Who was that guy?
I was listening to “Upside Out” (mostly to try and get to the point where I won’t forget lyrics in the middle of singin’ a tune) and I was struck by something: listening to some of the playing and writing on the recording, I have no idea who that guy was.
In an attempt to explain, I’ll use one example. There are these aggressive bass solos (on “the Price”, “She’s So Heavy”, “Wish You Were Here”) that seem so far removed from the way I play that to my ear it sounds like a different person. I mean, I know it was me, I have memories of playing those tracks, but listening back to them, I don’t feel that I could play like that guy (the previous me is the guy I’m referring to).
I started to wonder if other musicians go through this, and I recall an Allan Holdsworth interview where he claimed he can’t listen to his older recordings because of how bad he plays on them. To me, when I listen to any of his recordings, he always sounds like Allan Holdsworth. I wonder if other folks listening to me, whether from this most recent Coincidence Machine CD, or an old Piltdown Man recording, just hear me as sounding like me (Jimi Durso), even though to me these various eras sound like very different people.
On one hand, I know that I’m not that person. Shunryu Suzuki once said something to the effect that the person you were a year ago is dead, the person you were yesterday is dead. To believe that the person you are now is the same person who was in your skin yesterday is a fallacy. But at the same time, there is a consistency that we hear in others (like I was saying about Holdsworth).
I can’t say i have any explanation of this effect, but it does present me with a conundrum: do I try to play these songs like that guy on the record? Or do I just play them like the guy I am now? I expect that I’ll have to do the latter, since I am the guy I am right now (well, not anymore by the time you read this), but will that be a disappointment for those in the audience who are expecting the guy on the record, and instead get me? Or, if this discrepancy between that guy (the one who did the record for me) and the me of the now is only something I’m aware of, and the audience just hears some semi-permanent “me”, no matter what stage of my evolution that I’m in, then I’m making a big post out of nothing.
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- Tagged: Allan Holdsworth, bass solo, Beatles, Coincidence Machine, experimental, I Want You, identity, indie, Jimi Durso, Matt Baranello, music, new age, performance, permanence, person, Pink Floyd, progressive, recording, rock, She's So Heavy, Shunryu Suzuki, spiritual, the Price, Wish You Were Here