Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Hahavishnu has the last laugh

Posted By on Wed, Sep 9, 2009 at 1:00 PM

click to enlarge LIGHTEN UP: Darryl Rhoades is seriously funny.
  • LIGHTEN UP: Darryl Rhoades is seriously funny.

The Atlanta music scene of the 1970s was a rich, fertile ground open to just about anything. Musicians were experimenting with various creative outlets, especially Darryl Rhoades and the Hahavishnu Orchestra. Mixing music, theater, and social commentary, the Orchestra drew comparisons to esoteric acts such as the Mothers of Invention and the Fugs. The 12-member ensemble toured the U.S. over three years, and even performed a James Brown parody called “Suicide” on Brown’s own “Future Shock” TV show.

Rhoades still works as an entertainer, and he sees his job in much the same light now as he did then. “Since the Hahavishnu's last date in 1978, I had another band, released 10 CDs, did movies, and played drums while maintaining a 45- to 50-week schedule in comedy clubs … and I don't see how entertaining is much different. The market is tighter and the Internet has certainly influenced how we promote ourselves. It still comes down to competing for attention, money, luck, and marketing potential. And there are less places to perform, a lot less diversity in sound … but the money is the same.”

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(Photo courtesy Darryl Rhoades)

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