Doug, George Flynn, WGN discussed on Nocturnal Journal with Dave Hoekstra
Jennings of the WGN radio newsroom. And these are the stories that matter on seven twenty WGN. Welcome back to nocturnal journal on WGN. We okay there. And now, we're gonna talk I wanted to kind of talk about with got our panel sidekick, John Hughes tonight. All the way up from Louisville and our zipper masters, if a player Kurt von Eck, Roth pronouncing that right? His wife Megan beautiful job on those vocals, and our friend. Jeff cuffs Kaczynski. And. Well, let's let's just start at ground zero before we get into George Flynn. I know you through my brother. Yeah. Doug, and I've seen you perform so talk about that that I mean, you all kind of different types of music, we're gonna get to George Flynn at gig tomorrow. But talk about what you're doing. Well, I met Doug along time ago. And I started playing with his bands. And I I did a lotta overdubbed on his albums Nashville. I used to fax cello charts and horn charts down in Nashville before there was Email and they end up on his records. And I remember playing with Doug at the bottom line in New York City for a week and playing in Philadelphia touring with keep what did you play? I played a multi instruments percussion. Keyboards piano and accordion, sometimes even and I wrote a lot of scores for his like overdose on his albums. Like, I scored out the cello parts, we overdubbed like five or six cello. Hs five or six horns. Yeah. So I've known him a long time. And he he actually recorded some of his records in my basement when I had a studio in my basement before my sons were born. Yeah, we go back pretty far. How would you describe the type of music you were doing Doug? I'd say it was like all contry or like experimental country. A lot of the bands. I played in came out of like, he's mentioned Phyllis as musical. Yeah. I mean before it was a rock club. It was a polka bar in the fifties. And I think my dad used to play they're like, you know, in early sixties, and I played there when I was in my teens and twenties playing in punk bands, and grunge bands and stuff like that, John. There's we've had them on show. Hey Clem on the show before. And I really believe there's an I don't maybe it's true and in clubs that you've seen in Louisville or Long Beach. But I really do think there's a defying sounding always comes out at the came out of fellas and you're probably better at explaining that to happen. I wanna say it was dance folk he country urban. I'm picking we we all have sold American, right, stump. The host Steve Dawson's old thing talk about what that vibe was like there, and it was pretty wide open. You could experiment. Yeah. We could experiment, and we, you know, I remember opening up for sold American recording Scott Tuma who is a guitarist in that band. And and just we would try a lot of things like just slowing down country or like playing playing blues but with. Rock aesthetic, and how much does it just the environment. You're in how much does it have to do with it? Just the atmosphere of the place with the kind of sound that came out of it. I just think it was just easy. You know, Clem Clem made it easy. I'm still around the is cutting come in and just kind of encouraged us to to try things out. And and. Some of my first gigs were at Phyllis, I used to be polish Broadway. And there were like fifty polka little Wally played on there. Really the last place still got some original wallpaper right up there. And I went to one of those. We taken. Very important. Chicago. So new music. How do you define all you guys? How do you define new music? Well for me, it's. I'm a composer and music theorist. So my main interests are in the new and the avant-garde and and since I was a graduate student. This is going back to the early nineties. I've been doing Sunday afternoon matinee concerts with we call it Inc. Still wet music and tomorrow, we'll have another matinee and every. Green green forty eight to north Broadway. Correct. Right right off the Lawrence red line. Stop and. We've been doing concerts there for almost thirty years. George Flynn is the leader of the group, and and every January we do a birthday celebration for him, and he'll be eighty one. I think this month, and he'll be there a performing new music, and they'll be eleven or twelve composers on the same Bill, myself included, and you guys will be there will be there. I didn't know that. So he came into that they'll be playing playing they'll be playing as people arrive and probably have a little set as the audience settles and we differ music. Yeah. And also in the intermission, really liked the cocktail hour. Yeah, we played. So I can play all these cocktail. This. Now listeners, you know, who George Flynn is there's a YouTube clip of him saying now, he's avant garde classical which means no one's interested in what I play. So what does he do? And how how how would you describe his music? And then how does it connect to just say somebody just walking into the green mill for the first time tomorrow? Well, he's in a kind of classic composer. He's a professor emeritus depaul that's where I studied with him. And he was working with John cage working with Morton Feldman in New York. And also. Constantly composing, the guardian in London called his music, some of the most violent piano music, ever written. Wow. So he writes, very severe. Avangard? It's the opposite of commercial music. You might say it's also very influenced by composers like Messiaen and Barrio and. He's he's I think he's kind of a brilliant composer. He's recorded many records he recorded for Dr. Dr records, which was a subsidiary of Atlantic records, and he is he's a champion of new music. He always has been a supporter of young composers. So what time does it start tomorrow at two pm, two o'clock. It goes on for how long till four two four. Oh, wait a minute. How many people you have in their twelve twelve in two hours mash up really? Yeah. It's usually we have a lot of music and many of the pieces are not very long. So twelve sounds like a lot of composers. But a lot of the pieces are five minutes or ten minutes long. And you said you do this. How often do you do this tomorrow is like a birthday thing? He do three concerts a year, usually, and I I do the last Sunday and lactobacillus so I do a kind of Halloween concert than we have George's birthday concert, which is tomorrow and then Amy word. So I think we'll be there tomorrow. She usually does something in the spring for everybody here. How does this music that we're talking about the new music? Maybe what George does how does that influence other types of music. You do. Well, I guess I do all his John RAs. I I don't separate you know, like. I do pop music. I do rock I do jazz. Do classical I last night Evans, playing chamber music and opera and Hamburg. Yeah. It was that that was that was quite a while ago. But I did do a opera collaboration and in Europe, and that I had written and collaborated on so yeah. Wow. I feel like Dan, I feel like Milt Rosenberg. Pretty serious. Did you remember him WGN very heavy same same thing for you guys? I mean other types I didn't ask you that other types of music you play or sing this is it. Zither? Music music and. So so yeah. Artistic director could foundation what was that? That was a recording company that I had with Eric Markowitz who Doug guitarist for Doug. And and he and I. The band's I started out with where with Eric. We had a band called nothing, and we played it Phillips's. And then we became Billy pilgrim. She was a name we borrowed from Kurt Vonnegut novel. We actually asked Kurt von gets permission to use the name Billy pilgrim in here. He approved it and then a band from LA. I'm bought the name from us. And we got a significant sum from the lawyers, and we told Kurt Vonnegut about it. And he just told us to keep the money. So we use the money to make another record. And then we change her name to Agatha. We had many names we've made many albums with. They were. Not commercially successful. That actually leads to my next question. John you covered music. I think for awhile Louisville. So what is the muse for what you do? I mean, I just find it so unique and we've interviewed people and there's been people on the show. I want to write a poppet for radio. I wanna I wanna to or what is the muse that makes you explore these little unknown pockets of music. You know, I think it's fascinating you stay true to that. You mean to like church, try new things. All right. That's another way of putting it. Yeah. I mean, I just feel like. Sense of freedom that I could do whatever I want as the musician. So that that's something. I hold onto. And I think it's it's kinda rare around the world, and I think being an American composer. I I can do whatever I want, and I don't have to fear anything, Doug. And I've talked about this. And again, I've talked about this other guests you find a little more freedom of expression in Europe. You know? I mean, I know it's true song rising. I know it's true soul music. Or not. I don't think. So I think that were a lot. That's a tough question. I guess. We have more eclecticism, and and we teach eclecticism in a way we teach our students that they shouldn't copy anyone else, and they should find their own path. And he shouldn't compare yourself to anyone else. So the creative freedom is what what drives me. So Kurt Megan say you wanted to record a third album. Maybe you have maybe you're thinking about thinking. Yeah. So what's the process like how do you sell somebody on this? Well, we have to sell each other on the idea. We've got one person..