"Aw, man. You made friends with them. See, friendship is the booze they feed you. They want you to get drunk on feeling like you belong". -- Lester Bangs in Almost Famous
I'm not sure if you have ever had the opportunity to experience the film 'Almost Famous'. It's one of my favorite films. I grew up when rock and roll was brilliant, when it could be everything to a 16 year old kid.
That kid was me.
I dreamed of being in Linda Ronstadt's band, traveling the country, experiencing the fans and the spotlights and yes…. we were a couple. Those were my daydreams, by day I hung out at record stores and read every music rag on the shelf at the closest Tower Records.
I was a realist however and didn't let all those fanciful daydreams cloud my real life goals but I did always want to be one of the bylines in Rolling Stone and Cream, later SPIN and NME. I read all those reviews and I must admit I wanted to be Lester Bangs or Dave Marsh.
When I first saw Almost Famous many years later I recognized that I had always wanted to be that teenage kid based on Cameron Crowe. We grew up at the same time and his story of a kid who, because of his association with Lester Bangs, gets to write a feature that would make the cover of Rolling Stone is the kind of thing that many of my daydreams had been made of.
So reader, when I was given the chance to write this column and interview local musicians and cover music for Wonder Valley's website I looked forward to asking this question…
Skyler Fell, What do you love about music?
Skyler: I love most things about music, the way it is a universal language, our precious musical communities, live culture and talking to our ancestors by song.
Ronnie: Not everyone can live in the desert. How does the desert color your music?
Skyler: Well, we have a select set of songs we play when it’s over 105F, they are all pretty slow and involve lots of beer drinking between verses.
Other than that, I love singing while I’m riding my mustang pony around the desert and his hoofbeats keep time.
Ronnie: How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it?
Skyler: Hi Desert Time Traveling Accordion Rampage!
Ronnie: You are currently laid up with a broken ankle, how did that happen and how is your rehab going?
Skyler: I broke my ankle out herding cattle in the high country of Wyoming
Ronnie: Ouch! Tell me about your music heroes?
Skyler: My music hero’s are usually my band mates. I’m also super stoked about my local music scene and what other folks out here in the Hi Desert are up to.
Ronnie: I miss the feeling one gets from a real protest song, do you feel music can be a force for change?
Skyler: Live music is always a force for change, these days just getting folks to interact without their smart phone can be a stretch. Now more than ever gathering for live music and creating culture is essential.
Ronnie: What are you working on now?
Skyler; Right now we have a 9pm every first Saturday night residency at your local Joshua Tree Saloon.
Ronnie: What's the favorite recording you have made so far:
Skyler: Tumbleweed Timemachine recently recorded Dan Abbott’s song ‘Life is Excellent’ for the 2020 Accordion Babes Calendar & Album. Our stand up bass player Steven McCarthey recorded the song in his home studio. It was a great experience to record with such inspiring characters from my musical community and feel open to bearing my soul through our creation of REAL LIVE CULTURE.
Accordion Babes Calendar
Tumbleweed Timemachine Facebook Page
I hope you enjoyed our first Artist Highlight, stay tuned for more to come.
Wonder Valley California