitgeist of PB. All told, a classically pyrrhic victory. one of my noblest efforts, a charmed-yet-doomed-to-fail piece of bright deviltry, a fever-dream of both ecstasies and agonies, and a big phat chunk of Me.
The rest is history, as they say. In retrospect though, I'd like to offer these personal observations:
--PB's influence on me has left me with singular skill as an improvisor and after 24 years on my instrument, I am constantly praised by those who hear me play. Their kind words are a direct result of the abilities I gained with PB, learning how to tap my musical id at will, no matter what the musical setting. I shall always be eternally grateful for such training.
--as an engineer/producer/editor I am valued not only for my technical skills but for my willingness to try anything and take unconventional approaches to solving problems or expressing creativity. My only fear is not having the time to try everything creatively possible.
--I have an appreciation for diversity that has broadened my life and perspective on everything I experience.
--I'll never ever have stage-fright. My stomach doesn't even get dead butterflies anymore. (..hey, good bandname! I call DIBS!)
--unlike so many of my contemporaries who've given up their creative pursuits for the prime demographic-approved corporate model of modern living, I know that I needn't ever give up my music, just because some narrow-thinking individuals feel it's improper, or I'm too old to rock, or whatever. Their word is "ULTRACREPIDARIANISM", which means the tendency to offer opinions on subjects you know nothing about. Just because you've lost your soul or funk or mojo and as a result are a half-dead corporate zombie without a well-thought-out opinion of your own, forcing you to ape some mindless yuppie agenda mumbo-jumbo, that doesn't mean I need to be affected in any way. Their critiques are as substantial as the dandruff of elves, for all I care. BASS is a higher calling--the gods of thunder demand sacrifice and appeasement!
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