In the studio today finishing the last Arctic Lake song and mixing. Sometimes it takes a little time to find the right sound. Today we were looking for two chords, an Em and a D, we needed ‘sprangs’. It seemed like it had to be the Strat and we tried it through the little Fender Champ amp in the control room but it wasn’t long before we were into the Vox AC30. It’s hard to beat an amp from 1962. But although the chemistry of Strat and Vox can be a potent one, it wasn’t to be, time to try the Nash Tele. It’s a brighter sounding guitar and we needed a sparkly couple of chords, but even on treble pick up it still wasn’t right. When in doubt find a Rickenbacker, it’s a guitar with personality, a unique sound, and the ability to sparkle and be forceful at the same time. It was perfect. This is why I have lots of guitars because sometimes it can take three guitars to find the sound for two simple chords in one isolated part of one song. So next time anybody says to you, “Why do you have so many guitars?”, you know the answer: “Why don’t you eat the same dinner every night?”
Here’s a story: Tonight at midnight I was supposed to speak to sessioneer Chris in Victoria (that’s a state in Australia for anyone who is geographically challenged). He had to postpone but wait till you hear the reason. An alien spaceship had landed on his lawn, no sorry that was my excuse for not sitting my exams as a 16-year-old, that and staying in bed and reading Sounds magazine. No, his reason was that a cockroach had burrowed into his ear! Oh my god, can you imagine? In a later message, he informed me that it was still in there but no longer alive. Am I squeamish or is that the most horrible story?
There have been some nice packages in the mail, one from Noelia in Argentina sending me some Argentine music. We recently sent her a Rhyme T-shirt but get this, we had to have our friend Julie in Houston who sends T-shirts and CDs out for us send it to us first. The reason? If you are sending a T-shirt from the USA to Argentina, it’s cheaper to send it to England first and then send it to Argentina, go figure.
We were sending out more Mystery Boxes today and started on the lyrics for the MOAT Poison Stream campaign. If you are wanting one of these boxes or Handwritten & Illustrated Lyrics, now’s the time to order it as Olivia and I hope to be leaving Penzance soon. This also applies to the last few copies of the first MOAT album that we have here. We can certainly be sending postcards from Portugal, pasteis de nata, and pictures of Ronaldo but we won’t have the MOAT debut album in Porto.
Today would have been Jeff Buckley’s 54th birthday, to think what he might have done if he hadn’t died so young. It’s also Martin Barre’s birthday, the late Gene Clark, and Gordon Lightfoot who is 82 today. I was thinking today about how some countries have Name day (Sweden for example) but I’d never heard of that before I went there. I guess it’s popular in lots of European countries but not here.
We watched Californians In Space today in a rather exciting episode where the crew of the Enterprise were exposed to The Borg. French is hilarious, that is, once you get into the Diamond League you realise the dedication of your fellow thirty people. After one day the person in the top position had twice as many ‘points’ as I did in the week where I came top of the Obsidian League, the league below. And talking about leagues the premiership is back on this weekend with a tricky match for Liverpool against Leicester with lots of injuries to deal with. May the best team win.
Music today came from Erykah Badu, Dallas’ queen of Neo-Soul. I found some of her CDs very cheap on the net and today I listened to her second studio album, Mama’s Gun (2000). (Check out the coincidental beetle vid.) Groovy stuff, influenced by all the legends and keeping one foot in the future. It’s the kind of music my age group isn’t supposed to like but then I hear the influences and the age group, the demographic that does like this music might generally not know the influences. Like younger people might not know The Beatles, younger people also might not know Marvin Gaye, Al Green, Sly Stone, Otis Redding, Sam Cooke on the male side, and Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin, Martha Reeves, Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle, Nina Simone on the female side. Of course, some do and a lot of younger people have retro tastes but all those girls that I talked to at Graceland who didn’t know who The Beatles were, was an insight. I don’t really think it was the type of music, more that it simply wasn’t the now and there is no exposure to the past unless you actively investigate it yourself.