RANDOM RAMBLINGS OF THE MUSICAL MIND

A peak into the mind of John Hampton

Two brains trump one every time.

Ultimo, Leonardo!   Grazi!

Brother Leo is not mentioned AT ALL on this particular website. I just thought his picture MAY get me a higher Google listing.

Collaboration … root word, labor. So, labor together. Work together! There is something to be said about thing #A inspiring thing #B, together now OR separately.Together, as in John and Paul. An instance of inspiring separately, whether through time or distance, may be David Bowie and Marilyn Manson, separated by YEARS!



A buddy and I were always tech-ing on studio anomalies, some of which were simple and obvious, others that were horribly complex. But when we would get together to help each other solve a problem, we didn’t call it collaborating … we used the acronym THABTO … “Two Heads Are Better Than One.”  Simple, right? Well, that’s not just my acronym … Patrick and I both came up with THABTO. We collaborated on the acronym, in fact!. I ALWAYS like my work more when its mixed with something more than just me solo. It seems my productions are ALWAYS at least 10 to 50% more “entertaining” when I collaborate with the band. And entertaining is 150% of what music wants to be  anyway. Right?

I LIKE to be entertained …

No two people think EXACTLY alike. As a tech, I may lean a bit toward the physical or scientific side of “stuff” where a good collaborator would be the one adding him/herself, say more lucid in the range of creative and, with common sense! Alone, I couldn’t get it – nor could he. But together, we could look at many more possibilities because the person #1 may not let person #2 wander aimlessly, knowing that in the end, it isn’t helping get to the “goal”. On something that takes long term planning … say, writing a book … I may write until I’m just running out of creativity, then give it to Mr. THABTO for a few weeks. Gone from me, its time I use as “RELOAD TIME”  so that when he/she begins to add their “slant”, the entire direction of mine would suddenly spark my creative “stuff” again; it would be less stale and go for a few weeks on a new, way more inspired course. Then back to him/her. Over and over this scene repeats until we have a work of substance on our hands, when actually neither one of us individually was even a near here!

Think back: Leiber and Stoller. Karen and Richard Carpenter. Jesse and Robin (Gin Blossoms) or back to:

John and Paul,  The Coen Brothers. Sid and Nancy (Sid and Nancy??)

You must admit that by himself, John Lennon had an edge. And good reason to have him that edge. But to many it was just a bit too much reality for my pea-sized ears. Too acetic. Enter Paul McCartney. Just the opposite, he, when left alone, he was just a bit too “sweet”, if I may. (Too much honey gluts the stomach) Too much acid BURNS the stomach. BUT … together, for many years, each man tempered the other, and the result was exactly what the mainstream music listeners wanted. And neither man, as many solo artists are prone to do after awhile, strayed much from this obviously profit oriented machine they had come up with. Capitalism at it’s finest! And though Doug Hopkins from Gin Blossoms had already removed his own head via a weapon, Jesse Valenzuela and Robin Wilson had now become very much like John and Paul. Kurt Cobain gave rise to Dave Grohl and I’m sure they had to have done quite a bit of THABTO. Now, that zany Beck is a definite exception. I THINK he may just be brilliant. But many times, the BEST music comes from collaboration. Just like “O’ Brother Where art Thou?” is a mind-melding from the brothers Joel and Ethan Coen. (PS … Bear in mind they dug up the creepy “friend – o” dude Anton played by the also brilliant Javier Bardem.)

And you know what? Since everyone gets a recording studio in their laptop or whatever, collaboration has gone down the tubes. Not only that, but the “Musical Masturbation” that goes on in these self-imposed music prisons has given us nothing but SHIT! (But there are always exceptions)

John and Yoko, Bogie and Bacall
Hanna- Barbera, Simon and Garfunkel, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Missy Elliott and Timbaland… the list is MILES long.

And, as I ask for opinions, I leave you with this: One person is one highly entertaining, and his/her life improving entry into the journal of human experience can be a real PLUS. One = one. Two is the result of one plus one. So far, many of us haven’t exactly moved mountains single handedly, OR changed the course of mighty rivers! In fact, we may have overall actually left less than if we had never been there. No biggie. BUT two together makes a third thing: when number one and two and combine, a synergy is formed by the bond that, given it’s just a big more inspiration, that synergy actually becomes someone new and different … number 3! Now there is more there than what was ever there to begin with. Just like Spinal Tap Nigel’s “It’s one better!” was, now YOUR amp goes to eleven!

Next question, Geronimo …HereComeThePlanes