|Mike Benedetti -> Interviews -> May 1999 with Wilbo Wright|
Mike Benedetti's Interview, May 7, 1999:
Wilbo Wright: It wasn't such a horrible heckling experience, but it led up to another experience the same night. I was playing a jam session up in Massachusetts. It was a typical jam session, not too many people there, and a street person wandered in. I was taking an arco bass solo--you know, with the bow--and I'm playing with my eyes closed, and he starts screaming "Hey, CHOpin! CHOpin!"
Anyway, as the night led on, I was jamming with my eyes closed when the left lens fell out of my eyeglasses. Suddenly my right eye is looking at Detroit and my left eye is looking at San Francisco. So of course I immediately thought I had a brain tumor.
This is all while the tune is still going on. My time got funny, and everybody is looking at me oddly, and I'm sitting there going, "But you don't understand, I'm gonna die, and now I can't go to Europe, and I'm supposed to yahyahyahyahyah."
So that was one instance. We used to have a lot of them when I was doing a political comedy show on the streets of Germany. It is always a really delicate thing, how you handle a heckler, especially when you're collecting money at the end of a show. People will give you more or less money depending on how you handle a heckler, so there's times when you try to bring them into your show. It could be hilarious, or it could be horrible, and destroy everything. But by the same token if you're too harsh on them, that can turn the crowd against you, too. If you're too inhumane or whatever.
We had some good ones over there, some real stupefying individuals.
You've played in a lot of bands over the years.
Do you have any comment on that?
Oh!...Ooo, that's a good point. Uh, well I've been in a lot of bands for a long period of time. I've been in a lot of bands at the same time. So it's not like I'm, I'm, well maybe it is, that I...can't...hold a job--is that what you're saying?
I just wanted to mention that and see what you would say.
No, I'm just an eclectician. I'm attracted to different projects like a moth to a flame. If somebody calls up with some weird idea, I'll make time for it.
How many bands a year do you average?
Oh, it can be twenty, thirty, something like that. Some of them are ongoing projects. Some of them play just once a year. When I go to do my taxes at the end of the year, and try to reassemble what I did over the past year, it's pretty hilarious.
Do you have any suggestions for young musicians wanting to get into this kind of music?
None whatsoever. I wouldn't want to steer anybody--everybody comes at it in a different way. "The only place you hurry to is your grave," I'll say that.
And you should join lots of bands.
Or just don't be impatient, don't put a time limit. I see too many people that go, "Oh, I'm gonna do this for three years, and if something doesn't happen..."
You know, Miles Davis said if he didn't make it as a musician by the time he was twenty-four--
He was gonna be a dentist, right? He also said [milesly] if i had ta go back and play that shit i was playin' twenty-five years ago--i'd have a heart attack. That's one of my favorite quotes of his. Also, he said that shit where they go out and play the solo and everybody claps, he goes, that shit is OLD.
Aw, I hate that.
W: and it looks BAD.