It’s time to spill the proverbial beans. After years of tense, self-inflicted silence, dodging the press and somehow learning to live without a moustache, I’m finally ready to confess that I am related by blood and lunacy to someone famous (and, I’m told, fairly talented). Keith Jarrett is my eldest brother.
How has this affected me? Well, when I was playing music full time I didn’t broadcast my relationship to Keith, and I didn’t allow anyone else to broadcast it for publicity or any other purpose, though over the years one or two people (who have since mysteriously disappeared but are honest-to gosh not buried in my backyard) failed to comply. On the few occasions when someone did learn of our connection the question most often posed was this: What’s it like to be Keith Jarrett’s brother? Having never experienced not being his brother I had nothing to compare it to and consequently had no answer but to snort and say that it didn’t seem particularly relevant.
I rarely had cause or the desire to mention my brother when I ran my business, and when I began writing I continued my now-habitual silence on the subject. Keith’s name did come up in my memoir once or twice, though only very peripherally, but I never used our relationship to promote the book and didn’t include his name in descriptions of it.
More than a few people failed to understand my reticence, arguing that it was perfectly appropriate to wield the truth to my advantage, particularly since I’d lied so often with far less at stake. But somehow it didn’t feel right or appropriate, I’m not at all certain it would have aided my musical career or increased book sales , and perhaps most importantly, neither the music I played nor my memoir were about Keith Jarrett. The music was a refection of my taste, ability and need to survive, and the book was, for better and for worse, about my experience as a concupiscent young mess.
So why, after all these years of wearing big-nosed disguises and camouflaging my musical genius with feigned mediocrity, am I coming out now? It’s really quite simple. I’m selflessly hoping to jump-start the long-floundering career of a talented musician who’s been living in my large, handsome and spectacularly muscular shadow for far too long. I guess you could say I’m a giver, and maybe I’m just a little tired of living in the limelight.
Oh yeah, and I really needed another topic for this damned blog.