[ Originally posted to What’s Rattlin’? Yahoo! Group on January 13, 2012 ]
I absolutely love Dave Stewart. I love his tone and his soloing and compositions. I love Barbara Gaskin. I had the pleasure of talking to both of them at length at a very small club in Chicago on tour before and after their set, appearing as a trio with Jakko on guitar. They could not have been more generous. On that recent web Canterbury radio program, listening to Egg, music that I have heard but not memorized…just delightful. So here is my question and I ask it with love and affection: What is Dave Stewart’s end game here? I just do not understand the musical direction or energy that is his current world.
Now three things;
First, I will point out before anyone else snarkily does that it is not necessary for me to understand or approve as his accomplishments already buy him a lifetime free pass, I get that.
Two, if he was making any money at all with the much, much simpler covers and tunes I would say, have at it, I understand and sympathize, it is time for a brother to get paid. If “It’s My Party” or even the tune that references the 4 tops (I really liked that CD) made any money, again, I get it. But that is not happening unless invisibly to me he is huge in Japan and the yen is pouring in.
Third; I am sure he got very tired of being in quasi democratic bands and having to constantly negotiate on the musical choices or whether to gig in Italy without actual gigs lined up, etc etc. Musicians and linear logic are almost mutually exclusive and I agree with some voiced opinion that Dave Stewart is incredibly bright, perhaps the 7th smartest musician in the free world. So he wants to be self contained in his own little musical village of two, a much more elegant and nimble ship to navigate, again understood.
But what I don’t get (not completely dissimilar to Ratledge just packing it in) is how with his ability, writing, and with Barbara Gaskin, they could not make their own music that somehow reflected the lyrical sophistication and complexity of what happened decades ago. Imagining what just the two of them with today’s technology could create makes me lightheaded.
Unless of course they don’t want to.