2007/05/20

Rod Poole R.I.P.

report

simply crushed. a more gentle, passionate, unassuming, and humble man is hard to imagine, and with (largely unrecognized) talent of a very rare level... the kind of talent i believe comes around on our planet extremely rarely...

last Saturday, the day before i flew out of LA, the day before this tragedy took place, he called at around 3 PM, and we had a 20 some minutes conversation. i remember it very well... i was standing outside of the Apple store on Melrose... he told me about his new record, which was a long and arduous process, because the mastering place compressed the sound like a pop record, cutting off the sustained sounds and echoes, so that each note faded to silence -- NOT what Rod intended. and they would not give him his money back so out of his own pocket he re-pressed the record, and made only 50 copies. he told me that he had saved a copy for me, and if i had time to come by and pick it up... leaving the next day and trying to get ready, i asked him to send it to me in Germany... along with some CD-R copies for me to pass around the new-music / improv festival in Vienna in July. he was happy that i offered to try to get him gigs in Europe. and I was happy to offer as he is the best, there is no doubt in my mind, in the field of microtonal solo acoustic guitar, period. and the best the LA underground has to offer. he continued to reflect on the (dreary) improv scene in LA compared to that of England, his home country, where he has played with Derek Baily, etc. it was a lovely exchange.

he was so very devoted to his art. he played at a show i organized a few years ago, and the fluidity of the playing was incredible. it was funny that while he was doing unbelievaly complex chords and polyrhythms he was looking around at the space, and the projections going on behind him, seeming to be occupied with the objects and people around simultaneously as his fingers plucked with a mind of their own... it was so natural, a 6th sense.

he did not care about anything else; money, fame, was all beside the point. he had called to thank me when i posted Death Adder on this blog many months ago, expressing that all that was important to him was for people to hear the music...

and now this momentary, sensless, meaningless act of brutality has taken a great gift to all of us, to mankind, away from us... life is so very fragile... and the psychopaths out there far out number the angels.

rest in peace Rod. you will be missed.

PS: if anyone missed Death Adder, I would be obliged to post. also I will also share with you his "December 1996" recording sometime soon.

11 comments:

chris_c said...

sorry to hear about he loss of Rod, he was not familiar to me, but what you have written suggests that music has lost another great, someone who did it for the love of music rather than the money. please post Death Adder and the rest, i would very much like to hear them.

Rory said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rory said...

I'm truly sorry to hear this. Sorry that you have lost a friend Zhao, and sorry that the world has lost a great musician.

I loved the Death Adder, the only record of Rod's I know.

What a terrible, senseless way to go...

His music will live on.

R.

andy sloss said...

Please, please, please repost the Death Adder. I need a soundtrack for an evening of memories and mourning.

Rod was a close friend from our teenage years till he went to LA. I never managed to get hold of any of his recorded music, and I don't have any tapes of him in the 12 years we knew each other, as he said none of it was ever good enough.

It's good to hear he never lost his propensity for happiness.

Anonymous said...

Never heard the man but saddened non the less. If you want to there's another fine tribute on this link -http://bradlaner.com/2007/05/rod-poole-rip.html

I look forward to hearing the work of someone who was obviously very special for so many and my heart goes out to his family and friends.

square dancer said...

I am really sorry to hear about this senseless act of violence. I've never heard of Rod before you posted Death Adder. I'm not nearly as knowledgeable about free improv as you are, but it struck me as a very exceptional piece of art. But above all it seems that he really was an exceptional human being...

Bob said...

Sorry to read this report of another worthy and talented person lost to stupid, impulsive violence. The world is freaking me out these days (more than usual) and music is one of the few consoling forces. Which makes this more sad.

Thanks for your great blog, as well.

doru649 said...

may he find his peace where he is now...

i'd love to have a listen to that album; could you try uploading it on something less obvious (and more reliable), like filesend.net? thanks.

doru649 said...

nevermind, managed to grab it off Megaupload. but my suggestion still stands :)

DaveX said...

I'd also appreciate a re-post of the Death Adder (and the other you mentioned upcoming)... I wrote a little about Rod in my own blog, but my knowledge had only gone as far as playing his portion of the 156 Strings comp on the radio-- still, its such a memorable cut that the name had stuck in my head until I saw the terrible news.

hideo said...

sorry to hear about this especially since your post turned me onto the man ...

a genuine talent amidst hordes of posers and wannabe's, very sad, this

hideo