"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice



Ry Cooder has a new live record out. Alec Wilkinson has a thoughtful post about Cooder and performing live over at the New Yorker:

Absent disabling cases of stage fright, emotional reversals, or predatory addictions, performers who withdraw from performing—who liberate themselves straight into a private life—are rare. One of the few popular musicians I can think of who has done so happily (besides George Harrison) is Ry Cooder. Perhaps in Cooder’s case it isn’t surprising since he began his career as a studio musician, when he was still a teen-ager—he grew up, that is, in a context where music was made in rooms with only a few people present, not on a stage for an audience. He once said that the people who want the applause should have it, but he wasn’t one of them. He didn’t like being watched. He didn’t like the pressure of having to deliver a performance—as opposed to just playing music—and he didn’t like being analyzed by the guitarists who stood as close as they could to try and figure out what he was doing. The whole experience was draining. After a concert, he once said, he felt like a withered balloon under a chair at the end of a children’s party. About thirty years ago, he reached a point where he could no longer go out on stage and say one more time, “Ladies and gentlemen, and especially you ladies…”

…Another reason Cooder didn’t tour is that in middle age he felt he could no longer perform many of the songs he had recorded when he was younger. Some of them had relied on a jauntiness he no longer felt.

Categories:  1: Featured  Arts and Culture  Creative Process  Music

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1 GaryfromChevyChase   ~  Nov 20, 2013 12:06 pm

He backed up Neil Young on Young's first solo album. Many of the guitar licks were his, not Neil's.

2 RagingTartabull   ~  Nov 20, 2013 12:23 pm

guys...A-Rod has gone to plaid

3 Ben   ~  Nov 20, 2013 12:32 pm

2. Huh?

5 Sliced Bread   ~  Nov 20, 2013 12:36 pm

not appropos of Ry Cooder, it's amazing how much big-name artists make doing concerts. Forbes just put out its list of top-earning musicians last year: Madonna $125 million, Gaga $80m, Bon Jovi $79m, Toby Keith $65m, and Coldplay $64m - mostly from concerts. That's serious bread.

6 Sliced Bread   ~  Nov 20, 2013 12:42 pm

ARod's not helping his case by walking out, but I can understand his frustration that Selig doesn't have to explain the rationale for the 211 game suspension. Has anybody from MLB been asked to explain that during the hearing?

7 Ben   ~  Nov 20, 2013 12:42 pm

[4] thanks. Sheesh. Amazing how night and day Jeter and Arod ended up being. One guy can do no wrong, the other can do no right.

Friend of mine had a therapist that would be berate him with a refrain... went like this, "Mr. Rodriguez... Never missing an opportunity, to miss an opportunity."

8 Matt Blankman   ~  Nov 20, 2013 1:03 pm

Been hearing good things about this new Cooder live album. I will have to check it out. His early 70s lps are tremendous.

9 Simone   ~  Nov 20, 2013 1:13 pm

Yeah, I understand the entitled cheat's frustration too. All his career Alex has cheated and gotte away with it as MLB looked the other way, now they are suddenly holier than thou and forcing him to accept his well deserved punishment.

10 Alex Belth   ~  Nov 20, 2013 1:35 pm

9) I hear you but the 211 games in question is arbitrary and ridiculous and MLB looks bad, if not worse than Rodriguez.

Rodriguez is a self-deluded man. As for entitled cheats, well there sure are a lot of them out there, and many who we don't know about publicly.

11 Alex Belth   ~  Nov 20, 2013 1:41 pm

10) oh, and I just put up a post on the Rodriguez-Selig thing above. Let's not sully Mr. Cooder with this craziness, shall we?

12 Sliced Bread   ~  Nov 20, 2013 1:59 pm

Ry-Cood, A-Rod, weird thread, man.

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