<< -- 3 -- D C Ruiz FAIR GAME?
Does being a painter give you a different perspective on writing music than a
musician who isn't involved with the visual arts?
Maybe, I think so. Most musicians are visually illiterate and many visual
artists are tone deaf, or at least have small ears. Any person working in one
medium whether it is music, painting, dance, poetry or whatever, could only
benefit if they learn about the other modes of expression. Then one can see how
it is all related with a broader perspective on the creative process.
Did you resume performing as well?
Yes. Eventually I joined The Bastard Children of Bozo, a new music ensemble
that emphasized improvisation.
How did you get involved with The Bastard Children of Bozo?
I was at a party in a painter/friend's loft in Chelsea where I lived at the
time. We had a show together in Philadelphia and he was celebrating by getting
very drunk. One of his friends was sitting alone in the corner eating candy
corn; this was just before Halloween of 1997. He called himself Jimbo and
claimed to be a distant relative of Bozo the Clown, you know the famous clown
from 1960s TV. I thought he was just drunk. He said he was a piano player and
directed a small orchestra in Greenwich. We talked a while and he invited me to
So that's why the clown getups.
The PTSCO french horns on a 'bad hair' day
Did you play an instrument with The Bastard Children of Bozo?
Sometimes I would play percussion, but most of the time my function was writing
charts for the group and trying to gather everyone up for rehearsals.
Tell me more about Jimbo and some of the other members.
Jimbo was a manic-depressive who was in and out of institutions. He had a drug
problem and could out drink anyone I ever met, but he was an incredible pianist.
He could imitate many people: Jarrett, Corea, Tyner, Taylor, Errol Gardner,
Monk; but he wasn't very good at managing people, much less a band. The other
members were patients from the neighborhood drug clinic, ex-convicts,
professional and non-professional musicians. Personnel were constantly changing.
Copyright © 26 September 2003
D C Ruiz, USA