Wednesday, January 31, 2007
I know you're out there somewhere looking for something more. I hope you find it, but in my heart I know there is no greater love than this. I'm writing messages in the air for someone who's not watching; shouting my love from the rooftop of the wrong house. Of troubles great and small I find myself amply possesed but none greater than the loss of the only thing I ever truly cared about. I will likely title the new CD "A Love Divine" and use this blue butterfly on the cover for what it represents to me. I think you'll like the new music. I hope so. In three weeks we start recording; ready or not. I might be long gone by then or I might never leave. Who knows?
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
I'm avoiding posting anything really personal lately but I'm making an exception today. I've been in a severe funk the last few days. That's moderately bizarre because overall things are going really well. I suspect my efforts of stay off caffiene and nicotine are negatively effecting my brain chemistry because I could truly see no reason for the degree of unhappiness I was experiencing. Sure, I lost someone I truly love to the ravages of time and distance and that hurts A LOT but that's par for the course in this life. People come and people go. The only other real hurdle was a profound dissatisfaction with the band since we have no regular drummer. As such we had become a "pickup band" playing with whatever drummer on very little rehearsal. Since we're playing some complex music this wasn't working. That problem resolved itself this past weekend as I opted to move forward with a new rhythm section which thankfully come with a rehearsal space. Thus the very expensive pro recording studio sessions at the end of the month have a much higher probability of producing quality material, or so I hope anyway. I have a chance at a really big opportunity at the end of the week but if I actually GET the opportunity it's going to entail some huge life changes. That has me a bit apprehensive but WTF? It's all in the Lord's Arms. Namaste.
Monday, January 29, 2007
I don't know who this woman is but I love her. She sums up my feeling about the entire administration. Whoever you are miss or madam, I salute you and your willingness to get down on your knees for our country. This will be my last post in Ye Olde version of Blogger. They're making us switch. Google is taking on Microsoftic proportions of suck these days. I gues it IS possible to get too big for your own good. This blog has caused me so much trouble with the women in my life that it's amazing to me that I keep it up but I can't seem to help myself. It seems to me that I've never posted anything I wouldn't want my mother to see, so what the hell is the problem? I guess they get jealous of the attention I get. Meanwhile when I walk around with them and every guy who walks by fucks them with his eyes they tell me I'M imagining things. Ladies, I love your gender but I find you to be inexplicable at the best of times and down right inscrutable the rest of the time. Kisses!
So, in order of their influence on me, I offer these:
Carlos Santana - what can I say? His is a unique and very recognizable style. He pretty much single-handedly (pardon the pun) brought The Latin Influence into rock music. There's a lifetime achievement, eh? He was never much of a songwriter per se, but he's great at coming up with grooves and he's a hellacious guitarist. What more do you want?
Trey Anastasio owes a lot to Jerry Garcia and Jazz. Some classical too. He's a VERY accomplished and talented soloist though I admit to liking Phish a lot more than his solo efforts to date. I especially like the many influences evident on Picture Of Nectar which I highly recommend.
Oh, Jerry, Jerry, Jerry. Your music was poisoned for me by drugged out hippie girls who thought you were God. As opposed to ME who they rightly SHOULD have thought of as God, but whatever. It's a pity that the culture that The Grateful Dead spawned overshadowed so much of their music. I saw them about 8 times and was never very impressed. I'm one of the rare few who preferred their studio efforts. The shows for me were about chasing my vices and waiting for Space and Drums. I want my money back.
Thought for the day: Life is hard, but fortunately short.
Friday, January 26, 2007
Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath - The Prince Of Darkness' good left hand is a Gibson SG man. Well known for simple riffs organised into tortuously long and complicated arrangements. He's less of a shredder and comes more from the electric blues but is widely considered the father of all Heavy Metal although the origin of the term is debatable. Who hasn't played Iron Man a million times?
Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple - Another strat player like me. Is that a MIDI setup on his bridge there? Black more is known for his use of classical elements in his soloing. He's the father of neo-classsical rock à la Yngwie Malmsteen. Who hasn't played Smoke On The Water a million times? In fact that's one of the most common first riffs anyone learns.
Angus Young of ACDC - another Gibson SG man, Angus is known for the pounding simplicity of ACDCs rock anthems and his lightning fast shredding. Who hasn't played Back In Black a million times?
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Rehash of an older shot with photoshopped light effect. I have no time for HNT these days!
A couple of drawings from my figure drawing class. I'm not great but I don't suck and I'm getting better. Had to skip class this week to meet with a producer for the new CD. We have a deal! Therefore there will be recording sessions in the month of Fenruary and hopefully the new record will be done on my brithday March 1st! Wish us luck! HHNT!
Oh! The Gearjammers and I are playing at The High Street Roadhouse tomorrow night. Come! That's Friday Jan 26th @ 10 PM No Cover - Great Cajun Food!
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Today I got up at 4:30 AM, made & drank some herbal tea, checked email, prepped for an important phone meeting today, did the dishes, cleaned the kitchen, took out the trash, tested my microphones & cables (two of each not working brought into work for repairs), compiled a list of 15 clubs to send demos to, made & ate breakfast, made lunch, got my art suppplies together for class tonight, got my gym stuff ready, showered & shaved, dressed, put away clean laundry, bagged dirty laundry, dropped it off, picked up dry cleaning, dropped off rented videos, and drove to work arriving by 8:30. It's 10:30 and I've already done a lot at work (including eating my lunch - oops!). Christ! At this rate I'll be painting the house and framing up a barn! Last night at the gym I realized I lost 1/8th of my body weight this year. I'm dead center of the target weight for my height. Size 32 pants are snug. Ten more pounds off should make them fit right.
Monday, January 22, 2007
OK, first things first: I have now had all three flavors of the flu going around in the last three weeks. I'll spare you the details but ENOUGH ALREADY! OK? Seriously! The good news is being unable to eat or anything else for four days made it possible to quit coffee and cigarettes. I am now 100% drug and alcohol free. Everything is so real! Crystal clear and sharp and coming at me WAY TOO FAST! Make it stop! No, I kid. True sobriety is great but being caffiene free is a weird thing. I feel so...dumb! And slow! I can't get from the cab to the curb without forgetting where I am, why I'm there and what doing. Pretty sad but I hope it will pass. Overall I'm much calmer, more serene and closer to God. Laugh all you want, I don't care. The perception is that when you merge with God you lose yourself, but not so. You BECOME GOD! Fortunately for you all my Godhood is a long way off yet. I sense I'd be a vengeful jealous God. Anyway... STEVE VAI! This guy gets my vote for best overall guitarist ever. His virtuaosity in every area of musicality is unparalleled. Nobody has the whole package like little Stevie Vai. Any guitar player who can satisfy David Lee Roth AND Frank Zappa simply must be acknowledged. So there it is Stevie. Big Props all around from your number one fan.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
I feel better! But I look terrible! Look, just LOOK what drugs and alcohol do to you! LOL! OK, well I finally beat off...my cold. Phew! 'Twas nasty! It's cold as a motherfucker in the Northeast today for the first time this winter. Dammit.
Slight digression: I went last night to a figure drawing workshop for the first time since I medelled for them in college. It was FUN!!! I haven't enjoyed myself that much in ages! I was smack dab in the middle of the talent level. Better than about half the class, not as good as the other half. I held my own pretty well though. Results soon to be posted!
Now to resume the hero worship theme: Keith Richards is the luckiest sonofabitch alive. I've always run hot and cold on The Rolling Stones. Sometimes I'm into it, other times it's a big yawn. I wouldn't go see them, especially at $400 a ticket but they did make some great and influential music. As a rhythm guitarist the guy can't be beat. Also, he has the best rock star quote on aging I ever heard. "When I was 20 it was a good bet I wouldn't make it to 30. When I turned 30 it was a SURE bet I wouldn't see 40. When I turned 50 it finally hit me; I'm going to live forever!" True enough! I bet in a hundred years more people still know who Keith Richards was!
Monday, January 15, 2007
Missing TLOML. If you're reading this ILUSFM. Generally feeling very unsettled and much missing many friends old and new, found and lost. 92 days and counting. I can't wait for boating weather. I need some time on the water to calm my nerves. My hands have been shaking again.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
This guy really should have come first. In fact all three members of Rush should have come first since more than any other musician or group they were the ones who inspired me to become a musician myself. I played drums for several years learning their songs to the best of my ability, then switched to bass as a step towards guitar then finally guitar. This is the only band (with the possible exception of Led Zeppelin) whose songs I can play on all three instruments. So here's to you Mr. Canadian Prog Rock Star! Side note: this series is getting prohibitively long! I already have 8 more guitarists to spotlight and that's just the ones everybody knows! I'm feeling really guilty about not providing all sorts of interesting technical and biographical data onb these dudes but you know what? If you';re reading this you have access to www.wikipedia.com which is where I'd find that crap anyway so ... Viva La Strangiato!
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
OK, I was tempted to put one of the many unflattering pics of this guy up but I decided to be kind. I regard this as giving the devil his due. It is my firm conviction that this guy hasn't played a single note worth listening to since he fired David Lee Roth. With Dave the band consistently rocked and could do no wrong. Ever since they've gone from pop pathetic to pablum puke. Why can't this be love? Because it sucks, that's why. OK, 'nuff said about the forgettable songwriting. On to the guitar playing. You have to give it to the guy. When Eddie came on the scene he was following the likes of Hendrix, Beck, Page, Iommi, Blackmore and Clapton; not an easy lot to follow on. Yet he did it with attitude and style. His two handed technique was so unusual at the time that I've heard he would play with his back to the audience so no one could see what he was doing. If so it was with good reason. If Hendrix was the greatest innovator on the electric guitar since Les Paul invented the thing then this guy surely took it the next step. Only Hendrix and Page inspired more imitators and in the three decades since he probably has more than both of them combined by now. As I write these I realize I should be a lot more technical in my descriptions and specific in my citations but to hell with it. They're my heroes. I'll worship them anyway I want. I should mention that Eddie has another point in his favor: He's sober unlike so many of his contemporaries. He'll probably outlive most of them as a result. However in the minus column he married Valerie Bertinelli. At the time I thought she was the prize of the century. I've since come around to be a more MacKenzie Philips type of guy. I'll say this much: Dave was a lot better after Van Halen than Van Halen was after Dave no matter WHAT the money said.
Monday, January 08, 2007
"If I played guitar I'd be Jimmy Page; the girlies I like are under age!" That quote is from The Beastie Boys but I forget the song. It HAS been heavily rumored that Lord Page prefers them young and docile. He is purported to have a collection of whips, chains and other paraphernelia for the abuse of young and beautiful girls. He has nothing on Bill Wyman (bassist for The Rolling Stones) who I hear married his 13 year old sweet heart. At least they weren't related (like Jerry Lee Lewis' bride). Anyway, his sexploits aside, I admire Mr. Page most for the fact that he's an amazing guitarist. Arguably Jimmy Page is the most immitated guitarist in the world. He had it all; looks, flash, style, substance, talent, control, innovation...come on who else ever used a violin bow on a guitar? Even Eddie Van Halen (a future subject of this series) claimed to have gotten the idea for his famous two-handed technique from Mr. James Patrick Page. During the solo to Heartbreaker he was said to have held a fretted note with his right hand whilst hammering on and pulling off with his left hand above. So here's to you Mr. Gibson slingin', bow wielding, effects drenched, drug takin', groupie shaggin' rock star! We've now had tributes to Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page. Next up? Eddie Van Halen.
Friday, January 05, 2007
I've done posts on Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn but it's time to say a word about the most under-rated guitarist of all time; Jeff Beck. Firstly, he's an amazing guitarist. He's gets sounds out a his strat with just his fingers and an amp that most guys can't make with a whole rack of fancy effects. His sublte microtonal control bending, sliding and using the whammy bar is unparalleled. It's not so much his technical prowess but his ability to emote through his instrument in a clear and heartfelt way. Gets me every time. Also, he's a handsome devil. Another thing that makes him great is he isn't one of those eat, sleep and breathe the guitar guys. He builds hot rods for fun. He does lots of other stuff. All in all a fascinating, talented and amazing individual. Individual; that's the key. His work stands out like crazy. If he's playing on a record you can't miss it. The tone is just so uniquely his own. Also he plays with his fingers rather than a pick. That impresses me. I do that a lot too. Anyway, I guess maybe next we'll feature some more guitar heros in the next little bit.
Thursday, January 04, 2007
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Spirituality is something I'm beginning to have some truck with. It's a slippery thing. If you look right at it (metaphorically speaking) it disappears but if you go on with your life with the proper attitude it's beneath, between, beside and behind you all the way. However you have to work for it. It requires being selfless and giving; concern with your fellow travellers. Introspection and reflection are required. But I can let you have it at a steal! Just send $19.95 to P.O. Box 13
Bukkake, NY 13131.
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
It pointed up some pretty important things I knew but hadn't thought about much.
Answer in the comments, email me or just consider yourself tagged!
0) What's your name and website URL? (optional, of course)
1) What's the most fun work you've ever done, and why?
2) A. Name one thing you did in the past that you no longer do but wish you did?
3) Name one thing you've always wanted to do but keep putting it off?
4) A. What two things would you most like to learn or be better at, and why?
5) If you could take a class/workshop/apprentice from anyone in the world living or dead, who would it be and what would you hope to learn?
6) What three words might your best friends or family use to describe you?
7) Now list two more words you wish described you...
8) What are your top three passions? (can be current or past, work, hobbies, or causes)
9) Write--and answer--one more question that YOU would ask someone
10) What is one question you wish people would ask themselves?
Unrelated Bonus: Great recommended reading list!
Oh, who's kidding who? A resolution? Fuck, for me it takes an act of congress! Alright, alright, I'll give it a shot. I resolve to try and forge a better and stronger spiritual connection with God and my fellow man in the coming year. How's that for high-falutin'? Further I resolve to lose not only the ten pounds I put back on between Thanksgiving and New Year's but an additional five pounds as well. While I'm at it I resolve to quit smoking sometime during this year. There are lots more things I'd like to do but I don't think they call for resoloutions. Just discipline.