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Posted on Tuesday, February 14th, 2006

….my surprise, last Friday night to find myself playing guitar on stage at a club called Poine Ephemere in Paris. There I was, once more, wondering ‘what the fuck am I doing here?’. The true answer was, of course, enjoying myself, but first I had better tell the story before I analyse it too much.
I had a call From Daniel Chavis, singer of apollo heights, who have been over here in Europe from Brooklyn NY where they reside, playing some shows. I have known Daniel and his twin brother Danny for a real long time, having produced an album for them, sometime last century. They play music which is quite unique, effortlessly bridging genres, bringing Danny’s, sometimes luscious, sometimes vicious guitars to play over hip-hop beats with Daniel’s soulful voice like an angel turned demon. OK, I like them. Tonight they’ve been joined by the rest of the band, Honeychild Coleman on Hagstrom guitar, Hayato Nakao on Bass and programmed stuff and Damali Rashawn on drums…But when I arranged to go Paris to meet up with the band, really just to pay my respects and say hi, I had no intentions of dragging my, relatively white, ass up on stage, even although Daniel had asked me on the phone. But, who am I kidding?, these folks are charming. Next thing I’m on stage at their soundcheck, looking for a guitar, looking for lots of pedals (I only could borrow one, a boss delay) and plugging into a fender twin… They played a couple of songs I knew from last century, but when I say knew I didn’t mean ‘knew how to play’ I just meant ‘knew’ and had just about 10 minutes to work out what I was doing.. OK, that wasn’t too bad.. fast forward…before long it’s showtime and I watched the band from in front of the stage and they were mighty impressive. Then Daniel asked me to come up, I put on my guitar with true Nigel Tuffnelesque panache and the band started to play a song I’d never heard before. Mo-ther-fuck-ers… OK, so I played along and made some shit up…arrggg, no mountains of effects pedals to hide behind, just one very very small looking boss pedal…damn… OK, next song, I know that, next one….. what the fuck is this? … don’t worry it’s in E… I can do E, yup E’s definitely the best key for a song to be in if you haven’t heard it before…Just wait till I get of this fucking stage . Well you know the story, I stayed up there until the end of the set, played five or six songs with them, thoroughly enjoying myself. Just a shame Danny wasn’t there too…. I’ll post a picture if anyone sends me one, we must have been an odd looking bunch, especially the confused looking guitar player… Another good thing I learned was how to say motherfucker just as an African American would which I’m sure I’ll be able to put to good use around the home, for sure….


me looking worried trying to find E (the chord, not the drug) with apollo heights during the soundcheck….

btw…Happy Valentines Day

11 Responses to “Imagine…”

  1. glint

    Hey, I’m glad to see Apollo Heights are still going! Their album deserves a re-release IMO. I liked them as The Veldt as well…

  2. phlegmfatale

    Wow. That sounds glorious. I envy that audience. Thanks for the link – Apollo Heights sounds great.

  3. Ted

    Hey Robin, did Mr. Chavis have his Russell Fong guitar with him? Sure is a beauty…saw it years ago at the Mercury Lounge when the Veldt played there and we gushed about how much we both love you to death after the show…you rock Mssr.!

  4. mike

    Thanks for linking that – that’s an effing awesome group.

    re: Nigel Tuffnel
    I think the secret to your bad-ass guitar playing is the JMP-1. Ever notice the volume on those goes up to 20?

  5. Thor

    hello there, I know I’m not answering anything but I just listened some old EP you had produced by the band Lush.
    I love the sound… and we’re looking for that sound for our already-recorded album.
    can you giv me a way to reach you ?
    Thor, from France

  6. Josh from Australia

    Australia. We need you, Mr Guthrie. Come soon.

  7. Tempovision

    Hello Robin, hope you are doing well, now with another interview question, I recently attended a seminar by David Lynch that promotes Trancendental Meditation Or T.M. , and they push it quite agressively with an expensive price tag like a cult. It is supposed to make you very creative, and stop using drugs and slows down cancers and what not, I tried it and it feels really good but I’not noticing a difference in the creative side? Do you do it, and how do you achieve such creative hieghts? What are you influenced by , do you read , watch t.v. Architecture , wheather, {music of course}, art , what do you mostly do to achieve what you have done? Would you please try to enlighten us? I know a magician does not give out his secrets but can you point us in the right direction Sincerley in the other side of the world -Tempovision International.

  8. holaboy

    Hi Robin…I’m told that people with torrette’s syndrome often replace their uncontrollable profanity outbursts with gutteral/unintelligable
    sounds or clicking
    Just thought I’d pass that on to you.
    Anyway when are you getting your “somewhat white” arse out to sunny 85 degree LA again!

  9. Dennis

    …no mountains of effects pedals to hide behind, just one very very small looking boss pedal…
    The coolest thing I’ve ever heard!!!

  10. Harvey

    Spoke to Nick Cave a little while back and its just occured to me that you’d probably work well together….

  11. The Olive Ream

    Took a left at the traffic lights and I ended up here. Didn’t know you blogged….and rather well I might add. Mr. Guthrie, let me introduce myself. I am the only Pakistani (living) fan of the cocteau twins..that I know of . Would you like my autograph? 😉

    if you can spare a moment..come by (my blog) and say hello. I appreciate that you’re busy but would like it you visited…

    peace and good fortune.

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