Is All Over the Map
born with a big eye. left alone a lot. learned how to talk to furniture. good listeners and eratic mumblers. big flood in 72. 6 feet over our roof. fantastic imagery when the waters receded. and no more material goods to worry about losing. but the piano bit it hard. a biblical fate i suppose, because i would hate to practice. so it called out to the river (of tears maybe) to rise up and splinter it for spite. great, no more feeling bad about not practicing. the refrigerater had the best sense of humor. was completely turned upside down and placed back in its exact same spot. the house reeked of mud and water snakes. but along with the divorcings, it meant i was about to discover the desert. not much flood insurance offered in tucson. met up with a an east german born slide player i decided must be my older brother. gave up college of art for the crutch of guitar. first recorded rock opera in 76 on a pbs radio station - 4 track. sattempted punk band in 78 but didn't have to sing. got to start a giant sandworm band with east german slide player in 79 or 80. finally figured out how to make a record - on 8 track - in 1983 or 4. band of blacky ranchette. then recorded another one in 84 or 5: giant sand. finally toured in europe (3 times) in 86. opened for the 'cramps' in france. went to east berlin for a look see. like walking in a muted colored painting by an artist who liked not to paint pedestrians. rainer flew in to west berlin in case they were to recapture him at the border, like they might still be in need of slide players that utilized instruments invented by chekoslavakian brothers ...where they mentioned my wife looked like jr's wife from 'dallas'. had a baby soon after back in hollywood. partnered up with drummer covertino in the same shambled building we lived in there. divorced and moved back out to the high desert this time in 89. joshua tree area. pappy and harriet's was the center of the universe. recorded center of the universe. took in young bassist burns. met 2 nd wife in arhus. moved back to tucson in 91. bassist and drummer begin splintering off in 94. rainer gets brain cancer in 96. surrounded by folks falling victim to self medication. rainer dies 20 months later. another baby born in 99. one more for good luck in 02. 2nd step sister falls to cancer in 03. thinking how great the flood and divorce was. discover a new way to applicate guitar effects pedals. assemble them in an utility belt. begin to tour with no luggage. have socks, boxers and t- shirts provided in rider instead. put a guitar in the rider too so i don't need to haul one anymore. get arrested in 04 or 5 for attempting to board plane with no luggage, no guitar ...just a 'utility' belt.
Howe Gelb by John Parish
You know sometimes you hear a song for the first time & it clicks so immediately that it's then impossible to imagine that it hasn't always existed - "Classico" from the new Giant Sand album is a perfect example. I've recorded this song three times in a year - the two versions that bookend Map & a third by Italian legend Nada for her new album, Tutto L'amore Che Mi Manca. Howe's lyrics on" Classico" and throughout the new record are typically unique, ranging from laugh out loud to painfully poignant, hitting all points bizarre in between. If there were only one person allowed to contribute further to the over-stocked pool of recorded music on this planet it should be Howe Gelb.