Driving Miss Bridwell


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'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Feb 15, 2009 - 12:37pm PT
Great stuff! Give the man a beer and a keyboard - type us some more.

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Feb 15, 2009 - 12:51pm PT
I am really glad you characters enjoyed this vignette.

Peter, your vignettes and longer tales are priceless. Not least for all the perspective time's brought.

Mountain climber
Monrovia, CA
Feb 15, 2009 - 01:27pm PT
Superbly written, thank you.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Feb 16, 2009 - 01:12am PT
Gary asked me if I had some Coltrane, something about OW music... and Peter, so I searched and popped this wonderful piece up again.

Now I don't have any of "the harder work" so I'll start Gary off with some of the softer stuff, you know, like Mr. Knight, Giant Steps, and Blue Train and see how it goes....

Do you think we can get Planet Granite to play this stuff for an OW sesh?

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Feb 16, 2009 - 11:10am PT
Music to inch along by.....
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 16, 2009 - 11:15am PT
Good approach there Ed. I really appreciate your care and caution. If Old Gary was given a full and direct bow hit right off the bat he could be injured maybe worse. I did see his video birthday/birthday video at the Park Entrance you hosted when the two of you drove up from the provinces. I get the idea. And I understood why there wasn’t a cake.

Ed, yeah, you’re right to suspect the upper level---”harder” as you say---tunes involve secrets that cannot generally be told. When you get to Coltrane’s “Ascension Edition II” although the title suggests a completely appropriate piece of offwidth music, as we’re calling it, it’s a deadly trap actually and many haven’t made it.

Way beyond “sandbag”. Worse than what we call a “false lead” in climbing. That’s right, normal people would die as Bridwell was fond of saying. I think on ST there are only a couple others that are rated for that track. Fish comes to mind right off. Most are still nibbling amiably though temeritously on “Giant Steps” after prepping with Miles’ “Kind of Blue”, a jump in itself admittedly.

Now taking the other end of the discussion, for heaven’s sake don’t back completely off the task and start playing “Kumbaya” or “Michael Rowed The Boat Ashore” again like you always do for Gary because these kinds of compositions fail to develop enough body torque (viz. counterforce) to climb even Pharoah’s Beard. And he will just get tunnel vision anyway, miss all the crucial subtle holds with such a simplistic one-form melodic line as these two songs offer, even though I know they are popular with many, notably Scuffy. In a word, play Easy Listening for any of those pilgrims and they will come flying right out of there. I mean it Ed. Even Pharaoh’s Beard.

Starting with heavily syncopated pieces that still keep a melody line sometimes helps, I would suggest. Stay away from anything lubricious.

Whether Planet Granite will deign to play these high-performance double black diamond jazz works we are referring to here (some so arcane they can’t even be named in public), I would have to doubt it. My impression of those people is that they are all nice but aren’t proposing an elegant solution to The Mind-Body Problem. I know that Pacific Edge will play it although they don’t have the proof either; I am sure Tom Davis and Diana Princess of Seabright (the G.P’s) must be starving for The New after 16 continuous years of U2. Both of them are tremendously good climbers, though nearly as old as Gary C. Maybe they’ll be sympatico.

Try to burn yourself a CD of the right stuff, so to speak, and take it with you and see when Gary seems ready to host in his climbing sequences a conjecture as complex as this late-career Coltrane piece. The purple cordless ghetto blaster with fold-down wheels and solar charger that Gary got for his birthday would be good to take on some of your adventure routes by the way, maybe the gyms. Warning labeling on that CD is indicated though for sure; some outsider might unknowingly pop your custom CD in and wipe out Livermore or Sunnyvale or The Marina just like that.
Jack Burns

Feb 16, 2009 - 12:49pm PT
Stellar Regions is another of Coltrane's free jazz albums that is pretty wild and "unlistenable". Not everyone's cup o tea but you can't deny that Coltrane was searching for something.

There's a book called Ascension (forget the author) which is sort of a "musical" biography about Coltrane, detailing his musical pursuits as opposed to his personal life. It does a good job explaining Coltrane's transition into the "free jazz" movement with other players like Pharoah Sanders. Coltrane had been off the heroin for a while and had become deeply spiritual. He was also using LSD a fair bit. His free jazz, to me, represents his spirtitual quest and the abrasiveness of his later work seemed to explain that this quest was not without suffering or agony.

Another great story, Peter. Thanks for posting.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 16, 2009 - 01:28pm PT
Funny Walleye.

Years ago I saw Pharaoh at the Kuumbwa Jazz Society in Santa Cruz. The show was superb. P.S. kept his face hidden from us as he played huge powerful passages of cascaded tonal tsunamis, transporting everyone and everything within in earshot. It was hard not to weep. At one of the crescendos in the piece he exposed his face; he had full chrome contacts on. The effect was unbelievably exciting, the implication that what the music was calling about, was real. Huge.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Nov 2, 2009 - 11:11pm PT
Jazz Bump!
mark miller

Social climber
Nov 2, 2009 - 11:47pm PT
Peter please write some memoirs of "A better time" in climbing. Thanks for the recollections.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Sport climber
Will know soon
Nov 3, 2009 - 12:11am PT

Mimi's first post is Really Spot on. Really. Peter, you need to take your Thread idea and spawn the Novel.....Your writing is more than Great. Seriously Dude, make it happen. Start today, tomorrow is not guaranteed. Peace Always and Best to Yo, lynnie

Nov 3, 2009 - 12:18am PT
Tomorrow is always guaranteed, whether one lives or not.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Sport climber
Will know soon
Nov 3, 2009 - 12:27am PT
Hi Werner,

Enjoyed talking with you in Yo Valley during Facelift. :D

Tomorrow is, yes, and always will be tomorrow. As a human we may not be here on this planet to experience tomorrow on this terrestial orb...but we will be somewhere and Tomorrow is and always will be tomorrow....whether we experience it here or elsewhere. Sincere Peace and Joy, lynnie

Edit: I always enjoy your thought provoking ideas and comments. :)
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 3, 2009 - 01:01am PT
so fans, here is a revival of the North Dome Gully tale I kind of dusted off just now and posted:

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Apr 22, 2010 - 11:36am PT
Classic Birdbump!
Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C.
Nov 3, 2010 - 08:09pm PT
Perhaps it would be useful to explain what an 8-track was. :-)
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
Nov 3, 2010 - 08:36pm PT
Tuned to the same channel, in far away Idaho, "suburban" was the evil. Tripping sucked but it pointed up the fact that all the neatness and conformity was not the truth. It was a trap. A tamed world of bliss built for us by our forefathers so we would not need to suffer. Conformity, not cunning, nor strength, was required to survive. No more hunt and kill. No more fighting for freedom.

And thus came the Entertainment Revolution. A giant vortex of entertainment choices, dragging the young by their very coolness into the crushing black oblivion of spectatorism. Not awake, not asleep, just outside the action, watching, waiting. The mass, the pressure, the thick sensation of electronically driven light. It grasps at you now as you read this last word.

Social climber
Bouncy Tiggerville
Nov 3, 2010 - 08:47pm PT
Great story, Peter! I especially like this bit:

For every climber, there was a chosen musician, who clearly had the secret key for his climbing; for Klemens and I, Coltrane was indisputably why we were the offwidth dragons.

Thievery Corporation is mine now, but for years it was James Brown.

from where the anecdotes roam
Nov 3, 2010 - 08:54pm PT
nothing that has passed will further fade once haan has fixed it within his prose

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Nov 3, 2010 - 09:06pm PT
Great write up Peter!

Really put me there, as I have had some wet dreary dirtbag tours in barely working vehicles myself.
Messages 21 - 40 of total 46 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
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