Saturday May 17 – Day 17
Got up at 6:00am and got everything ready to go. Packed the car and said bye to all after a few coffees and rounds of toast. Got direction from our mate Riggs to go to Los Olivos to pick up an incredible microphone for him. It’s built by a guy named Stayne who live there. Brilliant products. Have a look at http://innertubeaudio.com/home.html. So on the road at 7:30am, get to the gig at 11:45 and ready to play about 12:00. We have our usual crazy direction problems but all is good. After we pick up the mic we make it to Croad Vineyards where we have to play a four hour session. It was a fine afternoon at the vineyard and we had a great time. The wine was flowing and the BBQ was excellent. Tri tip steak, sausages, beans and salad. The people who were there seemed to have a good time, we made good money in tips and we were paid well and bonus two bottles of wine. After the gig we went to Riggs’s unpacked, had a bit of a rest and went to one of his mates for a party. He owns a beautiful beach house right on the ocean in Cayucos. Plenty of booze, music, food and good company. At his point I (Paul) am totally beat. I do not like to ride in the back seat of a car going around bend after bend.... car sick..... will this ride ever end?
Friday May 16 – Day 16
Usual stat to the day. By 8:00am listening to the songs and making the final plans for vocals and any other over dubs and punch list. Mike comes over and we start Jo’s vocals. A completely different girl than yesterday. She nails the vocals for the rest of the tracks (about 7) and we are on a roll. Incredible what a little rest does for one. Tick off this, tick off that and Paul finishes up the last of his vocals and we are done! We check all the songs just to be sure. What an incredible week! I think we will miss being there. Jack and Stacy have been more than awesome hosts and are the most beautiful people we know. The last time we met Jack he had 7 Emmy awards, now he has 9! So whenever you watch Bold and Beautiful and Young and Restless you now know who writes and records all the music. Jack’s wife Stacie Randall is an action movie actress who has played in Puppet Master 4, Trancers 4 and 5, and Excessive Force 2: Force on Force. Her genres include Action, Science Fiction, Comedy, and Horror. We will miss them and their children Catherine and Nick. After the session Jack took us out for a beautiful Italian dinner. After dinner I got an external hard drive (because I forgot mine) to back up all the session files and it was off to bed for an early start to Paso Robles, a four hours drive away. Good night all.....
Thursday May 15 – Day 15
6.30am, I feel like I got hit by a truck ...it is hot already, sausages and waffles, strawberries and blueberries mmmm. Perhaps the show last night was not the wisest idea I have had. We got vocals to two tracks but it was pretty draining. Sack the vocalist so off I go to rest, change my space, rest yeah well right. It is 102 degrees. Paulie got another five vocal tracks and I am hoping tomorrow will be more productive for me. Sleep is so necessary and so is relaxation. I needed to eat fresh veggies so I cooked up some Miso and fresh vegetables for dinner. First world problems broke my flipflops and it is way too hot not to have light shoes.....Sears and a new pair of dressy thongs .....tomorrow mmm tomorrow.......
Wednesday May 14 – Day 14
Another early wake up day. Six in the morning has now become the norm it seems. Stacy makes us scrambled eggs and bacon. Down to the studio ...three more tracks on target Paul gets his backing vocals down on four tracks and then it is time to hit the traffic. OMG three hours in 90 degree heat and traffic... What a great space in Ventura lots of art, music and friendly community. Lisbet makes us welcome and we get ready to play. Ah the joys of playing support .. no sound check, plug in and go after waiting 45 minutes for the headline band to sound check. Great crowd and wonderful response, so it was well worth it. A beautiful hand painted picture of us playing, a bag of fresh vegetables, five cups of coffee, oh then we ate dinner at Himalaya a sweet Nepalese/Tibetan restaurant. Back to Green Art for the last few songs of the other band, stimulating conversations about sovereignty and the Emerald tablets of Thoth. Then we need to be on the road back to Los Angeles and in the process got Rod Fritz a show next Wednesday at Green Art serendipity. Get in around 12.00a.m better drive than the way there. So tired....
Tuesday May 13 – Day 13
Up at 6.30. Coffee and breakfast then into the studio by 8.30. Put down some mandolin on Life of a Culture and sounds great. It’s a Gibson mandolin from the 50’s tuned like a 12 string guitar and only 50 were ever made. Paul feels very privileged. Mike arrives and the fun begins, got five tracks today. Super hot and tomorrow is supposed to be hotter. Stopped for a late lunch and back to work. Mike has placed some great piano and bass tracks inspired to say the least...the songs are getting their clothes on. We are on a roll. As we are playing for the Green Art People in Ventura tomorrow night we are starting our session earlier; 8.00am start. The aim is to finish the next three guitar tracks as the gig will finish our strings and we need to maintain the continuity. Sounding great, getting ready for a couple of days of vocals before we head out Saturday to play CROAD Vineyard for the Paso Robles Wine Festival. It is flat stick and open throttle as we hone in. Wow so excited and blessed. Got to go to bed beat ...later guys with tomorrows installment but hey at least it is now up date. Full moon on the rise.
Monday May 12 – Day 12
9.00 am into the studio for setup time.. Microphones, guitars, effects boards and getting the feel of how it is all going to happen. Mike our engineer and whiz kid, arrives around midday having attended graduation and working, then the session begins. Life of a Culture and Shades of Grey are the first two songs...scratch vocals for guide tracks and laid the guitar beds down. So much joy at the skill and incredible talent we are being blessed with. Take a break eat dinner then back to get some vocals laid and record some other bits. Bedtime ...these early mornings 6.00a.m starts... don’t laugh it’s actually pretty good.....
Sunday May 11 – Day 11
Happy mother’s day to all you mothers and happy birthday to Jack. A few hours drive to Rolling Hills. I forgot how crap the traffic can get on the freeways to LA. Mostly good for a Sunday but it did get a little congested at times. Thanks to the directions I wrote down earlier we got to our destination with no major arguments. We arrived to a beautiful welcome and had lunch with Stacey, Nicholas and Katherine. Jack arrived home a little later and we got settled into our home for the next five days, a gorgeous guest house above the recording studio. Dinner with two of Jack & Stacey’s best friends who own an unbelievable place; seven storeys underground on seven acres of land in Rolling Hills currently on the market for 53 million dollars. Crazy stuff but true. Beautiful dinner with great company and fabulous wine. First time I (Paul) ever drank a bottle of wine that costs over $300.00 and we drank a few. Great time had by all Jacks birthday. Then off to bed.
Saturday May 10 – Day 10
I’ve gotten behind now since it’s almost Thursday. Joshua Tree Saloon gig on tonight. We get to Joshua Tree Saloon about 7:00pm because we thought we’d get there early so we could eat and watch the first act called Jo Ellis. Well, stupid us. Jo doesn't show up does she so muggins and co has to play early. We were supposed to start at 9:00. So we don’t eat and we set up to play and get everything organised. It was a really good gig actually and the pub was pretty full. So we stopped playing about 10:00 and had something to eat. After we had a few bites they asked up to play for another half hour because the next act wasn't on till 11:00. Put the dinner away and go play. Cool.... we finished playing and then we finished our now cold dinner. There were three girls who played acoustic guitar and a snare drum who were pretty good. They were called Little Wild. After listening to a few songs we decided to leave as we had it for the day. Off to Russ’s to get ready for the trip to LA and sleep.
Friday May 9 – Day 9
Didn’t get together with Oscar last night. Too tired and too far away. I’m sure we’ll catch up on the way back from Paso Robles at the end of May. Up early again! Must be what we need to do because I think recording will start early and we better be prepared. I have to find some kettle cords for our gear that are a US format and get a power board for Saturday’s gig. Australian plugs do not like to go into US receptacles. But I must say US plugs like to go into Australian receptacles! Couldn't help myself...hehe. I have a couple of converters if all else fails. Found the kettle cords and all works fine. My guitar was humming when I plugged it into my effects board but when I plugged it all into the Mackie mixer the hum went away. Go figger. We had a good rehearsal today. I think jet-lag has finally subsided and am feeling a bit better. I forgot to mention in the morning you could hear the sound of thunder but there were no clouds. They were having bombing practice at the Marine base I guess. It’s only about five miles away from the house and sometimes you could feel it. Taxpayer’s money being spent for a good use.... They have an Arab town set up there with people and shops and stuff, just like the real world and they practice their warfare there. They actually pay people to live there.
Thursday May 8 – Day 8
Again, better sleep than earlier. Still got up at sparrows fart though. 4:00am then again at 7:00. Went into Joshua Tree then Yucca Valley to do some shopping after 9:00. We LOVE Dollar Tree! All the junk you can imagine and it’s all $1.00 each! Supposed to meet a mate Oscar tonight to go to a jam night somewhere in Riverside. Met the owner at JT Saloon nice man Gerard and looking forward to the show on Saturday night. Back to blue skies and hot ....still some breeze but much warmer than yesterday.