Back-up Vocal~ Writing Manny in the studio has always been one of the true highlights of making my Comic. Any chance to explore his ravenous ego problems is time well spent. I can simply sit back and follow where he wants to take me. Sometimes I don’t even need to trim any fat from his dialogue because he gives me such great material that I use it all. In those cases, I shape all four of the panels around what he offers and if I wind up with room left over, I can even add more to the mix myself. Session work has been the lifeblood of The DBS 3© from the start. When we first met the boys, they were cranking out jingle music to pay the bills. As time marched forward, when they’re not making recording their own music, they’ve advanced to playing on the albums of others in their world. The upside is the considerable money their current project pays them. The downside is that Manny is forced to play what he’s told, with no regard for how much it stifles his personal sensibilities and artistic vision. 

I have enormous respect for rhythm guitar work. It’s an overlooked yet crucial ingredient in Rock music. The lead guitar player gets a great deal more attention, but the rhythm chords provide an essential foundation for the solo and the song itself. The players cited always brought immense color and life to their bands and made a lasting impression on those listeners attuned to the bigger picture. “New World Man” has always been a favorite from Rush and I’ve always admired the tasteful approach Alex Lifeson brought to his rhythm guitar work on it. He left just enough space to give the song the breathing room it needed. A few years back, I stumbled across a documentary reposted YouTube covering Nile Rodgers and his guitar work on Chic’s “Good Times” track. That opening guitar chord played three times in a row was so simple and genius that it sparked a collection of other bands who got a hit single from doing it themselves. I’m a lifetime Dire Straits fan and the rhythm guitar work from David Knopfler on their first two albums absolutely cannot be overlooked. In addition, I have all of his solo albums and he has only ever gone from strength to strength on his own. He never gets the credit he deserves as a musician, so I opted to give him a Shout-Out here. 

Alas, Manny has been given quite the dressing down at this particular moment.  He’s been resigned to strictly following orders, commanded to top the one album he feels stands as the ultimate blight on the Progressive Rock arena (don’t get me started on that one, either), with no guitar solo to let him shine as only he can. I can’t even imagine my favorite guitar players getting stripped of their moment in the sun, in favor of a dueling choir and kazoo armada. Rick Wakeman never had to contend with any such lunacy, and certainly not on his own “King Arthur” release. To blazes with the critics, That’s the power that comes from writing the album. Perhaps a Manny Manifold© solo release is needed to cleanse his palette from the bitter after-taste left behind by working as a “Session Guy”. Time will tell.