Saturday, October 31, 2009

"Happy HALLOWEEN!"








‘The Guild’ Halloween Special"

is now available on MSN, Xbox and Zune Marketplace.


In a few weeks if you wait, it will show up on www.watchtheguild.com for your dining a viewing pleasure. That show just keep on going, it's a good one.

So this Halloween was much like last years, my neighborhood is very quiet and not to many kids come around but the ones that do come out decked out in inventive and cute outfits. It's nice to, to see the kids so polite. I seem so generous as I give out fist fulls of candy. It's "1 part generosity and 2 parts "Oh my we don't want that much candy laying around the house!".






I like the Reeses peanut butter cups and Milky Way bars! I put fist fulls in the 'freezer' (I'm the only one that likes frozen candy!!! (ALLLLL MINE!). My motto as a kid, 'Like what others hate and you'll always have plenty of it layin' around!"


I remember as a kid watchin' "The Ghost and Mr. Chicken" with Don Knots. Loved it, so lets throw in a picture here. It seems fitting. Eat lots of candy so your sick of it for another year... or at least until 'dare I say it' "Valentines Day" NOW THAT's a Scary Day!! On false move and....
"Click!!"... you stepped on an emotional land mine...... BOOM.... banned to life on the couch.

That 'look' on "Don Knots" face is the same one I get after the "CLICK"!!

My Couch is pretty comfy,
Apparently I haven't learned "so I've adapted" LOL.


Well you all have a most "HAPPY HALLOWEEN"
Don

Saturday, October 24, 2009

"One Good Gig Away From...."

Hi "All".

Well C'mon lets tell stories. I've had a big one for awhile. You know the kind, so "Nice" you want to see how it turns out before you "talk to much about it"... You say your prayers just the right way, hope just the right way and like when you were a little kid promise to be a good boy for at least a couple months in hopes it turns out great... Well! Yep that kind of story.

I get a call to co-write a theme for a network television talk show. Sure I'm excited but first you have to write it, then you have to record it (no demo - real deal finished product) - I call them "air time ready". THEN: after all the WORK is done they still have to like it before it actually gets used and you get paid for it.

You think about who it's for and the instrumentation.
We decide medium sized horn section like 3 saxes 3 brass, Hammond organ, guitars, drums and of course NS/Stick. "What the heck" because we can and it sounds great! You should of heard the two handed tapping part I had flying that the was going to get buried beneath the sea of horns and hammond. No matter - in the session hearing that was going to be the case I laid down the 'unburiable' NS/Bass' line that the arrangement could ride on top of. Still 'deluxe' just not as visually cool as 'two hands flyin' like 'windmills in a storm! (Good visual huh!?!?).

Heck I went all out, hiring the horn section, booking the bigger studio, writing out charts, . Yes charts! my old "paper with black dot' friends that I rarely see in the studio anymore. I rarely write out horn charts... okay I've never written them out so I called my brother back east to check my transpositions and ranges. I didn't want to embarrass myself with a silly chart in front of my peers so I prepared and still sheepishly handed them out apologetically. No need, they told me to keep quite, "They'd take it from here" and go back into the control room and relax. So I did and ate a donut.

On a side note: (Yes, I brought donuts, it being a session I booked, I felt 'compelled')

The Horns where blasting away beautifully, topped with wonderful Trumpet and Sax ad-libs throughout. Swirling hammond organ and crunchy guitars. Solid drums and a most solid NS/Stick bass tone to shore it all up and hold it together. I was pleased. In a deluxe studio, we recorded a super talk show theme. Everyone loved it! Even the seasoned pro's! (which can be a very tough crowd indeed).

The "George Lopez Talk Show" airs in about three weeks and I co- wrote this theme with Lance Matthew... AND
George Lopez and business partner LOVED it... However the Executive producer wants to use "Low Rider" by War just like they use in George's sitcom show. So for the past month we have been waiting an talking. Folks... I don't think we got it, I think they will go with "Low Rider".

Tough break as they say. So close. I always tell my wife, "We're one good gig away from...", fixing the fence, putting a
solar heater up on the roof for the pool, (The list then unfurls and drops to the floor, then rolls 10 more feet... as my wife adds her list of items!

So I'll put another pole up against my leaning fence, tell my wife "you'll love it -The water is brisk and invigorating - " and we'll knock the next ball we swing at 'outta the park!'

"Hey, I'm one good gig away from having a story with a better ending!!!!"
Don






George Lopez show airs November 9th.


Friday, October 9, 2009

"Once Upon A Stick bass-line"

Hi all,

Yes folks! We go way back for this one, about 15 years back. I was called in to play
electric bass for an album session, so of course I took the Stick. Not the NS/Stick as it wasn't invented yet, but the Stick. Sure it went over great. I did my usual, "Pull it out as if it were a bass, use it on the session, then let them know what it was". Kind of "Do it first, ask if they want it later".

At
myspace.com/donschiff1 I put an Mp3 up of the song "Shades of Gray" from that album of that session many years ago. What I found striking about the Stick bass line was that it started out as a two handed tapping bass line that then goes right into a 'fourths' like 'feel' bass-line. Upon reflection while listening I remembered developing the style to make the "fifths" tuned bass lines sound and lay like a bass tuned in fourths, however then be able to flip to a "Fifths" styled bass-line. (LOL yes, apparently my arms are limber enough to pat my self on the back while I congratulate me).

It is a nice style, if you didn't know it was a Stick (aside from the intro) you would think, nice electric bass. That was the magic, the Stick didn't have to be this "NEW" never heard before "style and sound" unless you wanted to "unleash" that. Though this recording is about 15 years old, it held up nicely. Great players on that session. If I recall correctly players were from the "
Eddie Money" band and a band called "The Busboys".

I just found that cd on
Ebay for $40.00. Lance Matthew - "While The Giant Sleeps". It must have become some sort of collectors item. Who knew, you never really know what becomes of recordings you are on, over the years they pop up all over. When I get my royalty statements for albums I've played on or songs and theme music I wrote (which comes to hundreds if not thousands of pennies) It lists all the countries that the music has played in. I think "Wow, this music goes on better vacations than I ever dreamed of!"... I wanna go!

Well, have a listen wherever you are, in whatever country and I'll imagine this 15 year old Stick bass-line having the vacation of its life.

Excellent!
Don