Hard to tell who was more embarrassed last week when a passer-by outside my studio window walked upon the middle of my solo. This is in honor of the news that Jewel got her teeth fixed and Madonna flashed her nipple: both are important developments in contemporary music, and reenforce my belief in the "music was better back in the day" syndrome that afflicts the middle-aged.
Speaking of age, one of the hallmarks of my old drawing boards were the two areas of deeply dimpled wood suspiciously clustered around the upper right- and left-hand corners. This peculiar texture was as a result of whaling upon the easel with drumsticks. These were of the industrial-grade student caliber, and holstered around the table leg, where at random moments of passionate inspiration I would accompany the appropriate soundtrack that was blasting through the speakers. Not that I have any skill at percussion, this was just a prudent means at salvaging the broken lead in all my pencils, not to mention a little cathartic release is good for long sessions in the studio.
Back in 1983 I caught Rush for my first major rock concert in an arena setting at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY. Along with Genesis and Yes, it contributed to a life-long obsession with progressive rock, and is one reason why I find most contemporary music lacking in technical proficiency and artistic depth. And having fourth-row tickets directly in front of the right-hand stage's speaker column meant I was blessed with my first-ever case of temporary hearing loss after the concert. It also meant I only got to see my idol, Neal Peart, maybe all of half a dozen times whenever he leaned far enough forward while reach for a cowbell or to catch a drumstick.