The time was passed so easily
But if the summer's wasting
How come that I could feel so free
Lee Balterman, Crossed Fingers, 1962
* Reminder that The Dust Congress fundraiser/contest continues. Information for entry at the previous link. Grand prize: a signed copy of the most recent Chuck Prophet record (co-written by klipschutz), Temple Beautiful. Other prizes include music by The Caribbean and Plums.
Below, Klipschutz interviews Klipschutz regarding Temple Beautiful and more....!
Q: Great album! And it sounds better when you actually pay for it, I hear.
A: Good question. I’ll pass that on.
Q: You are a poet, whatever that means. When it comes to writing with Chuck, do you do the lyrics and he does the music?
A: No, I do everything! You want the truth? I can’t handle it but maybe you can. We sit in a room South of Market and listen to music on Chuck’s $29 record player from 1977. Chuck plays guitars, pounds on the keys, occasionally sits behind a drum kit. I pace and get nervous and have to walk down the hall and urinate a lot. Chuck sings out nonsense, or half-sense lines. Then I start to “sing.” God help him when I “play” tambourine. Lunchtime rolls around. We usually go to Split Pea Seduction. The songs write themselves while we’re out.
Q: So, seriously, how did Temple Beautiful come together?
A: We’ve both lived in San Francisco since forever, and move in overlapping circles. Hopefully, we both brought our strengths to the room. Collaboration is odd. Some days the wires cross and he’s the poet and I’m borderline musical. The shorter answer is we got lucky.
Q: Does it bother you when journos refer to Chuck as the songwriter on the album?
A: Everything bothers me. Having to write these questions bothers me. The music business is unusual – or so I’ve heard; they keep turning down my application. Chuck works like twenty seven demons to make all this happen. At the end of the day – more days than not – we’re great friends. Nothing’s perfect, except miscommunication.
Q: You and Chuck had a 10 year falling out. Over what?
A: Money. There was too much of it. Stephanie Finch helped us get past our differences. That is a true fact, as opposed to the other kind.
Q: How did you get together with Dust Congress.
A: Andy put up one of my poems. I wrote him a note. I tend to dig most things he puts up, even poems by poets I don’t like. And it’s a mix, always surprising. The excerpts and rare finds are illuminating. He should be editing Harper's.