Just flew back to L.A. from Indiana today - was up there in God's Country (Mellencamp lives there - well, perhaps he's God up there!), at a wedding of a friend of the Good Wife!
Back to reality today - such as our blessed life is. Waves bashing outside the windows and 70'F and sunny most every day. Believe me, I am grateful more than once every day and loud about it. Wall Street tumbled today - I have to admit to have being suckered into one of those balloon-mortgages myself, where the Washington Mutual broker spun us the "re-fi after one year" lark, and then 12 months later said he couldn't adjust anything after our interst rate more than tripled - which threatened our home - and only after desperate messages did he refi and then promptly left WaMu. But I can tell you we had a frantically tense month when it looked like they'd take us to the cleaners. The talking heads on TV say it was our greed that got us into it, but we were really sweet-talked into it. I didn't even want to do the funky mortgage, but was told it was a no-brainer (I'm not much of a money-guy, as you've probably realized! Wait til you hear the story of my big swindle by a New York restrateur, which I'm not allowed to mention after the settlement-that-wasn't!). And there's more...... I really do feel awful for so many that couldn't sort it out.
Big news this weekend - got to Indiana not having seen my year-old son for ten days - and he is walking! Hands raised in a V as he lopes like a Japanese robot towards me with that enormous toothy smile and laugh. Priorities seem to define themselves at moments like that! Who cares which zillionaire is singing with who, when, why, what?
Family is outta town this week. I'm not in the studio, Just catching up with paperwork (which means computer these days). So, this morning, I'm up early, 6.30am, with a bowl of Honey Nut Shreddies and a cup of coffee and Back In Black C-R-A-N-K-I-N-G!!! Brian Johnson never sounded this good again! Still, I'm looking forward to the new AccaDacca, but I'm not expecting anything but more of the same, no doubt, which is what we love about 'em!
Checked out the new 'Tallica - nice to hear them return to pre-video stylings, albeit a little samey. Pity about the distortion on the mix/mastering, not sure but I'd guess the latter. I guess I'm a little intrigued by what Mutt will make of Nickelback, altho' I'm not a fan.
The Joe Bonamassa 2009 album, which we think will be called The Ballad Of John Henry, is being mastered today. Despite being a producer and a friend, (and at times big brother), I have to confess to being a big fan as well. I think he is one of the rare talents in this oft despicable business. He keeps my soul adrift. The album title is a reference to the legend of John Henry, who freed from slavery endued a battle with "the machine" which took his life, which Joe B has taken as a metaphor for the blue-collar working man, which he identifies with as he is one!!! In that spirit, a new song called Spike Driver Blues leads the album off. Shake a leg....... it ain't noise pollution!
Oh, nice little tidbit - perennial nice guy Steve Gorman, drummer of The Very Nice Black Crowes, popped in on the Joe Bonamassa sessions and said "what a nice guy!".
Weird things happen.
Heard a very troubling rumour - there is a singer from a Florida heavy metal band who is pretty close to becoming My-Fave-Band-Ever's singer. As the old one has a separate happening career. I have to admit to shock, shock, shock.
The weird thing is I hadn't heard about this until Journey's new singer, Arnel, called yesterday and told me.
I don't know what to think.
Just finished another busy week.
Website was down and up for grabs as the domain name had run TEN YEARS already, so finally sorted that out. God forbid any should have snapped it up - where else would we get these crumbs???......
Went back into the studio and recorded four more Joe Bonamassa tracks - always trying to make his next album, due early 2009, as strong as possible, and it's even better than anything we've done before. Plus we have made two little videos, also complete, of the process, which we hope to package with the album as a kinda gift :). It's of course been totally impossible to fake anything, continuity-wise, because Joe has been on a mission to be 175lbs, a goal which he has reached and he looks great! His personal life, on the other hand..... well, suffice it to say, he's excited to be back on the road, and 2009 has some awesome tricks up it's sleeve, non of which we can reveal just yet, but certainly it's a David Copperfield (that's Vegas version, not Dickensian) of a year!!! Actually we recorded five tracks - one being in a foreign language...... a first for JB.
Life on the home front is interesting - my wife and child left me for a week yesterday, and while of course I miss them, it's very quiet around here. Perfect day, 72' F and sunny with the waves breaking. Kinda nice... Also went shopping.... I'll have that small salmon fillet, and one steak.... one sweet potato and the Rum Raisin Haagen Daaz - it could be a tough week. Still gotta get through all those ever-so-violent movies, and surf with the Dawn Patrol. I'll let you know how hard it is.......
The Classic Rock Awards. Click the logo to vote for your fave album of the year. I'm lucky enough and honored to be associated with four of the nominations.
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There are two nominations for Album Of The Year: Joe Bonamassa's Sloe Gin and Journey's Revelation.
The Led Zeppelin The Song Remains The Same DVD (which I mixed and revisited the audio for) is nominated for DVD of the Year, and the Iron Maiden World Tour I have mixed for a movie to be released later this year, and future DVD and CD releases.
Talon is ONE year old today!! Wifey been planning for months so it looks lik a Birthday Supplies Warehouse around here. Mom-in-law and wifey were baking mini cupcakes well into the night..... I assembled a firetruck (with assistance from my bud Ricardo, who has a week break from his gig tink-tink-tinkling (plastic) ivories for Joe Bonamatucci) and we're all set for a morning of yummy mummies and their demonic year-old offspring on the beach! I have been left with tasks to do.... where is that list?
No music 'til next week, when we hit the studio about Friday to finish the sessions for Joe's album - and it's gonna be a good one.
Baby is coughing - ooerr, thats not a good sign. Gotta run......
I must confess to being a bit of a political junkie. I think growing up in a conservative and oppressive society like Apartheid-era South Africa, as I did, with one's back to the wall constantly as we tried to navigate the brutal and arrogant bureaucracy of a legislated discrimination (and I wasn't even one of the oppressed), has left me with a rabid fascination for right and fairness, (as well as an elevated blood pressure), and that's what I look out for. So, I have learned that we are very polarized in the States and I know to keep opinions to a low roar, and today I received this letter from Fred, and out of respect for our individual positions, will attempt an explanation.
Hi Kev , first off Joe Bonamassa, I saw him live in Sterling Hts Mi.app 10 days ago. Stunned at how good he is . Close to tears from a natural high throughout, going again to Cleveland next month and can’t wait, even the wife is converted. Second, I do think Lewis H. will likely win the F1 title this year, have been following F1 for decades ( kinda rare as a Yank ). Third, I have lots of your work, in fact if you have engineered it I am likely to buy stuff I am only half into as the sound quality is impeccable. In fact I will be purchasing the Joe B record from your site at some point today to do my charitable part. Finally, I ask this: how is someone who will massively raise taxes, gladly permit any abortion ( early, middle , couple days before due date no prob and look at your new baby when pondering this ), sat by his fruitloop preacher for however many years (but none of what preach said rubbed off and he didn’t agree with him…… you don’t attend Church somewhere for that long and not agree with what’s being said ), weaken and dumb down the U. S. militarily and economically, offer to go “ fire one up “ with the leaders of countries that sponsor terror and are shooting for nukes , allow citizens to marry whoever and whatever they want , associate(s) with former terrorists etc… be right for ANY country. I could go on much longer because Barack has no , zero, upside but likely no point. I am no raging Mcain fan but I am sure the alternative would be disastrous and not what I want my 4 kids to be exposed to as they grow up. …….. I Love your work it is without peer , I don’t like your politics you must be missing some great piece of information because no sane, intelligent, INFORMED person could possibly want what I described in my coffee fueled rant. Their is more than one issue at stake…..
Firstly, thank you for the compliments Fred. My work means a lot and I am thrilled when people enjoy it. There are some who don't like it, and I respect that too, but it is important to me, and the integrity is paramount to me. I too, am a big fan of Lewis (who is also a Bonamassa fan and owns one of JB's signature guitars), but I think Kimi and Alonso are the best drivers, and I think Massa may well win the title. Incongruous, I know - but in F1 anything can happen, and it usually does, as Murray Walker says!
Did you see the lies at the Republican convention last night? And did you hear ANY ideas? This should be a conversation and not a fight.
Once again, I think the politicians are skewing each others point-of-view, and I think the McCain lot is more guilty of that than Obama's, who seems to want a lot less mud-slinging than the Republicans, but they are behind in the polls, so maybe their swift-boating will work again using these tactics. He came out first and said Palin's family was off-limits, and said it doesn't factor into her abilities to be potential Vice-President. His words. The conservative talking heads went on to say that the Democrats had challenged her abilities as a woman/mother/etc nonsense, but they never said that.
He has said categorically that he doesn't want to raise taxes on any but the super-wealthy. Spin that how you want, but we need money from somewhere after Bush blew a massive surplus on an unnecessary, unsolicited, unsanctioned (by the U.N) war on Iraq. Cheney, Rumsfeld and Bush will forever have on their conscience the deaths of hundreds of thousands of families in the guise of a retaliation of the attacks on 9/11. By the way, I was living in Manhattan on 9/11 - we saw what happened first hand, went to the Red Cross stations, etc. and I am as angry as the next, but Iraq HAD NOTHING to do with 9/11. It's a bipartisan opinion now and in the 9/11 record.
As president, Barack Obama will implement a 21st century economic agenda to help ensure that America can compete in a global economy, and ensure the middle class is thriving and growing. He will increase investments in infrastructure, energy independence, education, and research and development; modernize and simplify our tax code so it provides greater opportunity and relief to more Americans; and implement trade policies that benefit American workers and increase the export of American goods.
Obama has said his attitude to abortion is that we should reduce the numbers of unwanted pregnancies, and that is paramount, but a woman has the right to choose for her body. He has never sanctioned mid or late term abortions - where do you get that nonsense? Sarah Palin will not have sex education in schools, and has apparently not talked enough with her kids to stave off her teen daughter's unwanted pregnancy, and now they are dealing with it. And spinning too, which is cheap in my mind.
Where did Obama imply he would dumb-down the military? That too is nonsense and he has said the opposite , but we do not need to be stretched as thin as we are militarily, and economically weakened to a point where we are dragging down the rest of the world because of our arrogant policies.
"Our country's greatest military asset is the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States. When we do send our men and women into harm's way, we must also clearly define the mission, prescribe concrete political and military objectives, seek out advice of our military commanders, evaluate the intelligence, plan accordingly, and ensure that our troops have the resources, support, and equipment they need to protect themselves and fulfill their mission." -Barack Obama, Chicago Foreign Affairs Council, April 23, 2007
Honestly, I could go on and on, but the facts are there for those that want to find them.
Check it out.
Which side we're on is ultimately our own choice and conscience, and mine is obviously more liberal than others. That shouldn't be any reason to be unable to get along because the world is made up of all sorts of people. There is another factor to the self-righteous right that gets me going, and that is the Jimmy Swaggart type EXCUSES that people use to get them off the hook for being disgusting and abhorrent. The evangelical church leader who bangs the rent-boys, takes drugs and lies to his family and then prays and cries, is apparently good with the community and OK to go forward without repercussions, and there are so many of these things going around, it's frankly disgusting. I do not want these people in my neighborhood. Then there are the uninformed who know nothing of the world and think everyone not Caucasian and Christian must be an evil terrorist, and someone to pile vile hatred and rebuke on. The world outside the U.S. appears unimportant it seems - no news deals with anything much and even the BBC is going this way. (I met a girl from Ohio who thought penguins must live in Florida because that was the Southern end of the world. No jokes.) Outside these borders, there's nothing apparently. Except Heaven in the clouds and Hell in middle-earth. And evil terrorists and their families to kill and maim. Well, I have been around the world. It's amazing how much people love America and Americans - Iraqis, Iranians, Russians and Saudis. The English seem to have a more negative attitude to us than anyone, even more so than the French.
But enough sabre rambling - I'll save that to share over a beer or two next time I'm in your hood. My wife is from Southern Indiana, and I love the Heartland (although it can get boring for an ocean lover like me), so I'll be there plenty in the years to come! Wait til I get going about energy, and our dogged determination not to seek out viable, alternative fuels which will not affect Climate Change. By the way, my much loved dad doesn't believe Climate Change is the result of human activity - it appears to me that there is much evidence to the contrary, and it seems paramount that fossil fuels move off the top of our agenda sooner rather than later.
And thank goodness Fred Thompson isn't top of anyone's ticket.......
Got a little 'flu. Always happens as I stop work for a break - the first few days have you under the weather. Went to doc for a check today - high blood pressure - told to lay off the reds... meat 'n wine. On the bike reg'lar like! OK. Baby son Talon is ONE year old this Friday. He's great - took his first steps yesterday and had us cracked up. Older son Josh is in Munich doing some 3D animations for a German company and doing great - he's weighing up that and a job in movie animation in San Francisco and is leaning towards the Krauts.
I did some demos last week that came out great. The weather here is beyond beautiful - ocean is rolling, sun shining, dolphins and seals are commonplace, and everything is perfect. I still feel grumpy. Like Ross. Who I love but won't talk to me because of an opinion I had. Oh well... Opinions are like assholes.... then there's John McCain - whatever was he thinking? You might not be that politically minded, but is that one outta-touch muthafartha or whut? Sheesh - I mean can they really win this election? I will be on a bicycle in Nepal when the results come in. C'mon......
Love Mick Wall's blog - my fave now. I'm very excited to read his Zeppelin book out later this year. One day I'll get my stories out there. I have about 200 pages written. The trouble with these blogs is mostly I have to be really conservative in my remarks, shall we say, when dealing with narcissitic musicians and hyper-sensitive rock-stars, and then others are mostly able to shoot from the belt. There are some that insist that the English Olympics debacle on a collapsing double-decker bus was good..... perhaps you had to be there. The other 200 million of us had to do with the lame X-factor/Idol version.
I've decided, next year we're going to spend the summer on a Greek island. Watch this space........
Finished 8 tracks for CT band Doublethink last week, and they came out great! Kinda like early Pumpkins meets STP - along those lines.
The teen movie College is just out, and the soundtrack features two Caveman produced Supagroup songs, Jailbait and Let's Go (Get Wasted) from their previous two albums. Here's a movie still featuring my fave NOLA rockers getting raucous. They didn't even invite me to the shoot......
(c) Caveman Productions Inc. 2008