Errors are just part of communication, and naturally some have slipped into articles written about me. This is probably my fault more often than that of the writers.
It has been written and repeated that I was a member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians and that in the 1960s I shared the stage with AACM members. The former is just wrong. I never considered the possibility that I would have been able to join. The latter is a stretch. Although groups I was in opened for AACM groups, as far as I know I never performed with AACM members. The term shared the stage really means played with, not before or after. So although it would have been an honor to join the organization or just perform with some of its members, I did neither. (One fellow even wrote that I was a founder of the AACM. Thank god his editor caught that and checked with me before it ran.)
It has been written that I am a former student of the composer Stephen Dembski. Thats wrong. I have written about him. He has conducted three of my CDs and he wrote the music for another. I would have benefited immensely by studying with him, but I havent had the pleasure.
toiling in obscurity
Quite often articles that discuss my work mention that I have toiled in obscurity in Wisconsin since the 1960s. This line has been used so often that a writer recently promoted me to has toiled in relative obscurity. For the record, my obscure toiling has moved from Chicago, to Wisconsin, and now to Cologne, Germany.
The jazz journalist Hugh Jarrid really has it out for me. He reviews almost everything I record and claims to publish it in a rag called Swingin Thing Magazine. I have my doubts about whether this magazine even exists. I havent been able to find a copy anywhere and last time I googled it, they didnt even have a web site up. For some reason he emails these reviews to me for fact checking, although I dont know if he has ever incorporated a single correction. I suspect that his apparent bias has its roots in a run-in we had years ago. Back then when I was a young musician in Chicago and he was a mediocre drummer who had to pay real players out of his own pocket just to get a sideman gig he claimed that I stole his girlfriend. I only borrowed her for a few days, but I guess he figures he owes me one anyway. Depend on his reviews at your own risk.
Ever since Mat Maneri and I were sidemen together on a couple of CDs I have been tagged with the same microtonal brush that paints him into a corner. As I understand it, Matunlike his father, Joe Maneridoesnt use a formal microtonal system. Either way, all I do is bend strings now and then to alter pitches until they sound good to me. That would place me in the same camp as most of the guitarists on Earth.
Song Songs Song
On the Delmark CD Song Songs Song, several critics have assumed that because Jeff Parker wrote the first and last tracks, he is playing the melody and I am playing the complentary part. On both songs Jeff let me play the melody.
cover of Mamet
On the Delmark CD Mamet some critics have written that the cover illustration is of me doing the dishes at my house and one wrote that I selected the photo as a protest against Delmarks policy of requiring the leaders photo on the cover. The location is a junk shop and Im making sounds on a collection of metal tins. We selected a junk shop because that is where American Buffalo, which I set for the CD, takes place. I didnt pick the shot or even see it before the CD design was complete.