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.