rich, part 3

Rich was in another “band” called Aural Scents.  My opinion: they were horrible.

It wasn’t even really a band, no more than Death Train Motor Man was, at least.  It was Rich and a woman who I won’t name here.  She sang and may have played keyboards, Rich did the bass and drum programming.  It was a Cocteau Twins sort of thing, or maybe more like Curve – Rich was big into the shoegazer stuff at the time, and it really came out in his music.

Rich was a phenomenal musician.  He played the bass, and liked to use lots of effects – delays, flanges, digital chorus, harmonizers.  I guess his musical hero was Brian Eno, but not as much because of Eno’s ambient stuff but because of the way Eno looked at music and musical instruments.

Rich told me one time that I wouldn’t be a true piano player until I could open one up and play it by plucking the strings.  That wasn’t Rich being pretentious, it was Rich being sincere.

Anyway, he put together this “band” through an ad in East Coast Rocker, because as I mentioned in an earlier post, they had a free classified section.  This woman – the nameless one – responded to his ad and went over to his apartment.  And for some reason, that didn’t scare her away.

They wrote music together for a while; I think their intention was to get a bunch of songs and then add a guitarist and a drummer and start playing shows.  They recorded to Rich’s four-track, and occasionally he would play me a cassette.

At no point did Rich ever ask me to do anything with Aural Scents’ music (he did ask me to write a bio for them, which I did, but I’ll save that for a future post).  While we were in the middle of it, I was always impressed that Rich had access to a record label, such that it was, and never once took advantage by asking me to put out his music, or asking me to slap my logo on a 7″ of his band.  It always struck me that it was really big of him not to do that.

But in hindsight, I think there was a different reason he never asked me to put out the Aural Scents music.  I think he knew it was pretty bad.  As good and as creative a musician as he was, I don’t think he stuck with this project because of its potential.  He had another reason.

See, Rich had a crush on the singer.  He loved when she came over to write with him, he enjoyed spending time with her, and when he was with me, he talked about her a lot.  He would periodically ask me if I thought he had a chance with her, or if it would be out of line if he asked her out.

I never met her, but I knew he had no chance: she was a lesbian, and for some reason, that never really registered with him.  I mean, he knew he was a lesbian, but somehow he thought there might be a chance that she might go out on a date with him or something.  He’d bring it up and I’d just laugh at him.  I remember telling him once “You look like you should be lying on a table with an apple in your mouth, and you think you can convince a lesbian to un-lesbian?”

He’d just laugh and tell me he was just kidding.  Then a few weeks later he’d mention it again.

Eventually she moved on to some other project.  I don’t know what it was, but it was best.  I think Rich forgot about her as soon as she walked out the door that last day.

~ by Al on January 10, 2009.

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