Tag Archives: stanley clarke

Seeing Stanley

For a split second sometime around 1989 Stanley Clarke made a pop band with Stuart Copeland. It was called Animal Logic. They played the El Mocambo and when I got there it was packed, shoulder to shoulder but by that point I had already experienced being in a band where at show time I had to walk through a sea of people to get to the stage. A sea of people just opens up if you act like you have a job to do so I said excuse me, excuse me, and by the time I got to the front there was enough room to sit down and experience being 10 ft away from one of the ultimate heroes in life.
What the fuck Stanley? The music was horrible so horrible. I didn’t care about Stuart Copeland, not my guy but Journey To Love, School Days and all the Return To Forever records were high school vitamins. There was a singer who they were backing up and she was not memorable. There was a generic Los Angeles rock guitarist with big hair and fluorescent tape pieces on his guitar as was the style then, yawn.
Halfway through the singer took a break left the stage and the band played one instrumental. THAT’S WHY WE WERE THERE.
Like climbing Mt. Everest watching Stanley Clarke do his thing. The liquidity of his fingers, the fusing of his heart/brain/hands with his listening felt like I was petting a lion. At one point the generic guitarist and Stanley started doing a call response thing, a competition of who could play faster. Every zig zag circular or vertical gesture the guitarist did Stanley did back 3 times more complex and only used his pinky very unlike the organic exchange between him and Jeff Beck from Journey To Love.
Then the singer returned and the band commenced to play more of their “pop” record. I couldn’t handle the idea of waiting another 30 minutes to maybe experience one more instrumental and left.