It's Sunday. We'll do a run-through in the early afternoon, and then a show at 7:00 in front of 200 invited guests. Then, we'll do a relaxed show strike. I say show strike because we'll put it on the trucks tonight after the show. I say relaxed because we don't have a gig tomorrow and we'll take advantage of the opportunity to properly label everything before it goes in its cases. During all of the revisions and tweaks which have taken place during the past ten days many changes have occurred. They have not all been documented. They will be tonight, so that when we get it to Charlotte, N.C. (our first show venue) it'll go in by the numbers.
Much of this production has been very thoroughly conceived. Dino has remarked that he has never had this much time to put a show together. Going from this directly to KISS will be a serious shock to his system. He's not going on the road with us: it's just Duck, Rob, and I. Dino will dive head-first into the meatgrinder that KISS is turning out to be. His rehearsals promise to be similar to a live-fire artillery exercise. He will, no doubt, look back on these long but deliberate hours fondly.
The concept of deliberation goes on. We will load-in to Charlotte two full days ahead of the first show. This will represent a sort of post-rehearsal rehearsal under actual show conditions. This sound stage doesn't quite fit the bill. For instance, the rigging grid here is only 25 feet high. This means that our lamps are hanging at about 18 feet. This show is designed to trim out at 26 feet. We will considerably alter focus angles when we get it into a room where we can hang it as designed. It will be a look that we have not seen before.
Tina, the wardrobe girl, wore a T-shirt bearing a very provocative message on one of the first days here: "Racism without prejudice never hurt anybody."
In less than two weeks, we have welded the foundations of a very tight team here. I've noticed a feeling of serious respect among all of the entourage from top to bottom. It is based on quiet observation and assessment of performance. On the other hand, I don't see anybody sublimating their personal style. Rob, the L.A. heavy-metal kid, works eye-to-eye with Dwight "Popcorn" Miller, our Stage-Manager, who is seriously black with every appearance of a ghetto survivor. Neither one steps on the other. K.C., who is now working guitars (Greg didn't make it), and I swap MS-DOS software and small hardware bits. We brew coffee and talk bytes to each other in a code which doesn't admit superficialities of color or style: we probe each other's minds...he in his Converse All-Stars and funky bowl-top do, I in my Tony Lamas and free flowing (albeit thinning) hair. At a glance to the unenlightened, we could never hook up. Our glance does not even take in the unenlightened. We don't look at them; they can't look at us.
I wish I'd been able to document more fully the creative intensity of the nights we spent here. The simple fact is that time did not permit it: one simply has to sleep sometime. Two weeks ago, this show did not exist, except as ideas in some peoples' heads. Now, it is written to digital memory and only awaits execution. The transition from one point to the other is actually a strenuous period of birthing. The process of birth is a process of composition: we have gathered particularly conceived events into harmony with time, with moments...each one linked to the next in deliberate train. Anyone can make light appear at a given moment: it happens every time one of us walks into a dark room. The light which appears at that particular moment has its own reason, its own special purpose. That purpose is simple enough that the power source, switch, fixture, and moment of execution need not be designed at every desire to find a box of cat food in the corner of a dark kitchen. Those sorts of moments were identified as common enough long ago by those who understood the importance of electric light. They took care of all of the composition for us. This is progress.
What we have done is to take the same elements of physics, and arrange them to serve a gathering of special moments. In the long, late hours in this room, we struggled to identify the nature of each moment, and bring to it the element of light properly conditioned to that nature.
There are a lot of them in this show, and I think we nailed 'em.
September 6, 1992
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