Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Creative Connections

Through out my life I've come across certain entertainers that I could feel a certain connection with. Sometimes it was obvious, other times it was hard to explain. In 1970 I was quite a fan of the western sitcom "Alias Smith and Jones". I felt a certain connection with actor Peter Duel (Deuel). This was one of those connections that I really couldn't explain. But on December 31, 1971 when Duel shot himself in the head with a .38 pistol, it was like a part of me died. I took it really hard. I was about 16 when it happened and I can remember talking to my friends all that week about suicide. One of my friends was so worried he actually approached me and asked me if I was considering taking my life.

Again, another actor I felt a closeness to was Freddie Prinze. And again I can't say why. Perhaps there was a similarity in looks. I know he played drums like I did. He will be known for his portrayal as "Chico" in the ABC sitcom "Chico and the man". He was born almost exactly 2 years before me. Again, in January of 1977, unable to deal with the pain of emotional distress, he put a .32 to his head and pulled the trigger. Death wasn't instantaneous but days later he was taken off of life support.

Another Artist that I always had a kindred spirited connection with was Terry Kath, the guitarist for Chicago. Kath was known for his hard driving rhythm in his guitar playing that I use a lot in my solos. I think it comes from being a former drummer. On January 23, 1978 Kath took his life with 9mm pistol at a party at Don Johnson's house. It's rumored that his last words were, don't worry; it's not loaded.

Kath was one the few guitarists that Jimi Hendrix was infatuated with. I also felt a connection with Jimi. Although I was a bit young at the time to understand Jimi before he died, I feel that his riffs come natural to me when I'm playing a Hendrix tune. When I see film clips of Jimi, I can almost feel his movements and anticipate where he's going with a progression. To quote Weslie Snipes: "I can hear Jimi". Jimi was found dead of a drug overdose.

One person that is still alive that I do feel a very close connection with is Art Alexakis. I've never met Art, but from what I've read and heard, we have way too much in common. More than I care to confess to in this forum. Our upbringings are identical. We both know what it's like to have tradgedy take a loved one. And I would say that we've both suffered the after effects of a dismal youth.

Art! Please stay away from handguns.

Ace out.................


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