Tuesday, December 18, 2012

the last book I ever read (Pete Townshend's Who I Am, excerpt four)

from Who I Am: A Memoir by Pete Townshend:

During the winter of 1966-7 I listened to jazz saxophonist Charles Lloyd’s Forest Flower, a live album of his extraordinary performance at the Monterey Jazz Festival in September 1966. Forest Flower, like the Beach Boys’ stereo masterpiece Pet Sounds, seemed to fit the times perfectly. Keith Jarrett was Lloyd’s pianist, and at some point on the record he starts banging the piano and picking and stroking the strings. Here, I felt, was a musician after my own heart, who played every instrument in unintended ways.

Keith Jarrett was born in the same month as me and his playing often reduces me to the kind of tears reserved for drunken solitude. I would see my soul to play like him – and I don’t make that statement lightly. While listening to this genius I was struggling at the upright piano I’d shoehorned into Karen’s bedroom, and slowly, tortuously, beginning to find some path to self-expression on the eighty-eight black and white keys (a quantity I had often felt as a child was insufficient).

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