Military Music @ Sirens
Sent: 5/9/2000 AM
For you - Another Journal Entry
After the UpStage closed last night, Emanuel and I went looking for another piano. I called a friend (Robert Force) and got permission to infest the piano in their house, but it was really past their bedtimes.
So on the way there we stopped at a bar, to see if there was any room for us to play for an hour or so. We have to play a ten minute interlude for a TV show later in the week and felt the need to at least agree on what kind of stuff we are going to do. Sirens Pub is normally a reasonably acceptable incarnation of a fern-bar. Almost mellow for a place where people are encouraged to get bent enough to need a taxi to get home from, but last night - right after we started to play - it filled up with very drunk sailors on leave from Indian Island, who were there letting off steam after a hard day playing powder-monkey with tons of past-their-pull-date high explosives that are way too hot to move down the road in "White Trucks." Not exactly my preferred audience is another way to say it.
They listened for a while, and then tried to drown us out by talking louder than the piano, and finally delegated the roughest of the group to come up and get us to play what they wanted to hear. They wanted to SING and what they wanted to sing turned out to be "Anchors Away" but it took quite a while to decipher that - "play the f#!^*n' Nnaaavy fightin' song for us, assholes" was as close as I came to understanding the old guy's sluurrred speech after completely missing the text content of the first few requests. And Emanuel, who has been here a month now, and did not grow up near any US military bases, had never heard these songs at all. When I explained that he was visiting from Germany, had been here only a few weeks, and barely spoke English, this fairly nasty institutional xenophobia spread across the fellow's face, in a way that was not pretty at all.
In thinking this through, I have decided that these songs (a rich collection of the world's greatest Military theme-songs - to appease fighting drunks) are probably every bit as important to one's long-term health and well-being as Happy Birthday in F, All Blues, Born to be Wild, and Louie Louie, and should be in Vinikow's party Guitar repertoire. Reminded me that I probably do NOT really need to take off on the road with Emanuel next week looking for America's most authentically smoke-drenched and beer-soaked public pianos to play our kind of popfusion-folkjazz on.
BTW - I have some of it "up" as RealAudio www.breskin.com/breskintunes.htm You will like some of it.