Friday, November 18, 2005

November 18, 2005
Got into the office at 7:30 and went over the scripts Mark Boardman wrote for our new round of True West Moments we are going to record today down at Canyon Records. Mark wrote six bits and we tweaked them and moved stuff around for length and effect.

Tom Carpenter believes yesterday’s posting proves I am actually a "myth-anthrope."

George Laibe drove us down into the Beast and we got to the studio at 10:30. Our engineer, Jack Miller, had created a special CD for George of Eclectic Mouse, the avant garde Phoenix band who put out a Blood, Sweat & Tears type album in 1967. We sat and listened to the first track in awe. So progressive and, yes—eclectic—for that ancient time period.

We got ready to record and George came into the recording studio and made me do voice exercises. I felt really stupid doing them ("now take the gutteral sound up an octave and say all the vowels top to bottom. ..eeeeee, iiiiiiiiiiiii, oooooooooo, uuuuuuuuu.”). He also made me stretch my jaw in various ways. It certainly would have looked goofy at a bus stop, but I have to admit, it really got me loosey goosey and ready for the mike work.

I whipped out six spots in record time and Jack effortlessly laid in the Mike Torres custom-music ("Cathouse Melee") and we wrapped at about 12:30. George treated us to lunch at his fave Westside Mexican hangout, Garcia’s. I had a chicken taco salad, George had a red sauce burrito enchilada style and I didn’t catch Mark’s dish. George paid for the whole deal, tip included. I was aghast but mighty impressed (he said he gets tired of reading about how I pay for everything).

On the way back out to Cave Creek I spun out my take on Mickey Free and how I intend to make him a graphic novel American hero. I intend to tell his story as an alternative, submerged history of the West. How he has become one of the great neglected characters of the Old West and I want to do it with nervy, jarring juxtapositions—old newspaper articles, popular misconceptions of Apaches and Mexicans, autobiographical fragments, short biographies of the famous—punctuating deceptively flat sagas of ordinary fictional types on the margins of great events, driven by the blind force of history across blighted human landscapes.”

If this sounds like a poached description from the pages of The New Yorker, that’s because it is. A feature on the writer Dos Passos and his relationship with Ernest Hemingway during the Spanish Civil War (October 31st issue) inspired me and I copied the above paragraph describing his book “U.S.A.” and cannibalized it for my own use here.

"As you get older it is harder to have heroes, but it is sort of necessary."
—Ernest Hemingway

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