There is an article in the September 24-30, 2003 issue of espmagazine.com about singer/songwriter Willy Porter. Many of you may remember that he was Tori's opening act during much of the 1996 Dew Drop Inn tour. This article talks about how Porter will compose a song onstage with the help of the audience, and talks about one song that he wrote back when he was opening for Tori called "Lesbian Lapdancers".
Here is part of the article. You can read the entire article at espmagazine.com:
Willy Porter's 'Lesbian Lapdancers' technique
By Grant Britt
Willy Porter isn't afraid to ask for a little help with his songwriting. But when the Milwaukee folk rocker counts up his collaborators, they sometimes number in the thousands. Many of Porter's unusual songs are written by the unconventional technique of inviting his audience to participate in the process by composing tunes live on stage with their help. The songwriter calls this process The Happy Accident.
Porter started The Accident early in his career because he was embarrassed to keep showing up for his weekly gig at a local bar with no new material. Taking a cue from a local Milwaukee improv comedy group who developed skits from suggestions shouted out by the audience, he got ideas from the audience for a song. It's a risky proposition, and Porter admits that sometimes the results have been less than stunning.
"Sometimes, it's an absolute train wreck where you just feel like a jackass up there. Nobody gets it, and nobody is laughing," he confessed to musicboxonline.com. But he feels the risks are justified. "It forces me out of that unidirectional sort of staid musical performance that happens to people when they get on the road for a long time. They get tired of themselves and their own music, and they start to perform boring concerts. There's nothing worse than that. I fear that more than anything."
One memorable collaboration that occurred while Porter was opening for Tori Amos was a little something called "Lesbian Lapdancers." "That was a pretty outstanding song," Porter says unashamedly. "(It) was pretty vast and covered a lot of ground."
On his latest offering, High Wire Live, his first live recording, one wonders why Porter thinks he needs any help. He plays guitar like Leo Kottke and sings like Tim Buckley, and his lyrics are funny and literate.