August-10th-2007, 08:02 AM
Attention '60s Music Fans--New Photos Added
It's time to buy your tickets for Love In: A Musical Celebration, the show I'm musical directing in honor of the 40th anniversary of the Summer of Love.
Tickets and detailed info are available at loveinthemusical.com.
The lineup looks like this: Jesse Colin Young, Buddy Miles, Peter and Gordon, Strawberry Alarm Clock, Vince Martell from Vanilla Fudge, Earl Thomas, Ravi Shankar's latest sitar disciple Kartik Seshadri and tabla master Arup Chattopadhyay. The one and only Eric Johnson will be on hand for a Cream/Yardbirds/Hendrix set and Tony-award winner Ben Vereen is the host and narrator.
It's a multi-media event with a ton of music and an enormous psychedlic light show throughout.
The house band features Rockola, a truly outstanding quartet from San Diego, along with guest artists Jon Wamsley (who blew away audiences jamming with Eric Johnson in last year's Primal Twang concert series), Tripp Sprague on sax and flute and Tower of Power's Mike Bogart on trumpet. I'm playing B3, acoustic piano and synth.
This is a once in a lifetime event. If you loved the music and the culture of the '60s, take the leap and head down to San Diego on either Sept 6, 7, 8 or 9--four evening performances and one Sat matinee. But make sure you get your tickets today--they are actually moving pretty fast!
Hope to see you there--make sure you tell me you're coming so you can hang with the cast afterward.
Last edited by Jazzooo; September-17th-2007 at 03:32 PM.
August-23rd-2007, 10:26 AM
Just a wee bump--rehearsals are rockin'.
August-23rd-2007, 10:32 AM
Plus ša change...
Is that the "Summer of Love" event they're hyping at the hotels in Vegas? There was a fat mag in our room with a picture of McCartney on the cover.
August-23rd-2007, 12:39 PM
Just be frank
There's a big one here in SF on 9/2: Summer of Love
August-23rd-2007, 07:50 PM
No, this is an independent San Diego event, produced by the same friends who did Primal Twang (primaltwang.com) and also the indie film I scored a few years ago. He was at Monterey Pop and has always wanted to produce a theatrical concert about that time. I'm sure the production values in Vegas will be a tad more sophisticated than what we'll have, but the music is great and I'll bet their B3 player doesn't have any more fun than I will.
I keep trying to isolate what I'm most excited about. Playing with Buddy Miles, or Peter and Gordon...I can't say. Jesse Colin young is sounding great right now. I just had my first rehearsal with Ben Vereen yesterday and he almost blew me out of the room--I had no idea he had such amazing pipes. Very soulful. Felt like good chemistry. We'll see how rehearsal #2 goes on Monday!
August-23rd-2007, 08:16 PM
One of the things I like about our show is that it draws from a lot of different styles that were popular in 1967 specifically--it's not just a hippie music show, for example, though we've got some of that going on. I like the soul aspects, the inclusion of some stuff from Hair (I see some of them playing in SF as well--Ben Vereen was in the L.A. cast), and so on. We have scenes about The Beatles, British rock in general, L.A. groups, soul, Haight Ashbury/psychedelia, folk rock, Hendrix, the Monterey Pop Festival, Indian classical music (a mere 15 minute raga), Hair/Broadway, something the director is calling The Winds of Change (Vanilla Fudge--I should ask him what he meant), and Supergroups (Yardbirds, Cream).
Originally we had it all broken down by geographical regions but we just didn't have enough budget to get our hands around all of the music rights. This way, we're playing about 40 good songs, which feels about right.
I was only 12 in 1967, but I was playing about 75% of these numbers in cover bands at the time, only on drums. Plus I was going to see the original acts in San Diego and L.A. It was hugely inspiring to me then, and a lot of it still is. Feels good to play it all again, and especially on the *unreal* brand new Portable B3/Leslie setup that Hammond Central is loaning us for the show. It's not a digital recreation, it's an actual Hammond B3 that has been chopped up so it can actually ride in a sedan. You still need two people to lift the main component, but it's only 175 pounds as opposed to 450! I did that a few times in the '70s, and I don't miss it.
Hope to see some Southern CA Cornerines in the crowd.
August-28th-2007, 10:52 AM
We just had our first theater rehearsal last night.
It's hard to describe to someone who has never played one, but playing an actual B3 through a roaring Leslie is a transcendent musical experience. It is physical and emotional. I almost fucking levitated on the first tune. This morning, I actually feel a little shakey in anticipation of getting my hands on this axe again. It's that much fun.
The rehearsal was probably better than most first rehearsals, since the band and I have been working since March. But this was our first time running a few scenes with Ben Vereen. I know his resume', but still I'm stunned at his pipes--the man can really sing. He's only singing two numbers in the show and acting as our storyteller the rest of the time, but those numbers are going to be powerful.
I also sat in on a dance rehearsal. When the director mentioned that we were having between 2 and 8 dancers on a few numbers, my gut flipped--fear of corn, I guess you'd call it. But from what I saw last night, I think they will be a big hit with people. They're all very sexy and into the music, and the choreography is hipper than I expected.
Last edited by Jazzooo; August-28th-2007 at 11:20 AM.
August-28th-2007, 08:33 PM
At one time, in your youth, you were a drummer?? Can't picture you doing the Keith Moon/ Ginger Baker/ Carmine Appice scene. I will confess that I was in a high school musical group that won a "Battle of the Bands". Our winning selections were "Kind of a Drag" by the Buckinghams, and the instrumentals "Walk, Don't Run" and "Sleepwalk", both of which I played on a hideous lime-green guitar.
Last edited by Lenny D.Guitarist; August-28th-2007 at 08:39 PM.
August-29th-2007, 11:04 AM
"At one time, in your youth, you were a drummer?? Can't picture you doing the Keith Moon/ Ginger Baker/ Carmine Appice scene. "
Big time, Lenny. I still keep my hand in--here's a demo of the Overture I recorded a couple of months ago for the Love In show. That's me on drums, Hofner bass and keyboards, and the director/composer on all guitars. It's rough, just a demo, but wait till the middle instrumental part. I tap into my Keith side a little!
I can picture your lime green guitar--what make was it? I had a St George bass, a Vox Jaguar organ and a red metalflake Pearl drumset, back when "Made in Japan" meant "Uterr Crap." I did some Battles of the Bands in the late '60s with various groups, but we never won until this one group started doing all our own material in '71 or '72. Fun times.
September-5th-2007, 10:02 AM
We've all been deep into rehearsals for days now, with different guest artists showing up at various points. Jammed with Eric Johnson yesterday, as well as Peter and Gordon's musical director who is a great player and Vince Martell from Vanilla Fudge. Today it's Jesse Colin Young, Peter and Gordon, Buddy Miles, and Eric again--he does two different sets or scenes. The show is getting hyped on the news down here. I wish I had photos but honestly I've just been too jammed to even think about stopping to snap some.
Musical Director is what I'd want to be on a show like this, but you do end up working day and night on arrangements only to have to change them at the last minute due to things that are out of your control--lighting, timing, camera angles, and star 'requests'
The light show is excellent--I have been sitting in the audience now and then to evaluate the mix, but secretly I'm just digging the show. The sitar/tabla players are the best I've ever seen--their raga is in a major key, just beautiful.
Can't wait to hit it--full dress rehearsal tomorrow and then opening night in the evening. Is anyone from JC coming?
September-6th-2007, 10:00 AM
More rehearsals--some funny stories, some frustrating ones, but I wanted to share this one because it's the best, on every level.
I thought he was a powerful and solid drummer back then, and a soulful singer. He's got a place in the pantheon of rock as far as all of us are concerned. He's also led a troubled life--some jail time, many health problems and so on. But he is apparently doing some touring and the reports were good and the vibe on the phone was right, so he was asked to be in the show.
He showed up night before last and looked like he had hours to live, literally. He's a stroke survivor and I'm sure the travel was hard on him, but his agent had been telling us what great shape he's in. He's mostly in a wheelchair and sleeps a lot, at least that night and the next morning, sitting in the theater awaiting his turn. After some slightly incoherent communication, the director and I cut his set back to two numbers, but in truth it was unclear whether he'd be able to perform even those songs he had written and recorded himself (originally he was also going to sing Groovin' Is Easy and Killing Floor, since he was in Electric Flag for those although not as the lead singer).
So yesterday I knelt down to talk with him and took his hand and was immediately transported back to sitting with my father when he had Parkinsons. My job then was the same as my job today, to make sure that whatever was to come next, to make it as dignified as possible for him. We talked a little and then I realized that we needed to discuss the arrangements. Once I started singing the groove to him, his eyes lit up and suddenly we were just two musicians, working out a tune. Hmmm, not so out of it as I thought! Next thing I knew, he was sitting in a chair onstage and the band launched into a medium tempo Born Under a Bad Sign.
He forgot some lyrics, but it hardly mattered--he sang like a bird. A dirty, nasty blues bird. Hardcore blues rock. Holy shit. He spaced a little on the lyrics and song form but so what? We just followed him and the band played so great, they were just lit up. When we finished everyone was visibly moved, including Buddy. What a rush. We roared into Them Changes--it's a very powerful band, by the way--three guitars, bass, drums, organ, trumpet and tenor. At the end of it, Buddy quieted all the crew down and gave the most beautiful little speech that basically went like this:
"I want to say, with all the sincerity I've got in my heart, that I could not be happier than to be here tonight, on my 60th birthday, making music with these people on this stage. Pardon my French, but you guys are MOTHERFUCKERS!"
Then we broke for dinner and the director had ordered a birthday cake for Buddy. I can't wait for the show, but it's going to be tough to top that moment.
September-9th-2007, 01:19 PM
Well, last night was a peak experience, the fourth night of a five show run. Each one has gotten better and better, but last night...the crowd was almost sold out, the band was rocking hard, at least 6 or 7 standing O's that I noticed from the stage, although I'm pretty busy up there. Buddy Miles...what an experience! Ever single show is different with him. He doesn't so much as sing as vocalize and talk to the crowd, and It's my job to keep the band on track as we follow him through his thought process. Last night, the crowd was on its feet for him the entire time. He started singing the lyrics to Them Changes, the first time since the show started that he got the lyrics out...but it was over the vamp to Born Under a Bad Sign! We turned things around and did a burning version of Them Changes at the slower tempo, and then I spoke into my mic that only the band can hear through their in-ear monitors and we started ramping it up to the original tempo and a big finish. His caregiver came out to get him a la James Brown, and we played him. TOnight we're settingh him behind the drums to see what happens--his manager recommended we pass on his drumming due to the fact that since his stroke, he tends to forget what song he's on and just goes into a solo! But he wants to play and I want to hear him and so does everyone else.
I'm getting into some deep musical moments with Ben Vereen who has started coming over and leaning into the organ about a foot from my face as we duet and riff off each other on the opening to Age of Aquarius. He just has huge talent as a singer and performer, and it's really inspiring.
I am a jazz musician. I never play the same thing the same way twice in my normal life, but as a musical director I've been tapping into all kinds of skills I only hoped I had. I still improvise my parts every night, and probably would if I did this show for a solid year, but I hit all my cues and I make sure the band hits theirs. I've been a medic, a psychologist, a hostage negotiator, a mentor, a servant, a tie-breaker, a decision-maker and a rocker in the past week. Today is the final show. I've loved most of it and I'm actually sorry to see the show end. We did two shows yesterday and really had it dialed in last night. The light show is so much fun--I wish I was sitting in the audience slightly stoned!
September-10th-2007, 09:51 AM
Congrats on your experience, Doug.
September-10th-2007, 01:55 PM
Thanks, Chris. I like the fact that I'm just not afraid of stuff like this. I don't know how I turned out that way but I'm grateful to my parents and their DNA. Yesterday's closing show was the best audience response we've gotten, and porbably the second best in terms of accuracy. Again, some killer moments, no major snafus. Ben Vereen kept introducing me by name after my solos, but I had in ear monitors and always assumed the crowd was just silently nodding in approval or something. Yesterday one of my monitos slipped out and I heard a thunderous response to my best solo--I hate to be so outer-directed, but what a relief that was.
Next, a year of on and off editing and mixing the DVD in 5.1.
September-13th-2007, 02:12 PM
September-17th-2007, 03:33 PM