Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Happy Birthday to the blog

Well, the blog is now a year old (pic above, this cat 23 years ago, LOL!). Actually, as I sit here writing this on my laptop in The Lounge at The Palms at about 8:20 p.m., a full 365 days of blogging this magnificent band will have accrued by the time I post this stuff when I get home from the gig after midnight. My first post is dated January 24th 2006 (see the links column). Been a fun year, I hope I’ve added some value.

I first saw the band at Palace Station in September of 2005, on Paul Purtle’s insistence. I’d been rooting around town meeting some players and feeling out the possibility of returning to playing after 20 years, just mostly for fun (and to maybe use my music -- I have a boatload of competitive original material –- to possibly help raise money for my stalled-since-9/11 cancer support effort), with a vision of having my own horn band perhaps. I still remember vividly sitting there when the band struck up “Just Kidding.”

I was frigging Tasered, man! No other way to describe it. In all honesty, it was a depleted-uranium tipped torpedo below my own musical ego waterline. Like, ‘Gladd, you suck, dude, you got no game compared to these cats. Why even bother?’
By the end of the second tune – the Earth, Wind & Fire Medley – I was completely blown away, stunned, Shocked & Awe'd.

I was instantly hooked, though, and I dug around on the ‘net and found Jerry’s email address (had to get it off a WHOIS search though his jerrylopez.com domain name), and just emailed him my thoughts and appreciation. Embarrassed his ass with my over-the-top effusive rhetoric.
Cheryl was in southern Louisiana all fall doing Katrina emergency response and cleanup work with her company (ticker symbol SGR: they’re the cats that pumped New Orleans dry), so I was at the gig every Monday from that first night on. My own band thing would have to wait.

Eventually I got the idea to start a blog for Santa Fe to help document this precious phenomenon and spread the word. I’d been hanging out online at several political blogs, one of which was housed at the free Blogger.com (which is now owned by Google). Looked easy enough, so I signed up and started.

That was a year ago.
Since then I have learned so much from these cats – about where the bar is set for music in this town (or anywhere), for sure, but most importantly about the true, wonderful humanity they evince. I got’cher Role Models right here. There ain’t an ounce of ego trip within 50 miles of anybody in this band. Jerry accepted me as a friend right off; interesting, given all the friends he already has and all the people hittin’ him up all the time for all kinds of reasons. I am also now blessed to have come to know so many other fine, fine performers here in Vegas and beyond. I love and respect you all.

So, I’m about 17 months behind on my own musical goals. BFD. Patience. Bein’ around these cats has got me writing again, and practicin’ again, and re-thinking my whole attitude toward playing music and life in general. Probably extended my life span by way more than this 17 month diversion. That “healing” thing, y’know. Jerry, that book "The War of Art," I really owe you and Mundo for that, bro'.

My goals this year are (beside finishing my danged textbook manuscript) to [1] do everything humanly possible to get Santa Fe and The Fat City Horns out to the world, and [2] get my old school ass back on stage (probably solo acoustic or small group semi-acoustic for starters, using the 12-string, which I'm lovin’) and keep writing new music.

Bill Zappia just came in. He’s subbing for Dave on keys tonight, obviously. Bad Boy.


OK, I gotta spew for a minute. Iraq is in flames, Iran may be on deck, the planet is seriously overheating, 47 million people got no health insurance, 218,000 homes were destroyed just in New Orleans by Katrina, with most of their owners still displaced…and the mainstream media is obsessing today over the ostensible crappy treatment of some of the hapless/no-talent “American Idol” early round contestants? WTF?

The Today Show gave it a full ten minutes this morning, and MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough had a whole panel of commenters heatedly jawing about it tonight.
Look, y'all, these screechy “loser” contestants are ACTORS. C’mon.

In my best John McEnroe harangue: “YOU.PEOPLE.CANNOT.BE.SERIOUS!!!” Sorry, but this Simon dude is just another WWF Vince McMahon huckster, minus the bling stuff and gaudy suit. This stuff is akin to “Bum Fights” set to song and dance.
Great marketing tactic, though. Stir up a huge stink over “mocking” the musically halt and lame. Appears to be working.

“No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.”

- H.L. Mencken

End of rant. I feel better now.


Wow. Wow. Wow. Bill Zappia tore ass on keyboards, and the band even did the new tunes composed recently by Nathan ("Come to Me") and Dave ("Salvation"). These tunes are at a whole 'nuther level. Bill just cut 'em, no sweat, no rehearsal. Just done.

Tom Delibero subbed on trumpet tonight, as did Dave Perrico briefly. Eventually Gil and Danny showed up after their other commitments. Brother Tyriq sat in at the end of the night to do "Soul Trilogy." Splits and all.

We had it all tonight. Our blessed brother Adrian Garcia came to hang tonight, that was really special. The stunning Michael Grimm sat in and sang, with the equally badass Drew Zingg sitting in on guitar. They did a rendition of "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" that went off like they'd all rehearsed it for weeks. You gotta go hear Michael and his band (I posted about them earlier on this blog).

More later, lots more. It's almost 3 a.m., and I gotta be back up in 4 hours, fixin' to go crash. Got some good pics (amid my usual ton of crap ones). Here's some I nailed of Gil, Tom, and Jerry, respectively for now.

Let the blogging continue...


OK, that was something of a record. It's 8:10. I slithered outa the bed at 7:24, jumped into some clothes, whipped out down Windmill and across the 215, hit the new Starbucks at Jones, where I ordered an acre-foot of coffee and a cinammon loaf, and I'm sitting here at my desk with time to spare prior to the weekly bi-state conference call. I got in the bed at 3:38, and then (as usual) couldn't get to sleep, instead repeatedly hitting mental rewind about aspects of the gig (am I trippin', or are the Fat City Horns makin' hip little changes to the "Intermission" chart?). Gonna be an interesting day. We got a big meeting with a medical group this afternoon at 3. I'll be on fumes by then.

Quickly noted. Met a beautiful young thang last night who happens to be from Alabama. She and Cheryl talked a bit of Southern Belle shop. Her name is Bonnie Mizell, keyboardist/singer/writer. Check out her website. Also on the talent/beauty front, our girl Jessica Mangione was at the gig last night (see my prior post). Get by and check out her gig at NY/NY this week with Fahrenheit. Also, another talented youngster I met a while back at the Stirling Club, Laura Simpson, showed up last night. She's been elected President of the Student chapter of the Las Vegas Jazz Society.

Awright, back to my life as a federal contract bureaucrat. Will post more pics tonight. Later.


More pics from the evening. A fine evening it was. Another one coming up next Monday, too!

Below: Cirque "Ka" lead performer Joerg and Cheryl, and my daughter Danielle and Jerry's "music director" Sari. Joerg is the most kinetic fan in the room, great fun to be around.


Below: Our resident guitar genius is tearin' up at the NAMM show, with Gil Parris on guitar, Danny Gottlieb on drums, and Mark Egan on bass.

See for yourself. This cat is SICK! The video below was shot during the session for his latest jazz CD "To The Brink." (He's trading 4's with our awesome homeboy Rocco Barbato) I have the CD, courtesy of my bro' Robert. Unreal.

The Hole - video powered by Metacafe

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