'Better a fool than aloof.' -Elliot Schneider US We're humans. We destroy anything we don't understand. Since we don't understand the universe, We're in trouble. --Elliot Schneider Salon.com's renowned columnist Cary Tennis reviews Elliot Schneider Review: Elliot Schneider & The Banned V.I.S. Club - April 1986 Elliot Schneider's gold lame shirt and spandex pants, his Jagger moves and Elvis Costello delivery, his frizzy hair and his Bob Dylan nose make it impossible to classify him, categorize him, deny, defy or crucify him. Everything about him invites skepticism; you know right off he's either a total flake or a total genius. His songwriting runs from the straight rocking of "Splendid- I'm Suspended," about a rebellious high school troublemaker, to the spine-chillingly touching ballad " Ready and Willing," a declaration of explosive love that Costello would have been proud to write. Schneider's surrounded himself with players who take his direction with alertness and conviction; when he leaps they soar with him, and when he drops to his knees their playing follows him down. If he wasn't so professional his acrobatics would seem foolish, dated and juvenile, but instead his flips, splits and windmills punctuate the music, and he uses them to conduct the Banned. It's exciting to see not just a frontman, but a genuine bandleader in action. I especially enjoyed it when Eric, The Banned's teenage ace drummer, started soloing on "Satisfaction" and couldn't stop; Eric's got the power and madness of a Keith Moon and a precision Moon would have paid money for. As the solo hammered on and on, Schneider eventually gave up trying to bring the band back into the song, instead choosing to stand in the shadows like a jazzman listening to one of his players reach new heights. The true test of a great showman and a great band is how you feel after the show. I gave Schneider the ultimate test--I was fighting with my girlfriend when we walked in, and by the time the first song was over we were happy again. Schneider deserves to be widely heard and acknowledged. Cary Tennis Calendar Magazine, April 1986 "Your music sounds really great-still a rock and roll original!" Jim Campilongo Dazzling experimental twang/rock guitarist Also plays in "The Little Willies" with Norah Jones This CD contains the original version of 'Ready And Willing' right after it was written. This is the version John Hammond, Sr. and his assistant Mikie Harris heard and really loved. (So did Jorma Kaukonen of the Jefferson Airplane and beyond.) When Cary Tennis reviewed me and raves about this song, my live performance he saw was basically this version with the fourth verse dropped. Also appearing on the album is the abridged acoustical version with the cellist Frederick Zlokin (who won a world competition in Zurich in the 1970s.) We just recorded it live in his living room rather casually. If it weren't for Chris Halaby, who I met through the great visionary, John Hammond, many of my songs wouldn't be here today. Working with Chris was one of the great joys of my life. Christian Halaby is the only person I know who both spoke to President John F. Kennedy as a child (his father was the head of the FAA) and also pitched a no-hitter in high school in a Zen state of meditation. (John Hammond discovered Billie Holliday, Benny Goodman, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen.) (In 1970 during an earlier folk period, I played original songs for Les Paul in his house in Mahwah, New Jersey. He wanted to produce my song, 'The First Day Of Summer'. Alas I was too nuts at the time to take him up on it. Just put it down to the Sixties.) Zanily Yours, Elliot Schneider.
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