September 4, 2007

you've got bills to pay
but you shrug them off
you've got no time to play
with what you've bought



JoAnn Verburg, Underground, 2006

* Rove reportedly advised Bush against having Cheney as VP. excerpt:

"Recently-departed White House adviser Karl Rove warned George W. Bush ahead of the 2000 election that picking Dick Cheney as his vice president would be a mistake, according to a new book set to hit bookstores Tuesday.

"The Washington Post reported Monday that in the book -- 'Dead Certain: The Presidency of George Bush' -- journalist Robert Draper reveals that Bush was intent on picking Cheney as his running mate, despite his warnings against it.

"'Selecting Daddy's top foreign-policy guru ran counter to message. It was worse than a safe pick -- it was needy,' Draper quotes Rove as saying.

"Once he took office, the president 'saw no harm in giving his VP unprecedented run of the place,' Draper wrote.

"The revelations about the inner workings of the Bush White House comes with just 18 months remaining in his presidency, and with the US leader widely deemed by the Washington political establishment to be a lame duck.

"The book is said to show a Bush administration wracked by internal dissent and infighting, contrary to the popular image of a tightly-run administration which moves in lock-step."

* From a 1978 interview of Keith Moon:

Q: How much of the interplay between yourself and John Entwistle is worked out and how much is spontaneous?

Moon: Well, we rehearse the length of the song, whether it's verse, solo, middle-eight, verse, solo and then ad lib ending or whatever. We don't sit down and work out fills. Each of us works out own part and then, when we put it all together and start to play, it comes out extremely powerful. You can't really work things out too much. We do certain things, certain build-ups and things but you can run into a danger of becoming an automaton if you do everything exactly the same each night. You just stop thinking and it ends up the same every bloody night but, with us, it's different. Sometimes I'll build up with timpani, sometimes I'll build up on cymbal or with a roll around the kit. There are so many variations on each effect.

Q: Your use of cymbals has always interested me. Quite often you will start a break on cymbals alone without the bass drum behind it, which is something alien to most drummers.

Moon: That gives me absolute top. If you hit the bass drum as well, you bring in some bottom; the cymbal gives you top and with both, you get something in between which is neither fully cymbal nor fully bass drum. Sometimes I do a single-stroke roll on cymbals for a 'whoosh' effect. Again, we get back to colour. I believe very positively in colour in drumming. You know, there's so many drummers that can go through the routine but they donÕt add colour anywhere. They don't paint with the kit. That's what I like doing. I like painting, adding colour and effects and shocking people. Constantly, while I'm playing, I'm thinking two bars ahead. That gives me a chance to, if I'm in the middle of a roll, to do something I've already thought out so I can get out of the roll and into whatever I was already thinking about. Then when I'm there, I'm thinking another two bars ahead.

Q: Having played certain songs for 14 years, do you find it difficult to actually think of new fills and breaks?

Moon: No, if I thought about it, I'd be in trouble. There are some parts that just naturally happen and I'll think of a figure that I'll put in at a particular point. A lot of them are very unconscious. Sometimes I'll think of a pattern and immediately forget it and store it subconsciously and then two bars later, I find myself playing it. Sometimes when we go on tour, there might be a number where there is just a guitar and drum pattern or fill and it would be very easy to do the same thing every night but it doesn't work that way because the atmosphere is different at every place you play and the atmosphere on stage is different so you get different fills happening. I'm very adventurous with things like that. I don't like to remain static. I know when I've played a certain figure before so I try something else.

Q: How much do you rehearse?

Moon: Well, as you know, I don't practice on my own. When we're going out on tour, we usually rehearse for three or four weeks and that's about three days a week, so we probably have about eight or nine rehearsals spread over a period. If you rehearse every day, you start getting clichéd and you end up like an automaton, you can rehearse it to death. As far as we go, as long as we have the bare bones of a song, that's the way we rehearse. It's just to get the bones, the verses, solos and the general framework of the song. Then, within that framework, we're free to experiment. It's rather like plasticine, you've got the thing there but it's malleable. You can actually shape it and stretch it but youÕre still left with what you started out with.
...
Q: What's in the future for you and The Who?

Moon: Well, films basically. We've just finished 'The Kids Are Alright,' thank God! We've been working on that for two years. We've already started pre-production of 'Quadrophenia,' the casting and that kind of thing and we've got the money for it at last. That's the biggest headache - getting the money to do the picture. Roger's doing the McVicar film which will be done down at Shepperton and Pete's been working on the Lifehouse project for quite a while. There will also be soundtrack albums from these plus the studio albums. I often get asked about when The Who will be going on the road and the simple answer is, I just don't know.

Q: Do you miss going on the road?

Moon: Not really, because I'm still involved in so much Who. Everything I do is still all to do with The Who. I enjoy going out on the road. I still get up now and again and sit in with bands and play but as to putting together another road show and going out on a big tour weÕve been doing that for 15 years and you can get a bit bored, especially when there are so many new directions opening up for us. We've toured and we've done our bit as regards live tours. I mean, let's not count it out but let's not put it too high on the agenda. There are no plans at the moment for a live gig. You have to look at it very carefully. If we do one here, we get insulting letters from America saying, 'You do one in London but you won't come to New York. We're just as big fans here as they are there!' You've got to be fair and go to New York, you can't just do one-offs.

The Who, unfortunately or fortunately, once you decide to go on the road, you're committed to doing everywhere. If we were to do it, it would mean rehearsals, a new act, and we've got such a lot on our plate at the moment, it's impossible. For years, all we did was tour and now we've got the opportunity to turn Shepperton into a real working project with films, commercials, video theatres, rehearsal stages, our own production companies and all of that. That's as exciting for me as being on the road. I love playing drums but there is more that I can do. Playing drums got me in the position where I can now do other things but to go on the road again, I don't see it as being viable for quite a while.

Q: Can The Who exist without live gigs?

Moon: Oh, yes. Very much so. The Who are still working but we're working in a different way. It's very difficult. You spend a lot of time on the road and people start screaming for a tour - you just can't win. You asked me last time about couldn't The Who do small clubs unannounced and the fact remains that it wouldn't work for us; if we went back on the road, we'd go back as THE WHO. It wouldn't be fair to the fans to do a small gig. I think you should do a gig in a venue where everyone can see you. You should give all the Who fans the same chance and not go to some out of the way place. You'd get people saying, 'Bastards, what's so special about that place?' I don't want that kind of criticism. You can see why it's so difficult. We've just got so much to do first.

* Pop music is about saying 'fuck me.' Rock and roll is about saying 'fuck you'.
- Chrissie Hynde

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