THE MAIN MOTORS IN ABBA SHOULD BE AN INSPIRATION TO ARTISTS

Just reviewing some of my blogs tonight, including some that got much better than average responses. For some reason I was looking at them objectively, which is normally very hard to do.

I think at least some of my writing is pretty damned good. I was reading them as if they were not my own. I recall them as primarily being the ones that just gushed out of me with a laser focus and a smidge of wit. I found 3 of those tonight as a cursory perusal.

No doubt like other writers, I’ve beaten up on myself now and then, but not much.

I wonder what would happen if I tried to be a consistent, disciplined writer? I know I’ve touched on this before in possibly a tedious way. Certainly in emails to a few friends, and you know who you are.

I think of Bjorn and Benny of ABBA. For most of their professional lives, they’ve gone to their little cabin on their island estate nearly most days of the year for 4 to 10 hours and work on lyrics and music. Which means less than 3% of their time results in the final, great product, or something like that. Probably less than 1%. And they know that’s likely to happen every day they work.

You have to admire that. Emulating that is so tough. They treat it like a 9 to 5 job, just like the old Tin Pan Alley writers. Or any real professional throughout artistic history.

Basically working a 40 hour week to produce a stage rock opera or whatever once every two years, as best as I can figure, and I’m probably far off in my estimate. Hard for me to scale that since I don’t know what their true output is that results in public shows.

I know that some years back they did a Swedish language show about Queen Christina that played in only Stockholm or something like that. I’d like to see that just for the music.

Some people don’t know the show “Chess” was done by them. You ever hear “One Night In Bangkok” sung by Murray Head? It was a hit for a while a few decades ago. Still stands up with no problem whatsoever. Murray Head sang Judas Iscariot on the original “Jesus Christ Superstar” studio album by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

There was a later version on TV (PBS?) with Josh Groban and other talented people. Great staging and performances.

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SENT TO A FRIEND AFTER SHE GAVE ME A CD SHE DIDN’T LIKE:

I auditioned Herbie Hancock on the way home. I understand why you don’t want it. It’s very good and he knows what he’s doing, but in general, I have to really be in the mood for jazz and only certain types. I think at some time I will listen through it straight through, probably on trips to work. But it probably won’t get listened to more than once.

40 years ago he was slightly more “pop” accessible.

In November my buddy Scott from work (who I mentioned sits a few seats over from me) and I are going to see Chucho Valdes in Boston. I saw Valdes before about 5 years ago, met up with one of my former studio clients who is also a friend of mine. We both really liked it and I know Scott will. Of course I exposed him to Chucho on the Internet first.

Chucho is Cuban jazz primarily and is a pianist. But I really like the way he thinks and plays. He incorporates many elements of music, including classical, into his style that others in his vein would not likely use. He’s dynamic and exciting, but very intelligent and creative, too. Good band with him.

I wasn’t going to go as I’d seen him before, but knew Scott would like seeing him and so that was my excuse. It makes things easier for him as I’m totally used to driving and parking for shows at Berklee in Boston, plus we’re splitting gas and parking. We also have a front row seat which I wouldn’t have normally done, but he was really hot on that idea.

Since I committed to the Mustang I have bought no tix at all except for Chucho and Green Day, and those were some time back. Since then have seen some shows advertised that I might’ve seen, but won’t do it because of the down payment.