June 3, 2005
Another successful day down at Armstrong-Prior. In the morning session I took a second pass at the fourth White Hat etching, running through the reduction process, adding aqua-tint as I went. Big guessing match, at least for me; ended up to be kind of an Indiana Jones coming out of an Inca ruins kind of a deal. Very murky and shadowy, with giant saguaros looming over a temple entrance (actually supposed to be an Arizona courthouse—ha.). Alexis told me this one is her least favorite of the series. And speaking of John's blunt, but capable assistant, she brought in several CDs including Kings of Leon. But the group that really got me grooving was Eagles of Death Metal and their CD "Peace, Love & Death Metal." These guys rock. I assume their name mocks The Eagles?
Kind of ironic because last night, while Kathy was at the high school graduation, I watched The Eagles in concert on TNT. I was intrigued on several levels. For one thing, I interviewed Glen Frey for a short-lived tv show we had at KSLX in the early nineties and I had several memories of it. For one, I was given strict orders by his handlers not to ask him about an Eagles reunion (now I think they’re on Farewell Tour II). Still, that was unnerving because when someone tells me I can't do something, every nerve in my body tells me to do it. I was actually good about it, but the other memory I have is that since we both started in bands at about the same period I compiled a list of songs I assumed he cut his teeth on and asked him, with much relish, how many times he had played "Louie Louie." He laughed and played along, but I took it too far and kept going. "What about Gloria? How many times did you play that? Inna Godda da Vida? How about Midnight Hour? Wipeout?" He finally got kind of irritated and said something like, "I don’t know about any of those. I've been doing original songs for a long time, Man." Which was a nice way of saying, "Does the term Loser mean anything to you cowboy?" Anyway, I cringed as I thought of this, but in spite of the negativo memories, I must admit those guys wrote enough stunning songs to fill a flatbed Ford. And for a guy like me who was writing surfing songs with Charlie Waters like "Pier 69" , the Ealges had some masterful lyrics to boot: "It seems to me some fine things have been laid upon your table, but you only want the things you can’t have.” That’s from Desperado, the best Old West outlaw song ever written, period.
Dan Harshberger joined us for lunch and we talked at length about how to attack the Blaze Away poster project. Jammed and argued over ways to do it. When it comes to design, I usually defer to the Dan Man. I was thinking vertical, he’s thinking horizontal. I saw tight, action shots, he wants a big, long Winchester rifle going along the bottom. I’m thinking straight up symmetrical, Dan hates symmetrical. Which is why I need him because I tend to slide into symmetry (i.e. design blandness) all too easy. In fact, the problem with the fourth White Hat etching was the fact that the main figure was almost dead center, and the two saguaros on either side were perfectly symmetrical, which is the musical equivalent of Louie Louie being performed by Up With People.
"Whenever I hear, 'It can't be done,' I know I'm close to success."
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