Congratulations! You have collectively unlocked a single double-whammie! Instead of one measly song and video this month you’ll be fish-paddled with two! The possible downside of this two-fer is that instead of inviting collaborators to join me this month these efforts are all me. So hey, you win some, you lose some…
At the height of his band’s commercial success, John Frusciante quietly released a solo album. The record was as brilliant as it was unpolished and drug-addled. Captured on a 4-track cassette recorder, it contained all the hiss and abrupt edits and unfiltered layered-guitar riffing that you’d expect on such a medium and from such an unhinged performer. It is one of those rare records where a platinum artist goes absolutely rogue and alienates all of their fair-weather fans that aren’t quite ready to accept the dingiest elements that make their favorite band tick.
The standard mid-90s Red Hot Chili Peppers fan would have a hard time grappling with “Your Pussy’s Glued to a Building on Fire” or an acoustic Bad Brains cover. But there is something so utterly sincere and unapologetic about this record that when I bought it, with its uninviting cardboard packaging and single color art – discreet yet subtly provocative like Adam & Eve mail order delivery – I couldn’t listen to it enough. I listened to it while I drove, I listened to it as I went to sleep, I listened to it when I wanted to feel inspired, I listened to it when I wanted to indulge the darkness. There just aren’t that many records in my collection that cover that many bases.
“Curtains” was one of the few non-guitar songs on the record, and as you’ll hear below I probably did all that was never meant to be done with it. I made it a guitar song with a steady meter, and I played while totally sober. Better or worse? Who cares?
Now, if that song doesn’t bake your cake, or by gosh you want more, I offer this tasty TV theme tune. Despite being penned by the undisputed Thrash Master himself, John Tesh, I tried to add even more oomph (or at least some distortion). NOTE: those pants I’m wearing are prominently featured on the cover of the Brothers Johnson’s record “Right On Time”. (Special thanks to my old boss, Tardon Feathered, for being there when their storage space defaulted. I’m still not sure if the title of this record is supposed to mean that the band is always punctual and “right on time,” or if the current time is [snaps fingers and winks] *right on* time.)
Filmed on location in Gold Bluffs, California by famed adventure cinematographer Emily Applekamp.
As a post script I would also like to share a drum tutorial I created. It is not beginner-level instruction but for some this might prove essential for getting to that last and final level of drumming.
Thanks for visiting! Stay tuned next month when I’ll share gosh knows what!