January, 2020: This hardcover book arrived in the mail, 350+ beautifully designed pages and several pounds. It included a packing slip that noted it was a complimentary copy. I was puzzled at first, then remembered being contacted a couple years ago by the editor, Ian Sansom. I checked the index and indeed, there I was with an extract from my book Tell Me If I’ve Stopped that was published in the UK in 1993. It’s in amongst passages from Joseph Conrad, Sigmund Freud, Betty Friedan, David Hume, Plato, Hannah Arendt, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, George Orwell, Adam Smith, and Walt Whitman.

Here’s the publisher’s description of the book:
Reading Room is a playful and provocative collection of 365 extracts sourced from the British Library’s collections. Selected to challenge and inform the reader, each excerpt is accompanied by the unique shelfmark number of the source publication. Encompassing a wide range of great works in literature, poetry, essays and letters, historical and scientific treatises, and including beloved and popular authors as well as controversial writers, each extract will encourage enquiry and stimulate the imagination. Beautifully designed and illustrated with the Library’s collections, with one extract for every day of the year, this book can be read as a thought to start the day or can be dipped into for inspiration at random.”

David Greenberger and Prime Lens
It Happened To Me
(PelPel Recordings #PP-8718)
Release date: March 1, 2019, 2-disc CD / 12” LP w/download
Original album cover artwork by Ed Ruscha

It is the mission of Cal State Fullerton’s Grand Central Art Center (GCAC) to focus on helping to reflect, through socially engaged artistic practices, the Santa Ana, CA communities in which the institution exists.  David Greenberger was a natural fit as an artist-in-residence, invited by GCAC to create a new work drawn from Santa Ana’s richly diverse elderly population. Greenberger spent his time in residence visiting senior community centers, a museum, and senior living apartments. Through the support of GCAC, he developed text based on his dozens of recorded conversations. Working with Prime Lens, the Chattanooga-based ensemble he assembled four years earlier, they went into the studio in the spring of 2018, collaborating to create It Happened to Me. What emerged is twice the size of anything originally envisioned: 60 pieces, each one carefully composed and arranged to convey individual emotional potency, giving dignity to the small moments, as well as the larger overall narrative.  Artistically it became the only way of expressing the breadth of the City of Santa Ana’s population and its varied and rich cultural identity. Throughout the nearly two hours of recorded stories with music, the recurring characters and themes begin to surface.  The recordings of It Happened to Me assemble in full through a 2-disc CD release, with an additional smaller selection of the works available on a limited edition vinyl 12″ LP that is accompanied by a download of all 60 pieces. Both formats feature original cover art designed by renowned Los Angles based artist Ed Ruscha.
Prime Lens Keyboardist Tyson Rogers is the trio’s primary composer.  He has led his jazz quartet, toured extensively with Tony Joe White and country legend Don Williams, records regularly in Nashville, and has his work featured on many soundtracks.  Drummer Bob Stagner has worked with everyone from Derek Bailey to Bob Dorough, John Zorn to Rev. Howard Finster; as well he is a co-founder of The Shaking Ray Levis. Bassist Evan Lipson tours regularly with saxophonist Jack Wright and has worked with a diverse list including Pauline Oliveros, David Grubbs, Col. Bruce Hampton, Davey Williams, and Susan Alcorn.
With a focus on artists working in socially engaged practices, Grand Central Art Center residencies are centered on discovery, creative process, and relationships through an open collaborative and immersed approach. Residencies support the creation of projects through a philosophy of listening, assisting and connecting. GCAC allows the artist as much freedom as possible, leaving open the potential for multi-visits, multi-site interactions, and partnerships.  The duration of residencies are not limited, instead determined on project-by-project bases, with ongoing conversations throughout a residency. GCAC residencies to date have lasted from three-weeks to over four years. Residencies are not required to occur on-site, but provide the openness and opportunity for projects to be realized at off-site locations throughout the direct community, region and beyond.  Generous support for the GCAC residency program provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

March, 2018
DG and Prime Lens commenced recording what doubled in size from a projected thirty pieces, to sixty. Working again with engineer Steve Hickman (his third project with Greenberger). This is the project for GCAC in Santa Ana, CA funded by the Andy Warhol Foundation.

Filmmaker Beth Harrington and her crew recorded some of the studio recording as well as more interviews for the documentary on Greenberger she started in 2017, now tentatively titled Beyond the Duplex Planet.

October, 2017
Greenberger begins the first part of a new artist residency project in Santa Ana, CA, spending three weeks recording conversations at senior centers, an elderly apartment complex, and the art museum. This was commissioned by Grand Central Art Center who have a mission to be responsive to and reflective of the community in which they’re based, with its large immigrant population of, among others, Mexicans, Vietnamese, and Thai.

August, 2017
David Greenberger and Prime Lens (Bob Stagner, Evan Lipson, Tyson Rogers) debut new line-up with two nights at the Wayne-O-Rama (Aug 18-19) installation in Chattanooga and performance in Knoxville (Aug 20). The two dozen pieces in the set focused on the newly released My Thoughts Approximately, but also drew from earlier albums that had been done with other ensembles (including “How Records Are Made” from 1001 Real Apes), arranged for the trio by Tyson.

David Greenberger and Prime Lens
My Thoughts Approximately
(PelPel Recordings #PL-8717)
Release date: August 18, 2017

Dennis Palmer of the Shaking Ray Levis died quietly in his sleep, succumbing to heart problems that had been shadowing him for a couple decades. Working with co-founder and drummer Bob Stagner, and David Greenberger, they had just completed a new album, Tramps That Go Think in the Night on the tenth anniversary of their first collaboration, Mayor of the Tennessee River. As part of a two-night concert event celebrating Palmer’s life and work in 2013, David and Bob were joined by bassist Evan Lipson and keyboardist Tyson Rogers for a performance.  They debuted their new ensemble, David Greenberger and Prime Lens, at the Big Ears Festival in 2014 (festival founder Ashley Capps dedicated the three day event to the memory of Palmer and Lou Reed). Since it was Dennis who had brought them together in the first place, “and Prime Lens” is an anagram of “Dennis Palmer.”

My Thoughts Approximately draws on four decades of conversations David Greenberger has had with elderly in various cities and circumstances, which are the starting point for the thirty emotionally, rich, character driven monologues. The recording sessions begin with musical ideas from the ensemble. Greenberger matches his text to the composition, allowing it to develop in the studio.

David Greenberger, Glenn Jones, Chris Corsano
An Idea In Everything
(Okraina #8/PelPel Recordings #PL-8716)
Release date: January, 2017

Originally released in December 2016 in  Belgium on the Okraina label as a double 10″-vinyl LP, it is now available on CD as a joint release with PelPel Recordings.

To order:

From the Okraina label press release:
When David Greenberger first embarked on what has become a life-long journey, drummer Chris Corsano was not yet five years old! Three decades later Chris Corsano set in motion the project you have before you. With guitarist and banjo player Glenn Jones, a longtime friend of both Greenberger and Corsano, the trio began recording in Greenberger’s living room in upstate New York. In just three days they recorded the 28 tracks that make up An Idea in Everything. Jones invented new tunings for his banjo and guitar, Corsano improvised, and Greenberger selected and read stories in direct response to the music. Despite the dark and sad feeling of some of the texts (dealing with aging, memory loss, etc.), there is also humor, joy and grit. Jones recalls the recording session as fun, playful, excitingly engaging. The resulting album is a rollercoaster of emotions, a glittering patchwork of sonic atmospheres and an oral encyclopedia on dozens of subjects (coffee, cigarettes, planets, art . . . life . . . and death) convincing us that, indeed, there is An Idea in Everything!

“David Greenberger meanders around America, lovingly collecting the life stories of old people like fireflies in a jar. In an America that seems increasingly dominated by amnesia, and the erosion of its history, it’s very heartening – and poignant – to hear these fragments of lives as they draw to a close. The matter-of-fact tone that David uses in these vignettes is partly what makes them so emotional.”  – Robyn Hitchcock

“When newcomers hear that I have regular conversations and interviews with elderly people, they assume I collect oral history. What that assumption implies is that when one grows old we become solely a repository of our past. From the start, my mission has been to offer a range of characters who are already old, so that we can get to know them as they are in the present, without celebrating or mourning the loss of who they were before.”  – David Greenberger

David Greenberger: voice / Glenn Jones: guitar, banjo  / Chris Corsano: drums, melodica
Text based on conversations in nursing homes, elderly centers, and meal sites in Boston, Schenectady, New York City, Atlanta, Erie, Martha’s Vineyard, East Los Angeles, and Milwaukee

Greenberger, Spring, Child, Hashimoto
Take Me Where I Don’t Know I Am
(PelPel Recordings #PL-8715)
Release date: June 17, 2016

Take Me Where I Don’t Know I Am is the latest album from David Greenberger, once again melding monologues with music for a result he likens to “a band fronted by a guy talking.” Derived from his conversations with the elderly, the text is expanded and abstracted, always emphasizing the unique voice of each character. Greenberger celebrates the ordinary and the inescapable realities of change and loss with dignity, respect and wit.

Take Me Where I Don’t Know I Am is the latest album from David Greenberger, once again melding monologues with music for a result he likens to “a band fronted by a guy talking.” Derived from his conversations with the elderly, the text is expanded and abstracted, always emphasizing the unique voice of each character. Greenberger celebrates the ordinary and the inescapable realities of change and loss with dignity, respect and wit.

Informed by a long friendship, Keith Spring began composing the pieces to which Greenberger, letting the emotional bearing of the music suggest a direction, developed the text in advance of them all going into the studio together. The monologues range from the jovial (“Digging into Embarrassment”) to the cantankerous (“This Weather”), and from the analytical (“From Snakes to Jewelry”) to the mournful (“My Hope”).

Keith Spring (composer, instrumentalist) began his career in Louisville, studying and playing with Don Murray and Jamey Aebersold. He is most known for his decade and a half as tenor saxophonist with NRBQ’s horn section, the Whole Wheat Horns. He played on and wrote arrangements for Martin Mull’s first three albums for Capricorn Records, co-producing the third, as well as for his 1973 BBC television special. Spring recorded and toured with Travis Shook & The Club Wow, as arranger and musician, and co-produced their self-titled 1974 debut album. After a decade as keyboardist with the Chandler Travis Philharmonic, he set aside performing to focus on his work as a composer.

Dinty Child is a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, most often seen performing with Session Americana. He plays regularly with the Chandler Travis Philharmonic, Catbirds, and as sideman to a number of singer/songwriters including Rose Cousins and Kris Delmhorst. He occasionally performs solo and fronts the fifteen-piece party band, The Funky White Honkies.

Trumpeter Keiichi Hashimoto has been in demand in the Boston music scene for the past couple of decades. Due to his ability to find the emotional heart in a wide range of musical settings, Hashimoto has been a featured soloist in concerts of music by Osvaldo Golijov and George Russell and can be heard on recordings by the Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra to the Chandler Travis Philharmonic.

To order:


January 2016

The British publisher Boatwhistle Books has just published The Golden Rule: Collected Poems (all 271 of them!) by Ernest Noyes Brookings. It includes an introduction by David Greenberger and an appendix with, almong other things, the fascinating piece on Brookings written by Dr. Al “Blaster” Ackerman that originally appeared in the long out-of-print book of poetry by Brookings published in 1983 by Innerer Klang, We Did not Plummet Into Space.
To order:
More on Brookings here:

15 January 2016
I’m heading to Chicago in a couple weeks for the second phase of the recording project with Robyn Hitchcock and Mark Greenberg. We started work on it a couple years ago, recording at the Wilco Loft studio. Robyn played guitar, Mark drums, and I played bass. In these upcoming sessions we’ll be shaping them into the pieces into their final forms, with my monologues being added. After that Paul Cebar and Kelly Hogan will add background vocals! The third and final phase will be the mixing, mastering and manufacturing of the CD.

As with the first part of this project, I’m raising funds by selling artworks of mine. Buy any $250 worth of my art and you’ll receive it right now, then you’ll be thanked on the CD, receiving five of them as soon as it’s released. You can choose from the thousand-plus recent drawings (and older paintings) in the albums here. Any combination that gets you to $250 will do it. (For example, three Priced-the-Same-as-My-Age drawings plus two in the Ringo series come to $252.98.) Ten buyers got on board the first time and that’s what I need this time as well. Contact with any questions, and please do pass word along about this.

Bocce-Bourbon cover

Bocce & Bourbon: The Comfortable Songs of Chandler Travis & David Greenberger is being released June 12, 2015 on the Iddy Biddy label.

Bocce & Bourbon is a nineteen song testament to Chandler and David’s enduring friendship and the richly varied songs they’ve written over the past thirty years. David wrote the lyrics and Chandler composed the music and sang them with his different ensembles. The collection includes seven previously unreleased songs, one radical rearrangement, and eleven that have appeared on various releases by Travis’ many musical vehicles: The Chandler Travis Three-O, The Catbirds, The Chandler Travis Philharmonic, The Incredible Casuals, solo, and with Rabbit Rabbit.

“David and I first met in 1980,” Travis recounts. “He worked in a nursing home for a couple years back then and had started The Duplex Planet, a publication built around his conversations with the residents. Besides the hundreds of issues that appeared from 1979 to 2010, it also spawned books, CDs, a comic book adaptation, and many performances of monologues with music. He was at the beginning of that long and wonderful journey and I had just started up with The Incredible Casuals, which also turned into something that spanned a few decades. At the same time David was playing bass with Men & Volts who released five albums over the course of the eighties. (A four LP box set titled Honeymoon Luggage was issued earlier this year.)

“He lived in Boston and I lived on Cape Cod. When we visited each other’s homes we were both pleased to discover that they were similarly stuffed with knickknacks, ephemera and music. He had co-written Men & Volts’ “Records Go ‘Round” that the Casuals covered and it became a staple of our sets. I asked him if he’d like to write with me and our first song was “(You and Me) Pushin’ Up Daisies.” That was also the first of a handful of “old man” songs we’ve written, including “This is Home,” “January,” “The Strongman of North America,” and “Take Me With You,” which are also on Bocce & Bourbon. At this point we’ve written some fifty songs. When we started, he’d send lyrics that I’d put to music, but in the last few years we’ve done more that start with the music, with him adding the words to my melody.

“I was asked what I love about David’s lyrics, and I said that it’s the same thing I love about The Kinks’ Village Green Preservation Society and a lot of their material from that period. It’s pastoral and unusually concerned with the minutiae of life – the little things. It’s unpretentious and never overblown, just matter-of-fact empathetic; there’s no grand statements. And I’ve always admired his facility with images. He takes his time, he’s very sweet, a little odd and definitely funny, and I just love him.”

“By the Way” and “Air, Running Backwards” join the rich tradition of love songs.
“I’ll Wait” paints a gently sympathetic portrait of an indigent fellow holding on to his dignity.
“The Strongman of North America” is from the vantage point of an aging man looking back on the finer things in life.

To order Bocce & Bourbon

Between 2 Walls card-border

Barbara Price:
To me, my work is equally about seeing and not seeing. Looking at something very closely is both a necessity and the result of my process that includes piercing, punching, threading, knotting and weaving through paper. Looking so closely that the thing itself disappears metaphorically and on a certain level, quite literally.
In my earliest works I recognized I was engaging with women’s words and work quite deliberately. This further manifests through my intuitive and responsive approach to process and materials, which in the end compels contemplative observing. So the work is meditative and quiet, even minimal; it may trace a thought or a moment but does not document or record.
All my works in this exhibition are a form of palimpsest, that is, what was previously printed on the page is eradicated in order to create something new.
David Greenberger:
I painted for most of the 1970s, before, during, and after attending Massachusetts College of Art in Boston. Within a decade I had redirected my artistic inclinations into my publication, The Duplex Planet, created out of conversations I had with elderly men at a nursing home in Boston. In the past decade I returned to visual art, picking up near where I’d left off, but now infused by the course of my artistic career.
I’m interested in the ways concepts are recalled, how one word leads to another through unlikely connections such as shape, length, rhythm, consonant and vowel patterns, as well as in the threads of overheard conversations. The recent works included in this exhibition are small square drawings of patterned fields, sometimes comprised of words or small marks, and occasionally simple objects, giving the appearance of abstraction but revealing themselves to be quite specific, and sometimes humorous or autobiographical.
For me, being an artist involves expressing ideas, idiosyncrasies and foibles. I push myself within parameters until boredom sets in. Boredom is an important state to move through. It calls on your introspection. I like drawings I can begin and end in one sitting. Doing art is a little like adult day care for me. I make the drawing, then pick myself up and go home.


WigWax Records has released (March 2015) the 4LP vinyl box set Honeymoon Luggage by Men & Volts. This is comprised of a remastered reissue of the band’s classic 1985 album Tramps in Bloom along with the Boomtown LP that was slated for release in 1986 but was never issued, and two more LPs of unissued studio recordings: 1005 Songs Vol. 1 and 1005 Songs Vol. 2.This deluxe set (complete with 12″ x 12″ booklet of notes and photos) is available here along with more information about Men & Volts (formed in 1979 by Phil Kaplan, Jon Proudman, David Greenberger, and Roger Stevenson). The individual albums can also be purchased as downloads through CDBaby.


Fractions By Stella by David Greenberger & The Pahltone Scooters was released on 21 October 2015. Recorded by in 1994-95 by Frank Pahl at his Wyandotte, MI studio, this was a first foray into a more fully blended melding of monologues with music after the series of Duplex Planet Radio Hour shows in NYC. This was originally released in 1999 with a different cover and title in a limited edition of 100 copies by the Indiana Ponk label. Players include Pahl’s band Only A Mother, Davey Williams, Eugene Chadbourne, Tatso Aoki, and members of The Billy Tipton Memorial Saxophone Quartet. The monologues are based primarily on some of the favored characters in The Duplex Planet, especially William “Fergie” Ferguson (“Smoking is a Pleasure” and “Phil Sphiconi” are standouts).