gem.n.i part iii

Well, it finally happened.

Today there was no blizzard. No National Holiday. No Extinction Level 5 Event. No family or work demands. El Niño said it was copasetic this once.

Consequently, I got together with Jim to hang out, jam and reignite gem.n.i.

I had a terrific time. We worked on some things he has been writing and arranging, some impressively cool new material, and xaught up. At one point he played an old guitar riff {“something I’be had on the back burner”) and I was like… “Wow – play that again.” The guitar melodies did some very unexpected things while still following a nice set of intervals. After he played it, I added the root notes, then developed a “verse” sort of thing based on it and the existing intervals in a moderate 4/4 quarter ROOT note (I know – GASP!) straight feel rock bass and we pretty much built a really nice song from that riff. I thought Robert Plant solo stuff, or David Coverdale There’s a lot more work to do, but I’m hoping we can put the pieces together and have an awesome new rock song.

In other things we worked on a long complex prog piece he is writing, and I’m stoked as he will be adding to the piece over the next few days. The first two minutes we jammed were great. Jim has a fantastic ear for music and is very creative. As he is playing things’ he has written or is developing there are frequent “oh wow” moments that catch my ear. Basslines come to me easily as I hear his writing, and when he has a bassline for me to play it is always exactly what the song needed. He is an excellent multi-instrumentalist with drums, guitars, and keys as well as a composer and engineer. I’m very excited about the future of gem.n.i and hope to post more updates soon.

Within the past week I made two new bass covers from Yes’ “Drama” album – “Machine Messiah” and “Tempus Fugit.” On my Facebook page I put a shortcut to the “Machine Messiah” video and asked people to check it out.

Well, this one guy who sent me a friend request a couple of weeks earlier, someone I had never chatted with met or spoke to added a response that my “Machine Messiah” video brought back horrible memories of children’s recitals, some of the worst moments of his life.

I thought,” Is this guy kidding me? In the ‘Machine Messiah’ video, there are 2 and a half missed notes.” I replied on the Facebook page, “So, no good?” thinking ” I MUST have misunderstood the guy – THAT bad?”

Nope. I misunderstood nothing. “I don’t care for this modern stuff, You are no John Entwhistle.” He ranted about my playing, comparing it to the worst thing ever,

So I asked, “What was it? My technique? My muting? My tone? BTW this was made in 1980.” He replied with a story about a Peavey BlackWidow back in the day that blew out then something about mules.

I thought about the whole thing later then dropped him from my friend’s list because really anyone who is going to essentially compare a personally-made video of any kind or quality to cancer on your Facebook page before ever speaking to you at all is not a nice person. Don’t like it? The polite thing is to not comment, or find a way to voice your critique in private instead of blasting them on their own page. To get bashed out of the blue ain’t cool. And then there were more messages that followed from him about mules and stuff.

And let me just say that i stand by my video. It’s a difficult song to play and I play it pretty well. There are more than 2 and a half notes, if I want to be picky the number goes up to well never mind all that, mmmmkay?

Meth is a hell of a drug.

But I also realized what had happened. All of my newer videos have a little goofy “theme song” of me playing a fast over a silly drum machine. Its like the theme to “Cheers” except it doesn’t make you feel nearly as white and thin – and it sounds goofy and new-ish. Sorta.

I bet Dave Marsh, Jr (not his real name, a reference that only one other person I know might get) stopped it in the middle of the theme and never made it to the cover song itself, which starts about 12 seconds or so into the video. So he said it stunk – meaning my goofy theme song – not my bass cover “Machine Messiah” – he bailed before the main event. Or he sat through it and totally hated “Machine Messiah,” but what’s not to love? 😉

Oh well. He still wasn’t a nice person.

November 2019 update: I backed out of the gem.n.i. project as the songwriter was always changing things, so I would work for a couple of weeks on stuff then come back to find everything changed, and my work was a waste of time – more than once. Plus, I need to be in a band, up loud, not playing into a computer. It’s just me, but I backed out before we got too far along as I’m a rocker at heart who needs the living give and take of other musicians in a live band setting to stay interested.

So that’s over. And still no band, and no collaboration.

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