Thursday, 27 December 2012

The CAL Curse!

the curse
the CAL curse
i used to think it was about us all getting divorced
if you crunch the numbers
you'll find that there's 15 of us who went through divorces during the onset of CAL
that's a huge percentage
i really thought CAL was responsible
i thought that the cosmos had decided
that the price for musical genius
depended on marriages ending
but i have this kind of egocentric personality
that makes me think that CAL has longer tentacles
than it really does
i realize that i can be idiotic at times
(just read on and you'll find the above statement true)

the CAL curse has to do with note for note
because if it ain't note for note
i freak out a bit
and everything sounds like a big mistake

i remember when we were rehearsing the let it be show
we were doing across the universe
and it wasn't sounding right
everyone was coy
but i kept being demanding and overbearing
because it wasn't sounding right
then mark said that the key of the song was off
that the song was not quite d flat
and not quite d
we had being playing it ind
playing it in d flat would have meant a new grouping of guitars
all tuned down to d flat
a big chore
but i insisted
and d flat it was
and the song came alive
and alex turned to me and said all the difference

last night
i watched led zeppelin receive their kennedy honors awards
led zeppelin sold more records than anyone else
they're the top of the rock
men on the mountain

so there i am
tuned in
all excited
they look great
and happy
but the CAL curse kicked in immediately
jack black's indoctrination was wrong on several fronts
zep were never heavy metal
they were never satanists
and they never sang directly of vikings
the curse!
it's like being a fact checker on CNN after the debates
you just want to grab the speaker and smack some sense into them
i liked jack black in school of rock
but there's nothing else about his career that works
and he does not have the zen of zep depth
needed to stand on such a coveted stage and speak at length

next up was the music
i prayed that the foo fighters would sit this one out
but no
there they were
distorted guitars
bashing instead of sounding the drums
and the singer - who was their drummer - was atonal scared and bland
it was acne

next up
kid rock
i like kid rock
i'd like to see him in concert
i always try to get my daughters to sing the sheryl crow part in that song they did together
but he had no business singing plant
and his band had no business playing zep
it sounded like a chicken coop being built
it was like watching old family inherited decorations falling from the tree
and smashing onto the floor
it took me a couple of vodka and tonics
to set me on my feet again

then the antichrist
lenny kravitz
i know that a lot of people like lenny
but he's a gap ad
style but no substance
he's not rock n roll
he's product placement
and he has no business singing led zeppelin
i can't even remember the song he was singing
it was torture
he should stick to shelling out for pizza hut
or whoever else he's networking for
probably some cologne that reeks of mediocrity
(his guitar player with the big hair was stellar and lives in my neighbourhood in toronto - so he gets a pass!)

the curse
i have the curse!

the saving graceful sisters
they have zep in their dna
and while they steered away from the note for note river
they reworked the song to flow with ease and depth

if you go to see the mona lisa?
would you be disappointed to only find half her face on display
if you look up the CN tower
would you be disappointed to see a partition that blocks the view
of the pod thing at the top?
if you watch goodfellas
would you be disappointed if they cut out the pasta sauce scene? - the 'i amuse you' scene? - the layla dead guy montage? - the dinner at joe pesci's mom's house with a dead guy in the trunk?
you'd be freaking if any of these elements were removed from great works of art

then why in the name of the hammered gods
did heart let them chop a solid 5 minutes out of stairway?
you'd think that the sisters had some clout
it's the kennedy center
a hallowed hall where greatness is meant to prance about in
not be neutered by hipsters in suits with stop watches and demographic charts
i lost it
led zeppelin - edited for television
it's like losing your taste buds

heart performed stairway
the greatest song ever written
they had choirs and strings and orchestras and the vibe
and the lads were smiling and feeling it
sitting cozy in their chairs with their medals on
a historic moment for rock
but a live on air circumcision is too tough for this cursed man to watch
from the get go they cut out half of the recorder intro
i revolted

the curse!

the curse won't let me work past sub par performances
the curse won't let me veer from note for note
the curse won't let me appreciate new arrangements of classic songs
(again - could you imagine citizen kane with a happy ending?)

i'm not alone on this
during the CAL christmas party
i watched des and mark play a perfect note for note rendition
of blue eyes crying in the rain
it was 4:20 am
there was a cab waiting out front
but nothing would deter them from perfection
they'd never played it - nor talked about it prior
but they understood the need and reverence for note for note

could you imagine rob phillips showing up at a jam
and just riffing along to some floyd for fun
it would never happen
you'd get the arched eyebrow of death
he'd bend a gilmour into your forehead before you could say
"let's freestyle comfortably numb"

we're all cursed
there's no point in fighting it
life outside of CAL is a series of mistakes for us

december 27, 2012
tea and mum's homemade shortbread


  1. That's exactly how i feel. Keep up the high standards, that's what makes you guys great. BTW, I feel the exact same way about Lenny Kravitz, I just don't get it.

  2. Yes, Keep it going, I couldn't watch anymore, I turned it off...

  3. The mute button worked just fine, along with the Closed Captioning on the bottom. I could see the words and not have to listen to the schmuck coming out of the speakers. It was wonderful! I am caught in a curse with the way I build things...if it ain't perfect, I can't sleep. I drive the folks around me crazy, but it is who I am. One just has to learn to live with it. I was sitting in the balcony at HRL last night wondering what person let the welding slag stay on the handrails to this day?? You are not alone. Keep up the good work Craig.

  4. Agree for first half of show but second half of hits let the band get a little looser and show there chops. On another note - CAL should tackle Deep Purple - maybe Machine Head?