Originally Posted by Deltadrummer
I hear ya Abe. I could imagine that even in an internet forum folks would quabble about what has actually been said. :P
If anybody has ever been quoted in a newspaper, you will come to ask, "did I say that?" Folks are going to use the fodder for their own reward. And once you're talking about mass culture and a time line like Buddy or Jaco, mythology rules. You know, Michael Jackson slept with snakes. by the way.
I think that you are even clearer when stating that you cannot base an understanding of ones artistic or intellectual capacity on some other flaw or character trait that one may or may not like.
A few years ago Art Verdi gave me a home made DVD that had 10 years of Buddy Rich appearences on that old Johnny Carson Show. At first glance you could watch one of those shows and think Geez he's kind of a jerk
. But then I watched another, then another, then another and you know what? 90% of that stuff was a routine that had been worked out between Rich and Carson to where both guys knew their role in the gimmick and responded accordingly. It was vaudeville and that's where Rich came from. And Rich's vaudeville gimmick was being a wise guy. Now does that mean it was entirely an act? No. But I just think that sometimes people talk very matter of factly about things they have no business discussing because they really don't get it.
As for the bus tapes, I've never talked to a pro musician who had the inside track about that who didn't think the guys in that particular Rich band were far worse jerks than Rich ever was. In fact people still talk about that trombone player who started it all, and he's also a known jerk in Australia now.
Story was he egged Rich on for both those sets while the band was playing and
disrupted the performance onstage.
Then others in the band started laughing and playing along too. The trombone player was mostly mad that Rich wasn't going to record his arrangement of a tune called Manhattan,
although Rich still played it almost every night on gigs. Now if anyone would like to google that chart, you can hear the downloads for yourself. It just wasn't up to recording standards and Rich was right to refuse it. Let's also remember this was the same guy who recorded the bus rant. So in other words, an overrated jerk poked sticks into the cage of a volatile personality for 2 straight sets then recorded it for posterity because he didn't get his tune recorded. The whole thing was a setup from the get go.
Want to judge?
What would have been Tony Williams' reaction to that setup?
And for those who want to pretend they're psychologists and blabber on about how no one deserves etc, etc, I only ask why anyone stayed on that bus if they weren't part of some scheme? Why didn't the aggrieved parties just quit? After all everyone knows those big bands didn't pay all that much. Besides you're supposed to be pros. Goofing up gigs on purpose is the worst thing a pro can do and is deserving of the most extreme consequences.