Jeff Treffinger Interview Pt.1

Some people provide support.  Jeff Treffinger is that sort of person, whether as proprietor and music booker at the legendary Mermaid Lounge, or as record producer, or as musician in groups such as the Geraniums and Tribe Nunzio.  Perhaps he learned support from studies in architecture or, his interest in architecture came from a fundamentally supportive facet in his personality.  

There is a book by underground icon, Eugene Chadbourne, that so hits the nail on the head about certain pieces of real musical life in bars, that I won't even lend the book out.  It has acquired a cult status on my own personal bookshelf.  The title of the book is "I hate the man who runs this bar- The Survival Guide For Real Musicians" It's so correct in every way except that The Mermaid Lounge defied the pictures laid out in that book.  We loved the men who ran that bar and their contribution and Jeff was one of them.  There are many things that go on in the local music scene today that would not be, if it hadn't have been for the initial allowances of their mad "experiments" at the Mermaid. ("Courting" might be better word here than "allowance")  Jeff was one of the bar owners, but he did a great deal more around there too.

At any rate, in this near two hour interview with Jeff, he talks about his foregound and background activities that at different times have shaped the New Orleans music scene.  And this is not the only direction life has taken him.  Here Treffinger, founding member of Tribe Nunzio, describes how he came to be putting a band together in New Orleans at all and, what his purposes were in doing so...or at least his thinking at the time.  He tells stories about the accidental discoveries that led him to architecture and how that led him into certain nooks in New Orleans music.  He is frank about what he learned and how, and the interesting folks that he collaborates with or has dealt with over the years that have enabled his dealings to be loaded with a delightful, risky creativity.

Part 1- Early background in New Jersey; the impact of the Beatles; the guitar; starting in bands and dreams; realities on the Jersey shore; the influence and protection of the older, tougher, musicians he got around early on-discipline, rehearsal, the intellectual component; how Treffinger came to be in New Orleans in 1977 and the allure of the city; fateful snowstorm, achitect of the architect; 1978 to Tulane; meeting Dwight Davis, flautist/Tenor sax; panhandling in the French Quarter; moving away from rock to Chick, Jaco, etc; learning further interesting things about Dwight Davis