[Jandek] John Fahey

Alex Koenig rabid_anti_dentite at sbcglobal.net
Tue Jan 11 10:44:07 PST 2011

@Michael: That is probably one of the coolest stories I've ever heard. One thing 
that's always surprised me with Fahey is how his right hand is so on point, 
while it never seems like the left is doing anything too complex. It seems like 
he picks his tuning and let's the guitar somewhat play itself. (That made sense 
in my head) So in that sense there's something of a similarity between his and 
the rep's playing. 

And in regards to the old thread mentioning Guitar Vol. 4 and some of the tracks 
on it, I'm totally inclined to agree. I actually listened to it for the first 
time not that long ago and to hear a few dissonant strums definitely took me 
into that Corwood world for a bit.

I've been meaning to dive into the Fahey comeback albums, any particular one 
that comes recommended?

From: "Michael.Goldman at CH2M.com" <Michael.Goldman at CH2M.com>
To: paulgcondon at gmail.com; jandek at mylist.net
Sent: Tue, January 11, 2011 9:24:05 AM
Subject: Re: [Jandek] John Fahey

Interesting thread.  Being a massive fan of Fahey as well as the Rep one big 
difference I can speak is right hand technique.  As much as I the Rep, his right 
hand technique is primitive.  Fahey's on the other hand would rival most world 
class classical players. 

I was lucky to meet Fahey towards the end of his life.  We shook hands and I 
explained I had been a fan since I was a teen and he had impacted my own playing 
as much as any guitarist.  He looked square at me and said "Burrito" 

Blind Joe hasn't sounded the same since. 
Michael Goldman MPH, CIH,CSP,CHMM, CPEA 
Cell: 404/790-4769

From: Paul Condon [mailto:paulgcondon at gmail.com] 
Sent: Monday, January 10, 2011 06:57 PM
To: Jandek List <jandek at mylist.net> 
Subject: Re: [Jandek] John Fahey 

Interesting, I'd forgotten about that Fahey correspondence. You would indeed 
expect Glenn Jones to have a good idea about what Fahey was into, but I don't 
find it difficult to imagine he'd like Jandek, especially as he was impressed 
with Keiji Haino, who he met shortly before his death and intended to 
collaborate with. Apparently Fahey spent many isolated years under the 
impression that avant garde music had died with John Cage, so it wouldn't be 
surprising that he would later reach out to those he saw as kindred spirits. His 
"comeback" records were aggressively outré and he was adamant that he made 
"alternative music".

A comment I made here back in 2003 (Christ!):
Often wonder about this - I mean, talk about "American Primitive"! I tried  to 
post the following Fahey-related comment recently, but I don't think it  got 
through: I recently bought his Guitar Vol. 4: The Great San Bernardino  Birthday 
Party, and the track Guitar Excursions Into the Unknown (recorded  1963) is the 
closest thing I've heard to Jandek's acoustic style - it's  almost as if Fahey 
picked up Jandek's detuned guitar and started  fingerpicking on it. Here's what 
Fahey said about it in 1968: "I agree it's  one of my best pieces. I was afraid 
to issue it for a few years thinking  that no one would be able to like it and I 
was not sure of my own feelings  towards it were until Al Wilson virtually 
forced me to issue it. I can now  listen to it without fear that I will freak 
out but it took a long time."  And in 1970: "God knows what key or tuning it's 
in (if any of you can figure  it out please let me know." (I've read elsewhere 
that it's in D modal). Fahey's use of his Blind Joe Death alterego is arguably 
an interesting  precedent to Jandek's mysterious-identity deal... I met Fahey a 
few years ago when he played in Dublin, on what I think was  his last tour. I 
shook hands with him but when I asked him about his  interest in noise he 
ignored me and continued writing on an A4 pad. At the  time, I didn't know about 
his personal problems and the extremely fraught  nature of the tour (which was 
abandoned a couple of days later), nor about  his reticence in such situations. 
In retrospect I feel lucky to have gotten  a handshake. 

On Mon, Jan 10, 2011 at 2:22 PM, GB <nocontact at arkhonia.co.uk> wrote:

This brief discussion from 2005 might be of interest:
>> my earlier post about a parallel
>> between 'Later On' & a few Fahey albums
>is here
>in response to
>I don't recall this discussion really going anywhere, but the confirmation of
>correspondence between Fahey and Corwood was an interesting detail to me.
>On 09/01/2011 18:26, Alex Koenig wrote:
>> I've been listening to many of the early John Fahey albums recently, and 
>> the very different sounds the two men produce and their different approaches 
>> guitar I couldn't help but notice some similarities between some of his work 
>> the work of Corwood.
>> Fahey's approach to releasing the music, often using bare bones packaging, no
>> real record covers, just titles, on his first three albums struck me as 
>> at first. There's also the fact that the record only reveals his name, the 
>> title, the label name, and song titles.
>> But there's also his approach to recording, the albums themselves often 
>> only one instrument and are recorded in a pretty lo-fi manner. In fact, it
>> sometimes sounds as if they were recorded in the same room as the Corwood 
>> Now I suppose these are pretty superficial similarities, they have very 
>> bearing on the actual music the two men produced. But when I wonder what may
>> have been some of the early influences on the Jandek albums, I suppose in 
>> of pure presentation, I can't help but wonder if Fahey and the early Takoma
>> catalog had a bit of a hand in shaping the Corwood aesthetic.
>> Which I suppose could bring us to the broader topic of just what in the hell 
>> the rep listening to when he crafted this method of making and releasing 
>> And for those unfamiliar with the music of John Fahey, you can never go wrong
>> with wikipedia...
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Fahey_(musician)
>> _______________________________________________
>> jandek mailing list
>> jandek at mylist.net
>> http://mylist.net/listinfo/jandek
>jandek mailing list
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