duminică, 18 martie 2012

Keith Richards -Life

A fost o carte pe care am citit-o greu, timp de luni de zile, din cauza stilului. Nici nu sunt foarte mare fan cãrţi auto-biografice, dar unele pasaje şi detalii sunt cam plictisitoare. Stilul balzacian e ok pentru Balzac. Intr-o autobiografie, e cam obositor.

Keith scrie despre consecinţele celebritãţii, de la pierderea intimitãţii pânã la sentimentul ciudat pe care îl ai atunci când toatã lumea vorbeşte despre tine încât te gândeşti dacã chiar percepţia ta despre tine însuţi este autenticã sau construitã mai mult de ceilalţi.
Cartea este cumva un roman „on the road”, cu povestiri amuzante ale tertipurilor folosite pentru a scãpa de acuzaţiile poliţiei de deţinere de droguri, cu episoadele realistice, şi tocmai de aceea percutante, despre experienţa şi consecinţele consumului de droguri puternice (toate, scandaluri faimoase care au ocupat prima paginã a ziarelor de-a lungul timpului), dar mai ales cu descrierea relaţiilor şi expunerea propriilor pãreri despre alţi muzicieni sau despre colaborarea din trupã, mai ales cu Mick Jagger.

Interesant este fundalul anilor de naştere a rock ’n’ roll-ului, acel joc de influenţã între „culture” şi „counter-culture” cu noul stil muzical care dã peste cap Anglia şi America. E o combinaţie ciudatã, fascinantã de poziţionare ca rebel, de revoltã împotriva unui sistem învechit, depãşit, o luptã împotriva sistemului de orice fel care, inveitabil, îngrãdeşte libertãţi şi o conduitã auto-distructivã, hedonistã, prin acceptarea oricãrei substanţe sau experienţe care sã îi detaşeze de aceastã realitate pentru schimbarea cãreia militeazã.

Relaţia cu Mick este descrisã ca asemãnându-se mai curând cu relaţia dintre Germania de Vest şi cea de Est, decât cu cea dintre Coreea de Nord şi de Sud. Dacã în perioada în care Keith era dependent de heroinã, Mick a menţinut trupa pe linia de plutire, atunci când Keith a scãpat de dependenţã şi a început sã se implice mai mult în activitatea grupului, Mick a refuzat sã îşi împartã „autoritatea”, ceea ce a dus la o serie de frustrãri, de conflicte şi de sentimente de trãdare, mai ales dupã ce Keith aflã cã acesta a încheiat, în secret, un contract cu casa de producţie pentru 3 albume solo şi Mick declarã într-un interviu cã formaţia e ca o piatrã de moarã în jurul gâtului sãu.

Pãrţile care mi-au plãcut sunt cele în care Keith vorbeşte despre muzica lui. Cu elemente oarecum alchimiste despre cum te desprinzi de ceea ce ai auzit în trecut, cum îţi gãseşti stilul propriu, cum ia naştere un cântec, ce te influenţeazã, cum creezi într-o trupã. Spre deosebire de Mick, Keith nu este interesat de celebritate, de titluri, de aerele de vedetã(deşi în cazul lui Mick acestea fac parte tocmai din farmecul lui). Povesteşte despre toate influenţele lui de blues şi R&B, soul, country music, funk, stiluri jamaicane, de muzicienii care l-au inspirat, pe care i-a venerat şi despre dorinţa lui de a crea, la rândul sãu, ceva autentic.

Ce mi-a plãcut:

„There is something inside me that just wants to excite that thing in other people, because I know it’s there in everybody. There’s a demon in me, and there’s a demon in everybody else [...] People love that image. They imagined me, they made me, the folks out there created this folk hero. Bless their hearts. And I’ll do the best I can to fulfill their needs. They’re wishing me to do things that they can’t. They’ve got to do this job, they’ve got this life, they’re an insurance salesman… but at the same time, inside of them is a raging Keith Richards.”

„I can rest on my laurels. I’ve stirred up enough crap in my time and I’ll live with it and see how somebody else deals with it. But then there’s that word “retiring.” I can’t retire until I croak [...] The fact is, I’ve always said, if we were black and our name was Count Basie or Duke Ellington, everybody would be going, yeah yeah yeah. White rock and rollers apparently are not supposed to do this at our age. But I’m not here just to make records and money. I’m here to say something and to touch other people, sometimes in a cry of desperation: “Do you know this feeling?” ”

„I was looking for the core of it—the expression. You would have no jazz without blues out of slavery—that most recent and particular version of slavery, not us poor Celts for example, under the Roman boot. They put those people through misery, not just in America. But there’s something produced by its survivors that is very elemental. It’s not something you take in in the head, it’s something you take in in the guts.”

„But for this audience, blues was only blues if somebody got up there in a pair of old blue dungarees and sang about how his old lady left him. None of these blues purists could play anything. But their Negroes had to be dressed in overalls and go “Yes’m, boss.” And in actual fact they’re city blokes who are so hip it’s not true. What did electric have to do with it? Cat’s playing the same notes. It’s just a little louder and it’s a little more forceful. But no, it was “Rock and roll. Fuck off.” They wanted a frozen frame, not knowing that whatever they were listening to was only part of the process; something had gone before and it was going to move on.”

„And we didn’t want to make money. We despised money, we despised cleanliness, we just wanted to be black motherfuckers. Fortunately we got plucked out of that. But that was the school; that’s where the band was born.”

„Minimalism has a certain charm. You say, that’s a bit monotonous, but by the time it’s finished, you’re wishing it hadn’t. There’s nothing bad about monotony; everyone’s got to live with it.”

„One of the first lessons I learned with guitar playing was that none of these guys were actually playing straight chords. There’s a throwin, a flick-back. Nothing’s ever a straight major. It’s an amalgamation, a mangling and a dangling and a tangling thing. There is no “properly.” There’s just how you feel about it. Feel your way around it. It’s a dirty world down here. Mostly I’ve found, playing instruments, that I actually want to be playing something that should be played by another instrument. I find myself trying to play horn lines all the time on the guitar.”

„Give Mick Jagger a stage the size of a table and he could work it better than anybody, except maybe James Brown. Twists and turns, and he’s got the maracas going—c’mon, baby.”

„Our first aim as the Rolling Stones was to be the best rhythm and blues band in London, with regular gigs every week. But the main aim was somehow to get to make records. To actually get into the portal, the holy of holies, the recording studio. How can you learn if you can’t get in front of a microphone and a tape recorder in a studio? We saw this thing building up, and what’s the next step? Make records, by hook or by crook. [...]I’ll do anything to make a record. It was really narcissistic in a way. We just wanted to hear what we sounded like. We wanted the playback. The payback didn’t come into it, but the playback we really wanted. In a way, in those days, being able to get into the studio and get an acetate back sort of legitimized you.”

„The Beatles are all over the place like a fucking bag of fleas, right? And you’ve got another good band. The thing is not to try and regurgitate the Beatles. So we’re going to have to be the anti-Beatles. We’re not going to be the Fab Four, all wearing the same shit. And then Andrew started to play that to the hilt. Everybody’s too cute and they all wear uniforms and it’s all showbiz. And it was actually Andrew that disintegrated the way you can present yourself—do everything wrong, at least from a showbiz, Fleet Street point of view.”

„We used to play “Popeye the Sailor Man” some nights, and the audience didn’t know any different because they couldn’t hear us. So they weren’t reacting to the music. The beat maybe, because you’d always hear the drums, just the rhythm, but the rest of it, no, you couldn’t hear the voices, you couldn’t hear the guitars, totally out of the question. What they were reacting to was being in this enclosed space with us—this illusion, me, Mick and Brian. The music might be the trigger, but the bullet, nobody knows what that is.”

„These chicks were coming out there, bleeding, clothes torn off, pissed panties, and you took that for granted every night. That was the gig. It could have been anybody, quite honestly. They didn’t give a shit that I was trying to be a blues player.”

„Our songs were taking on some kind of edge in the lyrics, or at least they were beginning to sound like the image projected onto us. Cynical, nasty, skeptical, rude. We seemed to be ahead in this respect at the time. There was trouble in America; all these young American kids, they were being drafted to Vietnam. Which is why you have “Satisfaction” in Apocalypse Now. Because the nutters took us with them. The lyrics and the mood of the songs fitted with the kids’ disenchantment with the grown-up world of America, and for a while we seemed to be the only provider, the soundtrack for the rumbling of rebellion, touching on those social nerves. I wouldn’t say we were the first, but a lot of that mood had an English idiom, through our songs, despite their being highly American influenced. We were taking the piss in the old English tradition.”

„There’s something primordial in the way we react to pulses without even knowing it. We exist on a rhythm of seventy-two beats a minute. The train, apart from getting them from the Delta to Detroit, became very important to blues players because of the rhythm of the machine, the rhythm of the tracks, and then when you cross onto another track, the beat moves. It echoes something in the human body.
So then when you have machinery involved, like trains, and drones, all of that is still built in as music inside us. The human body will feel rhythms even when there’s not one. Listen to “Mystery Train” by Elvis Presley. One of the great rock-and-roll tracks of all time, not a drum on it. It’s just a suggestion, because the body will provide the rhythm. Rhythm really only has to be suggested. Doesn’t have to be pronounced. This is where they got it wrong with “this rock” and “that rock.” It’s got nothing to do with rock. It’s to do with roll.”

„But a song should come from the heart. I never had to think about it. I’d just pick up the guitar or go to the piano and let the stuff come to me. Something would arrive. Incoming. And if it didn’t, I’d play somebody else’s songs. And I’ve never really had to get to the point of saying, “I’m now going to write a song.” I’ve never ever done that. When I first knew I could do it, I wondered if I could do another one. Then I found they were rolling off my fingers like pearls. I never had any difficulty in writing songs. It was a sheer pleasure. And a wonderful gift that I didn’t know I had. It amazes me.”

The LVS = lead vocal syndrome: „Somewhere, though, he got unnatural. He forgot how good he was in that small spot. He forgot his natural rhythm. I know he disagrees with me. What somebody else was doing was far more interesting to him than what he was doing. He even began to act as if he wanted to be someone else. Mick is quite competitive, and he started to get competitive about other bands. He watched what David Bowie was doing and wanted to do it. Bowie was a major, major attraction. Somebody had taken Mick on in the costume and bizarreness department. But the fact is, Mick could deliver ten times more than Bowie in just a T-shirt and a pair of jeans, singing “I’m a Man.” Why would you want to be anything else if you’re Mick Jagger? Is being the greatest entertainer in show business not enough? He forgot that it was he who was new, who created and set the trends in the first place, for years. It’s fascinating. I can’t figure it out. It’s almost as if Mick was aspiring to be Mick Jagger, chasing his own phantom. And getting design consultants to help him do it. No one taught him to dance, until he took dance lessons. Charlie and Ronnie and I quite often chuckle when we see Mick out there doing a move that we know some dance instructor just laid on him, instead of being himself. We know the minute he’s going plastic. Shit, Charlie and I have been watching that ass for forty-odd years; we know when the moneymaker’s shaking and when it’s being told what to do. Mick’s taken up singing lessons, but that may be to preserve his voice.”
„In that sense he made things difficult, but if Mick wasn’t making things difficult you’d think he was ill.”

Intâlnirea cu Havel.

Ce nu mi-a plãcut:

„Then she met Jimi Hendrix, saw him play and adopted his career as her mission, tried to get him a recording contract with Andrew Oldham. In her enthusiasm, during a long evening with Jimi, as she tells it, she gave him a Fender Stratocaster of mine that was in my hotel room. And then, so Linda says, she also picked up a copy of a demo I had of Tim Rose singing a song called “Hey Joe.” And took that round to Roberta Goldstein’s, where Jimi was, and played it to him. This is rock-and-roll history. So he got the song from me, apparently.”

Când povesteşte despre Lennon care se fãcea varzã la el acasã.

3 comentarii:

  1. Am citit si eu cartea, tot anul trecut si mi-a placut. Oricum, mai mult decat "Inside Out - A Personal History of Pink Floyd" a lui Nick Mason(citita in 2011), in care tobosarul da impresia ca se abtine de la multe destainuiri - sau poate pur si asimplu asa ii e stilul, cam impersonal/neimplicat/reticent.
    Sigur, aia nu e propriuzis o autobiografie, ca "Life" si, in plus, membrii Pink Floyd nici nu au cunoscut excesele celor de la Rolling Stones, pentru a oferi suficiente pasaje suculente in carte. De fapt, e rezultatul evidentelor diferente de fire/personalitate intre cei doi autori...

    Mi-a placut si m-a fascinat faptul ca...era chiar el cel care povestea/isi amintea, Keith, cel care chiar traise toate excesele alea timp de zeci de ani, si faptul ca nu s-a prea dat inapoi (sau n-a dat senzatia asta) de la a relata o gramada de fapte/imprejurari inedite, unele care chiar ii puneau intr-o lumina nu tocmai roz pe participanti (de exemplu, cum si-au luat unul altuia prietenele/sotiile, Keith si Mick), faptul ca realmente afli cate ceva din toata istoria nevazuta/nerelatata a acelui grup.

    Si eu am citit-o greu, luni de zile, mai bine spus am citit lungi pasaje din ea, probabil cam 85/90% din carte - dar pe chestia asta ma bucur ca sunt acele 10-15% inca de descoperit.

    Tot in perioada aia am vazut si documentarul lui Scorsese "Shine a light", care si ala mi-a mers la inima - sigur, acolo se vede si mana regizorului, priceput in a gasi/oferi cele mai inspirate planuri din timpul filmarii concertului acela de la teatrul newyorkez, plus intercalarile cu interviuri cu ei etc.

  2. Intr-adevar din "Shine a Light" iti poti da seama cum Keith chiar traieste fiecare nota si ciupeala de ghitara, are momente cand pare ca se tanguie in acord cu chitara. Iar Mick isi arata, la varsta lui, calitati intacte de om de scena, tot timpul se zbenguie si se bataie intr-un ritm f sustinut si acrobatic chiar, care presupune mare efort fizic - de necrezut cum poate sa-si mentina un asemenea tonus (foarte probabil cu exercitii fizice etc - cum am auzit ca face si Madonna).

    De altfel pe HBO HD a fost dat acu 2 ani un alt documentar cu Stones in concert la Rio - si acolo se prezinta convingator si impresionant cam ce inseamna organizarea si derularea unui concert de asemenea anvergura.
    Bravo lor ca continua sa faca asta timp de 50 de ani - la Londra le-am ratat de putin (cu 10 zile) o ultima reprezentatie in Hyde Park.
    E ca un facut, in '94, cand ajungeam la Washington pe 11 iulie, aflam ca Pink Floyd dadusera acolo un concert cu o zi inainte...aproape sigur ca oricum n-as fi prins bilet sau ar fi fost prea scump (ca si la Londra) da oricum...macar sa fi fost pe-aproape :)

  3. E interesanta cartea, intr-adevar, doar ca se citeste destul de greu si, pe alocuri, se cam taraie.
    Nu am vazut inca documentarul lui Scorsese, dar il am pe lista. Vreau marti sa vad Crossfire Hurricane, ca e la cinema aici.