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A couple of nice events happened this week. One, I got a decent sized tax refund from the Federal Government (which always helps) and two, I used a portion of those proceeds to buy myself a present. Not really a present, more like a capital investment. I bought myself a Line 6 Pod X3 Live, with all the associated bells and whistles stuffed into one nice compact pedalboard. The Pod is the coolest thing engineered besides the Saturn 5 rocket. Can't say enough good things about it. It can make even an amateur hack like myself sound decent. Plus, by plugging it into your computer with Sony ACID Music, you have instant home studio. And, seeing that I've written about 9 songs now, I figured it is time. This time round I expect the music to be a little more "prog" than pop, but hopefully I don't turn it into Yes on acid (which I doubt I'll do, I'm not that patient!). Some similar lyrical content to "At The Twilight's Last Gleaming," but a couple of more "uplifting" tunes, like the one I'm attempting to record right now. "Invincible" was inspired by watching the US Presidential Election on November 5, 2008, and the inauguration on Jan. 20, 2009. It felt like a weight was lifted off the country, that although we still had a major recession, two wars, and a huge number of ills, that we were going to point ourselves in the right direction and return to being the "city on a hill" that I was taught America is when I was a lad in elementary school. And it's challenging musically. The main riff is in 7/8 time, and it moves in and out of 7/8 and 6/8 at places in the song. You bassists out there will be happy to know that this is a BASS DRIVEN SONG. One nasty, dirty, 7/8 time bass riff played through slight distortion in an attempt to sound like Geddy's Rickenbacker on "Moving Pictures." Of course, like the dummy I am, I attempted to lay down the bass drum and snare track first, and just went in circles all last night. Couldn't get it. But then today I had the epiphany of "the bass is the only instrument playing through the whole song why don't you lay that down first and then drums?" Of course then everything went swimmingly. 2 1/2 hours work, bass, drum and cymbals, and guide guitar are now in place. Tomorrow I'll flesh it out after rehearsal. Rehearse for what you may ask? I'M PLAYING LIVE GIGS! Also, I've recruited two great young men to join my band and back me up playing live. Bizarro Blaine has worked with me before, as he's the drummer in the Rockford, IL band M28 and I've sat in on bass for them before (those are his silver-tone Slingerlands in the pic of me) and he's like Keith Moon without the tendency towards substance abuse. Joe V 3.0 and I played together at my church several times, and he is going to be the bass version of Nigel Tufnel. My prediction is that he will soon own every type of bass ever made. He's playing a very nice Tobias now, which I envy. So, that's the scoop. Shows on May 1 at Penny Road Pub in Barrington, IL, May 21 at Otto's in DeKalb, and May 30 at Club Paradise in Dubuque, IA. Hopefully more to come. Thanks to all of you for your support! Gondo
The F.O.G.-lamp, November 2008 The official newsletter of the Friends of Gondo (F.O.G.) Hi everyone! Hope November finds you all happy and healthy! 2008 has been a heckuva year so far. Of course a lot of bad news (financial crises, layoffs, wars, the pathetic performances of the Cleveland Browns). I myself just got "the sack" from my day job (which means I'm available for gigs, kids). They're trying times, but they won't last forever. Personally, what keeps me going is the little silver linings in the clouds: family, friends, and realizing that although times might be tough, hell, at least I'm here! Case in point: a couple of weeks ago a guy turned left heading to the company I was working for, and got "T-Boned" by oncoming traffic. He was thrown from the car, and killed instantly. Which made me think, as bad as things can be, at least I'm here to experience it! However on the music front, things have been uplifting. I've had a third song hit #1 on Soundclick.com (Centurion's Song), I've had some airplay on RadioParadise.com's "Listener Review Channel" (with positive feedback). I've had "Plastic Happiness" uploaded and accepted to ClearChannel Radio's NEW! music channel (Google it) and you all have helped to move me into the top 600 Rock Bands on ReverbNation. There may even be an opportunity to have those really crappy drums that I have on the record (I know, you all keep bitching at me about them) re-recorded for a re-release of the album. Even in the darkest of times, friends shine through. So my thanks to all of you for your support. Keep your heads up, and keep pressing on! --Gondo