Friday, January 22, 2010

back from NAMM...

where I saw a host of new colors for my palette
and ran into many old friends I hadn't seen in a while
including stu hamm, the drummer for wings denny seiwell,
terry bozzio, bootsy collins, vernon reid, saul zonana,
david torn, and herbie hancock whom I haven't seen since
the 80's when I played on his record magic windows.)

NAMM is one big party. I hung out with the usual suspects:
johnny vitale and the gang from parker, tony and pat, seymour
duncan, tim godwin from line-6, bob borbonus from taylor,
madman zachary vex, bassist bryan beller, and julie.
(eric was home rehearsing with his new band dr. dog.)

of course the reason to be there is to see all
the new gear and there was plenty of that.
the list of manufacturers I met with is astounding:
parker, roland, korg, line-6, yamaha, eventide, tech 21,
taylor guitars, digitech, fender, apogee, preSonus,
ultimate support, t.c. electronics and t.c. helicon,
pigtronix, james trussart guitars, hofner guitars,
eastwood guitars, gig-fx, lakland basses, fritz brothers
guitars, dave smith instruments, gretsch guitars,
d'addario, soundblox, paiste cymbals, and my old
buddies lane ostrow at g&l, peter janus at radial,
and paul reed smith.
even more astounding is that I use products
from almost all of these companies.

NAMM sounds like a busy saturday at guitar center x 50.
it would be difficult to discern from the NAMM show
that there is an economic downturn, there are so many
things to buy and so many interested buyers.

my favorite new item I tried is called tenori-on.
it's a brand new instrument in fact; a hand-held
sequencer/looper invented by media artist
toshio iwai and made by yamaha. very exciting.
it's an excellent time to be a modern musician.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


and then there was the time when she was five
I found her in the kitchen eating a bowl of popcorn
with a spoon.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

the cotton taco.

my 10 year old daughter leah has a unique sense of...
well, everything.
everything from fashion statements (see above picture)
to her naturally quirky sense of humor:
leah comes into the room pretending to be a dog.
I say, “I’m thirsty, I’m going to get some water.”
she says, “fix me a bowl of it too.”

but the thing I marvel most at is her concept of food.
she always sits in the kitchen in front of the smallest
TV in our house watching cartoons while dining.
once I found her there eating her idea of breakfast:
left-over turkey breast with cracker jacks and gatorade.
a favorite lunch is those little chocolate pretzels
dipped in ranch dressing or blueberry yogurt.

so it came as no surprise to find her latest concoction
which she calls "the cotton taco".

it's a taco shell filled with cotton candy.

time to play ketchup..

before heading out the door to the NAMM convention.

I have spent my holidays with my tutor daniel rowland
who is helping me achieve one of my main goals for 2010:
to convert my massive guitar rig into something very
portable and easy to travel with: a laptop.
daniel is dragging me kicking and screaming into the future.
I do not have a natural aptitude for computers.
my 12-year old does better than I, but I am determined to learn.

touring internationally has taught me valuable lessons.

a. I need certain gear to play my music properly. you might
even say my music is born through technology and without
my sounds I may be an average guitarist.

b. every time I put my gear in the hands of the employees
of various airlines I am relying on the baggage industry
to insure I'm able to put on the best concert I can.

c. that is a lousy idea.

plus it's expensive and tiresome dragging stuff through
airports and security checks only to be overcharged
for the privilege of having it not show up.

phew... long story short: I'm dedicated to performing
with little more than a laptop and pedalboard
and this is taking up most of my time.
one benefit of working with new technology:
songs and bits of musical ideas begin to formulate
which gives me a sense of new music on the back
boiler of my brain and I'm hoping will result in new songs.

at the same time I'm researching new ways
to conduct my business affairs and I'm very excited
about certain looming possibilities.
moron this later.

so things are moving forward like molasses
for the moment but I do see the light.
it's going to be a marvelous year.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

about The NAMM Convention in Anaheim, CA.

for those of you who may be attending
I'll be signing AB Signature Parkers
and blank checks alongside Vernon Reid
at the Parker booth sometime thursday the 14th.

I'm hoping eric and julie will be at NAMM as well.
it's like being a kid in a toy store seeing all
the new gear and like a class reunion seeing
old friends like Skunk Baxter, Paul Reed Smith,
Bob Bourbonis and Bob Taylor, Seymour Duncan,
John Vitale, The Ventures, and on and on.
The Hilton lobby bar. the place to be.