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.