Sunday, November 04, 2007

For Sunday: A reading from the book of Miles Davis

Open your Autobiography of Miles Davis (with Quincy Troupe) to p 380, please, for 'The Dinner at The White House with Ronald Reagan and Ray Charles'.

At the table where I was sitting, a politician's wife said some silly shit about jazz, like 'Are we supporting the art form just because it's from here in this country, and is it art in it's truest form, or are we just being blase and ignoring jazz b/c it comes from here and not from Europe, and it comes from black people?'

This came from out of the blue. I don't like questions like that because they're just questions from someone who's trying to sound intelligent, when in fact they don't give a damn about it. I looked at her and said, 'What is it? Jazz time or something? Why you ask me some shit like that?'

So she said, 'Well, you're a jazz musician, aren't you?'

So I said, 'I'm a musician, that's all'.

'Well then, you're a musician, you play music...'

'Do you really want to knew why jazz music isn't given the credit in this country?'

She said, 'Yes, I do.'

'Jazz is ignored here b/c the white man likes to win everything. White people like to see other white people win just like you do and they can't win when it comes to jazz and the blues b/c black people created this. And so when we play in Europe, white people over there appreciate us b/c they know who did what and they will admit it, but most white Americans won't.'

She looked at me and turned all red and shit, and then she said 'Well, what have you done that's so important in your life? Why are you here?'

Now, I just hate shit like this coming from someone who is ignorant,but who wants to be hip and has forced you into a situation where you're talking to them in this manner. She brought this on herself. So then I said, 'Well, I've changed music 5 or 6 times, so I guess that's what I've done and I guess I don't believe in playing just white compositions.' I looked at her real cold and said, 'Now, tell me what have you done of any importance other than be white, and that ain't important to me, so tell me what your claim to fame is'.

She started to twitch and everything around her mouth. She couldn't even talk she was so mad. There was a silence so thick you could cut it with a knife. Here this woman was supposedly from the hippest echelons of society talking like a fool. Man, it was depressing.

Ray Charles was up there sitting with President Reagan, and the president was looking around to see how to act. I felt sorry for him. Reagan just looked embarassed.

Man, they should have written down something hip for him to say, but they ain't got nobody hip nowhere around him. Just a bunch of sorry motherfuckers with plastic smiles, acting all proper and shit.
A reading from the book of Miles.

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