White says he could tell he was swimming against the Nashville way of recording when he swooned over the first take of Jackson's song "Shakin' All Over." The veteran horn players wanted to fix mistakes. He was having none of it.
"The more we try to work on this and perfect it, the worse it gets," he says. "And that's what happens nowadays with people working on computers. They can so easily fix things with their mouse and take out all the, 'Oh, somebody coughed in the background; we need to take that out' — or somebody hit a bad note. Those are all the best moments, and that's where music has taken a left turn and they need to get back on the road."
See also: Wabi Sabi.
Pared down to its barest essence, wabi-sabi is the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection and profundity in nature, of accepting the natural cycle of growth, decay, and death. It's simple, slow, and uncluttered-and it reveres authenticity above all. Wabi-sabi is flea markets, not warehouse stores; aged wood, not Pergo; rice paper, not glass. It celebrates cracks and crevices and all the other marks that time, weather, and loving use leave behind. It reminds us that we are all but transient beings on this planet-that our bodies as well as the material world around us are in the process of returning to the dust from which we came. Through wabi-sabi, we learn to embrace liver spots, rust, and frayed edges, and the march of time they represent.
Imperfection, authenticity, cracks, and crevices — sometimes you're best off leaving 'em in.