More Vinyl with Gardner


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My last stop before arriving in Fredericksburg was an overnight visit with Gardner Campbell, in Blacksburg VA, and what evening of great food and conversation does not get greater when he says, “Do you want to hear some vinyl?”

Is the sky up there?

Of course I do, especially given the bag of gold that was our last conversation in October of 2011.

My question is, how about if I broadcast to ds106 radio?

And thus we go- I have about an hour and forty minutes (see below), but missed recording the first section where he played “Rocks Off” and “Loving Cup: from Exile on Main Street by the Rolling Stones.

This was timely, considering I had a little audio clip to play back. Over last year, I’ve been working my way through the audio book version of Keith Richards’ autobiography “Life”. I had heard a section I really wanted to come back to, but there is no way to bookmark audio on your iThing while driving.

But the same section had come up again when I was listening while driving across Tennessee. The thing is, the audio book is being red bu Johnny Depp, and this section is where Richards shares a quote from Tom Waits on their musical collaboration. Once more, this is Johnny Depp doing an imitation of Keith Richards imitating Tom Waits talking about Keith Richards.

And this was only recorded by my hand held iPhone in a moving car, and I kept turning it over thinking I had it sitting on ther mic on the cup holder.

Tom Waits on Keith Richards

Everyone loves music… what you really want is music to love you. And that’s the way I saw it with Keith. It takes a certain amount of respect for the process. You’re not writing it, it’s writing you. You’re its flute, or its trumpet, or its strings. Thats real obvious around Keith.

He’s like a frying pan, made from one piece of metal. You can heat it up really high, and it won’t crack. Just changes color.

That is so poetic, and visual. I love it.

And the part about writing makes me think about Gardner as well as the closing bit:

I found some things they say about music that seem to apply to Keith. You know that in the old days, they said that the sound of the guitar could cure gout and epilepsy, sciatica, migraines.

I think nowadays, there seems to be a deficit of… wonder. And Keith, still seems to wonder about this stuff. He will stop and hold his guitar up, just stare at it for a while, just be rather mystified by it. Life all the great things in the world– women, religion, and the sky– you wonder about it. And you don’t stop wondering about it.


cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

To me, that sense of wonder is something that typifies Gardner Campbell, he has a surplus of wonder. And he shares it so well.

So for the rest of the session, I did record it, and we listened to some Stevie Wonder, played some Guess Who for Brian Lamb, then some Rasberries, and closed, of course, with a few songs by the Who.

More Vinyl with Gardner

I go there for the conversation, the musiuc, the learning of the little codes in the dead wax, to tap into the magic of musical recordings, and the nuances I barely even might notice– where it not for this man of wonder.

Thank you, friend.


cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

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2 Responses to “More Vinyl with Gardner”

  1. We don’t have an iota of musical preferences in common, but I love it that you have the good sense to acknowledge and value a sense of wonder, a sense of camaraderie, living fully within the quotidian details of your friendships.
    Safe travels…

  2. Phillip Long says:

    That sense of wonder is a essential part of the creative mind- one that was evident in your discussions with Gardo about music. But it’s equally evident in conversations with Gardo about education, poetry, the human condition. Had we all the capacity to wonder like that we’d be that much richer for it.

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