John Fahey and Ayal Senior layed down the tracks for Three Day Band in Fahey''s Woodburn Hotel room at some point in 1999. These tracks show an undocumented improvisational side of Fahey. It''s certainly not early period Fahey but not TOTE era either. At night after the recording sessions commenced Ayal would record Fahey reading selected excerpts from his writing. Fifteen tracks of Fahey reading are included here.
From Ayal Senior''s liner notes:
I think I first met John Fahey at a Vince Martin gig in Manhattan at some point in 1998. He was sitting in the back of CBGB’s ‘other’ space, listening to the gig and painting with fat bright markers in a notebook he carried around with him. It was impossible not to notice this guy. Big, bald, white beard, black sunglasses wearing shorts and wool socks with black basketball shoes in a triple sized red t-shirt. I didn’t even know who John Fahey was, but John Allen, who brought Fahey out to the east coast and, who I have always greatly admired, learned me to the game. John Fahey and Vince Martin in the same room. Incredible. I wonder if they spoke… I asked John for one of the pieces he was working on and he casually ripped a sheet out of his notebook and gave it to me.
I spent a few more days with Fahey at John Allen’s place in Jersey. At the time I was in university reading a lot of crap about European philosophy, phenomenology and epistemology. Here I am, in my early twenties, schmoozing with the uncontested literary and intellectual champion/prankster genius of guitar music in the 20th century, not knowing anything, really, about his life and music. It was weird, honest and unpretentious. We hit it off, and I guess he found me interesting because we locked in on Kafka, Camus, Spengler and Loren Connors like we were old war buddies. He called me a Sephardic Troll and wanted to steal my red New Balance kicks.
I ended up tagging along with the No Neck Blues Band for a few shows to Philadelphia and Boston where they played with Lee Ranaldo and Fahey. I think Sunburned played as well. No one would remember I was even there, but I’ll never forget going to the record store in Philly with Fahey, Ranaldo and John Allen looking for records before the show. It was during that trip that I found sound@one #1.The entire Fahey/NNCK axis is so mysterious to me, the recorded fruits of which are truly mind-bending. Back at the Hinthouse in Harlem, I remember David Nuss telling me Fahey said the NNCK were a group of warlocks, which they most certainly are and were. (Ken’s Electric Lake) I kept in touch with Fahey and he picked me up at the airport in Salem with a blind friend whose name I think was Terry. We popped in a tape of my latest jams from the psych shack into his deck and Terry was really digging it. He definitely said it sounded like Hendrix. Fahey said he liked it too and then I think we went to a Denny’s for some french fries and shakes.
Readers of Vampire Vultures will no doubt recall my futile attempts to describe or comprehend the state of Fahey’s motel room during this period. It was basically a crime scene. Empty fruitcups, wet paint on the carpet… My journal from that week records that Fahey’s motel room was not cleaner than his car. We cruised the Value Village scene looking for records. It was during a trip to one of these thrift stores one morning that we bumped into a younger acquaintance of John’s who said he’d want to jam with us back at Fahey’s motel room. I think his name was Barry. Nice guy. We went to his place and grabbed some kazoos and other hobo instruments he had and threw them in Fahey’s car. Next thing you know, we’ve got some guitars and amps and headed back to the Woodburn Inn with two pretty, young ladies. We closed the curtains and I pressed record. I had brought a 4 track minidisk recorder with me with the intention of hopefully doing some spoken word recordings of John but had no idea that I would be laying down some molten hot psych with thee Fahey. On tape, John’s smoking away on electric guitar, but this ain’t Womblife. There’s three other people in the room besides us and I don’t remember any of their names. I don’t remember what they looked like or what the hell they were playing but we were definitely channeling some sort of highway poltergeists. I’m playing guitar as well, tweaking about a bit. For some reason, I kept myself from listening to it or playing it for anyone for a long time. Why?
At night, Fahey would lie in bed and I’d record him reading various excerpts from his writings. He reminded me a lot of Kurt Vonnegut in his cynicism and gallows humor.I think they would have gotten along great. I love the unfinished Fahey short story about Elie Wiesel meeting Doc Boggs on a park bench. Boxes were strewn all over his room filled with spiral notebooks. Fool’s gold. His visual art was incredible, I’m sure there are people out there who have the various pieces of the puzzle to his sketches, drawings and paintings, that I hope, will be compiled in a way that does them justice.