Dear Diary

A couple of weeks ago my old friend Carl Sturken, with whom I’ve been knocking about since fifth grade, called me up to ask if I felt like joining in a pickup band to play at a 35th reunion for the Princeton Day School class of 1973. (I’m not an official member of the class, really, because I only went to school there from 5th to 8th grade, but I knew it would be a hoot, as well as an interesting case study in the various ways that time can ravage the human form.) Carl had called at a propitious moment, because I had just taken up playing the drums again a month earlier, after a thirty-year layoff: I had left them behind in 1978 when I moved into a tiny apartment in the city upon being offered a job at the Power Station.

Why am I telling you this? Well, I do hope you’ll forgive me a personal item once in a while. I promise we’ll get back to the usual nihilism, xenophobia, caustic atheism and existential despair before you can say “Every existing thing is born without reason, prolongs itself out of weakness, and dies by chance.”

Anyway, the party happened this past Saturday night, and we had a spiffy band: Carl on keyboards and guitar, Carl’s old friend and bandmate Steve Dash on bass, the mulititalented Bill Flemer on guitar, and two other remarkable guitarists (I know, that’s a lot of guitars): our classmates Bob Palmieri, a gifted musician (and photographer) who is now on the faculty at the DePaul University School of Music, and the extraordinary blues-rock player John Bushnell, whose name, if there were any justice in this world (which of course there isn’t) would be a household word. I barely managed to hold my own, but it sure was a blast to play with these guys.

Here’s a YouTube clip of John playing Voodoo Chile with his band a couple of years ago. Enjoy.


  1. eugene says

    Wow, Mal,

    This is great! Would you please remember to tape the show down and put it on YouTube for the human race.

    Posted May 19, 2008 at 11:56 pm | Permalink
  2. Malcolm says

    Too late, Eugene – it’s already over. Perhaps I hadn’t made that clear enough in the post, which has since been amended.

    Posted May 20, 2008 at 12:16 am | Permalink
  3. eugene says

    Well, if you will have the 40th year reunion, which I believe in with very high probability, and you will play again.
    Please record the stuff and put in on net for human race sake. At lease your grandchildren will go to google it and said
    to your daughter or son “Hey, That’s the grand pa beating a drum, he is damn cool!”.

    Posted May 20, 2008 at 11:24 am | Permalink
  4. Malcolm says

    Eugene, if things unfold as you predict, and I’m still among the living, I’ll do just that.

    Posted May 20, 2008 at 11:33 am | Permalink
  5. JO says

    I did enjoy John’s clip, and as a nice long one at that. It got me through a nice long blog on the firm’s site on motorcycle safety awareness month.
    Is stuff about yourself always catagorized as shameless filler? In that case, I’m quite full of shame!!!

    Posted May 20, 2008 at 6:17 pm | Permalink
  6. Malcolm says

    Hi Jeanie,

    Glad you enjoyed the Bushnell clip. The man can play guitar.

    I categorized these sorts of posts according to the caprice of the moment, or the fleetingest of whims. No need for you to feel ashamed about anything!

    Posted May 20, 2008 at 6:25 pm | Permalink
  7. Hi Mac- i’m very pleased to hear yr bangin’ the skins once again- our wild playing in Texas has remained a fun memory for me over the decades…

    I played with Johnny Bushnell at Kenny’s Castaways in NYC a few times in the 80’s & 90’s when there was an open mike night every week and he was often there… those were some of the best jams I’ve ever enjoyed – we did a purticularly good “Goin’ Down” ala -Beck one night that flat-out kicked ass…
    If I’d known I woulda crashed the party dude!- Peace-out -PDG

    Posted May 22, 2008 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

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