Random Notes From Far Arcturus
As you know, it was our hope that this year's Art Crimes '96 Orchestra be more of a "band" than our previous groups - that it would seem less vegas-y, less like a bunch of hired hands, be somehow more of an organic unit with a cohesive musical and visual aesthetic. I believe that we have succeeded to a great extent in realizing this goal, and from what I can tell the audiences who have seen and enjoyed our little shows tend to agree. However, it has come to my attention that the segregated travel arrangements for the tour - in which Donald and I fly from gig to gig in a hired corporate jet while the rest of the band drives from town to town in buses - has tended to detract from the collective sense of all being in this thing together and has had a generally deleterious effect on the morale of the rest of the band. It is certainly true that the band's mode of travel and level of accommodations are well within the accepted standards for this type of tour, and nobody has come right out and complained about the buses or the treatment in general. Nevertheless, the sense that there is one standard of treatment and comfort available for us and another lower one for them has come between us and our bandmates, and we want to remedy this sorry state of affairs immediately. So we have instituted a policy whereby one or two or more musicians will be invited to travel with us on the jet, pending the availability of seating. We feel certain that this policy will make the lucky guests more directly aware of the egalitarian aspects of our enterprise. The flights would be an ideal opportunity for Donald and myself to tell that player or players how much their contribution is appreciated and how greatly and in what way they have added some unique aspect of their musical personalities to the shows and to the tour in general.
The new policy was meant to take effect tonight. However, in the actual event we ended up flying alone as usual. John Beasley and Cornelius Bumpus were the chosen guests for the first night's flight. We started off with Beaz because he is after all the musical director. Cornelius is rather elderly and the long busrides must be a hardship for him. Unfortunately, Beaz chose tonight to clam badly on the intro to "My Old School" so no way was he going to fly on the jet tonight. Cornelius gave in to a particularly nasty bit of smart backtalk during the soundcheck and was completely unrepentant throughout the evening. So let him ride the dog to Florida, it'll give him a chance to cool off and consider how to act next time he's in the mood to give us a hard time. Maybe travelling south on the Ratso Rizzo plan will turn out to be the eye opener for Corny that we've all been praying for.
In any case, it belatedly occurs to us that it may be inconsistent with the aesthetic/ideological leitmotif of the tour, which we call "The New Chivalry," to invite anyone but Carolyn Leonhart and Michelle Wiley on the plane with us, at least for a week or two. Your comments, if any, would be appreciated.