The John McLaughlin Interview


People talk about the British Invasion as "The Beatles..." That the Beatles encouraged original song writing and individuality. They also are given credit for introducing Indian Music and polyrhythms  to our humble land.

But what about those who don't sing on McLemore Ave or croon like James Taylor but rather play melodic invention. The fusing of all genres of music before there was any idiomatic labeling.

These types of artists are mercurial - sometimes misunderstood like Miles Davis who hired my guest because he wanted him to be himself. Play what he felt because Miles knew he had to give creative freedom to his sidemen in order to get the Bitches Brew.

Or like the Lawerence of Newark Larry Young or Tony Williams or Ted Dunbar.

My guest grew into himself because he gave himself up to Sri Chimnoy with love, surrender and devotion to his craft, the god inside him and an inner mounting flame of angst that pushes him to the brink.

Let go of yourself, lose yourself and come back to find yourself.

Harness the ego, defend originality, and Breathe.

What's my guests philosophy? From my desert view it seems to be experimentation being able to see dreams envision them and then seize them. Keep pushing the boundaries of mortality in music.

He does this by surrounding himself with others who have a lot to convey. He is not afraid of the discussion, even if Jean Luc Ponty goes off for 15 min, my guest lets artists get stuff off their chest, mind.....he is not interested in stifling others. He learned this practicing Meditation and playing music with Brian Auger, Jack Bruce and Dave Holland. Fellow British invaders themselves.

Like his kids and mine he has learned to share, take turns and devote your prowess to opening minds through melodic invention. Even if its time out of mind.

His playing is prolific, he is deeply spiritual and instead of the spoken word he can reflect this spirituality through  his music and all the cats he has collaborated with.

Cats from here cats from there cats from everywhere found there unique voice through playing with others. All day, @ Baggies or in some small loft on the lower west side of Manhattan not even aware that the sun has come and gone eating a couple of sandwiches with Billy Cobham.

Perpetual evolution through sequencing of ideas. Staying in the moment as the flame burns higher and higher and you learn to stop trying to control things. You surrender to your true nature, the spirit inside you which is transcendent and appreciated by legions of musicians and music fans.

Mahavishnu John McLaughlin, Happy Memorial Day and welcome to the JFS.



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