NOTES FROM THE ROAD
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
sick again...the bug kept me down for the last few days...but staying busy in the studio anyway with new ellie perez tracks... finished up 'don't fade away'...and tracked vocals for 'rain'. we started a new track tonight that has some promise...we'll see how it rolls out...music madness continues...happy new year.
Sunday, December 25, 2005
in the studio all evening with king. today we're working on 'the doors' remix- 'i can't see your face in my mind' from the album 'strange days'. i hauled my 70lb. pedal board case over and up two flights of stairs (with kings help!) for this one along with the telecaster. the hut floor is filled with pedals all over crammed in like sardines...haha...missed this photo op. just amazing hearing the original tracks: the psycho-surf organ + tremelo'ed clavinet of ray manzarek, robby krieger's slide guitars, and john densmore drum work, although we are creating all new music for this one. the original is quite trippy for its time (1967)...and of course jim morrison's incredibly seductive voice sets the vibe of the entire track. initially we worked up the arrangement and learned the originals' chord changes. so far, i've added lots of backwards and sample+hold guitars...king has put in some dub beats + basslines+synths...and used some of john densmores original hihat and drums with bleed, but altered and processed ....gonna be heavy and trippy. worked until we were exhausted. dinner break at eulogies (belgian)....happy so far with whats gone down. more tracking and arranging on wednesday.
Sunday, December 25, 2005
london hyde park room 108
early flight out today...off to the porto airport after a quick breakfast. issues at check in. we are overweight. then a direct flight to london. flight is packed and the attendant kindly allows us to put our guitars+bass in the seat next to me. seat two. so helpful (for a change!). once into london we tube to liverpool station and take taxis to our hotel in hyde park. the rooms hear are the smallest rooms i've ever been in, especially with two guitars and luggage. absolutely no room to move. it's very marx brothers - total comedy. dash back down to lobby to meet king and dan. off to picadilly circus and thereabouts. had a nice asian meal, walked around quite a bit. went to tin pan alley to meet sophie delia
at her studio there. checked some incredible book stores...back on the tube...to our hotel. tonite rest.
watched the muhammed ali vs george frazier fight from nigeria on the bbc...and slept. tomorrow a big day.
photo: tim, chuck treece, king britt, daniel, barry meehan, mark boyce - porto airport
Friday, December 23, 2005
tonite playing with bassist barry meehan and mark scafidi in a power trio. we have a lot of fun in this band playing covers of some of our favorite rock tracks from the 70's up through now. we didn't know what to expect tonight at this club so we started with some blues like 'red house, and willy dixon's spoonful...as the night went on we moved into more rock oriented harder stuff: zeppelin black dog, dancing days,...etc crowd loved it, and in fact, we were pulling people up from the bar downstairs and kept them the rest of the evening ending with radiohead's the national anthem...it's really fun playing this material occasionally, and it makes me play alot of solos (haha) which i don't always do, except maybe in the miles electric project...so you get the rockside of tim motzer...haha everyone sounds great...mark is a john bonham junkie so consequently i love his playing.
we'll keep doing this occasionally so look for it - spoonful. we've worked up a nasty version of 20th century dreaming by sylvian and fripp that we love playing. the people in lancaster were great, and the drive was short and enjoyable listening to 'the lamb lies down on broadway - live' from the boxset on the way home. incidently, saw the musical box the other week perform this at the tower theatre. it was unbelievable. it might as well have been genesis. such an amazing work. they nailed it and had all the authentic gear from 75 tour, as well as staging, costuming, slideshow....see this performance if you can.
porto, portugal day two
Friday, December 23, 2005
porto palacio room 1408
we all slept in until 3:30 this afternoon having been
pretty much exhausted from travelling and having shows at 2am the last two nights!!!! haha crazy...
it's dark outside now, and kinda strange missing an entire day. i have a massage at 6pm. my right shoulder has been giving me a lot of problems lately. at this stage i'm hoping i haven't damaged some tissue or torn something. it's a result of touring with heavy gear, and likely not lifting properly. solution: i need a roadie. any volunteers? haha
ana has phoned to arrange dinner this evening. we're going back to tras d. orelha. king, chuck, mark, barry, and i go there around 8pm for another incredible meal. salads, squid, sardines, meat, peppers...they kept rolling out such wonderful food there. we were treated like kings, i'd say. and plenty of portuguese wine. meal finished with a desert of flaming creme brulea. back to the hotel around 11pm, mark and i head out for a night cap
at a place that i know nearby. turning in early, for an early flight to london tomorrow. it's been a wonderful time here in portugal.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
a long drive to porto. barry + nancy at the helm. after several hours of driving we reach the outskirts of porto. we manage finally to connect with antonio who we follow at high speeds, only to lose him at an exit. it's crazy and it takes awhile to find him again. we get to the club eventually...it's really a disco called the elitis club in pacos de ferreira, and the band will set up in an even line: king britt, chuck/drums,
barry/bass, mark/keys,and me/guitar. it's an odd setup and sounds somehow workable. the sound check takes forever. we are cold and tired. leave back to hotel (*****) for a little relax then dinner at tras d' orelha!!!!!! many courses later we are feeling quite fine. the two ana's are here, antonio, a singer from brazil (lost her name) and the entire band, etc...fish, salad, soup, and on and on. amazing!
we are all completely tuckered though...back to hotel for a quick shower, change of clothes, rush back down to lobby, then we speed off to the gig...we are following antonio and we are very late(it's 2am)...driving dangerously fast at times...the driving here is a bit crazy!!!!!! we make it though. club is packed to the brim. people are expecting king britt house dj, but what they get is sister gertrude experience...we play well...i didn't have as much fun tonite on a playing note...it felt a bit dis-embodied...but we rock it...people generally like it, media is here filming the show for a music channel. we are interviewed afterwards in the club shouting over blasting house music. it was hilarious. antonio is a rockstar here...haha...promoter of show...dj...very famous cat...and wonderful host... drinks are on the house so we stay and party until 6am. looking forward to our first off day in a while. gonna sleep in.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
sheraton room 1205
i awake today with a pain in my right eye.
and everything is blurry. maybe in my sleep i've
scratched it. off to the farmacia...antibiotic eyedrops
and a long drive to lisboa. i have an entire backseat to myself and catch a long sleep. it helps to keep my eye closed. we arrive to lisboa, greeted by lux promoter jorge. the lux venue is amazing as usual.
sound system and crew are totally on-point.
tonite we're running the video on 2 walls, 3 screens. this place is perfect for the multimedia. soundcheck we square some staging issues away. re-string both guitars. sound is wonderful here. i can hear everyone. nice soundcheck jam and then off to dinner, then to checkin and a long HOT bath. my eye is feeling a bit better now. our rooms at the sheraton are first rate, and come equipped with an assortment of magazines. my copy of the portuguese Elle has a photo and review of nine horses - snow borne sorrow. nice one. showtime 1:30am.
we're all pretty tired and feeling surreal from lack of sleep. show is amazing. i always enjoy playing in portugal. people are dancing to the heavy beat of the sister gertrude experience. alot of joy in this room. barry killed it tonite...he may be mvp...but we all did...a great night of playing for everyone. one of our best on this tour yet. people loved it. jorge and maria and johnny are here. so good to see them. looking forward already to march back in portugal with ursula. we finish a bottle of wine as king spins a set...and then off to our hotel. it is 7am. lobby call noon, then off to porto for another show.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
berlin suite hotel room 505
checked out early...basically stayed up all night...lobby call everyone is here except mark. cabs are loaded with gear. we all load in and there is some confusion if mark is in the other taxi or not. both cabs leave and we thankfully realize mark is not with us. the other cab goes back to the hotel for him. crazy. that would have been a mess. check in is crazy as we are overweight, but basically get everything slid by in ok without incident. we're all exhausted boarding the plane. sleep until lisbon. greeted by our wonderful hosts - the two ana's and antonio from heart and soul. drive to a nice place for seafood lunch and to our surprise, we are in fatima.
after lunch we walk there and see this sacred place.
more driving afterwards at high speeds trying to keep up with antonio. finally arrive at hotel and check in. go to sound check around 7...nothing is ready...mark doesn't have the keyboard he needs, they arrange for a rhodes and hammond to be delivered...i'm left with a marshall 1x12. so k. small pa. very intimate room. at first it looks like it'll be a mess, but after soundcheck realize it will work. show is good. a nice crowd who enjoyed. we had a nice encore jam as well...kinda spacy dub...a dealing heavily with echo on this one...chuck kills it. a nice show. afterwards antonio buys us rounds of port wine to celebrate our first gig in portugal with the sister. we all had too many glasses of port. a fun night. i leave all my cd's behind.
photo: chuck treece + king britt berlin check in
berlin - day of show
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
show day. game faces are on. our tour manager ruben arrives, as does electric chair booking agent soenke loehse. a beer and catch up with soenke before soundcheck at kapital. upon arrival, the place looks great. i'm greeted by a mesa boogie dual rectifier head and an 4x12 orange cabinet, on this tiny stage. we wait for mark boyce's nord electro to be delivered, so we can't check. the stage sound is loud and horrible. unbelievably, i can't even hear myself, and i'm in front of a 4x12 cabinet. this is never really rectified, part of the problem is the room itself - all cement and brick, no absorption. our only hope is that alot of people come. we're really excited to play after a great show in paris, but tonight is not to be one of those nights. we find out that this show was not promoted, nor was there any press on the record we are here to support. so turnout tonite is unimpressive, along with a terrible roar of a sound, and technical difficulties with live visuals. it made this night quite frustrating for us. many of the folks who listened felt that it was a good show, but we knew the difference. time to load out and back to hotel. a few beers at the hotel bar and to sleep.
berlin - day 3
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
berlin - suite hotel room 505
a nice rest last night...and a long hot bath soaking my on-going aching shoulder. spent a wonderful morning at a local mall, for lunch sampled an incredible bratwurst w/ mustard, found a genesis live bootleg dvd for $7(1973 tour w/ peter gabriel!), and accompanied mark boyce to the national museum where we walked through an awesome pablo picasso exhibit. not a bad day. walked back to hotel and looked at the ruins of a former train station in potsdamer platz blown to bits in WWll. met up with king, barry, and daniel best and went to sonar kollective studios - home of jazzanova. met axel (engineer) there and marvelled over all the beautiful equipment. quite a set up. a 70's georg neumann board!!! insane outboard gear. unfortunately i didn't record it, but barry, axel, and i talked all about the gear and making jazzanova records. he played us a remix of lenny kravitz they are working on and showed us all the cool vintage neumanns and other mics they use. could've been a great piece for tape op magazine...haha. great pianos here too. they have quite a setup in an industrial warehouse. one floor for offices and studio, and one floor for bookings.
claas came in, as did, vocalist clara hill (who me and king did a track for her upcoming record). afterwards, back to this wonderful restaurant again (squash soup, salad, pumpkin ravioli!!!!!, two bottles of merlot)... we had quite the day. then daniel drove us to see some sites in berlin and then to hotel. some fotos for clara's new record, and then packing to leave for portugal in 3 hours.
what a day.
Sunday, December 04, 2005
berlin suite hotel room 505
we have two legs on this train journey. first a short ride to cologne where i catch up with burnt friedman for the latest news on nine horses and secret rhythms vol. 2. we speak about the potentials of me playing some live shows with he and jaki liebezeit in feb or march. i really hope this can happen. he has forwarded a copy of the new record to my hotel. i can't wait to hear it. his studio is only 3 minutes from the station, but unfortunately our layover is brief, and we are onward to berlin. 5 hours.
we all try to sleep, take photos, listen to ipods, and read. books on this journey: kurt vonnegut, noah chomsky - upon arriving in berlin, we find out our promoter is not picking us up as was planned, but is leaving us to find our own way to the hotel, which we do. it's cold wet and rainy here. our hotel is a nice surprise with each room feeling like a scandanavian apartment.
we settle in await daniel best (jazzanova) to pick us up for dinner. it's a wonderful place, but its name escapes me (pumpkin soup, salad, whitefish w/ chili sauce). after dinner daniel, our multimedia guru, produces a bottle of absynth for all to have a shot of. this mellows the evening considerably and makes you fell warm and fuzzy...then to a reggae nite at daniels club. we're all feeling a bit tired from travelling all day so we head back to hotel for sleep.
Sunday, December 04, 2005
brussels novotel room 401
we are short two rooms upon arrival, so king graciously buys two more for these weary travellers. the train was a nice scenic ride, and short. it's very cold here, and after checkin we all search for a pub and some lunch. it is found, and leffe blondes, breakfast, and celery soup warm us a bit. back to hotel for relaxation and short sleep.
later that night we all walk to a fine belgium restaurant for seafood and duvels. heaven.
afterwards, we listen to the recordings from paris.
it's good. we're inspired.
tomorrow train to berlin.
Sunday, December 04, 2005
a wonderful flight over through a degualle under construction, met by our driver patrick. off to the hotel, this our first day of our tour. we play tonite at trebendo...it's early. check in, deal with 18 pieces of luggage in a tiny lobby, elevator, and hallways. a so-so breakfast then off to trebendo for soundcheck. trebendo is seemingly very difficult to find and to get to. once outside, we find it is gated with security. at one point our driver actually is stuck between two gates - one in front and one immediately behind our van. it is an insane comedy of what it is like sometimes on the road.
check is good, the engineers and crew are on their game. it sounds great in here. biggest worry: the gig has had no support or promotion...hoping folks will come. afterwards off to shopping district where we drop cd's to colette (213 rue saint-honore) an amazing place full of collectible one-offs where we also encounter karl lagerfeld lounging with a photographer. racing through parisian streets back to our hotel off to an amazing french meal at carte blanche (6 rue lamartine) then to show. gig was great, but very lightly attended. king laid into naive, the distributor that didn't do any promotion, or even try to help promoter jonathan miltat with promo materials. steve from music and arts is here, and is blown away...a fine show, and recorded for a live broadcast of two songs on bonnaroo radio.
tomorrow to brussels by train and a day off.
we decide, against better judgement, to go out to seek food and, perhaps, a beer in pigalle (morlon rouge) after show. alls good. we find what we are looking for, and afterwards try to get a taxi back to our hotel, to no avail. finally! we find one, but he will only take 3 of us, not 4. i decide to be the odd man out, and mark boyce joins me. it was cold and we could not find a cab anywhere. we decide to walk towards the direction of our hotel (we think). bad decision. we are know walking down deserted streets except for small cozy places! called hot lips, or something like that. strange guys coming out and asking if we want to get laid...no, we are trying to get to the hotel. crazy. finally, we go back to pigalle, and after a long time get a cab back to our hotel. not really too much fun. sleep now.