Tuesday, March 11, 2014

notes from terry lawless

Thanks once again to Melissa and Terry Lawless for today's talk.  Everything he said about music also applies to life, literature, and learning.  Lesther and Miranda took video of the event and I'm looking forward to seeing Terry's talk again. [UPDATE 4.15.14: "The video is up... and it's good!" at bottom.]  In the meantime, here are some notes I took on his remarks:

  • Music is creating something where nothing was before
  • The greatest moment for a musician is when the crowd writes the solo
  • I play like it's the last time I go on stage
  • Most influential moment was the first time I put a Led Zeppelin album on: Robert Plant singing "Black Dog" blew my mind
  • The best thing to happen to music was a broken heart
  • Musicians tell stories through emotions: loneliness, happiness-- they have a special genre called anthems that put a fist in your chest and make you glad to be alive
  • "Just Kissed My Baby" (New Orleans jazz) & "All I Want Is You" (U2) don't need explanation or interpretation-- these are the rawest, most basic things we feel
  • If I'm driving and Miles Davis' "Sketches of Spain" comes on, I have to pull off the road-- seriously, I don't want to hit something
  • If my kids download music without paying for it, they're out of the will. (*If you like "Sketches of Spain" please buy it. -Ed.)
  • Most memorable performance moment: playing LiveAid with Paul McCartney and U2, 180,000 people bobbing their heads as one like a giant sea anenome for a great cause, relieving world hunger
  • I don't get nervous on stage.  I'm a two-time cancer survivor who got shot out of a helicopter.  What's going to happen to me during a rock concert?
  • David Bowie (my son's godfather) was good at everything-- writing, performing, sculpting... and once he saw what I was composing and said, "Don't go there with it, go here."  I said no.  There's the question: Do you write for yourself or do you write for others?

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