Tuesday, April 14, 2009

If the bush doesn't shake, eat another piece of bread.


CAPTAIN BEEFHEART'S TEN COMMANDMENTS OF GUITAR PLAYING


Beefheart 1. Listen to the birds.
That's where all the music comes from. Birds know everything about how it should sound and where that sound should come from. And watch hummingbirds. They fly really fast, but a lot of times they aren't going anywhere.

2. Your guitar is not really a guitar Your guitar is a divining rod.
Use it to find spirits in the other world and bring them over. A guitar is also a fishing rod. If you're good, you'll land a big one.

3. Practice in front of a bush
Wait until the moon is out, then go outside, eat a multi-grained bread and play your guitar to a bush. If the bush dosen't shake, eat another piece of bread.

4. Walk with the devil
Old Delta blues players referred to guitar amplifiers as the "devil box." And they were right. You have to be an equal opportunity employer in terms of who you're bringing over from the other side. Electricity attracts devils and demons. Other instruments attract other spirits. An acoustic guitar attracts Casper. A mandolin attracts Wendy. But an electric guitar attracts Beelzebub.

5. If you're guilty of thinking, you're out
If your brain is part of the process, you're missing it. You should play like a drowning man, struggling to reach shore. If you can trap that feeling, then you have something that is fur bearing.

6. Never point your guitar at anyone
Your instrument has more clout than lightning. Just hit a big chord then run outside to hear it. But make sure you are not standing in an open field.

7. Always carry a church key
That's your key-man clause. Like One String Sam. He's one. He was a Detroit street musician who played in the fifties on a homemade instrument. His song "I Need a Hundred Dollars" is warm pie. Another key to the church is Hubert Sumlin, Howlin' Wolf's guitar player. He just stands there like the Statue of Liberty-making you want to look up her dress the whole time to see how he's doing it.

8. Don't wipe the sweat off your instrument
You need that stink on there. Then you have to get that stink onto your music.

9. Keep your guitar in a dark place
When you're not playing your guitar, cover it and keep it in a dark place. If you don't play your guitar for more than a day, be sure you put a saucer of water in with it.

10. You gotta have a hood for your engine
Keep that hat on. A hat is a pressure cooker. If you have a roof on your house, the hot air can't escape. Even a lima bean has to have a piece of wet paper around it to make it grow.

(Thanks to Lukas who posted on wfmu)

13 comments:

Mr Bigpants Cock (of the) Walk said...

If you haven't seen it already, theres a really great and important movie out now called Hunger. It's about the 1981 Irish Hungerstrikes.
Its currently playing at the musicbox and is also available through OnDemand. You should really make sure to see it.

Mr Bigpants Cock (of the) Walk said...

Criterion is releasing Made in USA and 2or3 Things I Know About Her in July!!

Rich said...

3 Things---

1- First of all great post, I've been meaning to mention that

2- I'll watch that movie tomorrow night, thanks for the heads up

3- Fucking wonderful news!!!

Deanna said...

Yes!

Tim: Block Cinema Godard series. I found out about it last night.

Mr Bigpants Cock (of the) Walk said...

Thanks D! Fuck, I wish I knew earlier...


Vivre Sa Vie finally playing at musicbox May 15 – 21

Rich said...

Many thanks to Tim, who I should probably now re-name "Heads Up" for letting me know about all sorts of stuff lately, not least of which being the super expanded version of the Jane's Addiction box set.

I sucked the corporate cock this morning and ordered it from the Best Buy website. To make the cock even tastier I followed a link to it from pitchfork. Mmmmmmmm, salty!

Still, it's cheaper than a Lollapalooza ticket, will mean much more over the course of time, and christ- it's JANE'S ADDICTION

It's not my problem they became SoCal lame asses, and nor is it yours. We will always have their perfection (once again, as Tim has pointed out).

Mr Bigpants Cock (of the) Walk said...

well, it's definitely a fuckload better than Rather Ripped!

Mr Bigpants Cock (of the) Walk said...

arlen specter just switched parties!

Rich said...

Who fuckin saw that one coming???

Deanna said...

And New Hampshire is well on its way to becoming yet another state that allows gay marriage!

Mr Bigpants Cock (of the) Walk said...

"I wanna live with my cinnamon girl/And by 'cinnamon girl,' I mean 'electric car'/That's my cinnamon girl" --mark prindle

Rich said...

Springtime is for lovers, and love is in the air for alt-rock stars. The Detroit News reports that White Stripes drummer Meg White will marry Jackson Smith, son of punk legend Patti Smith and the late MC5 guitarist Fred "Sonic" Smith. (Via Spinner.) They'll tie the knot May 22 in Nashville, according to The Detroit News. (An email to a representative of the White Stripes asking for confirmation has not yet been returned.)

Deanna said...

Wow, nice!