Wednesday, December 31, 2008

"Happy New Year" 2009

Happy 2009 Everyone! IT's gonna be a great one. I'm out celebrating and will write..... later tomorrow!

"ENJOY! Yay, Whahoo0O0oo! Oh yay!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

"Merry Christmas Everyone!"

Merry Christmas Everyone!

So nice to have another season with you all. I appreciate you visiting as you do, as we catch up on all the doin's.

I'm at my wifes folks house here in Northern Ca. "Cold" (actually freezing by my standards). And my standards have changed from since I was a kid. I grew up back east. (US expression meaning the east coast New York or Philadelphia area). I knew cold, shoveled my share of sidewalks and driveways. Got so casual about the cold that I'd walk through the snow with sneakers on! The trick was to stay on top of the snow and not let your feet "crunch" through the top layer of the frozen surface. Very cold once the snow went in the shoe! "Now that was cold"

My new standard of cold is, (now that I've lived more that half my life now on the west coast) "Yikes, I better put on a long sleeve shirt today, it's freezin' out here in Sunny California!" Yep, pretty pathetic by East Coast standards... But hey, I'm cold!! So cold in fact, for Christmas I bought my mother a portable heater! (I guess I figure if I'm cold, everyones cold - She lives back east, I'm sure she's cold!).

I'll be in Las Vegas in a couple weeks (Frankie Avalon show - Orleans Hotel and Casino, C'mon by say hello) and guess what? "It snowed there last week, 3.5 inches! AHHHHHH it's everywhere. It did that once before in 1979, (I remember places I've been cold in).

Why once I was doin' a gig in Minneapolis. Woke in my Howard Johnson's Hotel room, with a mound of 'snow' leaning against the sliding glass door to the outside balcony..... "From the inside of my room!!!" 6 degrees below zero! I was afraid to look under my bed, I figured there'd be a 'Frozen Woolly Mammoth" under there. How the snow got inside, is a mystery to me the slider was closed. Jack Frost must of had a key.

Why once when I was on tour in Stockholm in the winter (I'm cold just thinkin' about that one). I was bundled up, scarf, big winter coat that was long past my knees. And yet I was still 'cold'. How cold? Well as embarrassing as it is to say.... I was outside, it was FREEZIN', I was bundled up real tight, and while standing there, I had to Fart! Well I tell you, "I welcomed the added heat under that coat and kept it in there as long as I could!!! I was only sorry I hadn't eatin' beans as I would have kept that up all day LONG!!

Yep, I guess I tend to remember where I've been cold before.

With thoughts of a "Warm Fire" MERRY CHRISTMAS to you all.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

News in Flashes

So... what have I been doin'? It's been awhile. "Yes, I know. I mean to be more diligent but a lot goes on and I get side tracked."

 I've been scoring music for TV and Film. Sounds great.. "YAY"
1.  However, I'm one of a few composers that submitted their work. The TV show (extremely popular daytime talk show) needs to choose my music for the theme first before I can fully jump up and down.
2. The film I'm working on is in the beginning of production. That's a long way from you and I eatin' popcorn and going to watch it in the movie theaters.
Non the less I'm very excited to be doing the work. I love to 'score music' to picture, you get to pick out moments of importance and highlight it with 'feeling and excitement'. 

After I know I 'did on didn't' get the TV show theme, I'll let us all in on what the name of the show is. I just don't like to talk or think about it much in the mean time.

I had a blast recording it, I had a great trumpet/flugelhorn player John Papenbrook come over to my studio and lay about 11 horn tracks down for the theme. Whew... is he good. I would really enjoy writing an album for him, he's such an exciting player. You can hear him on the "Bonnie Hunt show", "South Park", "Family Guy".... he gets around alright.

Another project I'm busy with is a 'light Jazz" album I'll do this year on Stick and NS/Stick. I'll have horns on that project as well and will have John over again as well as my brother Dave (Who you have heard him play sax and flute on a few of the Erik Norlander and Lana Lane CD's. It is about half written and coming along nicely.
Also another Progressive Rock album to follow up my "Peering Over Clouds" cd is in the works.

Lance Matthew and I have been writting and recording together for YEARS. We will have two Cd's come out in 2009.

"Rocket Scientists" will have some new releases in '09 as well but I can't mention them yet. Record companies don't like it when you mention release stuff before they do. However I can mention we will be on tour in March 28th and starting in the Detroit area. I'll post more about that as we get closer.

I can mention I'll be in Las Vegas with the Frankie Avalon show at the Orleans Hotel and casino Jan. 15-18. It will be a blast as always, I haven't seen them in a while so it will be extra fun.

"The Guild" (online TV show I write music for) is in full swing of "Season Two". They struck a deal with Xbox to have the shows exclusively downloadable to that system. My son has the xbox and suddenly, "I was popular in his eyes again". I love when that happens. Been doing that show for years, he never saw it... Suddenly it's in his game box... and "Wow, that pappy is good!" You can also go online and see it

In the 'realm of mystical stuff I can't figure out'.... There was an 'incredible' drummer I was lucky enough to be in a band with named "Bob Doo" (nick name of course). He and I played great together. He was 20 years younger than me, and had such a funny sense of humor, slightly warped but funny. 

One day we were meeting at a restaurant after rehearsal with a group of people and as I enter the restaurant and look around for everyone I hear him yell out, "Hey liver spot, over here!" As horrible as that may sound to you, I laugh again as I write this. It was his wacked sense of humor that let me know he loved me dearly as well. And I was just telling my wife the other day that I miss him and how great we played together..

Anyway, he died some years ago (God rest his soul). So a few days ago I had this gig in a very nice church doing an extravaganza of a Christmas concert, playing bass and also doing a solo spot on NS/Stick. I keep my phone on vibrate and felt it go off. I didn't have to play at that particular moment - so I pull it out of my pocket to see who it is.... the name comes up "Bob Doo"!!  The kicker is, though I left his name in my phone (I just couldn't delete it), I did erase the number, and yes it was still erased. I talked out loud to him on the way home, it felt good and thanked him for the call.

I had a great lunch meeting with a director and we talked about doing an online series. (Online series's are getting quite popular). He wrote "Mr. Hollands Opus" and I've scored some films for him before.  It would be a "fun" show, a mystery with 50's style detective music. Lol! Lot's of fun. We ate at a great restaurant in West Wood here in Los Angeles... which is about a half hour from my house. I paid $22.00 for parking!!! "I'm walkin' next time!"

I've got the 'Christmas Tree" up. It is COLD here in Los Angeles this week. I don't remember it ever being this cold before. That's why I like it here... "Sunny California" ya know! I don't mind visiting the cold like when I visit my Mom back east, but yikes I don't like when the 'cold' visits me here. I've been throwing wood in our fireplace like I'm feeding the furnace of a Steam Engine train.

As a matter of fact, my hands are cold typing! I'm gonna go 'warm up' by the fireplace, you all have a wonderful evening and we'll meet back here real soon!
Good Nite!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

"On tour, bottom of the Nineth"

Well I'm in Miami and I'm having a great time. The concerts are well received and a lot of fun. I'm playing with John Snider, a dear friend and drummer who used to live in Los Angeles and toured with Eddie Money for many years, we've done many albums together, three of them with Eddie Money.

While I'm here John has a busy student schedule as well. So, just because we can, I've been going to his drum classes in the day, "Some of which are at the young students houses!" I break out the NS/Stick and John brings a conga drum. I dive into a Groove in their living room, John guides the drum student (some of them 10 years old) as to what to play on drums... them mom and dad come out to see what all the ruckus is, and find their son rockin' out with two guys that sound like a full rock band!! They are sooo proud of their little child "rockin" loud and proud, and the kid is just beaming with pride.

Very fun and deluxe as some of these students homes are right on the canal and have beautiful homes with deluxe views over the water. I get to relax, jam a little with a great view, John gets to sit back relax and teach while the student gets overwhelmed with, "Oh my goodness, what do I do now - that wacky man is playing bass and guitar parts at the same time and is now telling me to take a solo!!!! ahhhhhhhhhh" (Priceless look on their faces... only out done by the joyous yelps of their mom and dad, brothers and sisters who see their child in a whole new light... "Look at that, the boy can play!!!"

Not only is John a fantastic drummer and percussionist but equal in task to teaching.

We have one more concert tomorrow afternoon, then I fly home that evening. Ya know, I love flying. I get tired after a few days of playing and constantly getting from one place to another and so I look at flying as having 'my own in flight 'napping' chair!" It's kinda like nap time in Kindergarten where you had your own blanket and laid on the floor with the other kids. Well this is the 'adult' version where you get your own reclining chair.

And so you take off, have a hour or two nap, wake up, ring the bell to get your juice, maybe a cookie, chips or crackers... then nod off for a few more hours, wake up... watch a little in flight TV.... C'mon... what's not to like!" If you do that at home on the couch the wife calls ya 'lazy'... do it on a plane... and suddenly now 'your workin' nobody says nothin'... "Whats not to like!"

Got a call for the end of December to go to Lake Tahoe for a gig with Frankie Avalon. I haven't been to Tahoe in like 15 years. That would be a great time of year to go. I'll post the event when I get more details next week.

I'll be booking more and more solo shows as I've been working on new material and singing a lot. Rocket Scientists have a tour coming up in March... so everyone seems to be starting up again slowly, but everyone's 'slowly' is adding up to me getting busy touring. I have a 'lot' of recording to do over the next two months so... perhaps I'll try something new to me.. "planning" .
As I'll need to use my time more efficiently.

"Lana Lane" (Think Tank Media release) released a 'best of' CD. This is only available in Japan. Different bands and artists get popular in certain areas and "Lana's " is in Japan. I was sent a copy and it looks beautiful (like all Think Tank releases, they have the High Pro- no expense spared look to them). This is no exception. Of course I played on a lot of the tunes but also got one that I co-wrote on the album "Hands To Heal". Writing as you know, is the way to make money in music so, it was nice to find out I have cut on the CD.

I went to two little leauge baseball games while I was here. John's young son was playing (5 yrs old). It was fun to see them play, he swung hard... however - he never got close to hitting the ball - but with hotdogs and hamburgs stuffed in our mouths we cheered him on ....Last game of the season so we say, "You'll hit it outta the park next year".

A GREAT trip, I'm tired and am starting to look forward to my "napping chair".

We'll talk soon!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Hi all,

I'll be performing as you'll read the flyer below. It will be a fantastic evening of Stickist and me being one of them.

I intend to get out and perform my music more that I've written over the years and yikes as I get older "Over the Years" becomes larger and larger. Technology changes however the songs remain the same. A good tune, is a good tune.

Speaking of getting older, yep, my birthday is Sunday, thank you all for the birthday wishes. I joke and say, "I'm gonna have lots of cake if I can find my way to it through all the candles!" Next year I'm gonna need a bigger cake!

Gigs comin' up aside from the below show. I'll be in San Diego next Friday with Bobby Rydell and Lou Christy. It will be a fun show.

See you soon somewhere! EXCELLENT,

@ Paladino's in Tarzana
Sunday, November 16th


An evening of round-robin performances by six
exceptional artists/stylists on The Chapman
Stick® in solo and various duo combinations,
including some vocals and drums.

As dedicated Stick musicians we also enjoy each
other's performances on this innovative
instrument. A typical "Stick Night", wherever
it's held in the world, is a total variety show
of genres and styles, all tapped out with both
hands on the blank slate of the Stick fretboard.
It's like a family gathering of those with a
common goal expressed in diverse styles and
techniques. We think you'll be as surprised and
entertained as we ourselves, as we trade the
limelight from song to song, each artist
inspiring the next to greater efforts.

- Don Schiff on NS/Stick, of Rocket Scientist,
song writer/vocalist, with dynamic drummer
Neil Bettencourt.

- Larry Tuttle on 12-string Grand Stick with
his wife Novi on her magic red viola, both of
- Ben Weber on 10-string Stick, the youngest guy,
with a very original solo musical concept.

- Kevin Keith on 10-string Stick,
song writer/vocalist and innovative
studio recording artist.
- Gary Jibilian on NS/Stick, in a very tight duo
with Jay Setar, his innovative drummer, both of

- Emmett Chapman on 10-string Stick, the oldest
guy, playing through nothing but the house system.

Drummers Neil Bettencourt and Jay Setar will each
in turn accompany various Stickists on some selected songs.

MC for the evening will be Diana Lang, yoga and meditation teacher,
lecturer and author.

Paladino's nightclub is located at
6101 Reseda Blvd. in Tarzana,
a block and a half south of Victory Blvd. on the west side.
The nightclub telephone number is 818-342-1563.

Cover charge is $10. at the door. Show starts at
9 PM and continues non-stop until 1 AM.

The event will be announced on Paladino's Website

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Ya know over time ya just gotta stop and reflect. Goals you've wanted to achieve, goals you have achieved etc,... I look around my studio, I have a Gold Album on the wall. Oh yea for reals. Why back in the day if you were a part of an album that sold over 500,000 copies... "You" got to join the club of Gold Album honorees. So, there I am (I co-wrote a song for Pat Benatar) and got a nifty Gold Album. Ya can't do that now... Why? Cause they have CD's now, you get a gold CD now days I guess. So, I'll look forward to one of those.

I have a Hammond Organ in my studio.. Always wanted one of those. I have the rotating Leslie speakers too.The top is cut off so the rotating speaker is exposed, (louder that way). Fun to watch the top rotor speaker spin. I don't have much office space so 'things' collect on top of that cabinet. Fun to 'fire up' the 'ol Hammond and watch as the speaker spins, stuff just goes "Flyin' everywhere as that baby whirls like a helicopter takin' off.

My old Rickenbacker bass hangs on the wall with other assorted instruments, even gotta "accordian". Why!?!? I don't know, something I always wanted... however I never figured out why.

The Middle of Nov. a new DVD will come out of Rocket Scientists live at the 3 Rivers Festival. It should be a great DVD, I recall the concert and venue being superb. Think Tank Media always does a top notch job with production and sound. I'm excited as the 'big' solo piece of mine is part of the show. "Ya know, you never think of it this way but... I never get to see it". I'm always on the other side of my eyes. Hopefully I'll be as happy when I watch it as I was when I was performing it - from my side of the mirror.

A solo I'd like to see of mine... but alas never did, was a solo spot I had many years ago in front of a 4,000 seat arena and televised to boot. It was a bass solo. I thought I'd make a 'grand' entrance from the band by jumping off the piano players bench to the front of the stage. Well I jumped to hurriedly, and the bench teetered (even with the piano player still on it), I recovered my balance and landed okay, thinking to myself (ohhhh close one, but now let's play).

I was so pumped up from nearly falling over I started 'slappin' the bass strings but not realizing how 'hard' I was doing it. Suddenly when the notes weren't sounding right, I looked over and noticed... I hit the strings so hard they all bounced off the neck and all the strings where now in the same 'string slot' as the first string!!!! The only thing I could think of to do was to make it a 'bongo' solo... so I kept slapping and banging on the bass like they were bongos!!!

Oh well, maybe that solo is one, best remember from my side the eyes.... and ears. It was in Korea so... maybe fortunately it never made it to the US.

Ya know... another thing I think is funny as I notice you get more famous, (I'm not a house hold word by any means but in my small circle - slightly larger than my wife, son and mom) I get recognized occasionally and ya begin to think about stuff differently.

Like say, your playin' in a club, and before you go on, the dinner you ate 45 min. ago starts backin' up on ya. You think to yourself - 'should I use the restroom in the club!' Because when I get done... the next person's that open that door are gonna have the 'smell shock' of their lives... "Then there gonna see it was me!" Then the show will start - and I'm thinking "No matter how well I play,... there gonna be tellin' all their friends, "ya know, that guy really stinks! really!"

Sooo ya end up holdin' it... that can't be to healthy either.

Okay, I'm off on a silly tangent here. You all have a good night!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

"Together again for the first Time"

Hi All and everyone,

Oh about a year ago, (whew time fly's by) I did a recording for a German artist "Valenteano" (sounds Italian to me but hey, I just play the notes). Wonderful writer and in this case a more 'classical' vein. I thought I was playing on a "Bon Jovi" type ablum when first contacted and when I got the tracks, it was classical acoustic guitar... "SURPRISE".

Well, needles to say I dove in and had a blast. The CD releases next month called "VALENTEANOacoustics". I played NS/Stick bass side doin's only, but I got in a few high slides. I went for a fretless feel.

Then for the adventurous of ear! Listen for the 'cello' like part. OH YES indeedy! It's me again, bouncin' back big 'n loud with the Bowed Guitar! The manufacturer calls it the GuitarViol( Either way, it's a guitar set up with a curved bridge so you can bow each string. Lovely sound, (Emmett was so gracious to set it up for me so I could "YES, you guessed it!" what else would I want to do but "Tap and Bow" together!!! OF course I would, however this tune shows no example of that! Lol, Just bowing, Give a listen.

Acoustic Guitar, NS/Stick and GuitarViol. Together again for the first time

Go to:
Scroll down to song number 6 "ELEGIE"

Take care, off to the Santa Cruz seminar... See you there, Donut in hand.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The "Skypes" the limit!

How fun is that!?! We have been having a blast. Yes lesson from Irag to England to Kansas and all points in between. A most enjoyable time is had by all. Thank you all, and I welcome everyone else that would like to 'join the fun!'.

I'm pretty entertaining... "Just ask me!" and so unfortunately the hour slips by so fast... and we hang out longer anyway, just because it is so astonishing to be giving lessons halfway round the world and yet, it's like we're all in the same neighborhood.

I used to teach in a music school when I had more time... it was as entertaining (I tell ya, the older I get, the funnier younger people are). I remember being the "youngster" with my long hair, rebel ways (okay, you know me... I was very POLITE about my rebelness) but I recall the 'headshaking" of that older generation. Now "I see" what was so funny. Being young, is just funny.

Anyway,  I tour to much to keep a regular schedule but scheduling Skype lessons solved that, so I'd like to try opening up lessons for 'music' in general.  Heck, if you'd like to see if I could help you get 'kick started' in your Stick, NS/Stick, guitar, bass, song writing, lyric writing... heck, Skype or email me ( put -look@melook@u- in the subject) ... Have I gotta lesson for you, we'll talk about it, happy to help if I can.

Okay, gotta gig coming up in October. A seminar and concert. Neil Bettencourt has joined me on drums/percussion and stuff ya hit. We have been rehearsing and I couldn't be happier. After this seminar and concert, I'll start booking festivals and put a tour together for my solo shows with Neil. I'm really enjoying the unique style we've found. I'd tell ya more, but how 'bout I play a place near you, and you come on out and see us. We'll have a blast.

I had the "Supreme" compliment the other day. It's nice when people ask for your autograph and are so polite saying, "I don't wish to disturb you but could I...." Let me tell ya, I waited a 
l-o-n-g time for someone to want my autograph... "Heck I'll chase ya down if I think you want one!"

Anyway I got an email requesting an Autograph picture as a gift for someone. (I tried giving my wife one for Christmas, but "somehow" the 'charm' was lost on her and I had to go buy something else). Oh well, I'm on this one though, got a nice picture all picked out for them. 

Then Speaking of fun stuff like that, ... this took me by surprise. I got stopped the other day as someone had a big "Don Schiff wall Clock!" with them, complete with my picture with hour, minute and second hands on it... and they wanted it autographed! (I don't even have a "don schiff clock!" (But I think I'll get one for my wife for Christmas, I'll try again!) So I signed it, "Nice Spending Time With You!" ...... C'mon, that was a good one!

Maybe I'll sign my wife's, "Could ya stand me one more minute!" (I joke, we've been at each other... I mean together 30 some years now). I love it.

Alright, gotta run now and so I'll close with.. "I'll keep practicing, you keep listening"
Take care,

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Look at me lookin' at you! lol

This is working out great, lots of requests for the online lessons Tvshow of shows. Wonderful to hear from all of you we are gonna hit the computer airwaves hard. Perfect! and we'll have a blast too.

This concept is new to all of us so if you'd like 'jump in the deep end' with me and try it out!, ... 'You can stare at me, staring at you', we can set up a time to try Skype out, you'll see me, I'll see you, we'll LAUGH!!!! You'll know it works and then we can set a lesson up if you'd like. Hey, the call doesn't even cost a 'dime'. And how many of us remember a call costing a dime. Heck I don't recall seeing phone booths anymore for that matter! Ahhhhhh, the worlds changing.... "and I'm diggin' it!' (showin' my age with that 'hip' lingo of long ago).

My skype name is very tricky.. Took me many man and woman hours to come up with it, "donschiff'. Whew, who'd of thought.

 email me at to schedule a "look at me, lookin' at you" laugh fest. Put "Look@meLookin@you" in the subject heading please.

"Don't delay call today!" okay okay, "Don't delay, email today!"

I'm from the East Coast originally, whew did they have the 'sales' slogans down to an art form, even the phone numbers were interesting to remember, They had names like:
"Cherryhill 9" or "Sycamore 8"... Ahhh memory lane. Nice place to visit.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Skype, lesson, humor, tv show coStarring You!

Ya know it's a new cyber world out their and to add to that, I have "Skype". I talk to my friend Al through the computer in Australia, And sure I wake him up half the time but..... it's a free call, and if he had a camera I'd see him too. Perhaps at that late of an hour, that's why he never got a camera!

I'm thinkin', I could give lessons if someone would want one, this Stick and NS/Stick instruments I play aren't exactly 'household music' store or lesson items. So here it is, if you'd like a Stick, NS/Stick or Bass Lesson, contact me... here's the email We'll talk, set a time, ... (if you're in Australia 'set that alarm clock!') and we'll put a Skype lesson together.

With Skype, you are able to see and hear me on your computer screen as well as I can see and hear you on mine. No glitches in sound or jerky pictures either! It's free to download too

It'll be great, part lesson, humor and TV show Starring you and me! . I'm lookin' forward to it.

Take care, "See ya on TV!"

Saturday, September 6, 2008

"A nice surprise call"

I got a surprise call this morning. The Dave Mason band is on tour and their bassist went to the hospital (we wish you a speedy recovery). So when that happens you need to cover the dates coming up... so I got a call this morning to see about my availability.  I suggested if it looks like they'll need me to send me mp3's of the set, I'll arrive off the jet ready to go.

Regardless of whether they will need me this time, it's nice knowing someone was kind enough to think of you. "Thanks Guys!"

For those Dave Mason Fans you already know that at 19 he wrote the classic "Feelin' Alright". A great song and even more so when you get to play it with the original artist!

How many times have you played "Johnny B. Goode" - to many we'd say, however I had the honor to play it with Chuck Berry and I tell ya, It took on a whole new level and meaning. It was great as the original 'spark' was there. Not just three chords and a rif but the original spark of 'why the tune works'. A great moment.

Another deluxe moment was the time I was doing a TV show and got to play one of my all time favorite songs, "Let's Stay Together".  You guessed it, with Al Greene (and a reverend at that
time too). A kind and humble man, it was truly a great experience performing with him and meeting him.

You all have a great day, 'who knows what calls we'll get and who we'll hear from tomorrow!"

Sunday, August 31, 2008

"A good time was had by all"

The gig went great in Pittsburgh. Rocket Scientists played the" 3 Rivers Progressive Rock Festival" August 23rd or around there. Excellent theater and shows. California Guitar Trio was excellent I caught there show, Spock's Beard and the Flower Kings as well. A great time was had by all. A super festival of Progressive bands.

Erik Norlander -Keyboards/Mark McCrite guitar-vocals/Jim Williams-Electric Guitar/Chris Quirarte-drums/Lana Lane-vocals/Don Schiff (that's me) NS/Stick

The food was wonderful, after sound check I went to the dressing room trailer and watched the closing ceremonies of he olympics while the kitchen staff cooked 'delicious' ribs and chicken. "Ohhh I ate goood!" No pictures of that... C'mon I was eatin'!


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Look Ma! I got an award.

This is Heidi, she and I wrote a song together last year. She was very diligent in entering it in contests and such, turns out we got and award from Billboard . How nice, EXCELLENT persistance Heidi, thank you.

Heidi resides in NY, and we haven't met yet,... the magic of the internet, sending tracks and words via cyber space. "One day we'll have lunch Heidi!" and give congratulatory hugs.

Here's a picture of the award.

Always nice to have your music and songs appreciated and noticed. I consider it an honor even to be considered. It's nice to have this song of ours make the 'radar'.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Click the picture and you'll be taken to the 'radio promo spot' for the upcoming Buffalo, New York gig. One of the better 'radio spots' I've heard. Of course it's nicer when it's the band your in.
It starts out with me on Stick, that's a nice touch. Well this gig is gonna be recorded so that's gonna be a blast of a gig.
C'mon down, join the fun, it's gonna be great!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Concert Photo's

These photo's were of the Bay Area Rock Festival in San Francisco 5/18/2008.
We had a blast, behind the venue they had a LARGE cookout for all the bands that evening. It was like a giant 'band backyard bar-b-que'. Huge grill cooking burgers, hotdogs, steaks, pork, spicey sausage, and lots of beer... and soda's for people like me who 'fall down fast' after drinking the neck of a beer. I'm known for that 'funny limit' and the quite the guy to hang around in the bar with if you like beer with just the 'neck' drunk down... "Practically a full beer"... two sips, I'm done - anything past that and I get a bit wobbly... however, Donuts I can devour.

For us Stick enthusiast's notice the positioning of the NS/Stick neck angle compared to the guitarists. I'm at about a 2 O'clock position while the guitars hang about 3 O'clock. I use that same angle for tapping, slide style playing and plucking. Just an observation that I got from looking at these pictures. For those that play, interesting information. In that first 'solo' picture of me, look close at my right hand, you can see the metal slide gripped between my 1st and 2nd finger.
Well, I'm here in San Francisco area at the moment attending a wedding as my brother-in-law just got married, it was a lovely wedding ceremony on the beach at "Baker Beach" below Golden Gate bridge and down the beach a bit. Just lovely and a perfect day for it. No one got around to getting a 'permit' to have the ceremony on the beach so it had a nice element of excitement looking over our shoulders to see if the beach patrol was comin' around to scoop us up. Alas, a perfect day! The Wedding ended at the beach instead of the downtown police station. It's an incredibly LARGE and funny family I married into and 'believe it or not' the wedding would have worked well eitherway.
Take care,

Friday, July 25, 2008

Mysterious Me

So yea, that's my cousin in one of my childhood 'favorite' movies - "Mysterious Island". His name is Michael Callan and was also the charactor 'Riff' in the Broadway hit West Side Story. Ohhhh he's good.

Anyway, July 21st at 12:30 pm on TCM channel this movie will air. Your gonna love it, check it out., Giant Crabs, Captain Nemo, Monsterous Octopus and yes... Pirates! Ohhh it's a good one. And he gets the girl too, Yay cousin.

Hey, I was in a few movies... no crabs, octopus and I didn't even see a girl on the set however if you rent 84 CHARLIE MOPIC... I'm in the first 10 minutes of the film painting rocks white. Speaking of not getting the girl, how's this. There is the video I have out of the tune "Wait By The River" (check youtube you'll find it - or.. go their.

Anyway, I shoot my part and the director says "Yea and this girl will dance around and such.." I think, hey, wow, this is gonna be great! My video, I'm in it... Great looking girl!" We shoot the music portion first of me playing and singing and then I'm told we'll add the dancer. I get a call two days later... "Videos done, she was great!" WHAT!!!!! My own video I don't to even 'imagine in my head that I could 'get' the girl (married 32 years.. was never gonna happen in reality) BUT Ya Know It Would Have Made A Great Story In My Head!!! But no.... Never even saw her til the video. Ahhh Hollywood! Ah well, my cousin did just fine at least.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Sour Braten

Ah a lovely dish and delicious as well. It's a German dish called and spelled correctly sauerbraten. I bring this little story up as I hear Rocket Scientists are headlining a festival in Germany this upcoming November. Sure, I'll get times and dates but, really, this early I just think, Oh what shall I eat while I'm over there.

Well this is one of my favorite dishes. It also reminds me of the time my wife and I used to go to this lovely German restaurant in Las Vegas (When we were just kids in love). We'd order this dish all the time and kind of giggled at the name... one day I had bad breath, and to this day our 'code' name for 'bad breath' is "Honey, SauerBraten breath, have a mint!" Of course if it's my breath, it's "Oh my word!! Your breath is 6 feet long! do something about that!" Like, stand in then next room and call me on the cell phone. Yikes, whatta ya eatin' out garbage cans!

Ah, the gentler days of dating, no one farted, burped loud and Sauerbraten was just a food.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Guild Season 1 and "Walkin' the Dog again.

Aha! The Guild Season 1 DVD. Who knew it would be so popular! The next season already has sponsorship and will begin shooting August/September. I think I'll get in a few scenes next season that would be fun.

Well if you'd like to find out more and pre-order your copy go to and have a look around. Lots of good information their.

The "Guild Theme" ring-tone will also be available in a few weeks. Currently you can buy the theme on itunes as well as the "Christmas Special" we did last...."Christmas!". I'm sure that will be popular again in....oh say in about 4-5 months.

Okay, quick "Walkin' the Dog" story. Last time I told a dog story it was the one where I forgot to bring a Poop bag but had a small kleenex. So I balance the Large TURD in the small kleenex, Cell phone rang, I grabbed it out of my pocket, dogs lurched, Poops got unbalanced while teetering in the kleenex... Poop hit the phone just as I put it to my ear, ...... Smooosh!

The dog (Lovely Shepard mix) just love those walks and seems to relish a nice place to poop (has all day to do it at home) but would rather me carry it around the block instead. Walk the dog up, walk the dog and poop back. I have a technique where I put the plastic bag inside out on my hand, capture the poop, pull the plastic bag 'right side out' and the Hand comes out clean and Poop safely captured in the bag.... "To bad this bag had a hole in the bottom". Finger stayed inside the bag!" I must say, she's a warm dog inside... Quite the steamy turd! (I think I saw her laughing! with her funny dog smile with tongue hangin' out!"


Friday, July 11, 2008

Excellent Tour

Well, it's been awhile since I last wrote, sorry.. whew between tired and busy, it just didn't happen. The San Francisco "Bay Area Rock" festival was grand! I took my wife up to San Francisco (we live in S. California). She has retired soooo now she has more time to "hit the road" with me. It was very cute as she got the nice VIP treatment at the club as she got to sit in the upstairs lounge area behind thick glass and comfy seats to watch the show down below.

I didn't even know they had such a thing at this club and as it was a rather large club I couldn't see her from the stage. My phone range, and since we hadn't started yet, I answered. She said, "I'm upstairs!". I said, "I didn't know they had one". As I looked up, there I saw a phone waiving back and forth. Ohhhhhh, there you are. Very nice, "Thanks, bye, gotta play now."

Oh yes, back to the 'cute' part. So mid show I have a rather large 'solo' spot. Well it goes over very nicely and the crowed just loved it. lots of applause and cheers. Well over ALL that yellin' I hear my wife's "Super Sonic" (thumb and finger to lips) pearcing whistle cutting through from the back of the upstairs - behind the class VIP room. I looked up ...smiled and laughed, "That's my girl!"

Then onto upstate NY. Another great gig and fun time on the road. From their I went to Philadelphia to see my family. It was a blast as always. I did bring Tasty Cakes home. I like the Butter Scotch Crimpets. We go back in late August. I'll get more, these didn't last two days.

The next tour is around August 24th, Chicago, Pittsburgh and upstate New York.  The promoters said they would take us to Niagra Falls and for a boat ride behind the falls. I've never been so it'll be GREAT!

You all take care, I'll write again soon.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Home Movies

Ahhh home movies, well almost. We feel at home in this studio. I've been recording there since ohhhhh Way back! I think Lincoln was president. I even may have met Erik in that studio. Back in the 80's, maybe my first deluxe studios I did sessions in. Back in the day when their was a huge Studer 24 track tape deck.

I get asked a lot what's it like in the studio. Here's a cool look. This video was shot at "Woodcliff Studio" in Sherman Oaks, California. As you'll see in this 'movie above' it is a rather complex tune and we've got our heads (okay, my head) buried in the music. LOTS of head nodding to cue each other "Heads Up odd bar and lick alert!!!"

It also has me playing unique instruments aside from my already unique Stick instruments. You've seen me with the NS/Stick and the Grand Stick but this video also includes the "Bowed Guitar". It is a guitar that has a cello like bridge so you can bow each string individually or together. Check it out. I thought you might get a kick out of it.

In the full length DVD this footage is from, the next scene has me in front of the 'donuts' of course.

Luck Man

Just released, a portion of the "LOOKING BACKWARD DVD from the Rocket Scientist box set. This is some footage of Emmett Chapman (Stick inventor and genius) and myself. Go visit and you'll find some other 'super cool' video and music as well. How fun is this, to be video-ed with some one you admire so much and respect. I'm a lucky man I tell ya!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

My Goodness, picture technology today.

Wow Time

Well the GUILD has done it again, WOW (and not World of Warcraft) they are a busy bunch. Here is a blurb direct from the site 

"We are very excited to announce that cast members of The Guild will be appearing at ComiCon in San Diego, July 24-27th! We will be staging out of the California Browncoats booth, tables A7/A8. The far right of the convention center, near the back wall, next to a lounge area!" 

So from what I read last year 125,000 people attended... Ohhh darn nice convention! This will be wonderful as they will make available for sale "SEASON 1" DVD of the show. After that, it will be available for purchase elsewhere. Yay TEAM! Mind you I'm excited because I wrote and scored the theme and interior music. Though my work gets heard every show at least twice... it appears I'm VERY busy with the show, "You really record it once, and it gets place in the show". However I feel busy everytime I watch the show! ...... 

Maybe Season two, I'll ask for a walk on part, that would be fun. I do that every once in a while. You can rent a movie called " '84 Charlie Mopic". Yay, true enough I'm in it! For REAL! Early on in the show you see me painting Rocks White. Yea, it's a big part alright, it's in there with my other big part I had in a movie called "Live From Death Row" with Bruce Davidson and Joanna Cassidy. In that big Block Buster of a TV movie I run up to a moving van (nearly got run over) and yell, "lana I love you, I love you!"... Now here's where my 'smart thinkin' comes into play!"  The line originally was, "Lana I love you!"     Ya see what I did there?... I doubled the line,....  Ohhhh on camera instead of 2 seconds.... now a feature length 4 seconds. Oh yes, another 2 seconds I might a been notice by the academy... Navel academy! Brump bump!

Okay, I gotta session, we'll talk more later.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Gettin' ready to hit the road

Well, Rocket Scientists is getting ready to 'hit the road' again. On our way to San Francisco then Clinton, NY. I've  noticed a lot of pictures of me alone, and "Ya know"... I'm a small part of a large band. So here's Mark McCrite (what I call 'visiting') me on stage. Visiting is fun in this band. A great bunch to tour with. We will have a 'guest' drummer on this tour as Chris Quirarte had prior committments and can't make these couple dates. We will have Jay Schellen from "ASIA - featuring John Payne" with us for this tour. Welcome aboard as we'll "Visit" onstage and have a blast.

As we are at least on the "Tour a month club" as I call it, the shows are getting easier. This is Progressive Rock so I tend to 'pay attention' to how the rather lengthy songs go. Add to that the numerous time changes and you could find yourself looking for a 'slide ruler' to navigate your way back into the song! 

Now, we've got a few tours and rehearsals under our belt so the playing is fun and easy. All the time changes feel like 4/4 even when they are 14/8. It's a lot of fun that way, you feel like, "Oh this feels great, what a nice song, I think I'll go visits Mark, or Jim, Chris... "Oh look Eriks got a fortress of keyboards around him" (and that wall of lights behind him is also part of his keyboard rig!), I'll go knock on his door for a visit.
And so with eyes closed, I salute you all and envision seeing you all at the next gig! EXCELLENT!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

"The DonSchiff store" Who Knew?

Ahhhh here we are accepting the Classic Rock Society award from our Rotherham, England show. Yep, still don't remember what the award was for BUT, we sure look happy and are very appreciative. With luck, We'll do it again next year.

Come visit my store on CafePress!
click the above words!
Sure, buy a mug (it's got my 'mug' plastered all over' it". Need a coaster!? Want a Pillow, Hey how 'bout a clock!? Time to look and see what they've got. I went a little crazy when I saw all the stuff you could put a picture on.

Alright, next tour is coming up. San Francisco, Clinton, New York
"ALL ABOOOOAARRD!" It's gonna be a fun trip. I'm going to make a side trip to Philadelphia then Wilmington, Delaware to see my family. These Rocket Scientists tours are travelin' all over now so it's nice I'll get to visit so many more friends and family.

On the last tour to Vancouver a wonderful woman "Donna" approached me and asked if I would take a picture with this 'doll' she makes. She then sells the pictures of the doll with the artist and the money goes to charity. Who could resist such a nice thing. (and my mind wonders, with me in it, "Who would buy such a picture!?" .) but regardless I did it in hopes that it helps out.( to view the cause.

So now I have a nice doll, (you get to keep it after the photo) thank you so much Donna. I'm thinkin' I'm going to take this doll on tour and make it like "The Traveling Gnome" that gets it's picture taken all over the world. That'll be fun. "I'll send you pictures Donna!" I need a name for the doll.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A tour of last 3 tours

Yay! Rocket Scientists got another award, this one was for the participation in the Baja Prog festival. We did get another award at the Rotherham, England Progressive Rock festival. I don't recall what it was for however until I find pictures of us accepting it.... 'trust me, it looked a lot like this .... lol.

After that we went back east to Lakewood, Ohio and played the Winchester Theater. A Very nice time was had. I recall the meal before this gig being EXCELLENT... hence while I am pictured here playing a solo... I'm thinkin' "Wow, that was a great meal! I'm stuffed!"

Then on to Rotherham, England. Now that was a trip. I loved the plan ride. Sure ya think, "C'mon 9 hours in a plan!!! That's gotta be rough.

BUT! here's how I look at it. "Where else can ya sit in a nice reclined chair, not be bothered, watch movies and TV all day while someone brings you food and stuff to drink! and not be called a 'Lazy Bum!" I'd never get away with that at home! Hence, same situation but on a plan... and suddenly 'your working', part of the job, poor guy - has to travel all day. Well truth be known I really like it. I catch up on all the movies I haven't seen, all the "Family Guy" episodes I've missed and some darn fine documentaries I wouldn't bother watching at home. It's all good at 30,000 feet up.

Well then... on to Vancouver, I just got back. I did some solo shows and taught a lovely Stick seminar with Steve Adelson. Great wonderful group of participants.
Here is a few of us, (Jim and Louis) moments before I downed "A LOT" of (Canada's own) "Tim Horton donuts"... Ohhhh they were gooood.., Reeaaal Goood!

And.. here's the rest of the group.

Vancouver is Gorgeous!

Hey we even went "5 pin bowling". It was great fun, I've never done that before... and was about as bad as I am at 10 pin. But we had the best time! "Hi everyone!" (if you're lookin' in on my blog!) Thanks for such a GREAT time 

Nathen, Louis, John, Scott, Noel, Katy, Grant, Augy, Jim, Glen, bottom row -
Neil, Mike, Griffin, Steve, Diane and myself.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

On my way - to UK!

Hi EveryOne!!! (and you too!)

Yes, arms are in 'flap ready position' as I take off for Rotherham, England. "WHY!" you may ask. Well it's not exaclty for the lushes Blood Pudding or Krumpets BUT that is a bonus. The main reason is "Rocket Scientist" (Progressive Rock Band) is playing the:

"Classic Rock Festival" SATURDAY (at the Montgomery Hall, Wath-upon-Dearne) in Rotherham, England.

" Wish Bone Ash and Rocket Scientists" Ohhh it's gonna be fun.
Click - ROTHERHAM ROCKS 2008 - to the right of that page.

We will be shouting out! and spreading the news of all Stick Enterprises wonders as well as I'll be playing the NS/Stick and... I'll be jumpin' up and down playin' a darn fine feature NS/Stick Solo moment too! Okay maybe I won't be jumpin' up and down and we'll hope for a 'darn fine solo'..

Alright then, I've got my leather flyin' hat and goggles in place... turbo charged beanie cap ready to spin and arms startin' to flap!!!!!

See ya there!!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Pete the dog!

Ah yes, A man, a Stick and his dog.

This was me and our dog "Pete" back in the mid 70's. We posed for this picture for a book about playing the Stick instrument. "Pete" used to tour with me. Not because I thought it was a great idea but because 'he' and my wife did!

Yes, I was against having pets (for the past 32 years - and now having 2 dogs and 3 cats living with us)... but because I figured when I'd start touring there would be no one to watch the pets.

 I then started to tour to some great places and thought, "Hey I'll take the wife!" and she thought "Hey, I'll go pack Pete!"... "and soooo it began."

Mind you hotels don't allow pets, especially the very nice hotels that we were staying at. Well, I had to figure a way to sneak him in and of course it was left up to me. 

I had a nice tour jacket at the time and putting Pete in it worked very well as we'd quickly go to the elevator, then on up to the room. In fact, over time it worked to well... Pete became so adept to this, the sight of the jacket would spring him into this routine. 1. I'd hold the jacket up and show Pete and 2. say, "Pete, we're gonna sneak!" He would look down and scrunch his little body into a crouching position.. (sooo cute). I'd put the jacket on top of him - scoop him up in it  and carry him like a football - just 'holding my jacket under my arm, while wheeling my luggage with the other hand. 

This all worked great but unbeknownst to me... he loved this so much and was SoooOooOo happy to sneak, his little tail would pop out the back end of the jacket behind me - wagging away in the wind. AND that's how we finally got caught.

PLAN B: "So whatta ya say when you get caught!?" I was traveling with the Ann-Margret show at the time when hotel security said, "You can't have dog's in this hotel" and so, thinkin' on my feet I said, "Oh I know but this is Ann-Margret's dog"... he said, "How come he doesn't have a diamond studded collar!? I said, "Because then people like you - would then 'know' it's Ann-Margret's dog and try and steal him." He said, "Oh okay, good point." From then on we didn't have to sneak him. BUT that left me with a problem - what if hotel security ran into Ann-Margret and said, "Oh I saw your dog, he's so cute!"

Plan C: I took "Pete" to rehearsal one day and showed him to Ann-Margret and said, "This is Pete! He's on tour." Now if security said anything about a dog, she'd just say something polite, kinda knowing what he was talking about and it would end there.

The Beauty of this tale, is later that year, Ann-Margret started touring with her little dog! And when we'd have after show parties in her suite (Large two floor - 8 bedroom suite atop Caesar's Palace) her little dog was there except her pooch had a darn fine collar. Ha! Come to think of it maybe security now thought.... "Oh I get it, the dog with the nice collar is the decoy dog and the  scruffy lookin' Benji type dog is the 'real' pet. 

At any rate, that's Pete, God rest your little dog soul, you were fun.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

So close and yet!

So I stayed at the Las Vegas Hilton last week. It was wonderful. I have SooOoOOooo many great memories there from when I was the 'house bassist' for the showroom. That's where I got to play the Elvis show. Yes, it was incredible.

Some of my favorite Las Vegas adventure stories get to be quite long so I'll direct you to an E-zine that published a few of them in an interview... There are even has some spiffy pictures as well.
------------............Las Vegas Stories.......--------- 

However I'll tell a brief Elvis story here and tie it into this picture of me and the statue of Elvis.

First a little about this Statue, as it commemorates 8 YEARS of sold out shows. I was able to be apart of his last Hilton appearance as he died shortly after that gig in 1977.  Whoa already in my head as I start the story, I can see how long it can get, there are actually two cool stories, I'll chop the first one down to size and tell the other one another time. Sooooo there I am playin' the Elvis show, the legend that ya just couldn't take you eyes off of. I've seen his movies since I was 10 and NOW here he is right in front of me! It was great, however.... he was 'very' well insulated. Body Guards (very large ones) never let him out of arms reach except to go out on stage.

It was grand, the 2001 one music theme would start and he curtain was closed. It looked like a 'football' huddle and Elvis was in the middle of a circle of 'large' personal bodyguards. When the curtain opened, so would the huddle and out he'd go to a screaming, frantic, excited audience. You could "feel the rush". Okay, so the show ends and the 'huddle' awaits him and off he goes to his private elevator (backstage) on up to his suites.

Tony Decaprio (house guitarist) and myself get invited to his private party after the show, sounds simple enough however there were many stages of bodyguards to go through who didn't know us... fortunately at every 'way station' an 'inside' person was there that could vouch for us.

We get up to the "Elvis Suite" and right before we go in, two security guards spot 'movement' behind these giant potted plants. They RUSH over and haul out to woman hiding in them and drag them to the exits. A bit scary and intimidating I must say. AND so we then go in. I must add here that the 'high alert' was justified as at that time Elvis was getting a death threat that they hadn't been able to resolve as to who it is. Very nerve racking I'm sure as 'each' performance left him vulnerable the moment he left the huddle.

So, now I'm in the suite with a small group of people, most of whom I didn't know and we're waiting for Elvis. I'm thinkin' "Wow, what am I gonna talk to him about!?" Hmmm what could I possible say that he hasn't heard a million times already?" Well, I labored over that thought a good twenty minutes when all of a sudden... the entry double doors open up --- we look up excited when...... "A large necked bodyguard pops through and says, "Elvis doesn't feel like havin' a fuckin' party, everybody get out!"

Eh... so you see the picture picture of me with the statue, well, oddly enough is some ways, that's about as close as I ever got to him. I had planned on such great conversations, but saddly his untimely death. "God rest your soul Elvis!"

Epilogue: My impressions of who he was in no way reflect the bodyguards actions. I saw him as very generous, kind, someone that strived to be a great role model. In many ways he succeeded, the other stuff I cannot judge. How would all that fame, money and pressure have shaped my personality? I don't know, however.... I'm up for finding out!!! LOl!

Remind me when you see me to tell the other Elvis story, "It'll be the 'icebreaker' when we meet on the road. Mention "Doctor TCB".

Be well, and hold fast!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Point (17 year) Break

I was talking to a producer (Gary Bromham) who I have not seen in YEARS. We met at Woodcliff Studio here in Sherman Oaks, California. I have done so many recordings there and since he was visiting from England on vacation and both love that studio and it's owner Frank, (Whew... long sentance) we ended up there. Of course I brought donuts, (after all Don is short for Donuts). Brump bump - but seriously folks.

Anyway, last I saw Gary he had hired me to play on some tracks he was producing for Sheryl Crow. This was the early 90's I think, and soI  asked "Gary, what ever happened to those songs?". I was curious as I recall playing Stick on them. As it turns out he said, "Oh, one of the tunes "Hundreds of Tears" went into the movie "Point Break" with Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves" (1991).

Well there ya have it. I never knew. I tend to do a session and leave, not keeping track of what happens after. In his case something delightful. As I recall, it was a rather fun easy going session. Both Gary and Sheryl knew what they wanted and also let me be free to do what I do. 

Well that's the story. I'll be in Gary's neck of the woods next month as we (Rocket Scientists band) go to England for the Rotherham Progressive Rock Festival. We'll be sharing the stage with "Wishbone Ash". So Gary and I will meet up again, this time without 17 years going in between. I don't think England has donuts like we do... maybe he'll show up with 'blood pudding'... Yikes sound awful, "But secretly --- I like it". I'll tell ya though, before I ate it I had to repeat the name so many times so that it didn't have meaning to me anymore, just a blurb of vowels and consonants. Once I got past that, it didn't look like it says. After eating it, I kind of compare it to our "Denny's Restaurant" sausage patties!

For some of you that probably doesn't say much for the sausage patty, but.... whatta ya gonna do. 

Monday, April 14, 2008


So this is fun, about a minute into this is the MTV show, the song "Neurosaur" by Erik Norlander starts. Big gothic choir sounds then keyboards drums and bass. It's off his solo CD. I remember playing on it some years back and now it shows up in a P Diddy MTV fashion show special. How fun... Yay Erik! Good job TEAM! 

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Hells Angels

With the roar of his motorcycle  and rapper "Mike P" with handsome smile came over to start tracking in my studio.
He and partner Richy Valley will begin putting there 'clean' tracks together. They have the opportunity to have their songs placed on TV, the only problem was... the lyrics.
So they will be doing a few 'clean' versions "No GD cussing" as one of my cousin in-laws would say.
I never knew anyone in a bike club before, heard of the club, never knew anyone personally. This is gonna be fun.

Jet Set

Well, I'll be a travelin' man these next few months.
This is the restaurant at the 
'Los Angeles international airport. I ate up there once. It was very nice. It's 1960's future theme is like eating with the Jetson's. Very 'kooky space age" and lots of fun. If you get the chance, do go.

Here's a quick run down of my schedule:

April 11-13   -  with the "Frankie Avalon show" The Schiff Brothers in Las Vegas
April 24-28 -  with "My wife Cynthia, she is showing her art- the Las Vegas  Convention Center
May 15-18   - I fly to England with "Rocket Scientists" for the 
Rotherham Progressive Rock Festival with  "Wishbone Ash"
May 22-25 -  I'm doing a Stick seminar and "Don Schiff Show" appearing 
in concert at the "Jazz Cellar"  in Vancouver, Canada
June 28-30 -  I'll be with "Rocket Scientists" in Clinton, NY
Aug. 23-25  - Everybodies favorite town Pittsburgh, PA "Rocket Scientists" 
at the 3 Rivers Progressive Rock Festival.

More dates to be added, I put this up so we can all meet somewhere, as well as a reminder for myself.

For those that I met in Las Vegas, Baja, Mexico and then in Cleveland, thank you so much for coming out and introducing yourselves to me. I had a funny moment when someone came up to me apologetically saying, "I don't mean to bother you but I've seen your videos and heard your music- I feel like I know you yet I know you don't know me." C'mon... don't let that stop ya, step up and say hi, I'm tryin' to meet eveyone, if you don't catch me off stage to talk then it will take me twice as long to find you in the audience. If ya need an ice breaker just mention "Donuts" and I'll start talkin'.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Ouzo and Cannoli's

Hi Tim! and everyone too.

"My pleasure meeting you Tim, we'll do it again."

(Tim, A fellow Stick player came to the concert and we
hung out afterwards.)

So glad you enjoyed the show, it was a darn fine one
if I say so myself. Baja Progressive Rock Festival was
a blast as well, I'll write more later as I've hardly
been home.

----Tim wrote into the "Stickwire news group and penned:----
> Don graciously spent time talking with me after the
> show, in between posing
> for photos and packing up.

And the beauty of that is it never interferes with my
Donut eating. As a matter of fact, the promoter of the
event, well she was of Greek decent baked a BOAT LOAD
of pastries for us. I had them before I left the
hotel, in the limo and shortly after the gig... AND
there was a party in her hotel room after the gig and
yet MORE pastries! So many cannoli's and pastries with
names I never hear of.... This time with Wine and

Apparantly Pastries and Ouzo don't mix. This gentleman
at the party next to me asked, "Well Don, how do you
like Cleveland?". And so I said, "Ya know, I really
love it except for the cold (Lake Erie looked 80%
covered in Ice from my hotel room view).

And so a minute later he turns to me and says, "Well
Don, how do you like Cleveland?" I figure the Ouzo had
kicked in... and being quite satisfied with the way I
answered it the first time, I thought, heck he doesn't
remember I'll just say it again.... maybe gesture more
as not to be to redundant. He seemed quite
satisfied... and then keeled over into the wall, table
and glasses. Very smooth, to bad I wasn't fast enough
to catch him.

I did however pick him up, dust 'em off a little and
suggest that "When the hotel spins that fast ya gotta
sit in a chair and HANG ON!' Then found him a good
solid chair with solid arm rests to steady himself in.

So I left him there and went to the other side of the
room where a very talented artist who was at our show
as well, and a new fan, showed up at the party and
sketched people. He sketched the band as we played and
was now sketching people as they partied. It reminded
me of the 60's where eclectic people would gather
and.... be eclectic and in this case with lots of Wine
and Ouzo.

All that wine and ouzo worked in my favor as it kept
them away from the Pastries where I stood guard
mostly... (I didn't want anyone 'keeling' over on the
pastry cart if ya know what I mean).

As I turned around my new buddy who moments ago was
gripping the chair got up and moseyed over to the
bathroom... Suddenly a very loud THUD was heard.
Well... I had to look, and sure enough he 'keeled
over' into the bath tub. I got him a pillow and put it
in the tub figuring "It's the safest place for him
since he's lying down now anyway... he can't fall any
further..." and promised not to run the water.
However, he explained how embarrassed he was and
insisted on standing. I explained "That's the problem,
the hotel hasn't landed yet... still spinning as we

And so... we made him a "Crash Pad" in front of the
door, and he landed there and stayed.

I didn't see him (or hear any falling noises) for the
next couple hours and had a blast socializing and
eating some Baklava... oh Very good stuff (If only it
was in a circle shape).

The artist was doing a great job of Sketching Lana
Lane and Michelle Moog, music was playing, lot's of
great conversations to join in on and listen to... But
it was getting late, like 4:am late. (I like to be in
my room before the Sun comes up... just a personal

Since I hardly drink, I watch the pastries mostly and
a dent was made in them (I do my best)... and upon
thanking the hostess for a lovely party... (She had
taken her lovely Italian leather boots off in the
corner hours ago) - we again notice these lovely
Italian boots in the corner.. as someone had gotten
sick all over them.
"Hey, where did that guy go?..." Ah, he apparently
didn't feel well and was now in the bathroom again....
( He should of just stayed in the tub).

I told the hostess, look on the bright side, he
obviously liked your 'cannoli's' (and obviously got by
me unnoticed and ate some) there's bits all over your
shoes.. So, lesson learned, Cannoli's and Ouzo don't

And so, long way of sayin' "Tim, that's why I didn't
hear the alarm go off or answer the phone in the
morning. (We we're all going to meet for breakfast in the
lobby but.... I slept right through the alarm clock and call),
but thank you
for meeting up for Brunch later, I'm usually not such a pastry party animal.

----Stick Tech Stuff--------
The backline I used were Ampeg amps. The Ampeg 3000
series was VERY nice. In Baja I had the 8x10 cabinet
and in Ohio I used the 4x10 with a tweeter in the

The Line 6 Pod X3 live worked just great for both sides. On
the top side I added a Hughes Kettner Tube Factor
pedal. The X3 is like having a bass pod and guitar pod in
one floor board. After eq-ing each side the way I want
it, add different compressions and such... I then pan
it straight up and send it out in Mono. I call this
"Elaborite mono". You treat each side like a stereo
set up but send it mono... (The house engineer will have a perfect top and bottom side Stick mix balance that way).

Take care, more news later, Next week I go to Las
Be well and stay there.