…easily my favorite of all the floyd songs that loop in my head…

…this one loops by far the most often…
probably once or twice a week for the last 30 years…
rave on mr. wright…
rave on.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSoFAq9npU4&feature=related

home sweet home…

its a perfect circle: the same small stage that Heidi and I called home before PS
ends up being the same small stage that the entire cast/band of PS feels equally at home:
joe papp’s pub.
even the name makes sense: it’s a theater guy’s rock club.
this never occurred to me until now
but of course PS would get its start at a theater guy’s club.
where else?
and while the stage never felt smaller with 80 of us up there last sunday
it made perfect sense:
the spirit of this play comes from the intimate club experience.
the broadway stage is more BIG ROCK SHOW because its
more people and louder
but the old thrust theaters back at berk rep and the public
were actually more club-like in their intimacy.
That said,
Everybody said the show would “lose something”
when it transferred to the proscenium.
But i think it actually gained something.
It wasn’t wrong, just different.
Big Rock is fun too.
But nothing beats the club.
If only because you never have to remind people
That we’re all in this room together.
/s

what about making records?

so a few people have responded to my post by asking why i didn’t mention
making our records as being artistic challenges.
(or was that artistically challenged?)
anyway, i guess i didn’t include making records because that’s just simple fun.
like playing touch football
or sitting around talking shit with yer friends.
i mean when do you ever get to just sit around and see what
it sounds like to send a broken drum machine through a vintage phase shifter?…
all in the name of
(insert spinal tap accent)
MAKING AN ALBUM, MAN!!!???
and it’s usually air conditioned.
always dark…
and you get to order lotsa tasty but bad for you but tasty food.
its amazing how many times within a two week period
you can eat “in & out burger” and still love it.
i can’t wait to get into a studio again.
i’ve met so many cool musicians in the last three years
the next TNP record will be a circus of joy.
/s

and so…

…on to the next challenge…

ps notice

Friends,
Passing Strange is closing on sunday july 20th.
that would be 10 days from now.
so act accordingly.

you can read the below in your spare time.

this broadway chapter has been a compelling addition
to the continuing stew and heidi saga.
Our story has always been about accepting challenges.

It started in LA where our biggest challenge was making
every single show The Negro Problem did at Spaceland or 14 Below completely different from the last.

Later on the challenge was taking our weird little curio of a band into the big rock leaugue
by opening for people like Arthur Lee, Counting Crows and Blondie in America and Europe
and seeing if what worked in sweaty little rock clubs would work on the big stage.

Next came Lincoln Center. I think the big challenge during that phase of our career was stopping ourselves from vomiting as we passed all the pro-war idiots while on route from LA to New York. But playing Lincoln Center was big for us. I mean, it’s Lincoln Center, yenno?

Next came Joe’s Pub. Joe’s Pub was a challenge because in that club for the first time we felt like the lyrics were making as big an impact as the music. Even the between song banter became as much a part of the show as the music and lyrics. And that connection between the between song banter and the music and lyrics is what led us to the place next door to Joe’s, The Public Theater.

The challenge the Public posed was simple: write a musical… even though me and Heidi had never done that before.
They put us in a room with Annie and I brought in stacks of paper and we started. Our relationship with the Public heralded what i would call the beginning of the Real Big Challenges period.

After the Public, the Sundance Institute began to play a huge role in our lives and continues to do so. The Theater, Screenwriters and Director’s Lab at Sundance were simply the most beautiful artistic boot camps anyone could ever be lucky enough to experience. The challenges were unreal and intoxicating. Sundance turned me into a writer, period. Without them Passing strange would not exist.

Then came the business of actually DOING theater. So we had great runs at Berkeley Repertory Theater and The Public Theater of New York. The challenges of doing an actual run of an 8 show a week play were…hmmm, well let’s just say that our experiences at Berkeley Rep (where Heidi and I officially broke up as a couple but not as a creative team) and at the Public Theater (where I almost lost my mind) were experiences we are still unable to fully process because those experiences were folded into the broadway experience without much time to reflect.

Which brings us to now. Again, 8 shows a week. But this time on The Great White Way which is quite a different way than Berkeley or the Public Theater. Exactly how they are different from each other I’ll explain some other time.

But heres the point of this ramble: this Broadway challenge, this chapter now coming to an end, while I accepted it a little hesitantly I’ll admit, is one I would not trade for anything. We accepted it and met it on our own terms. There is no artistic accomplishment in my life that I am more proud of than Passing Strange. Heidi and Annie would say the same. We brought a piece of work to Broadway that
I know gave certain people a kind of hope that maybe there could be more to Broadway than shiny buttons, an uplifting first act closer, and a happy ending (Actually, Spike has provided the happy ending as far as I’m concerned). Anyway, I would like to thank our producers for having the balls to put this crazy play onstage.

I learned a thousand or so things about all aspects of my craft, and life, from being up here.
But the most important thing I learned, for the purposes of understanding how I feel right now,
is that I am NOT a Broadway baby. I was born to do many things but I was not born to be here.
So I am indeed going to be happy to have my life back. Heidi and I have many projects that require our
attention and we are excited and eager to get to them. And I want to spend real time with my loved ones, both
here and in Berlin where I live. And I want to book a gig at some really out of the way dive in some deep, dark
corner of New York Town and make a hellishly melodic, soulful noise all night long.
/stew

we’re all in this room…

…together.

and the time frame says it’s alright…ok, WIND IT UP!!!

i was just getting started when all i saw were hands waving hysterically (director/stage managers) urging me to wind it up.
wished we coulda kept rockin’ and just gone to commercial.
rockus interuptus.
though i must admit i never thought i’d hear our band name (TNP) uttered on national television.
i think back on all the uptight clubs that wouldn’t book us because of our name.
thanks to ms. walters and ms. goldberg for giving our weird little play some SERIOUS love.
but geez, medleys are a motherfucker.
/s

i should be sleeping…

1.
it so bizarre to see that the last time i posted was january.
on that day when the cameras came to film our rehearsal.
in many ways thats right when the madness began.
2.
i can’t describe here what has happened between then and now.
but thank god i’ve been taking notes.
one day i will write it all down.
Heidi said all this we are going through now is probably best
looked back on rather than experienced. Because there is no way we can
possibly grasp it all in real time. That is the wisest thing that anyone has ever said
about what we’re going through. Most people say: “enjoy it while it’s happening.”
That’s bullshit. I guess when you sky dive for the 80th time you probably can “enjoy it while its happening.”
But the first 79 times i’d just be thinking: “whoa shit, i’m skydiving. I’m crazy.”
3.
i’ve been operating under the radar for my entire career.
and enjoying it.
i’ve never tried to write a top 40 melody or carve out a lyric
that i thought would be easy for lots of people to understand.
i’ve always tried to write only what i would like to hear.
not what i thought you wanted to hear.
i wanted to write the song that nobody else was writing.
i never thought goodness or greatness had anything to do with mass appeal.
which is why it’s so lost twilight zone episode #527 that i am now, after 30 years of
being underground and loving it, now living in a world (albeit temporarily) where mass appeal
is the name of the game.
i’m not comfortable with it.
4.
don’t get me wrong:
when we (band/actors) are doing our thing: creating in real time, grooving, communing,
stretching and connecting i feel like broadway is a really cool job.
but when we are doing all of the above
and not getting back that call and response love
that comes so easily in the club
i, because i am not an actor, can sometimes get a little testy.
my punk rock club-rat instinct comes out
and it can be somewhat unsightly
as such behavior is decidely inappropriate for broadway
and has nothing to do with the great white way
entertainer’s credo that seems to be
“please love me, i am desperately trying to entertain you
as i look skyward and sing mock sincerely
like some pathetic dork that you’d run screaming from after 2 minutes
if they behaved like this in real life…”
5.
the weird thing here is that we are not pretending to play
rock music nor are we pretending to be rock musicians:
we really are rock musicians.
and that means sometimes the aggression that comes with playing that music
and being that real person has to come out. And sometimes it feels as absurd as being
a Shakesperean actor going into CBGS and saying: “ok everybody, shut the fuck up while i
rock some Hamlet monologues.” Actually, come to think of it, i’ve known some rock audiences that were
cool enough to handle that. If it was mixed with the appropriate amount of bass.
6.
tonight i got aggressive at the end of the show because i felt the crowd was unresponsive and kinda dead
throughout the entire show. But afterwards every single person who came backstage or who i met
waiting outside said that the crowd was actually quite stunned and moved and that they were just taking it
all in. And there is alot to take in. There’s about a million more things to take in in this play than in your
average broadway musical. All the musicals i’ve seen are pretty simple. I don’t mean that as a diss. I just mean you could understand them even if you were deaf and couldn’t read lips. But my point is I ended up feeling bad about having gotten so pissy once I learned that the crowd actually dug the show. I guess the standing ovation should have been a tip off.

7.
performing in a rock club is like making love: you know how good yer doing every second.
but if a lover responds to your kissing like a cold fish but then afterwards
gives you a standing ovation, what does that mean? I guess they could say “There was alot
to take in.”

a word from Chad…

…and the word is:

Acceptance.

i like to watch

now that we’re on broadway i get to have an assistant (Mike) but what’s really fun is having an understudy…his name is David and I watched him perform today and i was in heaven…
/s