The best way to foster mediocrity is to found a Center for Excellence.
This is a quote from a comment by DrOFnothing on a good article by Rich DeMillo a few years back. It reminds me of my observation than shiny new research buildings often mean that the quality (but maybe not the volume) of reseach will deteriorate. This is just intellectual regression to the mean. You get the funding for the new building based on the trajectory of those who were in the old building — but with a delay. Scale, consistency and originality have a troubled relationship. Just compare the early flowerings of jazz-rock fusion (below) with the technically masterful but ultimately sterile stuff that came later.
And when they say you are a dreamer, a fool, and deluded, I will use a nice inversion by Lincoln Allison:
Of course, you’re assuming that none of this will ever happen. But you assumed that Brexit and Trump would never happen, didn’t you?
(Smashing things is however easier than building things).
I have forgotten which search rabbit hole I was down, but ended up at Robert Wyatt’s Wikipedia page. I know this story, or at least I knew the tale, but was uncertain about the veracity. The older I get the more I think social change happens ever faster. Yes, there is another more mundane explanation.
Two months later Wyatt put out a single, a cover version of “I’m a Believer”, which hit number 29 in the UK chart. Both were produced by Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason. There were strong arguments with the producer of Top of the Pops surrounding Wyatt’s performance of “I’m a Believer”, on the grounds that his use of a wheelchair “was not suitable for family viewing”, the producer wanting Wyatt to appear on a normal chair. Wyatt won the day and “lost his rag but not the wheelchair”.
Someone once called Vieux Farka Touré the “Hendrix of the Sahara”.
Kinda cool… FT.
Chris Squire has died. A great bass guitarist, if not fashion stylist. But, as ever, what hits you in the first few bars, after the bass, is Buford’s snare work. There is timing, and then there is Bill Bruford.
BB King has died. What a life.
“I was a regular hand when I was seven. I picked cotton. I drove tractors. Children grew up not thinking that this is what they must do. We thought this was the thing to do to help your family,” he said.
When the weather was bad and he couldn’t work in the cotton fields, he walked 10 miles to a one-room school before dropping out in the 10th grade.
I saw him just once, on a double bill with Miles Davis in Vienna, sometime in 86/87. Just listen: one note fills.