Bill Barrell’s Painting -JZ – Playing Music

In 1978, Bill Barrell’s son Joshua (JZ) wanted to buy a guitar.

JZ Playing Music
…. Joshua was sixteen at the time and had never played any music to my knowledge. He had seen an electric guitar that he wanted for $200, so I told him that I would pay half and he would have to come up with the other half. I felt if he paid half he would be more committed to it. Well…. he got that guitar and it did not leave his hands for months. I think he even slept with it. He and his friend, Joshua Milder, formed a band later on, called on “The Alter Boys”. I had a big old station wagon and would ferry them to gigs.
It was a coincidence that my neighbor at that time, Yann Weymouth, had guests, his sister Tina and her boyfriend Chris Frantz along with two other guys, one of whose names I remember, David Byrne. He had just graduated Rhode Island School of Design and went on to form the band “The Talking Heads”. Joshua became friends with Chris.
That guitar was the best investment I had made towards his education. It is truly his calling. He and a partner have formed a company that does recordings for television, but he still gets together with his friends and plays gigs. He started teaching at Parsons in New York City and has earned himself a professorship. He has also been nominated for two Emmys.
JZ has a lot of technical equiipment I have never even seen. Here he is in this painting that I did of him working as I see him, impassioned in his work.

One thought on “Bill Barrell’s Painting -JZ – Playing Music”

  1. Through a weird series of coincidences I got your son’s record “Here’s the Surprise” recently. It’s just terrific. What a talented family!

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