In the early 1980s, around the time that Jack Abbott was acquainted with, maybe even married to, Nikki Newman, this song by Joe Jackson was popular. I preferred playing it for 40-60 people and then eating later to sitting down and eating.
In the circular melodic expression of Joe Jackson, I sometimes get the sound of the Jackson recording in my head, as it was the most fun to play on the piano and it is very slick by taking an already established pop song – and immediately after admitting he was borrowing the first three notes including the kinda wild high interval (“don’t you feel like *try*ing something new?”)but improves it, then gets off a riff that sounds easy-hard. Meaning, if you can play piano and you know the trick to the riff. The syncopation is wrong in the sheet music, which means it’s right and you just don’t know which pedal piont he’s riffing on or what. I usually get the riff wrong – I’ve faked it to 95% so many times I’ve never committed to it.
Plus, as a musician, you almost do not want to, because Jackson played it so well the best one can do is imitate him exactly, which for an elegant yet simple riff just isn’t that fun.
That is what is all about. Finding a riff at that moment – where there’s talking in the air there’s usually a tonic note the better live players will intuitively hear and pay off of. Some of the most practiced players get self-conscious in front of an audience and play worse.
My playing is all accompaniment based so I think I understand how these two hang out at Crimson Lights and Top Of The Tower. They are unusually familiar with the other and one friend that is *least* likely to betray you-friends just get lost in their own world.’