Tuesday, November 11, 2003

News From Dennis Diamond (in Montreal)

Hello Folks,

Today we're in Montreal at the Theatre St. Denis with King Crimson. So far, all has been well.

A couple of quick things; some of you may have seen that there are signed picks for sale and may ask what that's about. What happens is that when you buy a pick (which is personally signed, not stamped and numbered), you will sign a registry with your name, email and pick number. When all (only 1 gross) are sold, the names and numbers will be posted on the band's website. This makes the pick extremely collectable and therefore valuable.

The other thing, which I'm sure will make you happy, is that the band is now allowing audio recordings for trade only. If any recordings are found on Ebay, this will cease. However, I know that's not the case here! I do encourage you to report any and all recordings sold on Ebay immediately; we appreciate it!

Please remember that it's audio recording and still pictures w/o flash ONLY! Any video cameras found will be confiscated without prior clearance. I probably won't be in front of a computer for a couple more days, so I'll see you then!

Peace, Diamond
(from the Sacred Ground board)

Rocky Mountain News preview of Living Colour @ the Fillmore

Band's Colour is returning
Funk-metal-rap pioneers storm back from 10-year hiatus

By Mark Brown, Rocky Mountain News
November 4, 2003

Living Colour was ready to take over the world in 1988 with its blend of funk, metal, rap and political consciousness.

The CD Vivid and the timely hit Cult of Personality inspired countless bands, such as Rage Against the Machine. But five short years later, the members pulled the plug and went their separate ways.

And they've had plenty to do. Bassist Doug Wimbish, who joined the band after its debut, is one of the most in-demand session men in modern music, having played with everyone from the Rolling Stones to early rap pioneers the Sugarhill Gang. Guitarist Vernon Reid is constantly busy, as are singer Corey Glover and drummer Will Calhoun.

Yet suddenly they're back with a blasting new album, Collide0scope, as if they'd never gone away. It has the classic Living Colour sound with cutting-edge political lyrics.

Why now?

"Life, time and love, I guess," Wimbish says. "The band broke up, really, in 1993. We fronted like we were trying to do something for another two years, but after the Stain tour is when the band hit the shank.

"It was abrupt, in a sense. It wasn't like we got dropped. The band decided to disband. That was an interesting period of time."

They still kept in musical touch over the years in various combinations, guesting on one another's projects and the like. And as their egos settled down, they looked at their music in a new way.

"It's like a couple breaking up and they have kids. Our albums were our kids. Life goes on, the kids get older. Some things don't go away, but other ideas grow, other possibilities," Wimbish says.

Improbably, it all came down to a storage locker where Living Colour had kept equipment for years. The situation changed and the members had to find a new place to put their stuff. That led to a band meeting, which led to a live gig, which led to the reunion. They went into a rehearsal studio to see whether it was still there and, after a couple of songs, just stopped.

"It was so frightening. It was like we'd never stopped playing. Scared me to death. Scared the whole band. It was so scary we didn't play the rest of the evening," Wimbish says, laughing.

Wimbish ended up being executive producer to keep the project on track. "I'm in Connecticut. I have a studio up here, a great crew of engineers," he says. "It's a great environment for cats to come up and get their groove on. . . . It's like a treehouse studio out in the woods."

Flying is a song written as the protagonist in the story is plunging to his death out of the burning World Trade Center, choosing to jump as the flames get closer.

"We're a New York band. One thing I gotta mention that really got us back together was 9-11. You realize where everybody's at. We did an Irving Plaza gig the Thanksgiving after 9-11. That alone changed the direction of the band," Wimbish says. "That song Flying is our vibe about what went down. . . . We're from New York City, and it's real."

They raised eyebrows for their cover of AC/DC's Back in Black - for the racial overtones if nothing else. But that song was one of the most-sampled pieces of music in rap's early days, Wimbish explains.

"It's such a classic song from such a classic band. We did that based on our roots. Anybody in the community from 20 years ago knows that's one of the grooves," he says. "Plus, we're back."

The band realizes there's a lot of work ahead to make the world aware of its music after a decadelong hiatus. This tour with label mates King Crimson is a good start, says Wimbish.

"We're on the campaign trail. It's a rebuilding process. I'm looking forward to the next record. Living Colour hasn't been out for 10 years, and we've got a lot of work to do."

Mark Brown is the popular music critic. Brownm@RockyMountainNews.com or 303-892-2674

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