Thursday, September 29, 2005

Home Studio

I had to end my studio partnership with my friend, Scott Neubert, since I am on the road so much, and it isn't fair to be a silent partner. We had to move out of the space we were leasing because it is being converted into a hotel, and he has found a new space and will continue on, no doubt with great success.

We split some of the gear, and I ended up with enough to have a pretty nice rig at the house. I have a tricked-out blazing fast computer with Cubase SX3 and Nuendo plus the Waves Platinum plug-ins that my buddy Harry Sharpe configured for me. I am interfacing using the MOTU 2408 MK3.

Home Studio

Here are some of my guitars.

Some Guitars

Some More Guitars

The Fab Four Look On

Always good to have a reminder that I have way more gear than The Beatles ever had to record with, and talent is what truly matters.

Vox Amps and a lap steel

My 1968 Cambridge Reverb and a Pathfinder reissue. Supro Student deluxe lap steel.

Kentucky Mandolin

The latest addition, a Kentucky mandolin.

Cubase SX3 with M-Audio Monitors


The main point of interest is the Universal Audio LA-610. The rest is just stuff that was laying around the studio. I'll use in-the-box effects for the most part. I am lacking a few mic pres, but I plan on getting some soon, probably the 8-channel M-Audio model.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Garden Party

Well, that was certainly an interesting evening. Lots of stress and waiting and hurrying for twenty minutes of music. I had a good time watching Elton John, Ry Cooder, and the fabulous Sonny Landreth, who sat in with Jimmy Buffett.

Gear everywhere

The backstage area and docks were crowded with gear from all of the bands and crew all day. Great job by the local crew to get everything on stage in one piece.

Jerry Sabatino

Jerry's last gig with us for a while. He's going out with Aerosmith this Fall. Thanks for being a good friend all Summer, Jerry. Good Luck with them 'Smiths...

Guitar World

An amazing blend of guitars from Buffet, Simon and Garfunkel, etc.

Paul Shaffer

It wouldn't be a musical benefit in NYC if Paul was not sitting in. Nice guy.

Allan Toussaint

Musical titan from New Orleans, author of "Southern Nights" and many more classic tunes. He presided over an excellent band with many guest artists singing his tunes.

Toussaint and Costello

Elvis Costello was in great form, sitting in with Toussaint. His wife, Diana Krall was on the roster, too, playing with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band.

I am a big EC fan, since his deep and wide body of work lets you jump into whatever style or form has interested him. Perfect Pop songs, R&B workouts, string quartets, Bacharach lounge, etc. One of the true musicians of his generation.

Cyndi Lauper

Looked great, sounded great.

Funeral For A Friend

Yellow Brick Road's "Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding" is a hell of a way to begin your set. I remember my older brother bringing that album home and telling me how cool those two songs were. With a superb band, including longtime members Davey Johnstone and Nigel Olson, Elton John rocked the house. Amazing.

Sir Elton John


Lenny was channeling Son House and Sergio Leone's costume designer with his Bluesman/Serape vibe. He'll be opening for Aerosmith this autumn. Is that a real poncho or a Sears poncho?


Former President Clinton introduced after soaking in a little applause for simply being Bubba. Senator Mary Landrieu was supposed to intro, but she was passed over in favor of the former Fed. I sense a pattern here...

All in all, a good time was had by eveyone involved. Hats off to the Garden crew, SIR, Best Instrument Rentals, Clair Brothers and my fellow techs, Jerry Sabatino, Les Banks, Tim Holder and Jake Loveridge. Special thanks to Michael Kay, Dan and Doug and Rick Salazar. Hope to see all of you soon...

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Get Back, Honky Cat

After our sound check yesterday morning we tore down our gear and packed it up until tonight's show. We are scheduled for the 9:50 to 10:10 slot, doing Born on the Bayou, Who'll Stop the Rain, Keep On Chogglin', Bad Moon Rising and Proud Mary.

Jerry and I ate at the Carnegie Deli, huge sandwiches and excellent matzoh ball soup. We then met up with some of the Elton John crew at the Hilton, about a block from the Sheraton where we are staying. Rick Salazar, noted guitar tech, is working with EJ doing Davey Johnstone's gear. He is a complete Beatle fanatic, even more so than I am, though I tried to hold up my end of the conversation. He has an extensive collection of memorabilia and lots of great stories.

It happens that Elton will be playing in Nashville two days before my wedding, so Rick was kind enough to offer tickets to the show. I have never seen EJ in concert, though we are planning to peek in at the soundcheck this afternoon, and I'm looking forward to it. I guess he does a 2.5 hour show and sometimes adds several Captain Fantastic songs to the set - this being the 25th anniversary of the release of that classic album.

As much as I like some of the new Rock music out there, the "classic" rockers remain my favorites. Fogerty, Elton, Aerosmith - all of the songs I grew up with still move me. I'm thankful the '70's had such great music that survived the fads of the day.

DVD tip: Check your local Sam's Club for the "Old Grey Whistle Test" DVD. Many fine performances from the '70's and early '80's on live British TV. Cheap, too - I paid $8.88 for my copy.

Monday, September 19, 2005

After the Flood


We're in New York for the Gulf Coast Hurricane benefit at Madison Square Garden. Lots of luminaries here: Elton John, Dave Matthews, Elvis Costello, Simon and Garfunkel, The Nevilles, the Meters, Allan Toussaint, Bette Midler, etc.

Soundcheck was this morning and things look OK.

Billy and Bob

Matt and John

After we finished, S&G did their sound check. They are in fine form, with a stellar band, including Steve Gadd on drums.

Paul and Art


Sunday, September 18, 2005

Red Rain, Kansas City Star

Red Rocks Rain

Sorry for the long hiatus - life happened to throw a wicked curve for a week or two...

The fabled Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado has hosted The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix in years past. I gigged here once before with The Mavericks...nice venue, hellish load-in and load-out. It rained for a bit, then cleared up after Stoll did his set.

Britt Rocks Red Rocks

The stage is carved into a rock formation and the seats are set into the cliff side. Great scenery abounds.

Kansas City was the final show on the Mellencamp/Fogerty tour, so I took some pictures of much of the bands and crews during soundchecks.


The fabulous percussionist/vocalist for Mellencamp. I wish I had her energy.

Jerry and Bob


Clair Bros. systems guy and monitor engineer for Stoll. Great fun and a big help to us on the Fogerty crew.

Lawless and Gemeinhardt

Tasteless gestures will not get you out of a photo op.


Grimace the Drummer. Always in a state of shock and agony... " What hell he doing"?

Andy and Bill

A boy and his tech.

Johnny G

The low, low, low, low, low lowdown...


Clair Bros. systems guy. Handy in the clutch and a pleasure to work with.


Stage manager, the thankless job of all thankless jobs. Thanks, Wood!!!

Andy and Me

Digitally enhanced to reveal sweat stains on our shirts. Come back baby, Rock and Roll never sweats. We finally got a chance to play together, with Walter on drums. We did a version of "No Matter What" before soundcheck and actually made it all the way through.


Caring, sharing and Banks-baiting, the redoubtable Mellencamp Monitor Man.


Keyboardist/guitarist who never gets his picture taken 'cause he's on the other side of the stage...

It was a fun tour. I learned a lot and had many good times. I may not see some of these new friends again, so I thank them for their many kindnesses and good-will. The Fogerty gang will be touring Australia in November for four weeks, and I'll be back to doing JF's guitars since Jerry will be heading back to the Aerosmith tour.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

On The Road To Mandalay Bay

San Diego, Phoenix, Las Vegas. The last three shows were scorching hot. San Diego and Phoenix were outdoors, thankfully the LV gig was indoors at Mandalay Bay.

The guitars were hot to the touch in Phoenix, temps were over 100 degrees all day.

Billy Burnette

I got some decent portraits of the guys at sound check.

John Molo

Matt Nolen

George Hawkins

Sound Check

The guitar rigs have been sounding great in the dry air.

John Molo

I snapped a few onstage shots, too.

The Band

Bob Britt

Bob brought over an M-Audio Black Box compliments of Kevin at M-Audio. It's a combination amp simulator, mic pre, drum machine, AdrenalLinn sequencer, and effects unit...complete with a scaled down version of Ableton Live, a loop-based recorder. This should provide lots of fun on the days off.

Rock Idol

Andy York, no poser in real life, hams it up with a crossed double rock sign...wicked.

Bill Mayes

Bill, aka "Ripp" is the stage right guitar tech for Mellencamp.


Clair Brothers audio tech and all-around good guy