What do you think is the funniest or weirdest thing that has ever happened to one of your shows?
In the mid-1980s, the F-Art Ensemble performed a lot in what was called the Nightshade Cafe, a small basement on Tate Street – it’s not there anymore. Each evening was totally different. We would have concepts sometimes for our evening. One of them once was to destroy a piano. And we did.
We took sledgehammers, saws, and screwdrivers, and took two hours to dismantle a piano, until all that was left was chipped wood and bits of metal. The locals were rocking and rolling, loving it. People were taking pieces home.
Sometimes I walk around the park and see someone I knew in the 80s and they say, “Dude, I still have that box of piano songs from that night at the Nightshade Cafe” . It’s pretty awesome.
For musicians, the past year and a half has been like a tragedy unfolding. It’s hard to get together with other people to make music, when just blowing air was against the rules for a while.
The symphony has just started again. We went 14, 15 months without playing a note.
But, for me, I find it difficult to pull myself together to form the F-Art group again safely. It has been five years since we played. We played First Friday in Greensboro every month for 10 years. Then we collapsed when Mack and Mack closed the store where we played every month.