Sunday, May 27, 2012


The musicians I've always loved are the ones that create a sound not of this earth.  They're so unique, so visionary, that there are no reference points for what they create, no past that they seem to draw from.  Hendrix is the most well known and most obvious example of this other-worldly sound. Listen to "Castles Made Of Sand" and tell me he wasn't dropped from the sky.  Jazz Fusion guitarist Alan Holdsworth also seemed to have been transported from an alternate universe.  With his enormous hands he created chord structures that only he could have played and created a sound like that of a smooth yet dissonant horn.  Listen to his astonishing solo in "Devil Takes The Hindmost".

The genre of music that I played for over two decades, a chaotic sort of metal, was blessed by another of these visionaries.  Steeve Hurdle was a monster of a man, a dude whose jagged rhythms and oddly melodic dissonance informed every note I played from the day I first heard him in 1998 until the last day I ever picked up a guitar.   Steeve was able to create the soundtrack to the decades long car accident in my head and, while he  struggled with his own demons, he strangled those fucking things  every time he picked up a guitar.  Steeve died from post surgical complications this past week.  He'll be missed.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


I had the good fortune to once meet the dude.  He was absolutely nuts in the best sense of the word.  A good portion of my childhood is best forgotten, but reading "Where The Wild Things Are" is something I hope to never forget.

"A little boy... sent me a charming card with a little drawing. I loved it. I answer all my children's letters — sometimes very hastily — but this one I lingered over. I sent him a card and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, "Dear Jim: I loved your card." Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said, "Jim loved your card so much he ate it." That to me was one of the highest compliments I've ever received. He didn't care that it was an original drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it."  Maurice Sendak

This is the ornery motherfucker in all his glory:

Saturday, May 5, 2012


pilgrimage |ˈpilgrəmij|
a pilgrim's journey.
• a journey to a place associated with someone or something well known or respected

I'm not sure where the dividing line is between determination and obsession.  It's been the story of my life up to this point.  I can't quiet the unsettling shriek that's pushing me toward burning to the ground the entire life I've built in the last 5 years to attempt a 6 month walk that I pray will offer some degree of redemption and absolution.  It has been a life of relative stability that I'll be abandoning, at least in contrast to the chaos and self destruction of the previous decades, but I can't shake the feeling that at this moment I am just 'not dying'.

“Life is occupied in both perpetuating itself and in surpassing itself; if all it does is    maintain itself, then living is only not dying” Simone de Beauvoir

I'm also not sure where the dividing line between selfishness and salvation lies.  Why would I be willing to trade the comfort and safety of the life I've assembled here in NY/CT for something far less certain?  The answer lies, at least in part, in the question.  Comfortable and safe leave me numb.  There can be no change, at least in my life, without seismic shift; no transcendence without a good deal of mental and physical suffering.  It feels like there is nothing left to learn here.

Maybe at the end of my journey to find someone well known or respected I'll be able to find some version of myself that can prove to me that my life hasn't been one of wasted potential and enormous regret.  It sounds so fucking trite and just typing it out makes me feel like I'm writing some fucking self help book, but thats what I'm hoping to find. Whether I find it hiking from Springer to Katahdin or some other as yet undiscovered pilgrimage remains to be seen, but the trap has been set.


Green Tunnel from Kevin Gallagher on Vimeo.

Thursday, May 3, 2012