Monday, July 31, 2006

Chili Peppers Fans Unite

ran into another fan.
why do they all seem to be in the UK?
flo's blog has some awesome photos from the earls court gig and funny tales. she's also into "circle journals." i've never heard of circle journals, i had to look it up on the internet. this explains what they are. what fun!
in honor of flo, here's johnny! (even though she's a bigger ant fan)

i wish i could credit these fine photos to their sources. i can say they are from either janes, rhcp or invisible-movement. who knows where they originate.

while we're at it -- chilis up for seven mtv video nominations, tied with hip shaking shakira. vote at mtv's overly animated and annoying site

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Wet Magazine

after surf life for women folded, wet is going to give it a try. it launches next month. ben marcus, a former editor for surf, is the guy behind the mag. he lives in santa cruz.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Mars Volta Inspiration

since john frusciante plays on TMV's new record, i think i'm going to pick it up. people keep telling me they're good. for one reason or other, i haven't listened. but i relate to their inspiration.
this from mtv news:
Mars Volta's Amputechture Inspired By Immigrant Marches, Possessed Nuns

07.25.2006 3:15 PM EDT

Band goes conceptual again on Frances the Mute follow-up.
Mars Volta
Photo: Alfred Jansen
The Mars Volta revived the concept album in 2005 with their cerebral opus Frances the Mute. The epic LP centered on the thoughts of a man seeking out his adopted parents.

Those musings were contained within a diary discovered by former

"To me, religion is the reason there's so much conflict in the world. Amputechture is my way of describing enlightenment." — The Mars Volta's Cedric Bixler-Zavala

Photos, audio and video from this story

The Widow [Edit]

The Mars Volta
"The Widow [Edit]"
The Widow
(Universal/Strummer/Gold Standard)
Volta bandmate Jeremy Ward while he was employed as a repo man. Before Ward's 2003 death from an apparent overdose, he took it upon himself to finish the unknown writer's work. The band's frontman, Cedric Bixler-Zavala, later used the writings as a blueprint of sorts for Frances (see "Mars Volta's Conceptual Frances The Mute Speaks Volumes").

For the Volta's forthcoming conceptual offering, Amputechture, which hits stores September 12, Bixler-Zavala didn't rely on just one source of inspiration for his lyrics — there was plenty on his mind this time around.

"It's all loose, really," he explained. "I love the way that [Rod Serling's 1970s series] 'Night Gallery' had that common thread that it was a gallery, and every painting told a different story. I guess I'd like that to be true of this album, too. The subject matter's all different, but [the songs] do all come together in a strange way. Every song would be a different episode that kind of relates in the way that [Paul Thomas Anderson's 1999 film] 'Magnolia' has all these different characters [who] all come back together in the end.

"There's the subject of the immigrant marches that were happening here," Bixler-Zavala continued. "And there were things I saw on the news, like the story about a woman who was killed by this priest because supposedly she was possessed."

That woman was a 23-year-old Romanian nun named Maricica Irina Cornici, who, according to news reports, believed she heard the devil talking to her. A monk bound Cornici to a cross, gagged her with a towel and left her in a dank room for three days without food. She died of suffocation and dehydration more than a year ago.

"That was sort of an inspiration to write about the Western phenomenon of incarcerating somebody if you think they're crazy, whereas in some parts of the world, like in South America, people like this woman would be considered a shaman," the singer said.

But that's not where it ends.

"This album's a commentary about the fear of God instead of the love of God, which goes hand-in-hand with Catholicism," he said. "To me, religion is the reason there is so much conflict in this world, and I think it's just so unnecessary to believe in this blue-eyed, white-bearded, white-haired God. Amputechture is my personal way of describing enlightenment, or just the celebration of this person who is a shaman and not a crazy person. It's about the pineal gland and how it has certain elements that mimic a DMT experience, and how we can come up with cures for cancer and AIDS if we're more in tune with what's going on in the rainforest."

Bixler-Zavala says the Volta started recording Amputechture last year while on tour with System of a Down (see "System Of A Down/ Mars Volta Tour Dates Announced"). Guitarist Omar Rodriguez-Lopez produced the LP, which features eight ethereal tracks.

"We're excited about this album, because I think a lot of people expected us to rest on Frances and keep promoting that," Bixler-Zavala said. "It's great to just keep going and throw new stuff out there. We have the kind of fanbase that demands that. But we're constantly working, or else we get bored."

Rodriguez-Lopez, who is working on music for Guillermo Arriaga's forthcoming film "The Night Buffalo" as well as his own, five-years-in-the-making movie, had a virtual library of ideas he brought to the table for Amputechture, which features the Red Hot Chili Peppers' John Frusciante playing the majority of the album's guitar parts.

"We took an approach on this album of not letting everyone know what's going on with the music," Bixler-Zavala said. "Everyone went in and recorded their part right then and there. Frusciante learned his part five minutes before we'd go in to record it, and the entire album was recorded in big chunks. It's the closest thing to improvisation we can do."

This fall, the Mars Volta will open for the Chili Peppers on the band's North American tour, set to kick off August 11 in Portland, Oregon, and conclude November 5 in St. Paul, Minnesota (see "Red Hot Chili Peppers Reveal Stadium Arcadium Tour Dates"). Afterward, Bixler-Zavala said the Volta will stage their own U.S. headlining tour, which should commence before year's end, with dates running well into 2007.

— Chris Harris

Sunday, July 23, 2006


my maters. aren't they cute?

Heat Wave

it's getting hot in here... even near the beach. but it's thundering.
that makes this a John Frusciante day! here's some recent pics that i got from rhcp, janes and invisiblemovement

a pretty good video, earl's court, uk, how deep is your love

here's another

a tribute

Thursday, July 20, 2006

War in the Mideast

that makes this a john frusciante day!
i'm so tired of all this warring around. i know i sound like a hippy chick but man, it's tiring.
here's a nice diversion. the video isn't that great but this is one of my favorite johnny songs -- the will to death. seems appropriate. it's also cool that the audience sings along right with him.

the will to death lyrics
And they're thought to be lies
But we saw them, saw them
We looked right in their eyes
Right at them, at them
Pinning space to the world
We slaughtered, slaughtered
Not a sound to be heard
We're awful, awful
And have you seen
How they run
Out of gas
They beat the pain
They sing in the rain
Endless and formless
They fly to the end
And back to the
Beginning again
Have you put them aside
Your crazy thoughts and dreams
No they're a part of me
And they all mean one thing
The will to death is what keeps me alive
It's one step away, step away
Limitations are set
Only then can we go all the way, all the way
And have you seen how the cars when they pass
They come your way
Then they're speeding away
Coming to you and then going away
But for them nothings changed, for them nothings changed
Oooooooo, ooooooooo

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Pay to Surf Trestles?

this from surfriders:
Help us find out. Researchers at UCLA are conducting a survey of surfers who surf Trestles to evaluate its worth. If you surf Trestles, you can help by visiting this link and filling out the survey on a day you surf (or check) the waves at Trestles.

Your participation can help us better understand the value of surf spots and may improve management of these recreational resources in the future.


Researchers at UCLA are conducting a research project on the economics of surfing. For part of the project they are planning to assess the economic value of surfing at Trestles. To do so they need to get as many surfers who surf Trestles as possible to fill out a web-based survey on the day they visited Trestles. The more surfers who fill out the survey the more accurate the estimation. The results will be used in a model to estimate the “willingness to pay” for a day at Trestles and then extrapolated this to a total annual value, etc.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

My Sharona

she's fighting cancer. you know, the knack's my,my,my,my,my sharona. what a great song. from the las vegas sun, who tried but failed to beat the nuclear dump.
oday: July 18, 2006 at 8:7:8 PDT

John Katsilometes relates a startling e-mail from Sharona - yes, of 'My Sharona' - Alperin, who today is a successful real estate agent in a battle with cancer

"It was just destiny - a-destiny."

Sharona Alperin wrote back to me on Sunday night. She is the one and only Sharona named in the iconic Knack song "My Sharona." I'd heard she was fighting cancer in Los Angeles and last week, in the days preceding the Knack concert at the Hard Rock Hotel pool, I asked her about her health and life.

Sunday night she got back to me with a remarkable e-mail - for those of us who remember listening to the seemingly endless repetition of "My Sharona" as teenagers, reading a note from the actual Sharona is heady stuff.

Sharona is known as a "Realtor to the Stars" in Los Angeles and is still asked about the song daily (the band released the song in 1979 when she was just 17; so she's learned to play along). She is indeed battling cancer ­- which started in her colon and spread to her liver - and has undergone 12 rounds of chemotherapy. Last week she underwent an MRI and this week has a PETscan scheduled.

"I've been in a lot of physical pain, but also very much alive and enjoying my very beautiful life," Sharona wrote. "I have two fantastic children, 7 and 3, a gorgeous husband, inside and out, who I am madly in love with, great career, awesome friends. All's great except that I have cancer."

Sharona meets with her doctors on July 28, when she will be told of the results of her latest battery of tests. "I'm praying for the best," she said. "In the meantime, I'm still rockin' and rollin'."

Sad Day for Nevada

yucca mountain is going to open.

just doesn't seem right.

nevada's often viewed as a big dumping grounds for everything from nuclear waste to stupid people. what's on today's front page of the las vegas review journal?: Porn star's fundraiser far from typical political event.

which is dumber the porn star or the newspaper? the newspaper! the newspaper!

only in vegas, baby. but if you exclude vegas, nevada is one of the most beautiful states with a vast wilderness and a charm that not many people know of. and even vegas has its own very unique allure in spite of itself.

By ERICA WERNER, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 51 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - The Energy Department has a new opening date for the long-delayed
Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump in Nevada: March 31, 2017.

That's 19 years late. But it's the first concrete timeline the department has produced in some time.

The Energy Department planned to announce the schedule at a congressional hearing Wednesday but shared it with congressional offices Tuesday. Several of them made it public.

Under the schedule, the department would submit its license application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on June 30, 2008, get authorization to begin construction on Sept. 30, 2011, complete construction on March 30, 2016 and begin accepting nuclear waste on March 31, 2017.

The dates correspond to general goals department officials have shared recently with lawmakers.

"Our work will continue to be based on sound science .... The program now has reachable, definable target dates that will allow us to open Yucca Mountain as the nation's repository for spent nuclear fuel," Energy Department spokesman Craig Stevens said in a statement. read the rest

looking out at henderson

Deepak Chopra's Blog

need a lift? even the spirtual guru himself has a blog. actually, the blog has entries by numerous people, including his daughter, and covers a variety of topics... health, politics. it isn't uplifting really. more confrontational. opposing the powers that be.

The Long Tail

caught this on kcrw yesterday -- the long tail -- by wired mag's editor, chris anderson.

chris says the future of entertainment is in harnessing niche markets. the internet has allowed the proliferation of more obscure and niche forms of entertainment -- just look at youtube -- and audiences have found their way to those niches. it's similar to how job specialists make money. not a lot of people have elbow problems but an elbow doctor makes a living taking care of those who do have elbow woes. it's how google makes money off all we bloggers.

all the niche markets taken as a group creates what chris calls a "long tail" of sales -- additional sales. so for internet purveyors selling say, music, it's not just about the hit single anymore. it's also about selling a lot of independent artists' cds. woo hoo!

for example, i love drew danburry's music. he's relatively unknown, but very popular with his fans. the internet gives him a market. in fact, i might not have known of his music if not for the internet.

on another note, he says blogs are great for writers. indeed.
here's an extensive interview with chris
here's his original article in wired that started it all.

i hope drew doesn't mind that i ripped this off from his blog. funny, smutty pic of a very tall guy in cowboy boots.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

California Road Trip Part 1

elephant seal beasts of central coast california trying to stay cool and the squirrels that live among them.
this is how you get there

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Magazines by the Numbers

here's magazine circ and ad revenue for jan - june 2006 compared to last year.
this is for writers (you can see which ones have enough money to pay you), magazine buffs, curious types.

the magazine rolling in the most dough..... people, $425 million. followed by better homes & gardens, with $366 million, although its ad sales were down compared to last year. but the better barometer of magazine health is how they did compared to last year. in that case, women's health had the biggest jump. those doing poorly: spin, transworld skateboarding, child, fast company, national enquirer, jane.

the la times West magazine, which just launched, pulled in about $18 million in ad revenue, compared to NYT mag, which has been around for a very long time, $195 million.

source of this info courtesy of the fabulous media bistro fishbowl.

on a local magazine note, surf life for women wiped out.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Drew Danburry

this is drew danburry. he's one of my favorite muscians. he's a really nice guy. he skateboards and he's a filmmaker. utah is is home. he tours like a madman. he avoids playing in bars and prefers parking lots, coffee houses, skateboard parks, beaches, bonfires... and trampolines.
here's his new blog/new band.
to hear some of his tunes visit his myspace.

here is just part of his touring schedule.
Jul 11 2006 8:00P
Village Green Records muncie, IN
Jul 12 2006 10:00P
bear's place bloomington, IN
Jul 13 2006 7:30P
Boba! akron, OH
Jul 14 2006 8:00P
Big Car Gallery indianapolis, IN
Jul 15 2006 7:00P
the Firehouse north manchester, IN
Jul 17 2006 8:00P
tba Madison, WI
Jul 18 2006 8:00P
Up & Under Pub Milwaukee, WI
Jul 19 2006 8:00P
Paradigm Coffeehouse Sheboygan, WI
Jul 20 2006 7:00P
Acadia Cafe minneapolis, MN
Jul 21 2006 8:00P
the Red Rooster Coffee House aberdeen, SD
Jul 22 2006 8:00P
the red raven fargo, ND
Jul 22 2006 8:00P
RECORDING - JULY 22nd - JULY 28th fargo, ND
Jul 28 2006 8:00P
414 grand forks, ND
Jul 29 2006 8:00P
somewhere totally sweet! lincoln, NE
Jul 31 2006 8:00P
RECORDING - the off white room lincoln, NE
Aug 3 2006 8:00P
Velour Live Music Gallery provo, UT
Aug 4 2006 7:00P
Kilby Court w/ Harry and the Potters!!! salt lake city, UT
Aug 5 2006 8:00P
RECORDING - Utah provo, UT
Aug 26 2006 8:00P
Kilby Court salt lake city, UT
Sep 23 2006 8:00P
Americana UK House Party! liverpool
Sep 25 2006 8:00P
The Buffalo Bar Cardiff
Sep 28 2006 7:00P
El Inca Bordeaux
Sep 29 2006 8:00P
tba Paris

Monday, July 10, 2006

Ben Harper

these very excellent photos are from my british chum, who had front row tix to ben's very intimate concert ben's on july 4 -- 3,000 people. that's pretty much the only way i'll see a concert these days unless of course, it's the chili peppers. speaking of -- ben's also going to be touring with the chili peppers in england.

i haven't listened to ben's music but ms. N's taste in music is stellar -- she rivals me in john frusciante-ism -- but i intend to real soon.

we swap music back and forth. she introduced me to razorlight, one of my faves. i introduced her to drew danburry, madly touring all around the u.s. and heading to england as a matter of fact.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Razorlight's In the Morning

Razorlight's new single, thanks to my british mate!
razorlight, who hail from london, are about to make a splash any time now in the u.s. their debut cd up all night rocks... so, yeah, here's review from an earlier post:

Look out! This is a review I wrote that first appeared on

If you’re the type who likes to find good music before the rest of the crowd, better get to your favorite record shop for Razorlight’s debut CD Up All Night.

The London band is about to make a splash in the U.S., thanks to a car ad. The British hit “Golden Touch” is now prominently heard in a TV ad for the Honda Accord. But unlike the one-hit wonder of Dirty Vegas’ “Days Go By” made popular by a commercial for Mitsubishi, “Golden Touch” isn’t the only hit on this record.

Other bona fide hits include the title “Up All Night,” “Rip it Up,” “To the Sea,” “Rock and Roll Lies,” “Dalston” and “Leave me Alone.” A British friend introduced me to the band, already a smash in the U.K., by way of “Golden Touch” via email. The CD was released last October.

The whole darned CD is a rollicking good time. It's been called "brash garage rock." I would call it my Pacific Coast Highway jam… windows down, music cranked, driving along the coast of Cali. Zen. The CD also will do quite well in your iPod for morning runs or workouts.

This quartet of boyish-looking mates, all in their early 20s, also got some exposure at Live 8 and recently supported U2 in Sweden.

Up All Night is not heavy by any means. It’s Pop to the tenth. “Golden Touch,” for example, is about a beautiful girl who’s got some jealous friends:

But then all they know is how to put you down When you're there, they're your friend But then when you're not around They say, "Oh, she's changed" Oh we know what that means Well it means they're just jealous But they'll never do the things That they wish that they could do so well

“Rip it Up” simply commands: Get on the Dance Floor! Rip it up Girl. That’s what it’s there for!

Yes Sir.

On “Leave Me alone,” the first track, lead singer Johnny Borrell strikes out – screaming Just Leave Me Alone. And you know he's getting sweaty. The song starts with a gentle piano and then leads into one beat, then another on top of that and another on top of that. Three layered driving beats lead to a final question: “What part of that don’t you understand?” Leave Me Alone!

Rounding out the band is drummer Andy Burrows, who gets a major workout on the CD; Swede Björn Ågren on guitar and backing vocals and Carl Dalemo, bass and backing vocals, also from Sweden. Andy is the band’s second drummer. The first one left for “health differences.” Hope that’s not a sign of a quick shot to stardom for this band.

What’s bad about this CD you ask? Nothing really. But if I was being picky I’d say Razorlight likes to spell out words such as L-O-N-D-O-N and L-O-V-E, which reminds me of the Bay City Rollers -- S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night. In my best English accent, "it's a bit corny, but it works for the CD."

The band also ends virtually every song on a manic high but Johnny’s charming English accent and fierce vocals are magnetic. On “To the Sea” Johnny gets himself so worked up that it’s as though he’s crawling along the desert toward the watering hole. He cries out: to …. the ……. Sea taking his last gasps of air. Give that man a drink!

So soon, you might be hearing a catchy tune:

I know a girl with the golden touch She's got enough, she's got too much But I know, you wouldn't mind You could have it all if you wanted You could have it all if it mattered so much

When you do, you’ll see.


i love this blog. people send in their secrets on postcards. some of them are quite creative. some are sad. some are uplifting. here's a couple

How to Make a Favicon

Favicon = favorite icon.
you know, those tiny graphics before the website address. this is mine

i looked all around the internet and got some bad info.
here's where i got the goods. play the video blog and it will give you step by step instructions, particularly for blogger.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

John Frusciante

"i realize my sweater is on inside out"

on creativity and his next solo

Red Hot Chili Peppers TRL

new photos, rhcp, janes

Lives of Mapmakers

my friend Alicia Conroy's newly published book of short stories. congratulations! can't wait to read it. it already got its first good review in Utne magazine:
Lives Of Mapmakers
by Alicia L. Conroy (Carnegie Mellon University)

In her debut collection of short fiction, Alicia Conroy seamlessly slips between the mundane and the surreal, crafting landscapes where mermaids tumble from creek beds, spring doesn't always follow winter, and bodies consistently resist definition. While some elements are more successful-her delicate rendering of desire in "Bad Hand" makes the protofeminist imagery of "Women Who Dream of Corn" seem almost overplayed-on the whole, Lives of Mapmakers is sensual and gratifying. Each story is distinct as Conroy exercises a range of narrative techniques and voices, but together they're a coherent exploration of longing, hope, and the pursuit of meaning. -Julie Hanus

i hope i'm there one day. until then....

Friday, July 07, 2006

Bono Asks for Answers

yahoo must be doing pretty good business with its "answers." now it's got high profile folks like Stephen Hawkings and Bono, supposedly asking for answers to world problems.
bono asked how to solve world poverty and there are about 23,000 answers so far.

frankly, i think it's hypocritical for rich celebrity types to try and save the world. if they gave up most of their wealth and lived like normal people, then, yeah, maybe people would be more willing to listen to their preaching. lead by example.

but they do have their followers who will donate to their organizations and the rich celebs are in reality doing good deeds. but isn't that what they should be doing, given the fact they have wealth (power)?

not that i don't admire bill gates, or warren buffett giving up $37 BILLION, at first i thought it was million. way to go warren. but i think it's going to take the average joe, regular people at the grass roots level to solve world problems, not rich folks throwing their money around. it will also take a culture shift because in america, even poor people aspire to be rich.

people want for more than their share. but how much is enough? is it okay to drive around that ferrari that you've worked hard for? i don't know. is it ok to drive a $40,000 car? is it ok to drive a $20,000 car, when there are much cheaper cars. Don't know.

is it ok to have 50 pair of shoes in your closet? I don't know. five pair? is that too many? is it ok for company presidents to be making exhorbitant amounts of money? they work hard. what's exhorbitant? $500,000 a year? $100,000 a year? i don't know. will money solve the problem of poverty? don't know. but don't think so. and does having more than your share take away from others? don't know. but i think so.

but hey, at least yahoo! is making money, getting lots of publicity. it will be able to keep people employed and keep its chiefs in the money and maybe donate to bono's One organization.

Welcome to Amyville

funny as all get out these short movies by amy. a stick of butter is hilarious.

Gay Laguna

a history

Cara Beth Burnside

this passed along from the girls' skateboarding community -- vote for cara for the 2006 espn espys. i voted for cara. this is why. when i was trying to figure out how to pump up on the big ramp at vans, she helped me. i still can't get very high but that's besides the point.

i didn't even know who she was and she didn't say who she was. i later came to find out that she is very well respected in the girls skateboarding community and she's that kind of person. she's also an awesome skater and the only skateboarder in the group of nominees. so to vote for cara, go here. you have to scroll down to female action sports. they break it down into all sorts of categories.

more cara beth in action

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Stephen Hawking Asks

How can the human race be saved? those of you with a yahoo account probably saw this. but the theoretical physicist is really asking and about 12300 people have replied so far. and looking at the answers it looks as though our sorry lot is doomed!
some of the responses:
Simple. Keep eating, keep drinking, keep defecating, keep urinating, keep breathing and keep having sex. I would say keep praying also, but I've seen our culture on an increasingly constricted diet of prayer to our God, or Lord Jesus our Christ, and somehow we keep on keepin' on. Not very good, but then quality wasn't a part of your question.

They will live under water

We exterminate all the ignorant folks who drive monsters as big or bigger than the ones back in the 70's. We educate the "selective hearing crowd" into hearing what is important. We fix city living where it is mandatory to ride public transit, bike or walk to work. We get greedy, manipulative, obnoxious, ill decision making dumb asses out of office! We make it unlawful for capitalizing fools who genetically transform, hormonally induce, and pesticide our food supply. We keep our eyes open and remember what a fascist society once was like.

By eating and drinking. Our armies will (hopefully) protect us.

by means of love only

easy just as the elders did the last 100 years survival

oh, and here's my favorite, the old rapture
Don't worry! When things get really bad the rapture will happen. Then the apocalpyse. Then moving into space and stuff won't really matter, because all the sinners will be dead.

some of his research

Monday, July 03, 2006

Weird Al Does the Chilis

pretty funny

okay, i'm done.
wait... one more. this seems fitting

now i'm done.
except for...
this is plain hilarious, the jamaica plain principle

done. done.

It's a John Frusciante Day!

yes, we have many of those here at ochairball.

it's a JFD just because i listened to automatic writing most of the weekend and was awed by JF's uncommon talent. automatic writing is a collaboration of john, joe lally (fugazi) and josh klinghoffer (the bicycle thief and collaborator extraordinaire), collectively known as ataxia. it was released last year, part of JF's recording spree. i'm hoping for ataxia's second cd.

automatic writing has five long songs. i never was a long song person. but these enlightened me. "the sides" is one of the best. it's a song that goes right through you and raises your flesh. john has a way of recording that makes you feel like he's sitting in your living room.

compare this video

to this one.

inspiring how much one person can grow, even though i like the first video as well as the second.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Anaheim Unwired

the city is now wi-fied

Dave Rat's Blog

i love behind-the-scenes anything. here's the chili pepper's sound engineer's blog.
he gives us "sound nerd speak" on equipment, photos of roadies and rats.
here's part of one of his posts:
Year sixteen as front of house sound engineer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers. For those unfamiliar with the pro sound world, that means I control/mix the sound that the audience hears at their live concerts. A monitor engineer is the human that controls the sound that the band hears.

I also do other things. My work related passion lies with the company I started with some friends when I was 17, Rat Sound. I love to design/create things like speakers, solve problems, analyze complex systems and fix or improve them. Away from that and in conjunction with it, over the past 16 years I have joined the Red Hot Chili Peppers on nearly every show they have performed. I missed one Australian tour when I was hospitalized with spinal meningitis and another short trip when I had a 2 week overlap mixing Rage Against the Machine, I never did that again.

Over the years I have worked for many bands, 100's would be an understatement. I cannot remember how many tours or all the cities I have been to. Though I can remember mixing Blink 182 when they grew from clubs to arenas, Offspring on from Smash through Ixnay albums, tech'ing on a magical tour with Fugazi, setting PA and monitors for three Black Flag tours, two Sonic Youth album runs (Goo and Dirty), a miserable trip with Danzig/Soundgarden (Soundgarden was all good), L7 and quite a few years of traveling with Pearl Jam, whom I love like second family.

I never wanted to be a sound engineer. I learned to mix sound in order to test the speaker system designs and to operate the sound systems Rat Sound rented out. We could not afford to pay someone else anyway. By some round about way, I ended up with this this gig.

In the late 80's, Peppers were one of those bands that would always hire us Rats whenever they could. It was Mark, Robbie, Cathy and Chris Grayson. Chris was their FOH engineer from the beginning of the band. He would always hire us for sound and we would always bring too much gear, regardless of what we got paid. We referred him gigs with other bands and Rat eventually ended up hiring Chris to help with other Rat shows.

The call came from Mark Johnson that they were firing Chris and they want me to mix them, I refused. I could not take my friend Chris's job. When Mark told me that if I don't do it they were going to hire someone else, I agreed to cover for Chris till he got his life in order. Chris was having some issues as he had been a no-show on a Rat gig the week before and we were unable to reach him. After leaving a message on his machine, I reluctantly agreed. I have a PA company, I am not an engineer by trade, I will fill in and when he resurfaces, all will be patched up soon. I never spoke to Chris again.

Chris was murdered in a drug deal while I was in Hawaii with Peppers doing a show at Pink's Garage. So here I am sixteen years later and still covering the gig for him.

We are currently embarking on a world tour supporting their the 5th album since I started and to be honest, if it was any other band on earth, I would not have agreed to go. The thought of tour no longer thrills me and yet, the thought of not joining this beautiful and eccentric group of life long friends is beyond comprehension.

There are two parts to this adventure for me. First is the rock show, diving in and creating something sonically unique and special. The challenge of great sound in bad sounding venues. The sensation of being the conduit that connects the artistry of the band in the the most intense method possible to those that bask in the experience. Secondly, my life. My own passions and desire to come home with more than a secondhand experience of building someone else's dream. Something with a bit more substance than a wad o cash, some frequent flier miles, a sad heart from missing loved ones, ringing ears and the distant memory of screaming fans. The key to happiness is merging the two.

Each tour I try and do something personally new and special, something that I can look back on with a smile. Once it was learning to weld and I had a 225 amp MIG welder sent to my hotel room on By the Way tour

Chili Peppers Nascar Commercial

at youtube

photo rhcp

weekend disc: Automatic Writing, John Frusciante, Josh Klinghoffer and Joe Lally. nothing short of brilliant