Friday, January 13, 2017

Perfection: the relentless pursuit

Of course, we'll never get there.

But there is the relentless pursuit. I think it gets worse as you get older...the desire to get things right, perfect. If not the first time than the last time. Or die trying.

I'm about to board a flight back to NYC so I'll make this quick. But I'm reminded of an old video I caught on You Tube of Genesis playing a concert circa 1985. There's this long, and dynamic medly based on the song The Cage, and it goes on for maybe 20 minutes or more with tons of drumming on Phil's part. It's an amazing display of musicianship with a variety of tempos and time signatures. It's not for amateurs.

Towards the end of the piece, Phil must exit his drum kit in order to take over the lead vocals once more. It occurs at the song's most dramatic point, when things slow down and a lush tune called "Afterglow" begins. But here's the thing: you would think Phil would simply get up from his drums, head over to center stage. Which he does. But before going there, he pulls out his drum key and takes maybe three seconds to tune one of his tom-toms. He doesn't go nuts over it, but he takes the time out to adjust it enough to suit his sense of perfection.

Now just imagine the tens of thousands of screaming fans in the crowed and the ear blistering music going down, and yet, Phil feels the need to tweak the tom-tom before the song's ending. Something he could have easily let go. Something that would have gone totally unnoticed. Imagine if you will, people driving home from the concert complaining, "Great show, but Phil's ten inch rack tom was out of tune." You get the point.

My latest, THE CORRUPTIONS, was to be released in hard-cover this past week, but the galley's aren't perfected yet. Not yet tweaked enough. I don't know if perfection will ever be reached, but the publishing folks at Polis Books were good enough to delay publication for a couple of weeks, until we get it right. One of the reasons I'm flying back early from Europe is to make sure everything, including the launch goes perfectly. In fact, one of the characters the novel is based on, David Sweat who broke out of Dannemora Prison back in June of 2016 is anxiously awaiting publication of the novel inside his solitary confinement cell at New York's Five Points Max. Sweat and his partner pulled off one of the most perfect prison escapes in the history of humankind's organized incarceration. My story is a fiction, and only inspired by him, but hey, all the more reason to get it right.

Get it perfect.
As perfect as I can. 


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