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Williams holding his neck...


-Writings that have something
to do with music

-Writings that have little or nothing to do with music







Fried Egg


the improvisor


Sundries, Notions and Ephemer

 by Davey Williams

The Music Improvisational Methods
of the LaDonna Smith & Davey Williams Duo
Explained as Fictional Meterology


     In order to have weather, one must occasionally have precipitation. However, there must not always be precipitation, for it is important that the weather changes fairly constantly. Another important component to weather is waiting for the precipitation. While we cannot cause precipitation to begin on demand, it has been found that a certain state of readiness and attention to change will all but guarantee precipitation; after all it's always raining.

     Perhaps it should be mentioned that this weather is not necessarily that of our planet Earth, but of the atmospheric origin of planet Earth, planet Ear. Note: in this eccentric atmosphere, wax can form after a stormy period, but it is easily dispersed by high/low pressure balance. As well, if those stormy periods threaten to become over long, they can be alleviated by the eclipsis atmospheris method -at which we have become experts- or by tidal movements.

      In the interest of good science, however, we must point out that in over two decades of meteorological research, we have not desired to accurately forecast the weather. Methods notwithstanding, it's lightning and thunder, sunshine and cloud, silence and sound; the speeds of sound and the speeds of light that run the show. If the tornado fits, wear it. If not, play it real laid back.

Take this advice: just watch the sky; any weather is good weather.

(of italicized code words)

Weather - improvised musical performance

Precipitation - sound rendered as music

Changes - follows the moment's inspiration or directive

Waiting - listening either to sound or silence for musical direction

Raining - brain working to make audible music somehow

Planet Earth - where we live

Planet Ear - where what we hear as music lives before we hear/play it

Wax - a dry or oil-like substance found in the ear

Stormy - pointlessly loud, or imitating free jazz

High/low Pressure Balance - short break for instrument tuning, usually undertaken before a gig.

Eclipsis Atmospheris Manoeuvre - basically means give it a rest, dude!

Tidal Movements - uncontrollably-occurring cool riffs or ostinati

Meterological Research
- improvised gigs

Desired to Accurately Forecast the Weather - wanted to use compositions in the duo

Tornado - occurring musical path at any given moment

Play - listen with hands and/or instruments participating

Watch - to listen to

Sky - the muse of the moment

Good Weather - favorable substance found in heart

(program notes from duo concert, SubTropics Festival, Miami)


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Escape from bad rocket (1996 acrylics on board)
                                                   -Davey Williams


A Short Testimony from Davey Williams:

In Praise of Clams

It is not solely the convenience of making mistakes in live musical situations to which I owe my solo improvising, but mistakes are quite a wellspring of musical information and inspiration. Originally, when I was a blues guitarist only, mistakes were funny enough, especially onstage, but musically useless due to the harmonic and rhythmic rigidity of the musical form.

Later formats in which I have played have been of sorts which in varying degrees permit these 'clams' to perform their true function, which is to introduce a radically organic developmental member into the music, akin to a random occurrence.

With careful attention during playing, the clam can often be the event which changes the course of musical flow, the doorway to the unexpected intervention of anomaly into the more predictable. This is one of my personal definitions of both "the creative process" and "natural processes."

Nowhere is this more meaningful to me than in solo improvising. However much I value group improvising (and how remarkable 'group clams' are) solo improvising presenbtsd a situation wherein the player is undistracted so to speak, in such a way as to permit closer attention to working with clams. Indeed, I have found solo playing to uniquely permit me to perform entire concerts formed from an elongated and somewhat ironic series of sonic, technical, behavioral and musical blunders.

Or in the words of the poet:


If it's good when played from a musical staff

It'll be even better with a big old gaffe

(from the Improvisor, Vol. XI)



Writings that have little or nothing to do with music…
Exerpts from a forthcoming collection of short stories by Davey Williams,
tentatively entitled "Kings of Uh-Oh."


…However, a deeper examination of the writings of the so-called worst of the naturalist poets 'Tough Top' reveals an obvious genius for mediocracy which places him firmly in that great pantheon of lamebrain, golden-spirited folk artists of limited intellectual capacity. (Incidentally, this category of artist is not to be confused with Genuine Folk Artists, who are more or less devoid of any intellectual capacity at all, but who have enough business sense to get rich and famous off the multitudes who blissfully confuse a wise and devout eccentric for an interior decorator.)

In the following example, we shall examine Tough Top's first period of writing, referred to by the poet himself as "Wisdom of the Farnyard" [sic]. This note [sic] is one of Tough Top's most common literary devices, by the way.

During this period, the young author was apparently concerned with matters of timely importance, such as competent luggage repair. Ironically, none of his writings from this time mention luggage repair at all, and in his short autobiography (28 pages) he notes his anguish at not being to think of a single thing to say about luggage repair.

Evidently he then had no choice but to have his first major period speak poignantly of his love of agriculture, of his imagined roots as a "sun [sic] of the soil," of his somewhat eccentric love of the land, all expressed through his decidedly 'folkish' (i.e. 'crappy') command of the English language.

from Huge Big Wads of Nature

Big brown organic spoons of earth
beneath the farmer's feet
A hard-won, dusty patriotic dearth
of edible penguin meat

Clods and muddy hunks
of sodden terra firma
delightful smell of skunks
O how their glands can murmer

Oh be ye joyful nostrils in the gloaming
be glad the cattle ain't roaming free
Don't mind that you [sic] mouth is foaming
Just floss periodically

And recall the times of corn
where American liberty was born
Don't folget [sic] the stalk forlorn
which only recently was shorn
of anguished cobb and colonel [sic]
in goodness: hogs diurnal
All this makes hog feed eternal

And there shallow inside those earthen hips
reside tomorrow's potato chips.


Tough Top's next phase was focused around the theme of romantic love. During a middle age crisis, he fell deeply in love with his right foot (they had been childhood sweethearts). They were eventually married, but on their honeymoon to the middle of a field near Benton, Missouri the two lovebirds had a terrible argument over shoe size. During the struggle she (his right foot) was stubbled senseless against a closet door.

Tough Top and his betrothed were both traumatized, but in the frontier tradition they stayed together, successfully parenting several popular dance steps.

from Dances With Corns

Roses are red, flowers are blue
My first love
My right leg and shoe
Sore and boring was my life
until my foot became my wife

(Excerpted from "The Worst of the Naturalist Poets")


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Breakfast (1996 acrylics on board) -DWilliams

…Hi everybody, I'm Sgt. Chuck, on the air with all you patriots who have had enough of watching too much tv. Now you can listen to too much talk radio. You can call me at 1-400-YO SARGE. Hello, you're on the air with the Sarge, what can I tell you?

Yo Sarge! Mega-bitter dittoes from Bad Hop, Montana. We love you out here at the Youth for Mean-Spirited Training Camp.

Well, thank you Bad Hop Montana. What's on your mind, if anything?

Well Sarge, I've got a comment and a question. First, wasn't that an incredible rescue that we and the Russians pulled off last week in space at the orbiting MacDonald's? I mean-

Oh, I get your drift! You're one of those neo-post communists. All you want is to support the so-called President. Well I've got news for you pal. You call yourself mega-bitter, but if you aren't bitter about the President then you aren't bitter about the space program, and you probably don't even believe the conspiracy behind the Roswell incident, how it's connected to the worldwide domination plot being implemented as we speak on the planet Neptune.

Of course, with one lung tied behind my back, my superior intelligence renders your silly opinions meaningless. But don't feel bad; at least you're trying, and at least you were lucky enough to get through to me. I'm telling you people that you ought to know enough of my plan for America to at least pledge yourselves to it! I alone can help the stupid to at least become stupidly patriotic.

That's why you call me at 1-400-YO SARGE. Hello Beaver View, Alaska, you're on the air; what can I tell you?

Hi Sarge, this is Hiff Gyp, the former rock star. Remember me? I called you one time before when you still a left-wing radio shrink.

Well, Hello again! I guess you didn't pull the trigger on that shotgun…

Well, actually Sarge, it turned out that I didn't know how to use the shotgun at all. Kind of embarrassing actually. But I've fixed all that. Our band gave up the big time, moved up here to Alaska to this primitive encampment where we write and rehearse songs dedicated to the establishment of a base camp for all God-fearing aliens from outer space who hate our government but love our flag.

Hiff, I have to say that you've come a long ways…

And that's not all, Sarge. We're armed to the teeth, and unlike that shotgun thing, we know how to use them! We-

Now wait just a minute! You're losing me again Hiff. So you know how to use your teeth. SO WHAT! Who doesn't? I've gotta cut you off, Hiff. Happens every year or so with this guy, folks. He's just trying to get attention…trying to use his teeth and not his brain. Trouble with Hiff, and all his ilk, is that he's just not able to master the mindless conformity necessary to be a true mega-bitter dittohead. He foolishly believes that an inferior mentality can enjoy personal liberty and fellowship with space visitors.

Listen up, Americans: Our American Way cannot live without constant, sound advice from a tough, soothing, confident voice, MY voice. That's why you've called 1-400-YO SARGE, right caller?

Hi Sarge, Long-time listener, first time caller and decorated ex-sergeant in the 45th Airborne. As you know, the-

45th Airborne! That's quite an outfit. Pride of the Marines I tell you, and if you're a listener you know that Sarge doesn't hand down many compliments.

Hmmm. Well actually you really haven't handed much of a compliment, either to me or the Marines. The 45th Airborne is part of the Army, not the Marines, I hate to tell you.

Look pal, I do the hate-to-telling around here! I've been a true-blue, dyed-in-the-wool, flag-waving patriotic since the day I was born. Compared to that, what have you done for your country, caller?

Well, I lost an arm defusing land mines in Kuwait…

Oh! Well why didn't you say so! Like I say, we're all in this together. How about that folks; a real hero right here on my little ole radio show. GO GET EM TIGER! Makes me proud, proud, proud, proud, PROUD! Do you leftist female-for-President creeps hear me? I'm PROUD to be an American and to have this fine, heroic American fighting man on my show. Caller, it takes a real man to do a soldier's work, right.

Actually, Sarge, I'm a woman.

What! And you were a woman when you. er…

No, I got my arm blown off and then came home and had a sex-change operation. Give me a break, you moron!

That's it! No more Mr. Nice Guy! I tell you, I've had just about enough of your paranoid rambling. I tell you folks; some women really have a problem, especially following sex change operations. I'm telling you! It takes all kinds, I guess, but from now on, our producer "Wild Buffalo" Cody is going to screen our calls closer, aren't you Buff…

Hold on, folks…I've lost my producer in my headphones…HEY HEY HEY! Where's everybody going? I smell smoke! I've expected this all along; someone has firebombed the station. I KNEW they were after us! I know you're all plotting against me, and against our comrades on Neptune! Well, it's not going to work. When you see-

Yo Sarge! Mega-bitter dittoes from-

Get off the phone, you traitor! I'm trying to call 911…

One Year Later

Hello, this is Snat Pairsley with a special news bulletin from the WHUP-TV newsroom. The seven-million dollar lawsuit against the noted radio talk show host known as "Yo Sarge" was settled out of court today, concluding a long-contested suit. Terms included an agreement that the talk show host formerly known as Sarge never use that name again in public, as well as a permanent revocation of his broadcaster's licence.

The talk show host formerly known as Sarge had appealed on the basis that more than fifty-seven percent of Americans preferred the idea of Sarge over democratically-elected government. The eventual reduction of this figure to point 00016 percent in the voting polls reflected the Supreme Court's decision, and it was upheld.

In the opinion of legal experts, and in light of the original charge of arson leveled at Sarge, (the resulting flame razed the station and an adjacent hot dog stand), it was advantageous for Sarge to admit that a small party of recalcitrant Martians, angered by our recent explorations of their planet, had used an invisible ray to cause his trademark cigar to roll off his desk and onto the top of a highly flammable tuna sandwich.

Eventually it was entered into the record that this action on the Martians' part was in direct violation of Sarge's agreement with the aliens from Neptune, and that thus he bore no financial responsibility, at least not to Sarge's Uncle Evelyn, the station's owner.

In a brief statement outside the courtroom, Evelyn stated that the former talk show host would reside at the family's palatial mansion, from which he would attempt to enlist the facilities at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in contacting the Martians to demand an apology. "It is not necessary that my nephew be punished," commented Evelyn, "Far better that he was simply laughed out of town by sensible and jolly people."


(One Year Later)

(Confidentially, the author is embarrassed to note that this story ended last year…)