Muso

Muso

BandPopRock

Guitar-based sound that gets under your skin...

Biography

THE INTERVIEW

Big Finger Music: So how did it all start?

Muso: My first real experience of music was through my parents, actually. They enjoyed a good party, and there were regular dos at our place on a Friday night. Stacks of people would pitch up, and invariably there would be a band set up in the corner of our lounge. I was about three or four at the time, and I'd crawl under the sofa and fall asleep to the music, mostly jazz and blues. In the morning there'd be people, drinks and guitars scattered all over the place. I'd find a guitar and pull at the strings in wonderment. One morning one of the musos sat up, looking like a seriously hung-over blues brother in his dark suit, thin tie and Ray-Bans, picked up his guitar and started to play me a few songs. I fell in love with the sound of the guitar, and I guess I always loved music since those days. It just grabbed me.

BFM: Where did you grow up, and did it have an influence on your music?

Muso: I was lucky enough to grow up on the slopes of Devil's Peak in Woodstock, Cape Town. As a kid it was a colourful place to learn about life. Woodstock was, and still is, a very cosmopolitan place. I met people from all walks of life, and it was a truly great experience to mix with so many different cultures. Besides the wonderful people, the area was also brilliant. We'd go up the mountain and climb up to the cave on Devil's Peak, where we'd spend the day just arsing about. The view across Cape Town, Table Bay and out to the mountains in Paarl were simply astonishing. I suppose it would have an effect on you, especially at a young age.

BFM: So where does the name Muso come from? It's an interesting choice. Why not Johnny Rock Star, or something like that?

Muso: Man, to be honest, it just sort of invented itself. After playing in a few bands around Cape Town, I started to play solo, just guitar and voice. I didn't have a stage name, so people would always refer to me as "the muso". They'd come to me during breaks and say, "Muso, can you play this song or that song please?" During a set people would come up and offer "the muso" a drink, ask for a special song to impress the girlfriend, or simply just to invite me to join their table when I next took a break. So I just stuck with Muso. Nice and simple, and after all, the universal term for a musician.

BFM: Your album is titled "Skin Deep" and your cover is a watercolour of a naked woman. Why's this?

Muso: Well, the album name "Skin Deep" can mean plenty of things. The beautiful woman on the cover may only be beautiful skin deep, as they say. Or maybe its because the music gets under your skin. Actually, its best to interpret the title any way you like. Whatever works for you.

BFM: And the woman?

Muso: Well, women are amazing creatures. I try and understand them more every day, but you know what, just when you think you know them, they move the goalposts. I love everything about a woman. The feel of her skin, her moods, her sensuality, her passion, her weakness at certain times, her strength at other times. Everything. They are so different to men, and I have nothing but the utmost respect for women. Some of my songs celebrate them, both the good – “Drivin' Me Crazy” is an example - and the not so good, when they can hurt you – “Alone” fits the bill in this instance. The picture does women justice. The line of her back is strong, yet inviting. What can I say?

BFM: Your latest song, Fallen Angel, has some interesting lyrics in it. You have said that it is about Gram Parsons, the guy who has been credited with inventing Country Rock, which spawned bands like The Eagles. Why a song for Gram?

Muso: I was moved by a documentary I saw on television. Gram Parsons was an interesting person who loved music and a good time. He played with The Byrds, hung around with the Stones, became mates with Keith Richards, and had a hand in discovering Emmylou Harris. He formed the Flying Burrito Brothers with Chris Hillman (ex-Byrds), and when he went solo he put together his road band, Fallen Angels, which included Emmylou Harris. His favourite spot was Joshua Tree Park in the Mojave desert, and he died of an OD at the Joshua Tree Inn on 19 September, 1973, aged 26. According to his road manager, Phil Kaufmann, Gram didn't want a regular funeral, and preferred to be burnt out in Joshua Tree. Phil and a friend stole Gram's body from LA airport, drove it into the desert, opened the coffin, filled it with gasoline and dropped a flaming match in. Man, is that rock ‘n roll or what?

BFM: Gram didn't want a regular funeral? Rather be torched in the desert?

Muso: Yeah. He went to the funeral of Clarence White, ex-Byrds guitarist, and hated the experience. That's when he apparently said that "flames in the desert" was the way to go.

BFM: So how did you switch on to that pretty dark emotion?

Muso: I had a similarly unnerving funeral experience when I was seven. A kid in my Sunday school class had bee

Lyrics

Fallen Angel

Written By: Derek Gardner

You touched so many lives with the music that you made
Then you cut it short, with a sad mistake
In a quiet motel room the light went from your eyes
Simply took it too far, no one will know why

Flames burned high against the desert sky
As your spirit soared away
Don’t know why you had to die
On that September day

So young, so young, so young
You were so young, when you went away

I was thirteen when I read some rock star had died
Just another story about your troubled life
Heard your music some years on, your voice still brand new
Fallen angel, where have you gone to?

Flames burned high against the desert sky
As your spirit soared away
Don’t know why you had to die
On that September day

So young, so young, so young
You were so young, when you went away

Flames may die and I may cry
But your legend still remains
Don’t know why you chose to die
On that September day

So young, so young, so young
You were so young, when you went away

So young, so young, so young
You were so young, that’s the way you’ll stay

Copyright © Derek Gardner 2004. All Rights Reserved.

Drivin' Me Crazy

Written By: Derek Gardner

I just know I'm going to be with you
Watch you dancing in the night
You run your hands through your hair
Hips swaying, dress so tight

Got my love for you, baby
You know you're drivin’ me crazy
You've got me blind, so blind, that I can't see

Got my love for you, baby
You know you're drivin’ me crazy
All I want is you here by me

Take me to your room, you move some more
You just love me to stare at you
Tight dress is slowly sliding down
I know what you want me to do

Got my love for you, baby
You know you're drivin’ me crazy
You've got me blind, so blind, that I can't see

Got my love for you, baby
You know you're drivin’ me crazy
All I want is you here by me

Want to feel your love
Let me feel your love
Kiss me, hold me close
Give me all your love

Got my love for you, baby
You know you're drivin’ me crazy
You've got me blind, so blind, that I can't see

Got my love for you, baby
You know you're drivin’ me crazy
All I want is you here by me

Got my love for you, baby
You know you're drivin’ me crazy
Slowly run my lips all over you

Got my love for you, baby
You know you're drivin’ me crazy
Gently I make sweet, sweet love to you

Copyright © Derek Gardner 2002. All Rights Reserved.

Soldier's Song

Written By: Derek Gardner

I feel your tears falling in the rain
Can't wait to be home again
Write this letter, the very last one
We go to war come the rising sun

Your love means so much to me
With you is where I want to be

It's so hard being far away
When you'll see me? We can only pray
Kiss our girl goodnight for me
In our dreams we'll always be free

Your love means so much to me
With you is where I want to be
My love, now don't you cry
Oh God, oh God, I don't want to die

Your love means so much to me
With you is where I want to be
My love, now don't you cry
Oh God, oh God, I don't want to die

Copyright © Derek Gardner 2003. All rights reserved.

Discography

The album "Skin Deep" available late 2004

Set List

Stay
Drivin' Me Crazy
When the Morning Comes
Truth About Tinseltown
Gypsy Lover
Alone
Soldier's Song
On the Beach
One Love
For You
Sailing Away
Fallen Angel
Woman Wore Black
Dream
Dont'cha Say
Crashing Down
Does He Give You Flowers

Encore
Drivin' Me Crazy
On the Beach
Fallen Angel