Friday, November 30, 2012

Back in New York City!

Before I left LA to go to NY I was fortunate to see Francis Dunnery and Dorie Jackson perform a live gig! They were kicking off a two week tour of the West Coast by doing a show in Fullerton, just an hour outside of LA. It was a club called “Steamers” and was put on by Calprog who are also putting on a Steve Hackett gig on April 1st. Small possibility I may go to that show with either Simon Collins or Francis Dunnery as I know both of them want to see Steve play live as do I.  We’d also love to sit in on a tune. Francis and I already had an amazing opportunity to do that at his CKDCF charity event mentioned earlier in Squids Travels. Here’s another clip from that. An acoustic medley and “Blood On The Rooftops”

So, I went down there with Simeon who I had been recording with. My friend Gavin Lurssen who is an award-winning mastering engineer (and does all the mastering for Sonic Elements) was also going to try to make it to the show. It was great to see Francis and Dorie again. I've actually never seen them perform live together. Dorie couldn't make it to the charity gig we did. But Francis has been telling me I have to see what they do with the harmonies. It's really tight. Their voices blend so well together and individually they're two of my favorite voices and people. It was a shame I couldn't stay a few more days and hang with them some more. But I had a flight booked to New York the next day. 

That's a YouTube link to watch Back in NYC from the gig. Just a clip shot from my iPhone. 

After the gig they wanted to get some food and for some reason they chose Denny's. To me that's a late night last resort and it wasn't even that late. But, it was more about the company than the food. I did end up having French Toast just because I couldn't handle watching everyone eating breakfast without me (my original plan was to eat nothing and like it). 

The next day I had to prepare for my flight but I did a quick trade with Simeon for yet another one of his guitars. He has an incredible guitar collection and most of them are boutique gorgeous "don't touch it, don't even look at it' type guitars like these:

They are beautiful instruments. I don't have anything like that. I tend to get more ratty beat up guitars or ones that have a quirky charm to them or are just easy to play and have a vibe. Some of them I've gotten from friends and my favorite guitar of all time is a Dan Electro Convertible Acoustic/Electric guitar. I should really name it. Guy Pratt told me a story about how he named his favorite bass "Betsy". I did a great video interview with Guy that's coming where he goes into detail about many of his basses. It made me think about my Dano. (or if it's a she "Dana", "Dani", "Daniella"?)

Look at that lovely 70's kitchen counter top formica! 

Believe it or not Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin used a very similar guitar with the same lipstick pick ups as this one. He had a "Silvertone" guitar which was sold by SEARS! Yep. The same people who make washer and dryers. I believe those guitars were really made by Dan Electro and licensed to Sears under the "Silvertone" brand name. The Silvertone Page used was cool because the guitar case had a little mini guitar amp in it! Not a very good one though. Jimmy played the perfect note through an old Supro amp and I actually had that exact model amp too and sold it to Simeon years ago. Maybe he'll sell it back to me. Well, anyway, what I did manage to accomplish is a trade involving his Jerry Jones electric 12 string. He's had it for decades and I've rarely seen him use it. It's a similar style as the vintage Dan Electros. It has the lipstick pick ups, it's light and easy to play... but it's a 12 string! Every time I've picked it up I've wanted to start writing something. That's how you know the guitar is good in my opinion. It has very little to do with its book value or the brand name or how collectible it is. I mean that counts for something but what trumps that is how it feels when you play it and how it makes you feel, what it inspires in you... that's what makes an instrument great. 

So, ladies and gentlemen, I am proud to present the latest member of the Squids family of instruments. Jerry! (the female Jerry... you know... like Jerry Hall? No? I'm not sure about this naming thing. But here she is anyway):

Found the perfect case to take my ghostly black and white electric 12 to take on the plane.

So, I flew to New York and now I'm in Connecticut visiting my Mom. In a few days I head up to Binghamton, NY for some radio interviews and a CD release party of an album I co-produced with Randy McStine called "Chalk Lines" by Lo-Fi Resistance. You can still download a free track from it called "The Silent War". I'm not sure how long that will be available so go grab it and check it out! It features Randy on guitar and vocals, me on keys, Colin Edwin and Gavin Harrison of Porcupine Tree on bass and drums respectively plus other guests. Randy's previous Lo-Fi Resistance album "A Deep Breath" which has contributions from my old Thud bandmate Nick D'Virgilio is now also available from Burning Shed. 

I'm also planning a few cool sessions while I'm up here including one with Lorelei McBroom, Durga McBroom-Hudson's sister who also sang with Pink Floyd as well as Rod Stewart, The Rolling Stones and many others. So... more to come! Might slow the blogging down just a little and relax though. I'm sure you don't mind. It's been an onslaught of stuffed Squids lately. 

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