Monday, July 27, 2009

Long Day but a Good Day!

I had a double session today starting at 10:AM. That was fun, long day but a great day. The first session was for a young band (Average age 17), great writing and playing. I brought my NS/Stick but they opted for the standard Fender Jazz. Thought they might select that as it has a less intense low end. They had several basses to choose from as well as the NS. I played each with pick and fingers for them to decide.

The compression used was the Tube Tech CL 1B (Out board gear - not a plug in). I really like the response and umph it adds to low end. I've wanted one for my own rig back in the day when I rolled around with a 15 space rack. I never splurged for the price is high and the studios always had one or something comparable. I guess I figured, (Okay I was being cheap) and thought "Why buy the cow when you get the milk free" or something silly like that.

The hardest part of the session for me was the simplicity. No flash, no flare just play under the guitar chords like an extension of the lowest note of the chord. I'm always 'seeking the creative line' to link the chords, rhythm and harmonies together, the last thing I would think to do was just play roots.

After hearing me warm up the producers first words - in a sincere and apologetic tone, where, "I'm so sorry we are not going to be using all your talents today, you'll just play "beyond simple bass lines"... . And so I did just that. My ' internal reward to myself' after the session was just knowing they got exactly what they were after and were very happy with it. The band will have great success, there is a lot of talent, excellent production team and connections behind them. I'm sure they will have a YouTube video up of the song and I'll hear my bass part... but see a teenager with tatoo's rockin' my part.
Ya gotta love it.

The next session (2:PM) was a two song session as well but for two different projects. I played both projects with the NS/Stick "with the intensely fierce low end". This producer uses the Pultec Eq and Fairchild plug ins for the NS. 'That' sound really works for me. Huge clear intense low end - with sub low end punch.

This project I got to stretch out on, be creative and throw a few gymnastic NS bass parts in. Just enough to let the Producer/engineer know, 'hey there's a player on board here!" without 'taking over' the tune. (There's kind of an art form to that... you always want to address a song with 'your style' but not get in the way, as you want to 'enhance' what the writer envisioned - not cloud it.

The second tune was a theme for an upcoming TV show. Very exciting tune that was the kind of a production tune that had rock and swing elements in it. In this kind of session I feel so glad I have a lot of experience in many styles of music. You can just 'grab on" to the elements that make 'swing' swing and Rock 'Rock' with authority and intensity and drive the track where it needs to be. In the end when you accomplish that, you have Happy writers and producers and that makes for a happy session.

Hopefully lots more where all that came from as it was a wonderful musical day.
Have one for yourselves!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

"Alas poor Urich, I knew him well!"

I went to the taping of season 3 of "The Guild". I was BLOWN away. The shoot was taking place at my friend Pat Duncan's house.( great writer/director- Pat wrote one of my favorite movies Mr. Hollands Opus). 

When I drove up I saw Pat's house with a moving van out front. The Van was full (now empty) of Movie making equipment, everything you need to make "Lights, Camera and ACTION!!!".
Each room in his house was a 'set' to look like each characters house in the show. Movie Stuff EVERYWHERE, even the Kitchen. People everywhere from wardrobe to make-up to grips.
I said, Wow you no longer live in a house you live in a movie set! 

Pat was at a meeting so while waiting for him it was fun to stroll through the house and watch all the action. My son Aaron was with me so while we were there, we set him up to be an 'Extra" in the show. He loves the show, so now he'll have the added bonus of 'while watching it' he can 'watch himself' while watching tv. 

Pat came in, saw there was barely room to move - and since we came to go have lunch anyway.... that was a good time to do so.

So Pat, Aaron and I went to "Campanile's" Restaurant. A bit of a historic place and speaking of movies and sets... It was Charlie Chaplin's office building and it also had apartments that he used for guests as well to live in. Classic look and now an elegant restaurant.

Pat is immediately recognized by the staff as we walk in and we are shown to a wonderful table. The food was "GREAT" real class, with there 'special' chef creations that even make everyday items taste fantastic. I usually don't over eat... but I did. Stuffed and it's two days later, I'm still full.

So now we go back to Pats, production is still in full swing - it's 3:pm and they started at 6:am. It reminded me of how glad I was not to pursue acting, I'm not a morning person unless I've been up all night giving me a  "running start into the next morning".

Aaron heads over to the 'shoot' tomorrow morning "8:am" start... again "Glad I didn't pursue an  acting career". Go super Aaron! Call me when your done... "Give 'em you best Hamlet quotes!"


Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Strange but true story for me... and a first.

I'm driving home this evening and stop at the traffic light, the girl driving in the car to my left is mouthing words... so I roll down my window to hear what she is saying. 

She says, "Dude, you are soooo cool!"

Stunned I said, 'Thanks that's so kind of you to say!" and drive on.  

Coincidentally my cell phone was ringing right afterwards and it was my wife, I was so excited to tell her, I said, "Hey, apparently I'm certifiably cool because an unknown third party has just verified this!" She laughed! As I'm still stunned.

She's such a good sport, it reminds me of the time this band I was in  would announce our hotel room numbers on stage. Everyone gave wrong numbers but me cause I was always curious who would show up! Apparently no one as months went on like this.

One day going back to my room two lovely ladies are heading in the right direction. I follow thinking, Nah... never happen. Well now there they are knocking on my room door. I'm stunned!  Extra stunned because on that tour I also had my wife an young son with me on the road. I watch the drama unfold as my wife answered.... Look the girls over and said, " C'mon on it he'll be here soon he's always wondered if anyone would ever show up!"

Thats' my girl. Married 33 years... and she never ceases to amaze me.

Well, lots of cool stuff comin' up next week, I'll write more then. Perhaps I'll have  an "I'm certifiably cool" T-shirt made up by then!"