Sunday, September 02, 2012

The Falsetto is Singing!

Madeleina and I have this argument going since she first came to Peru with me three years ago to help run my jungle trips. See, I only bring a couple of cassettes or tapes these days. On the boat on which I fell in love with Chepa, Madeleina's mom, I had Tom Waits' The Early Years and a Dylan album. On the next trip, without Chepa, I had...well, I forget. But when Madeleina came the first time I had The Best of Cream; the double album Best of Bob Dylan, the Gypsy Kinds, a Santana Album--a mix my kid made--the Blues Project, Best of Bruce Springsteen and Best of Neil Young.

Now on that trip I realized that Young only sang in a falsetto. I don't know how tall he really is, but I imagine him to be Bill Walton size or at least 6'7" and to imagine that giant singing in falsetto his whole life--and I saw a program where he was talking about coming up with the falsetto as his signature--well, Jesus Freaking Christ. I don't care if he's gay/transvestite/transsexual, but NOBOBY chooses to sing in a falsetto unless they want to be part of the Papal Choir.
So I still love Neil Young, but every time Madeleina or I put him on I make jokes about that freaking silly voice. She punches me. I take the pain and keep talking. Because it's just silly that a man is singing about Kent State and the killings there in a falsetto that he's had to produce by working at it because he was too afraid of his own voice--by his own admission.
And I feel similarly about Stevie Ray Vaughn when I hear him talk about modeling his singing technique around someone else's. What's wrong with your own voice? What's wrong with your own truth?
I will always poke fun of people who don't trust their own truth. I won't do anything or say anything really bad; I just wish they had the courage. Imagine if Young and Vaughn sang in their own voices! How much stronger would they have been than trying to come up with a voice they thought would have been acceptable?


Micaela Quevedo said...

Peter, what an honor. I just finished reading "Ayahuasca in my blood" and I looooved it. My name is Micaela Q.(24), I'm peruvian -born and bred-; a psych major; and this Friday I'll take the medicine for the first time !!!
I know, I know. I'm not in the middle of the jungle -Im in Lima-, but I'm confidente it'll be an amazing experience nonetheless.
Anyhow, just wanted to congratulate you on that amazing book and say hi to the author brave enough to share with the world how the medicine had a profound effect on your relationships and family.

Great blog, keep up the good woork :)

Muchos saludos,

Micaela Q.

Seattlesauce said...

Tom Waits, now that's an authentic voice! Great selection btw to relax in the jungle to.

I'm saving up now to go on one of your trips. Will be a great healing adventure. I initially had a different trip planned out. Then I somehow stumbled on to your Site. I've since read a bunch of your work. New book on the way now. Look forward to the trip! I'll bring some cassettes you may enjoy...

Graccus said...

On singing your own voice ---- listen to Dylan, if anyone should have taken voice lessons !!!, but he went with his own and made a killing !!!