A TREND IN THE ROCK CONCERT
business is to record every night of a tour,
and offer some songs for near immediate
release via the Web. I was initially a little
nervous about this during rehearsals for a
Supertramp tour last year. Knowing there
would be an official release of every show
was a little daunting. I like to reach for
something a little different every night
in my solos to keep the music fresh, and
I can occasionally fall short of my own
expectations. We improvisers don’t like
to fall into patterns—we always seem to
feel the need to push the creative envelope—
and, for me, a seat-of-your-pants
attitude gives the music an edge that is
missing in most arena shows these days.
Of course, the risk in “going for it,” is
that I can walk offstage overwhelmed with
joy, or completely bummed out, based on
my perception of what I played. I’m sure
you’ve experienced the same thing, and
here’s why: Your assessment is based on
what you meant to play—not necessarily
what you played. Many times, when
you’re going for something and you miss,
what you actually played is every bit as
valid. It just takes a few days (or weeks)
of separation from the show to hear it.
For example, I recently recorded a live
DVD with my band, and, of course, I went
through the usual morning-after thoughts
such as, “It’s rubbish—nothing I played
was cool.” But three weeks later, I realized
it was actually a fine performance—
mistakes and all. One happy accident was
that my wah pedal was on by mistake at
the beginning of a solo, and although I
cringed at the time, it sounds cool now.
The joy of performing should override
any trepidation over the red light being
on during a live show. That self-conscious
feeling of second-guessing everything
you’ve just played gets you nowhere
in a hurry, and it can restrict you from
really going for it. We’ve all experienced
a bad night when things aren’t coming
together sonically, or the band isn’t playing
together well. So how do you rise
above that type of adversity?
I’m reminded of the advice my friend
Larry Carlton gave me many years ago, at
a now-defunct L.A. jazz club called Donte’s.
I came onstage and noticed him in
the front row—right under my nose. If
that wasn’t intimidating enough, my 1958
Gibson ES-175 had recently undergone a
neck repair, and it wouldn’t stay in tune.
The entire night was a disaster, and at the
end, I asked Larry what he does when all
is going badly wrong. He said simply, “I
let the music take over.”
The Zen ability to take yourself out of
the moment that just happened, and into
the moment that is happening now is a
skill I continually work on. Live recording
is just one of the places where that
skill comes in very handy.
A member of Supertramp since 1985, Carl
Verheyen has also logged a dazzling 25-year
career as one of L.A.’s premier studio guitarists.
His most recent Carl Verheyen Band release
is the DVD, The Road Divides.
Miles Mosley Announces International Tour Celebrating Critically Acclaimed Debut Album, Uprising
Seminal ’60s Garage Rock Icons The Sonics Return With New Band Lineup And March Live Dates
Watch Video Demos of All The New Gear From Bass Player Live! 2016 (VIDEO)
This Week in Free Stuff: Vocal, Neurostep and SFX Samples
New UVI UVS-3200 Captures the Semi-Modular Sounds of the Vintage Korg PS-3200
Pyramind Launches a Global Music Mentorship Network
EMIKO - The Musical Traveler on Her New Release “Simple Love”
UVI UVS-3200 Captures the Analog Sound of the Vintage Semi-Modular Korg PS-3200
Les Paul or Lucille? Check Out This Solidbody vs. Semihollow Guitar Comparison
James Hetfield Tells Why He’s Against Fixing the Bass on ‘…And Justice for All’
Kurt Cobain’s Vintage Late-Fifties Hagstrom Deluxe Is on eBay
Seether Premiere New Song and Music Video, "Let You Down," Reveal New Album Details
While She Sleeps Premiere New Music Video, "Silence Speaks," Featuring Bring Me The Horizon's Oli Sykes
Sinner Sinners Premiere New Song Featuring Eagles of Death Metal's Jesse Hughes, "Celexa Blues"
Michael Schenker Talks Nostalgic New Live Album, ‘Michael Schenker Fest Tokyo’
Good Little Thing: Joshua Jacobson Talks Bonding—and Recording—with Dickey Betts
Real Amp vs. Fake Amp: Can You Tell the Difference?
Copyright ©2017 by NewBay Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 28 East 28th Street, 12th floor, New York, NY 10016 T (212) 378-0400 F (212) 378-0470