A Cure for Gravity: A Musical Pilgrimage by Joe Jackson

By Joe Jackson

Since the discharge of his first best-selling album Look Sharp in 1979, Joe Jackson has solid a novel occupation in song via his originality as a composer and his notoriously self sufficient stance towards music-business type. He has additionally been a famously inner most individual, whose loss of curiosity in his personal superstar has been interpreted by means of a few as aloofness. That attractiveness is shattered by means of A healing for Gravity, Jackson's greatly humorous and revealing memoir of growing to be up musical, from a culturally impoverished adolescence in a coarse English port city to the Royal Academy of song, via London's Punk and New Wave scenes, as much as the edge of dad stardom. Jackson describes his existence as a teenage Beethoven enthusiast; his early piano gigs for audiences of glass-throwing skinheads; and his days at the street with long-forgotten membership bands. faraway from a standard-issue megastar autobiography, A treatment for Gravity is a great, passionate publication approximately song, the inventive strategy, and coming of age as an artist.

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Z lmcf the cheesy or;gan sound-I had no idea what kind of instrument was playing --and the "modern," sci-fi image it conjured up. Mostly though, I found recent shgles by British beat groups: 7uliet" by the Four Pewes, "The Game of 1,ove" by Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders, "Clad AU Ovei' by the Dave Clask Five, f bou&t. n e o n - p a bubble gum, which f hated, but wkch came with picmre cards of pop groups, I looked in vain for a secondhand copy of the &h" 'Tau ReaUy Got Me," which I'd heard coming from a radio one sunny day on the stony beach at Southsea, the seaside-resort area of Portsmouth.

I'd been too p u n g to see them play, but the kind of music they were playing was all around me, once I started to notice it. m e r e were the Beatles, of course, but at the time I made no particular distinction between them and the Merseybeats, or the Swinging Blue Jeans, or Bdy J. Kramer and the Dakotas. It was all clanging guitars, sizzling cymbals, and raw voices. I sat on the floor in my grandparents' house. The floor sloped alarmirrgly; so much so chat the rugs would crumple and have to be straightened out at the end of each day.

He waited for the right moment and didn't play too much. He played a s m d part, but you heard it! n a t ' s the secret. '" A, CURE FQR GRAVITY 33 Apart from being a great ego boost, this was one of the best music lessons I've ever had. Orchestration, or in jazz and pop parlance, arranging, is the art (to put it crudely) of deciding who in a group of musicians plays which part, and when, and how. And it started for me with an old but indesnucnible principle: Less is more. It might seem obvious, but I still hear demo tapes by bands in which everyone plays flat out dI the time.

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