Normal History Vol. 3: The Art Of David Lester

davidlester3_366Every Saturday, we’ll be posting a new illustration by David Lester. The Mecca Normal guitarist is visually documenting people, places and events from his band’s 25-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.

Smith: There was a guy in Boston who really wanted us to stay at his house. He had a studio, and he figured we could record together—he was a real keener. We got to the house and he had this big, aggressive dog: a pit bull or Rottweiler-type dog that was disobedient and nasty. Neither Dave nor I wanted this huge dog on top of us as we sat on the couch, but the guy and his wife thought this was really funny, that we didn’t really know how to get the dog off us. The guy seemed to suggest that we let the dog do what it wanted, as they did. I did not want this dog on me. This state of siege went on through the evening; the dog controlled the household, the dog was the only subject of conversation. The only time the dog wasn’t dominating everyone’s attention was when it left the room to go and piss on my sleeping bag. The guy explained that the dog could sense my attitude toward it, that it was like a child having a passive-aggressive tantrum. At one point, Dave and the guy were in the studio with the door closed, and the dog came into the bathroom while I was in there. I wanted it out of the bathroom so I could close the door. It started growling at me, blocking my exit. Absolutely terrifying—and there was no one around to control this beast. We left. We did not stay the night.

Normal History Vol. 2: The Art Of David Lester

david-lesterill2Every Saturday, we’ll be posting a new illustration by David Lester. The Mecca Normal guitarist is visually documenting people, places and events from his band’s 25-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.

Smith: In the ’90s, at the height of grunge, we got a call that Sonic Youth wanted us to open for them in Seattle. The theater, the Paramount, was big—balconies and all that. When it came time in our set to do “I Walk Alone,” I left the microphone and ran to the side of the stage. I edged past the main speakers, singing, and down the steps. I ran up the aisle to sing directly into people’s rather shocked faces. I dashed back toward the stage, but there was a bouncer standing at the top of the steps and I guess he hadn’t seen me leave the stage. I must have appeared to be a rabid fan trying to accost Dave, who was playing the simple riff over and over wondering if I’d ever return. The guitar was blasting out of the mains right beside the bouncer, so I couldn’t get him to hear what I was saying. Eventually I pushed past him and returned to the mic totally exhausted with Dave looking at me like I’d lost my mind for being gone for so long.

Normal History Vol. 1: The Art Of David Lester

davidleaster1400Every Saturday, we’ll be posting a new illustration by David Lester. The Mecca Normal guitarist is visually documenting people, places and events from his band’s 25-year run.

Lester: “The politics are not obvious” is a painting I did that a banjo player bought after seeing it displayed in 2004, when Mecca Normal played a barber shop in Olympia, Wash., and a bookshop in Seattle during a West Coast tour. The man later sent me a cassette of his banjo playing. He recorded just this one copy to send to me. This was art. This was political.