Clayton Eshleman: From an Interview by Irakli Qolbaia, the first & last questions - [What follows are two sections from a longer interview conducted by the Georgian poet and translator Irakli Qolbaia, in which Eshleman takes on two key ...
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Richard Derrick rocking out with d. boon and Mike Watt
Like a lot of overcommitted people these days, I am always dumping things to my personal email account as into a sort of electronic junkbox, as if some rainy day will come when I will sort through it all and put it to use.
Today is a rainy day.
Way back in June 2009, my coproducer and songwriting partner Matt Fuller sent me a video clip of The Minutemen performing live in the early 1980s. Nothing surprising, there - Matt and I have been making music together for twenty years and have kept the seminal San Pedro post-punkers squarely in our sights throughout our partnership.
There is, however, an inside personal bonus on this video clip - our new friend and collaborater Richard Derrick is playing drums on this gig, rather than Minutemen drummer George Hurley.
As I described in some of the liner notes to our Go South for Animal Index poetry score, Matt and I met Richard Derrick in San Pedro to do something of a windshield tour of Minutemen sites. Richard had been good friends and roommates with Minutemen frontman d. boon (who died in 1985) and had released a posthumous record of jams, d. boon & friends, that I reviewed for L.A. Weekly after Derrick Bostrom of The Meat Puppets gave me his advance copy.
To rock & rollers of a certain age, this may sound like name-dropping, but I don't care. We have been doing this stuff persistently for a long time and it has paid off, in terms of experiences and creations, which is why we do it.
After a pleasant visit with Richard Derrick, as an afterthought he dubbed some discs of his own music for us to keep. After listening to one disc in particular, Middle Sleep, I asked Richard if we could make use of some of the tracks on our poetry scores, and he said sure.
I now have more than 80 unreleased discs of Richard's music he made with an assortment of friends and bands over the years. This music has prominent places on three of the four poetry scores we have completed - Blind Cat Black, Go South for Animal Index and The Sydney Highrise Variations.
On November 12 at Mad Art Gallery we will release our fifth poetry score, Jack Ruby's America, and when looking for some noir rock to evoke the moods surrounding Ruby's murder of Lee Harvey Oswald, I turned to none other than Richard Derrick and his (mostly one-man) band Another Umbrella.
So, anyway, I spend a bit of time at bars and parties, trying to talk over some music to explain to another rock musician what a poetry score is and how we now make our records "with this guy who was friends and roommates with d. boon and The Minutemen," and I suppose I am blogging this as a place to host this video clip of Richard rocking out with d. boon and Mike Watt back in the day as some reassurance that this is all real outside of our minds and memories.
Richard tells me that the Minutemen songs he included on d. boon & friends are from the same gig as this video.