(THE RED KRAYOLA)
answers the MUSIC WORKS Questionnaire
I presume asks about formal education? I completed kindergarten, elementary, and high school, receiving a diploma for the latter. On and off over four years at university I tried pre-Law, English Literature and Creative Writing, and Art History in succession, carrying a minor in Philosophy throughout, accumulated lots of hours but never graduated.
For formal training in Music, I had piano lessons my first year at military school, grade six, during which I also learned to play the bugle. I was assigned to the squad of buglers by the Commandant of the school, Captain James Canty, U.S. Army retired. He had authored a standard handbook of the calls. I’ve wondered but remain so far unable to figure or imagine how or why he made me a bugler, outside his needing one.
In addition to the handbook, he enjoyed being known for having been present when Emperor Hirohito signed the agreement to Japan’s unconditional surrender on the decks of the battleship Missouri, anchored in Yokohama Bay in 1945. Second year I was invited to join the school band, playing tuba, but declined, preferring to join ranks, and carry a rifle.
2. CAREER HIGHLIGHTS?
I do not care to try to unpack. I can’t think of a reply that doesn’t entail boasting and name dropping. Leave it at that, nowadays, as in the past, it has been my good fortune to participate in situations where the available light can be high.
Ambitious to finish projects still at loose ends, of course but not feeling aggressive about much other than best form.
4. SONGS YOU WISH YOU HAD WRITTEN?
In no special order, just a taste, off the top of my head, tip of the iceberg, a few of hundreds—‘Goodnight, Irene’; ‘Stardust’; ‘Green Door’; ‘Blue Moon’; ‘Keep a knockin’’; ‘Hey, Bo Diddley’; ‘Midnight Hour’; everything by Lightnin’ Hopkins; ‘I just called to say, “I love you”’; ‘My Girl’; “Girl’; ‘My Generation’; ‘See my friends’; ‘John Wesley Harding’; ‘The Boxer’; ‘Please please me’; ‘Never never gonna give you up’; ‘Good Vibrations’; ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’; ‘Instant Karma’; ‘Are you glad to be in America?’; ‘Tainted Love’; ‘I will survive’; ‘Mack the Knife’; ‘Gimme some lovin’; ‘Männer’; ‘Trans Europe Express’; ‘Major Tom’; ‘Sister Ray’; ‘Ça plan pour moi’; ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’; ‘Paralyzed’; “(With my) mind on my money and my money on my mind’; ‘Totally wired’; ‘Fairytale in a supermarket’; ‘… Sometimes it’s enough to make you wonder how you keep from going under’; ‘Light my fire’; ‘Never on Sunday’; ‘Winter Reise’; and so on and on, to the break of dawn.
5. DESERT ISLAND DISCS?
I like many records but there are none I can’t live without. If needed, my memory banks playback on demand. This does not mean that I think the question is empty or uninteresting. Just because I can’t bring myself to make such a list does not mean I do not enjoy knowing what those able to answer would wish to hear were they stranded somewhere, killing time until rescued, or the end.
6. FAVOURITE ARTISTS/BANDS OF ALL TIME?
see 4—too many to list.
7. WHAT MUSIC ARE YOU LISTENING TO NOW?
I do very little deliberate listening outside productive necessity. I overhear what’s going on, and or learn about it by hearsay.
8. THE LAST BOOK YOU READ?
I rarely manage to read books to the end—lots cracked open though—again, too many to list.
10. VINYL, CASSETTE, CD, MP3, WEB STREAMING?
No platform is ruled out a priori.
11. INDIE MUSIC IN THE AGE OF THE INTERNET?
My attitude to the category, however it is defined, is practical. My productive aims entail realism in respect of those distributive closures. That does not mean: sing to the choir.
12. PERSONAL MOTTO?
I haven’t an own motto.
The Red Crayola discography reissues
DragCity label reissues 4 albums of the vast catalogue of The Red Krayola in vinyl, on Aprin 21, 2015.
Taken from label’s website http://www.dragcity.com
Getting started, Corrected Slogans was first pressed by The Red Crayola with Art & Language in 1976 and was the first mention of The Red Crayola’s name since 1968! It marked the beginning of Jesse Chamberlain as full time collaborator with Mayo Thompson, a run that would last 5 years, and was an album which received one known review – from Interview magazine, who were reasonably perplexed enough to ponder the album’s sincerity. You be the judge!
Black Snakes was issued in ’83 as a co-release between Switzerland’s Rec Rec and Germany’s Pure Freunde labels. This particular line-up found the group joined by Pere Ubu’s Allen Ravenstine, yet it’s absolutely Mayo’s guitar that shines in this particular configuration.
Malefactor, Ade comes next, originally released on Glass Records in 1989, the first utterance of the Crayola in 5 years. The fearlessness with which genres are converted can be disarming, but stick to it — you’ll ﬁnd listening an utter triumph.
“Amor and Language” was released in 1995 via yours truly, Drag City yeah, at a time when Mayo Thompson had recently returned to the USA and begun recording at a prolific rate (the era of S/T and Hazel). Curiously, it’s sonics alarmed the pressing plant enough to wonder if there were imperfections in the master. Huh? Anyway, a good 20 years puts these essential albums in serious perspective: hindsight is 20/20, and looking back at these C/Krayola masterworks, we’re seeing gold!source: http://www.dragcity.com
April 30th, 2015