Δευτέρα, 21 Μαρτίου 2016

some gravity talks with Dan "the man" Stuart




Οι Green on Red ήταν για κάποια χρόνια, εκεί πίσω στα μέσα της δεκαετίας του ’80 το αγαπημένο μου γκρουπ. Αλλά και σήμερα, τριάντα χρόνια μετά, το Cheap Wine και το Gas Food Lodging συνεχίζουν να είναι μέσα στα πέντε-δέκα πιο αγαπημένα μου τραγούδια και άλμπουμ αντίστοιχα.
Όσο για τον τραγουδιστή, κιθαρίστα και βασικό συνθέτη τους, Dan Stuart, ποτέ δεν έπαψα να παρακολουθώ διακριτικά και με ενδιαφέρον την μποέμικη μοναχική πορεία του, αναρωτιόμουν συχνά-πυκνά που να βρίσκεται και τι να κάνει τα δέκα και βάλε χρόνια που είχε εξαφανισθεί, χαίρομαι κάθε φορά που βάζω να ακούσω κάποιο νέο δίσκο του, απόλαυσα σαν ακριβό κρασί το βιβλίο (The Deliverance of Marlowe Billings: A False Memoir) που έγραψε πριν δύο χρόνια, περιμένω με ανυπομονησία την συνέχεια του, οπότε…δεν έχασα την ευκαιρία όταν έμαθα για τις επικείμενες εμφανίσεις του στην Ελλάδα να του απευθύνω μερικές ερωτήσεις τις οποίες ευγενικά απάντησε και τον ευχαριστώ πολύ για αυτό, όπως και τον φίλο συν-μπλογκερά ranx xerox για τη βοήθεια στην προετοιμασία.
Ιδού το αποτέλεσμα…(στα Αγγλικά, όσοι θέλουν να τη διαβάσουν μεταφρασμένη δεν έχουν παρά να κάνουν κλικ στο mic.gr όπου και έγινε η πρώτη δημοσίευση). 

saunterer: Dan! You travel and wander around a lot, what is your current point at the world map? 

Dan Stuart: I live in Mexico City after almost 5 years in Oaxaca... 

saunterer: I suggest unfolding the whole story neither from the beginning nor the end, but somewhere in between. Can you tell us a few words about where the hell were you lost for one and a half decades starting after Can ‘O Worms till your album with the Slummers and the The Deliverance of Marlowe Billings? 

Dan Stuart: The "missing years"... just like Jesus in India except more pathetic. I started a family and worked regular jobs, first as a house painter which was okay and then as a real estate appraiser which was soul killing. I wrote a few screenplays as well, none produced but I occasionally got paid which is all that matters in that racket. 

saunterer: Always in my humble point of view, back in the 80s Green on Red treated us with a bunch of the finest American rock songs of that decade (and so much more), but this lacked any serious commercial success especially at the States.
What is your explanation for this? 

Dan Stuart: We just didn't resonate with the middlebrow and no one threw money at us to make it happen. Chuck (GOR’s lead guitarist) used to say GOR did everything 65% which is about right. 

saunterer: I picked four of my fav tracks, each one taken from your first releases with the original GOR line-up. What about a few words related to them, an unknown story or anything that comes in mind? 

Dan Stuart: 
Black Night: captures our early vibe and weirdness. 

Cheap Wine: a few good lines, pretty accurate overall representation of our sound. 

The Drifter: I always played a few leads every record, love it when people think it's Chuck. 

Jimmy Boy: I used to write a lot of dead children songs.




saunterer: A closer reading in many of your lyrics reveals a connection between your “escape” to Mexico and the Wild West outlaws, also similar to Kerouac and Burroughs.
Was this an escape from something or just the end of the road? 

Dan Stuart: My brain broke in 2010 and being a dutiful husband I left NYC when told to do so by La Espanola. Being an expat comes natural to me, I'm the son of an Aussie and have been an expat off and on all my life. I use the expat experience to my advantage but don't particulary relate to Burroughs, Hemingway, Graham Greene etc.  

saunterer: Still from time to time there is an update of information for the old gang of fellow travelers, whether they are ex GOR members or bands related to the scene, like Dream Syndicate, Long Ryders and Rain Parade. The only person that has also disappeared is the first GOR drummer and later Naked Prey front man Van Christian.
Only recently did he show up with a personal LP and a few gigs.
Are you keeping any contact with him or do you happen to know where he’s been lost for these many years? 

Dan Stuart: I just saw Van last Christmas in Tucson, he's doing fine and plays drums in a great band with Joe Pena and does his solo stuff as well. Al Perry is also doing great, painting a lot and recording music. 

saunterer: In a Greek book published recently, the main character travels to Phoenix in order to meet Wipers’ Greg Sage and try to convince him to enter the studio again.
During this journey he takes a break in a bar where he meets someone that could be you. Finally after a discussion about old times and of course GOR he is revealed to be your brother!!!
Do you have a brother and if yes does he look like you indeed? 

Dan Stuart: My brother is a real cowboy and has worked as a stuntman and stunt coordinator in Hollywood for many years. His name is Monty Stuart, go to
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0829685/ to learn more. 

saunterer: I really liked the format of your book consisting of small independent chapters, your simple, sharp and humorous writing; it was in the end the pieces of a story that needed to be said and were spoken by perhaps the best way. What else can we expect in the future from your typewriter? (Ok, from the editor of your computer to state it correctly). 

Dan Stuart: I'm about done with the second Marlowe installment. This one is written in the 3rd person and involves my adventures in Mexico, trying to find a proper death. It's about 65% true... 

saunterer: If I’m not mistaken, Jim Thompson is the writer mostly referred in your songs just to mention “Song for the Dreamers” & “Killer Inside Me”. A comment on this?
You also once used Mario’s Benedetti   “De que se rie”...
Any other poet or writer that could be in Thompson’s place? 

Dan Stuart: I'm not really a noir guy anymore although I did read Rafael Bernal's "The Mongolian Conspiracy" recently which is astonishingly good. It's sad how little of Latin American fiction and poetry has been translated into English... I blame academia for that. I mean what are all those professors good for anyway? Benedetti is a great example of an underappreciated writer who hasn't been translated widely enough. 

saunterer: Tell us more about your new release, Marlowe’s Revenge, which from the first song looks like continuing the story right from where “Here Comes the Snakes” has left it. 

Dan Stuart: It's a rock n roll record, pure and simple. I despise the "Americana" movement and wanted to piss on that scene. Twin Tones from Mexico City are a great young band and
I was lucky they indulged this old gringo. 

saunterer: What shall we expect at your forthcoming gigs?  Any GOR songs to be heard? 

Dan Stuart: Of course, I wrote 'em didn't I?... I always sprinkle a few around the set. 

saunterer: Do you still believe that time ain’t nothing when you’re young at heart? 

Dan Stuart: I never did but platitudes and myths are important, self-delusion is part of the survival instinct. Really like Emil Cioran it is the certainty of death that keeps me alive.
Thank God this nonsense will finally end... people live entirely too long nowadays. 

saunterer: Thank you very much! 

Dan Stuart: My pleasure.

Όσοι ενδιαφέρονται για το πρόγραμμα των συναυλιών του στην Ελλάδα (αλλά και αλλού) ας ρίξουν μια ματιά εδώ.