Sunday, April 13, 2008

Conversations with Rock Stars

Last night, I dreamed that Mike Portnoy and I were hanging out in his bedroom, which for some reason was a cramped fishbowl-type layout with enormous windows on the first floor of a building in midtown Manhattan. People were walking by and looking in with idle curiosity as we talked. It was a weird scene - not because of the geographic locale, or because there were two beds crammed into a space not much larger than a closet - but because Portnoy was simultaneously his current age - early 40s, married, kids, successful - and in high school, and we were hanging out in his bedroom because that's where kids hang out before they have places of their own with things like living rooms. At one point Mike's family did show up, and then Dave Grohl stopped by, but he was looking for something in the kitchen. In the background, the Midtown location slowly shifted to some lodge high up in the mountains. Meanwhile Mike and I talked about music, and it was a good time. I attribute all of these dreamed oddities, by the way, to listening to portions of In Utero at some point yesterday, and reading through most of the Images book of Lifting Shadows before going to sleep last night.

When I woke up, I spent a good half an hour wondering about what I would have really talked about. I met Jordan Rudess once, when he was doing a demo for Mark of the Unicorn at the 2003 AES convention, and I couldn't think of anything to say to him except that I really liked his work with Dream Theater and that I'd written my senior thesis in college on Scenes From a Memory. I came to the conclusion that what I was really looking for was not to talk to him as a journalist, because there'd be no connection, and not as a fan, because I would feel I was imposing, but as someone else who really loves music. No doubt that would help me get past the intense, irrational intimidation I felt about interviewing someone in my sleep.

5 comments:

Mathdude said...

Nice blogsite! Keep up the good work!

Mathdude said...

And I say that even though I'm a die-hard Yankee fan!

Eric said...

Thanks!

KillerBandPhotos.com said...

I know what you are talking about. I hate interviews and I hate celebrity/fanship. So many musicians are use to dealing within those boxes.

I would just like to have a conversation with an interesting, talented person, fellow music lover, fellow venturer/one pursuing and building an enterprise.

I'm not sure how to get bass the status quo to do that.

So how did Jordan Rudeness respond?

Eric said...

Seems to depend on the situation. Friends of mine hung out with Russell Allen of Symphony X at a bar after a show had just the type of conversation we're talking about, because it was a low pressure environment. I guess if you know how to approach people, it works out.

Rudess was cool - he signed the back of a LIRR ticket when I asked him to, and then I had a big fan boy/brainlock moment, and couldn't think of anything else, so I left. In that case, the fault was basically mine.