| Close to Genius Penn - 7/20/03
In the pre-show, during "I
Thought About You," Jonesy played the best solo I've ever
heard. Not just from him. The best solo I've ever heard.
On any instrument, in any style of music. Man. It was
amazing. My heart was pounding. I was playing bass during
his solo. As I get better on the bass and Jonesy trusts my
time and my intonation, and my ability to follow, he lets
himself notch it up a bit. The less he has to baby-sit me
through a song, the more he can take off.
Last night, I was playing well enough, that Jonesy didn't
have to worry about me too much and he just went. It was
so amazing. And I was so close to it. It was hard to keep
playing the bass, not because it was hard to follow where
he was or the time, it was just so good that my heart was
racing, and I wanted to hear every note and remember it
forever. But, I kept laying down the four. There was no
temptation for me to do anything. I didn't make any
interesting note choices, I didn't try to follow, I just
laid down four and went for the ride. His solo was
physical, emotional and intellectual. Now, you have to
remember, that I'm used to hearing the best piano player in
the world 6 nights a week and I have the best seat in the
house. So, the bar is very high. Very high. Every night
the music just fills me and means the world to me, so I'm
ready for great. I'm ready for the best I've ever heard.
But, I wasn't ready for this. He was all over the keyboard.
He was just slamming up high. It had the emotion of Jerry
Lee and those pure chops. Chops so amazing, that you can
forget about them. There are times when you can just
imagine that he bangs his hands wherever they happen to
fall and they just happen to fall perfectly. He's so good;
it can seem like a miracle instead of skill. Every time
his hands came down, it was like he was winning the lottery.
How could it be that perfect at that speed? Skill, emotion,
and intellect. I'm not sure I could have understood what
he was doing as well if I hadn't been playing. I knew
where the harmony was and where we were in the tune. I
knew where he was going. I had the structure under my
fingers, so I could really get a hold of all those levels.
It was beautiful. Just beautiful. I thought I was going
to cry. When someone finishes a solo, etiquette says that
if it's good, you're supposed to say "yeah," I yelled
Even as I type this and remember it, my heart is pounding.
This is what art is. This is why we do this. To be able
to slam that many ideas that quickly into the air. It was
all in real time, it wasn't recorded, it was just a perfect
moment. Now, I'm sure Jonesy hits this level all the time.
What made this special, was also that I was ready for it.
I knew enough to understand. It wasn't that Jonesy hit
some level he rarely hits, he always hits this level and
I'm sure he's played better, but I was ready to hear it. I
was ready to understand it. It was amazing. Man, this is
what life is about.
He finished and nodded to me to play a solo. I guess for
the structure of this, I should talk about how inadequate I
felt and how I stumbled through. But, I didn't. I felt
great. I'm not good, but that didn't matter - I had felt
what music could do, and that made it fun to just try. It
made it fun to just try to say a little something after
seeing how ideas could flow in this form. It was great. I
tried to talk about it after the pre-show, but, you know,
it's not something you talk about. It's something you hear.
All the work I've done on bass was worth it, just to feel
what I felt from that solo.