If you are hip, you’re cool. And you might be hep to something, and be a hepcat or even its origin, a hepicat (one whose eyes are open). Dig? So, is this important; to be hep (in the know) or hip (on top of the trend)? I’ve always been fascinated about what motivates people to do whatever. And I’ve wondered if desiring to be “in the know” or “on top of the trend” was always about being too self-aware and, really, too insecure, or if there is a transcendent aspect to constantly redefining and following trends, evolving attitudes, and shifting priorities. Does boredom alone drive fashion, for instance? And, indeed, has social media destroyed any sense of unified community, when it comes to changing trends? Maybe so. There’s so much of too much, one would need, at least, 100 hours every day to stay on top of everything. I know it’s totally impossible, but I do like the idea of 100-hour days. I almost never want to go to sleep at night. Never did. Ever. I am 100% undisciplined when it comes to responsibly shutting down the day. That’s the most rock and roll thing about me. I hang with the raccoons and possums and spiders and wild cats. But no need to wander further down that off-the-topic path. I do know people want to be accepted and respected and feel like they’re important and to certainly not be viewed as hapless idiots who are just taking up space until they die, finally getting out of everyone else’s way. Somehow, our existence on Earth must be a bigger deal than just each of us having to constantly be reassured that we’re not meaningless. Maybe the mystery can be fun. I mean, we’re all stuck here, anyway, so we might as well give the “fun angle” some thought. Of course, there are only about a billion online whomevers, ready to tell you the “truth,” but the only source for that wisdom would be you, yourself. And you can’t get answers without asking questions.
It’s pretty easy to see that, truly, before long, there won’t be strong distinctions, physically, between all the different races and nationalities. The blending, mixing, movin’ and groovin’ can’t be stopped. Jeez, look how many airplanes are in the air all over the world every minute, transporting people around, from hither to yon. Humanity, believe it or not, may be zooming toward one mindset and one point-of-view and it’s A-Okay, because this is where the changes and shifting attitudes end up, when all other angles and directions have been exhausted. And that’s where it probably becomes transcendent and, in fact, part of some inevitable master plan, based on physics, not religion. We’re gonna end up where we’re supposed to end up and everything which HAS happened or IS NOW happening and/or WILL happen all makes sense in the big picture. As horrible as the war in Ukraine is, the most glaring takeaway, no matter what, is that Russia is much weaker than anyone expected. Hmmm, that’s interesting. China is a bit of a mess, too. So, focus on the images provided by the James Webb telescope. Get hep to that and get hip. Dig?
As you know, Jeff Beck died. I loved The Yardbirds. Everything about them. They were some of the earliest practitioners of blues/rock psychedelia and Jeff Beck, especially during his time in that band (he replaced Eric Clapton), was a sound innovator, as well as a guitar wizard. He pushed it all forward and created new things with his instrument. I saw The Yardbirds once, in a gymnasium, in Magnolia, Arkansas, with my brother, when I was about 12, I think. They were part of Dick Clark’s big touring show, Caravan of Stars. Also on the bill were Gary Lewis and The Playboys, Sam the Sham and The Pharaohs, Bobby Hebb and Brian Highland. All were current hit-makers and, as I remember, were all very good. Unfortunately, I mainly wanted to see Jeff Beck and, sadly, he had just left the band. So I was stuck with Jimmy Page, who was wearing very purple bell-bottom pants with the biggest bells I’ve ever seen, to this day. Of course, he pulled off all the important hooks and I enjoyed the show just fine, but not ever seeing/hearing Jeff Beck during that period is one of my little disappointments in life. Oddly enough, four or five years later, the first Led Zeppelin album came out around the same time as Jeff Beck’s new heavy rock album with Rod Stewart. I seriously LOVED Led Zeppelin’s debut and just sorta liked Jeff Beck’s rival release. After that, I saw Led Zeppelin three times. Fickle me, none-the-less, I always put Jeff Beck at the tippity-top of the great rock guitarist’s heap. I’m sure Jimmy Page does, too. This is one of my favorite Yardbird’s hits. Both Jimmy and Jeff were in the band at the time.
Brave Combo’s reach often astounds me and, frankly, entertains me, on occasion. The mainstream music world has never figured out how to deal with us, although many fine folks have tried. Still, we’ve managed to get out there a bit over the band’s 44 years and, it appears, we’ve amassed a few followers along the way; enough to keep us on board creatively and interested in making money in this bizarre manner. Here are a couple of recently posted videos of fans enjoying, indeed, employing our not-normal sound.
Although the world of live music appears to be opening up a little, you’ll notice Brave Combo is not performing much right now. We did not forget all of our songs! Our woodwind player, whom you all know and love, Jeffrey Barnes, injured his shoulder recently and cannot play for a while. It will take him a couple of months to recover. So we decided to lay back and go covertly subversive through March. I wonder what I mean by that. Our live shows roar back in April, so keep an eye on our itinerary. Dates will be added while you sleep.