The Trip Out
MadameFLY: The Prototype Years
You're right, this picture wasn't taken recently ... it dates from a favorite
time in my life when I worked in photography and hung around with other
photographers, one of whom used me as his model in some experiments with
How did I get like this? Judge for yourself.
It all started with that stack of 45 rpm vinyl my Dad brought home for
me when I was about 10 years old....
All Grown Up
That would be the college years and the formation of strong musical
preferences ... this where most people stop, the musical preferences
established during these years seemingly sufficient for the rest of
their lives ... and there you have the rationale for the endless number
of AOR stations on America's homogenized airwaves.
I was fortunate to meet folks who got into the music business and took
me with them ... our specialty: blues, folk, jazz, and other forms of "home made
music" AND we were lucky enough to live in a DC suburb that boasted the coolest radio
station: WHFS where you could expect to hear anything, as long as it wasn't predictable.
Years later, looking
back on all I learned then, I have to say: Music is good for you ... but the music business?
That's a very different story. In Los Angeles, they say "The music
industry was created to make the film industry look good." Or, in
the immortal words of Hunter S. Thompson: The music business is a
cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and
pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.
By the time the 80's hit, I was out of the biz but still hanging w/
folks who made music happen ... the concert promoters IMP made sure I saw some killer
shows in those years: Grace Jones, Ry Cooder, Robert
Palmer, Thomas Dolby, UB40, Burning Spear, Talking Heads....
But the really significant moment was when I heard
Brian Eno and David Byrne's MY LIFE IN THE BUSH OF GHOSTS. And the
next most significant moment was when I played it for a kid in the heart
of Mexico who wanted to play me some Mexican rock and hear something
Country music? New Age? Together? This is like chocolate
fudge sauce for your hotdog, right? Just me searching for the next
That's Key West, where a chance encounter at dinner led
to the world of music that I know today. Tranceporter, this is dedicated to you and
your love of music: long may you mix!
The Internet was the key to finding the world of music while living in a
small Florida town with no particular claims to musical sophistication.
Here and Now
|The observant reader might imagine from this biography
of musical highlights that MadameFLY is quite possibly older than dirt.
Since, on the internet, nobody needs to know if you're a dog or an
ancient crone, why would I want to mention this? Well, along with all
those years has come the experience of all the music I heard and that's
quite a lot ... I've watched some trends and I can find it sorta cute
that the cycle of style revivals gets shorter and shorter, so that now
80's music is all the rage in places ... hey, I liked it too.... But -- sooo much music, so little time is my motto, and looking back is
counter-productive to heading off into eternity with a brain full of
every kind of music there is.... They don't say Been there, done that
for nothing, my dears....
But now, right now, I find, is quite the most exciting
time in music that I can remember ... and I can remember Elvis and the
Beatles, both of whom generated huge excitement ... the difference (OK, a
difference) between then and now is that then the audience was passive
in the sense of being listeners who were enthralled by the performer ...
we wanted to get our hands on the performer who inspired our adulation
... whereas now, we can participate in so many ways, and what we want is
to get our hands on the music, not on the artists -- well, OK there's
exceptions to that, too -- but you see my point, I hope. Instead
of simple star-worshipping, now we are there for the music experience
and that experience offers an expanded set of possibilities. We are also
there, I believe, with improved critical faculties ... so, for instance,
you can appreciate that even as tunes grow lyrically and structurally
more minimalist, musically they can be more richly complex than ever. It
strikes me as the auditory equivalent of crystal-formation captured by
here it is, years
later and I'm still on the Trip Out and now I've added mixing to the ways I have
of appreciating music. DJ culture gives me the tools to share the music I love
with the rest of the world .... I hope to share some with you, too.
Keep in mind: there is no Trip Back.