There is no disputing that Pat Metheny is a virtuoso on the guitar. His latest group, The Unity Band, recently in New York (Town Hall, Friday, October 12), featured not only Metheny’s signature solos on a wide assortment of guitars, including the ostentatious-looking 42-string Pikasso…but also a wall of Lemur musical robots and a series of duets, each featuring a Unity Band member and Metheny, all of which established not only how musically gifted he is, but more to the point, how he is really into himself.I don’t know Pat Metheny as a person nor do I question his focus as a musician, but his on-stage persona and the narrative he established both point to megalomania…which made me think that he has the right personality to be a writer.
Writing is a singular, selfish act. It’s all about the author. It’s my world. As much as I might pretend to care about all of the wonderful people and places in my story, it’s mine and I’ll do what I want. It’s a straight dictatorship, hubris well done.The trick is disguising that for the audience, and coming across as empathetic and magnanimous. Metheny is a master of all of this, a back-handed compliment to be sure, but I think he (we) can take it.