Wednesday, August 31, 2005


I can't tell you how influential this man and talent was. Vassar passed away two weeks ago and I'm just finding out now. That should tell you how unrecognized he was by the "music establishment" which like most "establishments" misses the whole essence of the real thing. Commercial music has lost its soul, period. The true geniuses, the true talents never lay their instruments down. But the Britney's of the world retire exceedingly wealthy in their 20's because music today is not about the love of music it is about money and status. But not that long ago when rock n' roll was about fun and the blues musicians were spawning such a creative force as to birth John Mayall, the Rolling Stones, Buddy Holly, and Elvis, and Bill Monroe gave charge to Grisman and Garcia well there was a guy named Vassar Clements who said frig Nashville, frig the establishment lets all play together. And play he did with everyone you can think of from the Allman Brothers to Woody Herman, the Grateful Dead, Doc Watson to the Byrds, Paul McCartney and the Monkeys(??!!??). Vassar was a true ambassador to what is so great about music and learning to play an instrument, about putting the music above the ego, about getting along with others, about sharing and creating something larger than yourself and the song you are playing. If there was a Mount Rushmore of music Vassar should be up there because he pulled so many people together and spread to the outer reaches of popular music what it was to be a true Country Gentleman.

He in my opinion single handedly bridged the gap between the artificial divides imposed on us by the music industry. He bridged the gap between country, bluegrass, southern rock, jazz, and rock n’ roll. If it's good music it doesn't matter what they call it. Jazz heads who don't like the blues, or country purist who don't like southern rock, or rock n' rollers who don't like blue grass or rappers who don't like anything - I don't get that, and neither did Vassar because he jammed with everybody!!!!

Thank you Vassar for broadening my horizons, thank you!

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