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When I was young and asking the big questions, I learned most of what I still believe about loyalty, bravery and morality from the Silver Age superheroes in my comic book collection.
In later years I would travel internationally, study world religions, read classic works of philosophy and ethics, and even pay attention to my father's many lectures. I went to private school, public school, boarding school and the school of hard knocks. I'm an educated cat.
But to this day, when the world tests my mettle or challenges my sense of right and wrong, it's not Spinoza but my inner Green Lantern who shows up for the fight.
I've always been impressionable in this way.
For example, I'm pretty sure I have a goatee because of the way Spock looked in "Mirror, Mirror." I know I started wearing dashikis in high school because of a picture I saw of Elvin Jones in Downbeat. I sport a beret on stage because Dizzy did.
Today, while watching Highlander for the godzillionth time, I noticed something about Christopher Lambert's home. Like so many characters in films of the 1980s and '90s, The Highlander lived in a loft.
It now occurs to me that my interior design preferences and bone-deep love of warehouse loft spaces and mid-century modern furniture are not based on anywhere I've lived or anything I've seen or studied. They don't reflect some sophisticated notion about the aesthetic requirements of an artist's life. They aren't because I need space to rehearse and create.
Nope. I learned about loft living from the movies. Dig:
William Sanderson in Blade Runner (1982). Jennifer Beals in Flashdance (83). Lambert in Highlander (86). Barbara Hershey in Hannah and Her Sisters (86). Mickey Rourke in 9-1/2 Weeks (86). Tom Hanks in Big (88). Billy Crystal in When Harry Met Sally (89). Rosanna Arquette in New York Stories (89). Nancy Travis in So I Married An Axe Murderer (93). James Caan in Bottle Rocket (96). Ethan Hawke in Great Expectations (98). Julianne Moore in The Big Lebowski (98). Adam Sandler in Big Daddy (99). Christian Bale in American Psycho (00). Owen Wilson in Zoolander (01). Olivier Martinez in Unfaithful (02).
I want their cribs!
(Sure hope this flugelhorn thing works out.)
"If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the will which says to them: hold on..."
"Your will turns thought into reality.
You must learn to focus your will and
create what you see in your mind.
The limits are only what you can imagine."
"The man who is to be great is the one who can be
the most solitary, the most hidden, the most deviant,
the man beyond good and evil, lord of his virtues,
a man lavishly endowed with will."
I welcome and will respond to any cold calls or unsolicited emails I may receive from other music professionals. Getting back to you might be inconvenient, and there may be a delay during busy times, but I promise to make the effort. In the interest of mutual respect, I encourage others in our field to adopt this basic business practice as well.
During our meeting, I promise to give you my full attention, and to refrain from taking calls, texting or fiddling with my phone. I expect the same courtesy.
“It is not the strongest of the species that survive,
nor the most intelligent, but the one
most responsive to change.”
I understand that your time is valuable. If my answer is "no," I promise to say so, enabling you to take me off your list and move on. I expect the same courtesy.
"They may not want me here, but I'm determined to make friends, have fun, and show 'em how we do it back home. I'm the Axel Foley of the flugelhorn." ~DM