As I dug deeper into the beat idiom, spurred on by the “Beat Culture & The New America” traveling exhibit created by New York’s Whitney Museum in 1996, I discovered a whole new level of Bohemianism.
The West Coast’s Wallace Berman, Jay DeFeo, Gary Snyder, Charles Bukowski, & especially San Francisco street poet Bob Kaufman began invading my psyche, & the concept for SWALLOW LIFE began to evolve. I’ve always loved acting & the power of the spoken word & longed to infuse more straight poetry into my musical visions. The songs & ideas came, one by one, like they always do, along with some amazing performances from gospel vocalist Tina Wilson, Rob Whitlock on the Hammond B3, phenominal bassist Dave Curtis, tenor saxophonist Jonny Viau, & Gilbert Castellanos on trumpet. I got a lot of direction, encouragement, as well as some killer guitar solos from my friend, guitar monster Larry Mitchell, & solid sonic support from Peter Carpentier, as I grappled with the new recording technology. When I discovered, for the first time, that I could actually control the process, I was so stoked. That feeling of empowerment led to new words & songs; Swallow Life, & Motion. “I don’t need a reason, I just need gas – cause I’ve got the urge for going, the urge for going fast – I’m pumped into the primal drive. . .” It truly is an amazing time to be an artist.
As the millennium drew to its cosmic close, I knew I only needed to do one thing: keep my head in a positive creative place.
rock & word
woven tightly together,
a blanket of thoughts
to wrap yourself in
when it’s coming down hard