Alone together

29 Oct, 2018 at 10:33 | Posted in Varia | 3 Comments



  1. My Chet Baker story: I saw him live in Paris maybe a year before he died falling out of hotel room window in Amsterdam, high on heroin. He was at Caveau de la Huchette. I was the last one in, standing at the top of the stairs in the full room looking down at the stage. He played piano on one number. On another, while the band kept playing, he made his way out between the tables, walked up the stairs past me and out. A few minutes later he came quietly back in. He stood at the top of the stairs next to me for a minute, eyes closed, smoking a cigarette, leaning back. I looked at him but dared not say anything. Years later, I realized he was nodding out in classic junkie style. I think he was telling me, all this show, this crowd, this economic exercise of paying to see music and being paid to make music, all that is a joke. Heroin is more fun!

    • Thanks for sharing your memories of a great musician. As so often, I think, art and life do not always seamlessly connect 🙂

      • For the junkie fact-checkers, I believe Chet was not leaning against the wall: the classic junkie nodding-out stance is free-standing. (Just wanted to correct that, thinking about it after posting …)
        My guess is that Chet always had to work at music; he wasn’t the natural that Armstrong was, for example. Chet became popular for his looks and youth and race, and he knew it, and still tried to produce the best art he could. But my guess (take it or leave it) is that he knew his music was not the greatest and drugs made him feel better all the time.
        Society should just let us do drugs. That is my conclusion after being forced by society to quit heroin and other drugs. They made marijuana legal in this state and that is an improvement. One day I hope public policy will legalize all drugs and then maybe those like Chet, without having to deal with the negative externalities caused by drug prohibition, might produce better art, less distracted by having to deal with often-violent criminals to get their medicine …
        Drug legalization would also help individuals in Afghanistan (opium farmers could break the Taliban’s hold on them) and the Central American countries that are producing Caravans due to drug gangs. /rant

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