years ago my brother kept telling me "you gotta see this dude jon brion". for some reason it took sometime to take him up on the plethora of "you gotta see jon" and the "come on i'll even drive", "i'll buy the drinks", "i'll pay" offers.
we went up to largo on fairfax avenue. got really plastered at canter's. waited in the standby line biting our nails for like an hour or so. when we got in we drank lots more. then this irish dude gets up and introduces mr. brion.
the irish dude, single-handedly redefined the "F - word". he owned the joint, served good grub, poured stony alcohol and made his patrons feel good about themselves, prideful to be at his happening.
suddenly jon walked out. one look at him and i new i was in for it. skinny, ruddy, abused with interesting looking attire, lips, eyes and a chuckle that could break a beefeater brit.
jon surrounded himself with dozens of guitars, amps, pianos, contraptions, cables, pedals, drums all upon a persian rug. the list could simply go on for days.
when he busted into music it was a gift from the heavens. truly a sobering moment in my life.
uncanny. better than any freak show you could imagine.
in the writings and conversations of musical history much has been made of the fact that bands like zep, the jimi experience, white stripes and the ilk were and are special due to the fact that they could / can make so much noise, so much beauty with only 2 or 3 musicians going at it.
seriously. i'll write it again. SERIOUSLY. they got nothing on a soloing jon brion.
photograph by annie leibovitz.