Fun Ra: Five Quick Quotes from the Birthday Boy

Almost forgot about Sunny’s birthday yesterday. Destination Out has dropped some nice rarities. Best head over there, and absorb ’em. I traveled with Mr. Blount in the late ’80s, swooping through the South and spending time in New England, too. Here are a few tidbits from our chats. You don’t have to pay those taxes on the wind, the planet is doomed anyway. 

“Many players have come through my band, and I don’t like to babysit. A few I’ve had to, though. They might be good, but they need to be refined – learn what not to play. There are a lot of voodoo rhythms out there, and some of them are deadly. Or if they go outside a club with a whiskey bottle in their hands, I have to watch that because that’s not good for a long life. If they can stand the fire, they can stay with me. But sometimes the fire falls, and when it does, it’s worse than Satan.”

“Most of the time the avant garde looks so serious. They don’t look like they’re really having fun. People don’t want to see that. I want people to laugh at the costumes we have one. Why do astronauts wear what they wear? Why do soldiers? Because it makes people notice them more. The musicians have a perfect right to join the crowd and say, “We’re going to wear this. This is how we feel.'”

“On tour I stay active in my room 24 hours a day, and I’ve got my DX7 by my bed most of the time. I’m still interested in different sound effects. I’ve got about 700 of them now. The way you play must fit the song, though. It’s like speaking in a foreign language; if you pick the wrong sound, most people won’t understand you.”

“The next thing I do will shake up the whole planet. When I get back to Philadelphia, I’m going to a lawyer and have him prepare eviction papers for everybody on this planet. I’ll take it to the White House and say, “If you can’t handle the anarchists and the terrorists and you aren’t capable of taking care of the property of the creator of the universe, then we’ll take over. The Earth belongs to someone, but that someone is not m-a-n. People might pray to the lord, but it’s the landlord who will evict them. He’s never spoken before, but now he’s saying ‘You haven’t paid no taxes on the wind and no taxes on the sun.’ The world is getting ready to change over.”

“Right now we’re rehearsing “S’Wonderful” – that’s a beautiful word. Or we might do “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever,” because that’s a nice sentiment. But we arrange these onto another palette. The melodies are going to be there, but the harmonies will be celestial, and the polyrhythms will be fantastic.”

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