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Mahavishnu was more than speed Re: ELP and shredding

"Me,  I specialize in playing a whole lot of instruments I can hardly play 
front of live 

Tim replies: 
Ah, Brian Jones Syndrome...not a bad condition to have!

As for Mahavishnu, they were always bigger than mere technique, for me. I 
loved the compositions, most of them. How many people can ROCK AT 11/4?? 
Those cats could. 
All day. 
Still holds up for me... To this day, I can even hum you John's solos, 
because in spite of their sheer speed, there was a certain beauty to a lot 
of them. The songs play in my head, still, and if you're gonna have a song 
stuck in your head, you could do a lot worse than "Birds of Fire."
Yours in Lenny White (another fine drummer),

-----Original Message-----
From: "loop.pool" <looppool@cruzio.com>
Sent: Feb 4, 2005 12:02 AM
To: "LOOPERS DELIGHT (posting)" <Loopers-Delight@loopers-delight.com>
Subject: ELP and shredding

I recently heard  "In the beginning" after a long hiatus.
What a beautiful song, even if it was atypical of ELPs output.

I loved that group and saw them a couple times but I have to say that 
revisiting most of that material
it just hasn't aged well for me, personally.

At the time it was virtuosic music that was really impressive.

I remember distinctly though,  my brother Bill and I going to see an ELP 
show at Winterland
and there was this band called the Mahavishnu Orchestra opening up for 
This was a few weeks before
their first record, Inner Mounting Flame came out and I remember so 
looking over
and seeing my brother Bill, as the only standing member of the audience 
his mouth literally hanging open
30 seconds into the first song before I realized that I too, was standing 
with my mouth hanging open...........we were the only
ones in the audience who seemed to be having that reaction and I felt like 
my whole world changed in a heartbeat.

Carl Palmer was a really, really accomplished rock drummer and in one 
pass of 16th note triplets across his huge
vistalite drumset,  Billy Cobham annhialated him and every other rock 
drummer I had ever seen or loved for sheer speed and power. He just ramped 
it way, way the fuck up and it was amazing.

It's interesting, but for what incredible missionary zeal I had for jazz 
fusion in those early days,  I find that it no longer holds
my interest,  but I think sometimes that is what happens in the life of a 
musician...............frequently we go through a phase were sheer 
blows us away and inspires us to work our asses off on technique, but it 
ultimately becomes a means to an end:  the ability to express oneself with 
one's chosen instrument.

Speed and technique now mean very little to me unless it serves the 
composition and the music (which frequently it doesn't).
Bill and I laughingly refer to the excesses of the NAMM show by calling it 

"Weedela weedela
Thwakita wakita
Thuggida buggida

because all the insecure guitar players all play 'weedela weedela' 
as fast as they can at every guitar booth
all the insecure bass players play 'thwakita wakit'  popping and slapping 
fast as they can and
all the insecure drummers play ' thuggida buggida' triplet 16th rolls at 
every drum booth.

Me,  I specialize in playing a whole lot of instruments I can hardly play 
front of live 
should probably pay more attention
to the shredders for the sake of my audiences.