Posts Tagged ‘Jimi Hendrix’

I am going to be hopeful this morning. But first, let me make share one short analogy about the current situation. After looking at the charts that show the projected curves for this pandemic, I see that most show us not reaching our peak infection rate until sometime in June or July.

That means we are still in the opening phase of this whole episode. It’s unfolding, not like 9/11 where within hours our world was shocked and forever altered, but in slow motion. We are left to wait and for those among us who are young and feel healthy, or just feel young and healthy, the idea of having to put these lives on hold seems ludicrous in the face of what seems a like crawling threat. Why shouldn’t we go out to the bars and restaurants? Why should we do anything differently?

Here’s the analogy: It’s like the hours before a tsunami, when the ocean waters begin to recede to gather further off shore. Those on shore who recognize the danger that’s ahead react. They begin to move away from the shore toward higher ground. But those who are sitting in the oceanside cafes sipping drinks with umbrellas and chunks of pineapple in them, seem not to notice.

They see the waters pulling back and they think that the sea is simply calm today. They can’t understand why those people are running away from the shore. They ask their waiter, who is heading out the door himself to run inland, what the problem is, why is everyone reacting this way? The waiter says that the tsunami is coming and they should move.

Some will move. Others, will after a bit grudgingly and slowly move inland. But others will say that this is ridiculous. The water is fine, the sun is shining bright, my drink is tasty, and I am young and healthy. What could possibly happen? You others are just crazy.

But the waters are coming back. Lots of water. It’s not a matter of if but when and how many of us get swept away. Maybe it won’t be as large a tsunami as we fear. Maybe. But to stand on the shore in ignorant defiance simply because you can’t yet see its approach is a fool’s gambit.

Alright. That was a little longer analogy than planned but hey, what else do I have to do?

here’s the hopeful part. Ten or twelve or fourteen days ago, I was putting out some sunflowers seeds for the birds that feed outside our house. I tossed a handful and realized I had almost pelted a small goldfinch that was standing on the ground only a few feet away. This was unusual as most birds retreat to the surrounding trees until I am done. But his little guy, its drab yellowish coat telling me it was a female though it could be a nonbreeding male, just stood its ground. I spoke to her for a moment and she stayed put, pecking at the seed that surrounded her. Looking closer, I could see that something was amiss with one of her wings.

We watched her from the window for quite a while and she couldn’t fly. She hopped well and kept feeding throughout the day, staying in place even though all the other goldfinches had flown away for the day. The next morning I located her in the woods just behind the feeder resting in a small dip in the snow. I went towards her and she stayed in place, not trying to fly away so I left a little seed just a foot or so from her.

I thought that she surely couldn’t last long sitting in the snow with a broken wing. But we decided to give her a little time. Late that day she was back around the feeder hopping a bit and pecking at seed. Still no sign of being able to fly at all.

The next day she was gone. We kept looking and couldn’t locate her. Perhaps she had been swooped up by a hawk or owl or some other nocturnal predator. A fox? We just hoped that she was safe.

But  a few days passed and as I was putting out seed one morning, I almost threw seed on a goldfinch in another feeding spot across the yard. But his finch lifted up and haltingly flew away, bobbing up and down as its injured wing tried furiously to lift it. I went inside and we watched  her for a while. It was our goldfinch. She was able to fly just enough to get up into the trees and onto the feeder where she would sit for hours at a time., eating seed every so often and basking in the sun.

She’s here every day now. Her flight is still limited but it’s better and he moves with confidence. She stays on a nearby limb when we are putting out seed. I smiled like a fool the other day when she retreated from me and flew awkwardly  but competently high up into the white pines, some 50 or 60 foot above me. I think she knows she’s safe and has a pretty good gig even with her little wing.

That’s my little bit of hopefulness. Here’s Jimi Hendrix and his classic Little Wing. It’s surprisingly hard to find an original version online so if the Amazon Music box doesn’t appear I have included a version from Sting that I also like. It ain’t Jimi but there times when you have to make do with what you have, right?

Have a good day and be hopeful. And be careful.



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… With your majestic and superior cackling hen 
Your people I do not understand, 
So to you I shall put an end 
And you’ll never hear surf music again

–Jimi Hendrix, Third Rock From the Sun


It’s said that that the final line from the spoken word section of Jimi Hendrix’s Third Rock From the Sun in 1967 was a response to hearing that Dick Dale, the King of Surf Guitar, was gravely ill with colon cancer. Well, Dick Dale got past that dangerous episode and continued his reign for another 50+ years, passing away yesterday at the age of 81.

His background hardly pointed to his rise as the King of Surf Guitar. Born in Boston, Dale (the name he adopted for the stage– his real name was Monsour) was of Lebanese descent and was raised playing Middle Eastern instruments which provided the basis for his style of playing. You can really hear it in his most popular song, Misirlou. It was revived with its prominence in the film Pulp Fiction.

Dale had a great run promoting himself as the King of Surf Guitar through the years, even as surf music faded into a its niche as a nostalgic reminder of its popularity in the early 1960’s. But Misirlou had staying power beyond nostalgia. It’s just good stuff that can still get people on their feet.

So, here’s to you Dick Dale. Your music will live on. Here’s a performance of Misirlou from Dick Dale in 1995.


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Running around this morning, trying to get some things tied up but thought I’d share an interesting version of the Jimi Hendrix classic Hey Joe as performed the Joscho Stephan Trio. Stephan is a German guitarist who primarily plays in the gypsy jazz style, as you might deduce from the beautiful guitar he plays. This is a fun and energetic twist on the song, a shot of ear caffeine to get the week off on and running.

I thought I’d throw in this old doodle, an oddity from twenty years or so back.  Done very quickly with a Sharpie and embellished with a little watercolor,  the figure is a simplified and stylized representation of the way in which the figures from my early Exiles series were painted, composed from blocks of color.  It was never meant to be seen outside my studio but I like this for some reason. He looks like he could be playing Hey Joe.

Give a listen and get your motor running.

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GC Myers- To the Watchtower smI’m a little tired, mainly of talking about my work and myself, and want to keep this short today.  I thought I’d show another painting from the show at the Principle Gallery and couple it with the song that spawned it.  The painting above is titled To the Watchtower  which I derived from the old Bob Dylan song All Along the Watchtower.

I thought it might serve as a good metaphor for what will be my final plea for your help in our efforts to raise funds for the Soarway Foundation, a campaign that ends today.  By donating, you can possibly win a painting of mine but the more important thing is that you are reaching out to those in need, people who don’t expect your help, don’t feel entitled to it but desperately need it.

Like the Red Tree in the painting, we often place ourselves on islands, seemingly insulated from the rest of the world and hopefully immune to the ills and woes of it.  I openly acknowledge that I am prone to this.  But we are not islands.  We are connected to the world.  It’s knowing that we are part of a greater whole that is the basis for the empathy that keeps this world together.  So, even while we try to stay put on our island we must man that watchtower and stay vigilant to the suffering of others.

Reach out.  Help someone.  Maybe you don’t give a tinker’s damn about people on the other side of the globe.  So be it.  Then help someone in your neighborhood. Your town. Your country.

Just help someone…

But I am asking for your help today by going to the link at the bottom.  If you can or if you already have, I thank you mightily.  If not, like I say, help someone else.

Reach out.

Thanks.  Here’s the classic Jimi Hendrix version of Dylan’s song.


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Time Flows

GC Myers Time Flows 2007Just a while ago I had been thinking about this painting, about 18″ by 26″ on paper, from back in 2007.  It’s called Time Flows and it’s a bit of an anomaly for me, with all the stonework and waterfall.  A one time only thing that pops back into my thoughts now and again.

But it is its texture rather than the subject that always sticks out for me– thickly layered and very rough with deep pits that go all the way to the paper below.  It was coarser in many ways than my normal surface but it worked perfectly for this particular piece.  The pits captured pigment in an interesting way, more interesting than if I had tried to paint it with a brush.

It came back to mind this morning in the aftermath of last night’s flooding that took place just a few miles north of the studio.  Small streams and falls turned into raging cascades, washing out and covering many roads.  Thankfully, no injuries.

Seeing the videos of the local water in motion made me think of it connected to a song from Jimi Hendrix titled May This Be Love.  I always  think of the song  as being titled Waterfalls.  Like the painting, it is definitely more placid than the swollen streams from last night.

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mose-allison_1Artistic influences,  seeing how a certain artist will take the work of others and transform it into their own, is a fascinating thing.  Sometimes it’s very obvious especially when the influence is of equal renown or when one artist directly copies the work of another.  But sometimes there are great influences that you may not even recognize.

Mose Allison (born in 1927) is such a person, a name you probably don’t know.  But for many musicians in the who found their voice in the 60’s, he was a huge influence.  Jimi Hendrix,  The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Animals, Tom Waits, Van Morrison and many, many others have all cited him as a strong influence on their work.  But Mose Allison, while achieving considerable fame, never became the household name like so many of his admirers.

He was pretty hard to pigeonhole as a musician- at times very bluesy, himself strongly influenced by the delta blues of his home in Mississippi, other times very jazzy or even pop tinged.  But always a unique and individual sound that allowed him to take a song, his own or those written by others, and  give it a new perspective.  I have to admit that I didn’t know much about Mose Allison until just recently but have been thrilled to find his work and can easily see it in the work of so many others.  I encourage you to seek out his work and give it a listen.

To that end, here’s a small sample for this Sunday morning.  It’s his version of the Willie Dixon blues classic The Seventh Son, a song that became a pop hit for Johnny Rivers.  But here, it definitely feels all Mose Allison.  Enjoy and have a great Sunday.

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GC Myers 992-141-small1It’s another cold day here in the northeast,  -5° this morning when I walked out the door.  By the time I got over here to the studio after my short commute ( a stroll through the woods) I was ready for a little heat.  Turned on the computer to look up an old piece and immediately came across this small triptych from 2002 which was always a favorite of mine. It’s a little anomaly comprised of three small squares, each about 4″ by 4″.  I always liked the surface of these pieces — they had a smooth, almost burnished look that I haven’t used in many years.

Seeing this piece made me want to revisit that surface treatment once more, thirteen years later.  It also made me want to feel that heat in the form of a very distinct song.  Fire from Jimi Hendrix.  Talk about going back in time.  Are You Experienced? in 1967.  This song will be fifty years old in a couple more years which seems crazy– it’s timeless heat.

So, Jimi, on this frigid morning, let me stand next to your fire.


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After yesterday’s post, one that featured a NASA photo of Rhea, a moon of Saturn, I was asked by Clint from the Principle Gallery if perhaps I might be doing some outer space themed paintings in the future.  I really hadn’t given it much thought , to be honest, but I suddenly remembered a few pieces I had painted many years ago, long before I ever thought of showing my work in public.  They were experiments, the sort of thing I often worked on then when I was working out color and form.  Abstractions, really.  Most were pretty bad.  But there was one that I always really enjoy  when I stumble across it when browsing through a bin of old work.

Shown here at the top, this piece from 1994  has Third Stone From the Sun written on a corner.  It’s a watercolor that was purely an exploration of color and shape.  When I was done it struck me that it had the feel of some sort of galactic apocalypse, as though our Earth had suddenly decided to linejump  Mercury and Venus  to get closer to the Sun and this was the result.

It’s not a great piece but it makes me happy despite the obvious downside to the situation it depicts.  At the time, I remember that it made me consider following this abstracted path but I opted to follow the one that has led me here.  I often wonder what I would be doing at this moment had I chosen that path.  Probably not writing this.  But you can’t linger too long over such questions because you will never know.  The paths through time fade quickly behind us.

Here’s the song that inspired the title, Third Stone From the Sun.  It’s classic Jimi Hendrix in a mellow form.

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Early Sunday morning.  The West End Gallery show is delivered and with the studio feeling almost empty now, I take a small breath of relief.  Outside, it’s dark and shadowy as a soft rain falls, bringing the parched earth that same breath of relief.  Kind of a hazy, unfocused morning.  I think I’ll take this time to relax just a bit before plunging back into the  new work that waits for me.

For a gray morning, here’s a song, Hey Joe,  that is best known for the version done by the inimitable Jimi Hendrix.  I thought I would try to take the morning in a brighter direction so I’ll show it as done in a more upbeat  bluegrassy fashion by Tim O’Brien.  He has a way of  giving songs a different twist that I find appealing.  His version of Bob Dylan’s  Subterranean Homesick Blues is a great example with it’s mandolin and hambone handslaps.  On Hey Joe, O’Brien is joined by Jerry Douglas, the  master of the dobro.  Together, they make a dark song seem less ominous.

Good way to start a dark Sunday.

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Saturday and I’m not in the studio today.  Thought I’d have a little music that feels right for driving.  It’s the  seminal rock song, Hey Joe, recorded by many artists over the decades, most notably by Jimi Hendrix

This is not the Hendrix version.

It’s a version featuring one of my favorites, Tim O’Brien, performing a bluegrass tinged version of the song with the great Jerry Douglas, the master of the dobro.  I saw O’Brien perform several years ago at a local historic church, one that the previously mentioned Mark Twain used to attend.  It was a great acoustic show in a great space, something out of the norm for this area.  I was a fan before the show and his musicianship that evening only made me like his work more.

Anyway, enjoy the song and your Saturday…

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