Hey Now!

Community Chat with Merl Saunders 6/27/01

This chat was sponsored by Terrapin Presents. Merl was scheduled to apppear at the Gathering of the Vibes.
[note from Geoff: Merl Saunders did his first GDF/AOL live chat on this night, and he had a real good time, from his hotel room in Philadelphia. Please do not reproduuce without permission. Copyright 2001 GDForum.com and AOL]

transcription courtesy of Tom Thornton

Geoff Gould: I want to welcome Merl

Merl Saunders: Sorry to keep ya'll wondering why - Hi Yall! This is Merl here.

SDG513: merl how ya feelin!????

MS: I'm ready - i feel like Dynamite

Maya3737: so merl whats up??

MS: Hot as hell back here

HoneyBeeLdy: where are you?

MS: We're in Philly

Lumenasan: Merl, why don't you come and play at Bumbershoot in Seattle over labor day?

MS: We've been trying to play the shoot for years. Even my agent has tried. Maybe Phil will break the door down for me

Hexfest: One of Jerry's fav tunes was "My Funny Valentine" -did you two jam on any other jazz standards?

MS: Yes... Pennies from heaven. Mile Stones, Freedom Jazz Dance by Eddie Harris. Miles played the shit out of it

MS: we play a song for him each night

HoneyBeeLdy: Come to cleveland

MS: We're tring to get there...We're trying to get to Cleveland to booogie

BrothaEsau: Merl.....I would love to see you play with medeski martin and wood

MS: wish has come true. MM&W and Ratdog. we're playing in FL. in a couple of months

MtnGirl98: yes, merl... do you think you'll sit in with any of the other bands at Vibes this weekend?

MS: at the Vibes, we'll have special guests along with my funky friends Michael warren, Bass Tom edwards, Guitar and Dean Johnson, Drums and a couple of special guest. ya gotta be there

THglass: what groups or musicians do you listen to?

MS: I listen to all good Musicians and hang out when I can

GG: So, a quick plug or two here, ok? Merl is playing this weekend at the Vibes (www.gatheringofthevibes.com)and don't forget to check his site out(www.merlsaunders.com)

Hexfest: what kind of material did u play w/Jerry when you helped him get back after coma?

MS: Hex, we started at the beginning teaching Jerry scales and standard songs, the first being "my Funny Valentine"

SDG513: How are you feeling after the sudden passing of John Lee Hooker???

MS: John Lee Hooker could sing the blues. We share the same private booth at his club the Boom Boom Room in S.F.

GG: We're gonna miss John Lee

MS: Me too

JPW87: HEY MERL, what did it feel like to play with jerry? how was it musically and personally?

MS: Playing with jerry was great but I have many musician friend who I enjoyed. I've played with Miles, Lional Hampton, Harry Belafonti, Mahamad Ali. All were great playing experiences.

SDG513: Duke Ellington once said that "the best musician i played with is the one i play with tomorrow!!"

MS: SDG... Right On!!

GG: the best moment is NOW!

Twirlerz: what did Muhamad Ali play?

MS: I was Ali's Music Director on broadway, NYC at the Geo. Abotte Theatre. I taught im to sing the song while conducting the band. Billy Cobham was the drummer in the band and a lot to Duke ellington and Count Basie guys

MS: 69' was the year

GG: what year was that Merl?

MS: with Ali

GG: esp!

MS: whats esp ?

GG: well Merl, tell us what you were talking about re: Legion of Mary the other day

Twirlerz: Merl, I really liked the legion of Mary stuff, how'd that come about?

MS: Me & John Kahn sat down and put the band together.

GG: I just think that Live at Keystone record is a stone classic. Thank you for that Merl

Twirlerz: think GDP will release any more LoM shows?

MS: Also I'm working right now on releasing some of LOM - GDP hasn't released anything yet without my permission.

GG: do you have clearance yet from the widow?

PADeadHead: what was the experience like playing with melvin seals?

MS: Melvin Seals and I go back almost 30 years even before Jerome


MS: I am the hemp daddy

GG: now we know!

Hexfest: you prefer the Hammond to other keys? what r u using now?

MS: I'm still using Jessica, My B-3, althoiugh i'm selling Jessica #2 shortly - Check my website for Jessica #2 in about 2 weeks

GG: they don't make B-3's anymore, right? That sounds like a properly consecrated B-3 to me!

Audiophi1e: i'll pay $3000

MS: Like I said check my website, you might be the one

MS: howmany of you are coming to Brownies tomorrow night?

HempMama42O: wheres brownies?

MS: Yes the show is in Philly - The show at Brownies starts at 11PM

Twirlerz: cool, is it with Splintered Sunlightor all Merl all night?

MS: We are playing with Splintered

MS: hey Mountain girl, have you left for europe yet? Is that the real mountain girl when was the last time I saw you?

MtnGirl98: hehehe well thats not me but..... well some say.....nah, nevermind LOL

GG: will the real Mountain Girl stand up?

HoneyBeeLdy: merl.......when is the next time you'll be at nelson's ledges?

MS: What is Nelson ledges?

GG: Merl is getting hungry - Any suggestions for where to eat?

PADeadHead: Merl HAS TO HAVE a philly cheesesteak

BrothaEsau: merl....... are u vegetarian?? If u arent go to pats steaks or genos

MS: I eat meat every now and then but I stay away from the golden arches. Actually we are goingto Jims steak house on 4th & south

GG: OK then, we'd like to thank Merl for stopping by tonight - a round of applause for Merl! any final words Merl?

Twirlerz: Merl, don't let your meat loaf!

Audiophi1e: don't turn into Meatloaf

MS: Shit man, do I look like meatloaf to you?

MS: Hope to see all of you at the Gathering of the Vibes and at Harper's Ferry in Boston on 6/30.

ImagineJL6: peace merl take care

Lioness ll: we love u more than words can tell


GG: OK, we bid you goodnight. Thank y'all for coming tonight! Give yourselves a big pat on the back. The Merlozine has officially left the builing!

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