I respect a twisted sense of humor almost as much as I do musical talent. I saw John Pointer for the second time last Thursday at Quoffer’s in Elgin, Texas and he had both of those qualities on full display. He put on a great show, just like the first time I saw him. He showed off his unconventional guitar picking technique, his sense of ryhthm and his beatboxing talent.
He sang his awesome version of Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir,” originals like “Abraham’s Disciple” (at my request — it’s my favorite Pointer song so far) and “Annalisa.” But as he predicted, the most memorable song of the night was the one he wrote earlier that day, a hilarious song with a jaunty melody that sounded like something you might hear on Sesame Street except for the lyrics: “These Are the Hookers I Know.”
The song has been playing in my head ever since. Some of the parts I remember: “These are the hookers I know, watch ’em walk up and down to and fro on the corner, slingin’ ass aplenty. You may ask yourself, why does he know so many? Well I don’t know, but there’s Anna, she can take a banana, turn it into a split, you won’t believe that shit. Then there’s Florence, she used to be Lawrence, he had a sex change — I think it went pretty well. Not like Sandy, who used to be Andy. It didn’t go so well. But at least she’s freaky.” And lots of other verses along those lines. That’s the kind of song he can riff on endlessly and throw in a new hooker and a new verse at every show.
That might be enough to get me to sign up as a John Pointer patron at Patronism.com. At least two people at Thursday night’s concert already have. They knew his back catalog like the backs of their hands. It was amazing.
As I said in my last post, Pointer has come up with a model for compensating artists that might just save music (and might be yet another nail in the coffin of the music industry). It’s basically a return to the patronage system that supported great artists like Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci during the Renaissance. Instead of buying a product like a CD or a T-shirt, you become a patron (starts as low as $2 per month) and get access to whatever the musician creates and shares. It’s about building relationships rather than buying and selling.