Subject: champaign simple
Date: Tue, 18 Mar 1997 21:41:58 -0600
From: (Jonathan D. Price)

i may have posted my thoughts about this simple in brief form a few months back directly after the show, but i have to speak in
a long-winded manner about the champaign simple now that there's a little thread started about the show, and also considering
how little talk i've heard about this particular version. let me just get the following off my chest: this is the greatest version of
simple i've ever heard, and i wouldn't even really hesitate to say that it is IMO the best simple *ever*. i agree w/ saul that
although the show been badmouthed a bit, it is still a pretty damn good show. the 2001>maze set II opener was super-hot, and
i was elated to hear the opening notes of simple after bouncin b/c although i had yet to hear any fall '96 simples on tape yet, and
this was my first show of the tour, i heard they had really been blowing shit off the roof w/ simple all tour. boy oh boy, i had no
idea what i was in for! this simple lasts somewhere in the neighborhood of 18 minutes, and there are a number of things in that
time period that are very worthy of merit. as i heard it at the show and have heard it on the tapes several times since then, this
simple has 3 distinct parts: 1) the opening notes, and fairly standard soloing based around simple theme, not straying too far in
any unusual direction, just some pretty melodic soloing, definiting not *raging* yet, but just you wait! an important thing about
this part of the jam is that while it is nice and obviously has lots of potential to just be blasted into the stratosphere, at this point
you have no idea where the hell it's going. the future is wide open, and anything is possible here! it could trail off and end in 2
minutes, but luckily for us, it does so much more. 2) trey hops on the percussion kit for a while, and page runs thru several
minutes of various keyboard solos. beautiful stuff, page really steps into the spotlight! the jam is definitely straying from the main
theme of the tune quite a bit. gets kind of spacey, but not so much that there isn't still a little groove they're working on. the
progression of this section goes piano-->clavinet-->organ. we just get a sweet, seamless run-through of some of page's favorite
and most fun toys. speaking of toys, trey is just banging away on his bells and blocks like a little kid :-) particularly noteworthy
in this section is the subtle popping funk that mike is kicking especially early on when page tinkling the ivory. funkaaay!!!! i find
the clavinet to be a particularly mesmerizing instrument, and well, it is certainly as mesmerizing as ever here. this smooothly slides
into the organ section, which is page's final moment in the spotlight before the real rock-n-roll begins! the final theme that he was
playing on the clavinet just gets switched over to the organ seemingly in mid-verse. soon, the percussion fades away, and we are
on to the majestic section three . . . . 3) holy macaroni! this is where the serious shit begins. after they finish up with the
trey/page piano and percussion-fest, trey picks up his guitar again. just as a little aside here, i was pretty surprised and blown
away that in a set that contained a mike's groove, this simple was *the* jam tune of the show! the term i've used recently to
describe trey in this segment is GROOVE MONSTER. he's just a total freakin' groove monster, folks! a few slow,
feedback-laden chords are emitted from trey's axe, and it is immediately evident that this is no longer simple, it is no longer even
a simple jam, it is one of those rare, unique, beautiful moments where the four geniuses on stage manage to fuse their creative
energies together and give birth something completely new. page is playing a nice repetitive figure on the piano while trey is
busting out with these opening chords that while cool, are at best a mere precursor to the madness and glory that will soon
ensue. page branches out a bit from the repeating piano while trey is just kind of swimming in a sea of feedback attempting to
find the groove. luckily, he doesn't have to look very far! trey lets loose w/ a sahweeet series of high notes that have him just
dancing all over the high register of the fretboard. hot-diggity-damn!!! the pace of this jam is really picking up now. i can vividly
remember just dancing my ass of at this point in the show w/ my jaw completely dropped looking over at my buddy dan w/ the
usual (you know the look) where-the-fuck-is-this-jam-going look! the jam was getting very who-like, pretty much akin IMO to
some of the more raging moments of the 12-31-95 drowned jam. trey keeps up the fast paced fretboad antics, and adds a little
wah wah for good measure. this jam is just grade A certified hose. in addition to the NYE '95 drowned, i'm also hearing hints of
some of the more groovy moments of the 8-16-96 DWD jam, and the magical pre-real me playing in the 12-29-95 gin. the
whole band is on full throttle, a decidedly different feel than the mellow percussion/piano-fest that was going on a mere 5 or so
minutes earlier. page is wailing away on piano this whole time, and he has a nice run up and down the keyboard while trey
continues to go nuts. there is also some hot trilling from trey in here - damn, he's feeling mighty inspired! it sounds like page also
just switched over the clavinet, and his role in the jam is taking a bit of a back seat now. it's all trey and fish!!!!! more hot trills
from trey! i really thought they were gonna segue into a quadrophenia tune. after the jam reaches quite an intense apex (which
was btw no doubt one of the best jam climaxes i've ever seen or heard) with trey just intensely chording away, and page busting
on some more organ, the jam just slows down in a manner that would seem almost rehearsed, and then just *ends*. it doesn't
trail off, it doesn't smoothly segue into anything, it doesn't sloppily segue into anything, it just has this wonderful, concise, perfect
ENDING. i consider simple to be in the same league of jam tunes such as gin, tweezer etc. in that unlike yem, bowie, hood (all
of which have distinct endings) they don't really have any sort of defined ending, so usually they either yield a segue or just die
off. this was totally unique in the manner in which it ended IMO. you are quite a trooper if you've made it this far, and i hope i'll
spark some discussion about what i think is a glorious and vastly underrated simple from fall tour. i haven't heard nearly all the
fall simples, but i have heard some ('ween, NYE, vegas, cow palace), and while they are all enjoyable, i really do have to laugh
my ass off when i hear people talking about how great the vegas and ween simples are, without paying any lip service to this
version. i guess if i have a point here, it is that when people are speaking about the jam highlights of the last tour i.e. the seattle
DWDfest, rupp gin, wpb crosseyed antelope, vegas mike's>simple>harry>groove, etc. the champaign simple should be
included and given credit for what it was - one of the most raging jams of the tour. thanx for reading, and have a great day . . . .
peas, jonathan


Date:    Tue, 1 Sep 1998 12:23:13 -0500
From:    Christian McKee 
Subject: "Jams I Like" Pt.3: 11.8.96 Simple

Hello all,
        Like I said a few posts ago, I'm going to keep posting reviews
of particular jams that I Like.  That is the only qualification here.  I
won't be doing a lot of reviews of a particular song, just particular
jams/moments that catch my ear.  In case you weren't sure, the first two
reviews were not titled as part of this "Jams I like" series, but were
the 10.24.95 Antelope and 7.1.95 Stash.  Ok, ok, on with the review.
The set list:

11-08-96 Assembly Hall, Champaign, IL

1: Runaway Jim, Axilla, All Things Reconsidered-> Mound, Down With
Disease, Prince Caspian, Reba, Golgi Apparatus,
Run Like an Antelope

2: Also Sprach Zarathustra-> Maze, Bouncing Around the Room, Simple*,
Loving Cup, Mike's Son, The Star Spangled Banner, Weekapaug Groove   E:

Overall, this show left a kind of sour taste in my mouth.  I had made
the mistake of listening to all my favorite shows on the way there
(12.31.95, etc.) so my expectations were really high.  Stupid Christian
;)  Anyway, in the first set the Reba is worth a listen, and you can
hear the crowd roar when Trey starts kicking his broken rig during
Axilla.  The second set is decent, with the *only* Maze i've yet heard
that holds my interest, and after a Bouncing, there is the simple.
mmmmm, simple good.  timing begins with the first "growls" from Trey's
guitar after Bouncing.

0:00  The opening is good, and the crowd is *thrilled*.  I remember that
at the time, there were two songs everyone wanted to see: Down with
Disease, and Simple.  The Disease in the first set was *lame*, but the
Simple wasn't.  I like the tempo of this version, a little quicker (I
think) than other versions.  Trey fires of a good riff in the saxophone
verse, that's better than the BeBop riff at

2:56 Trey noodles a little in the lower reaches, it's even a little hard
to hear on my tape (which sucks, moderate gen, lousy master).  The
sym-bop and beembaphones vox are tight

4:10 Trey is starting to noodle around in a lovely way, in the mid range
of his instrument.  The whole band is maintaining that lovely Simple
groove, and we are all happy.  Trey is not really playing on a theme in
here, but instead doing some neat, varied stuff :)  Page is just comping
patiently in the background.  good Page {pat pat}.  Trey solos in grand
simple fashion for many minutes, without the overall feel of the song
changing much at all.

6:30 Trey sustains long and softly, and Page picks up the slack, as Trey
moves over to the Perc rack.  Trey is being very unobtrusive, and this
gives page a real chance to shine.  He's on the piano (I love that) and
is clearly the lead voice at this point.  Really beautiful stuff.  John
is laying down a *straight* 4/4, and Mike has these little background
licks that are kind of bouncy, but back up Page well.  If the rest of
the band were to drop out, this could easily be a Coil solo.

8:50 This is really beautiful stuff.  Page leading the jam on the piano
with a subdued, melodious solo.  at

9:35 Page moves over to the moog (i think), and begins to almost funk,
and john and Mike respond well, stirring up the rhythm a bit more.  Mike
has a few good rumblings in here.  Page is going off on the organ here,
in grand style, but the jam is still very subdued.

11:00 Page goes to the organ, and at 11:30 Trey returns to the guitar,
with some long sustains and feedback.  John does a few interesting
things with the beat here, and for a minute is playing in 6/8 (see
12.6.97 tweezer.)

12:20 Trey stops playing the little solo that was brewing and lets out a
big, messy chord, but by 12:55 he's back on real notes...  That was the
beginning of the end, as Trey stopped soloing so he could screw with his
pedals, and eventually looked pretty disgusted with them.  Trey could be
playing a lot more in here, and by the sound of the band, it's pretty
clear that they would like him to.

13:50 Wail, man, wail!  Trey is flying off, and the song is getting a
lot more intense.  At 14:14 he finds a theme/riff to jam on the and the
band joins him.  John is picking up the tempo throughout this entire
segment, and it begins to feel almost Antelopian.

15:12 Trey is still on the theme of a minute ago, and John is really
letting his kit have it.  Great stuff from him.  Mike is no slouch here
either, as he has some nice accents to add to the jam.  Page is almost
lost on my tapes in here.  Trey is still flying over the top of the
others at

16:15, when JOHN GOES NUTS!!!  Wow, what a way to back up the band.  He
was crazy there for a moment.  The jam is getting more and more pounding
with Trey is playing hard, descending lines, when he all of a sudden
just plain STOPS.  In the middle of the tune!  Again, equipment
problems, as he was fucking with his pedals and kicked his cabinet at
one point.  Page has to jump in and cover his ass.  Right after that
moment, Trey slows the entire train down, and brings the jam to a
disappointing close a minute later.  As he put it "That song featured
Trey broken guitar rig."

Total Time: 17:51 Rating: B

This was *for sure* the highlight of the show, (except maybe the reba,)
but it was not without it's problems.  To have a jam really start to
take off, and see Trey kill it because he's too busy screwing with his
sound is kind of sad.  FWIW, the entire show was plagued with equipment
problems, Trey had shit in Axilla and Simple, and listen to the opening
of Weekapaugh.  Mike has no solo!  He stepped up, and began to play, but
there was NO SOUND.  Weird stuff.  Anyway, I liked the Simple, there's
both some really beautiful, quiet stuff, along with more traditional
please mail comments, and/or suggestions.  peace.

Taboot, Taboot,


Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket    ~
fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who     ~
hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. ~
        -Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1953                             ~