Thursday, September 17, 2009

Rock 'n Rochefort

Getting soooo busy as we approach the autumnal equinox, embracing the bracing winds 'o change while jettisoning the green leaves of summer (theme music by Dimitri Tiomkin from John Wayne's "The Alamo", appropriated by QT for "Inglourious Basterds", haven't seen a peep about this anywhere in the press, maybe no one remembers or cares--but hey played a concert band arrangement of this masterful and stirring theme music holding down the French horn chair in the Nottingham High School Band in 1968), so not that much time to jot down my logorrheic spew...

Gary and legendary photographer Mick Rock at the opening of Mick's "Glam!" exhibition, Show Gallery, Staten Island 9/12/09

GL, designer Danielle Cheng and filmmaker Victoria Lattimore, "Glam!" opening at Show Gallery SI, 9/12/09

GL, Danielle Cheng, Vicki Levy and Show Gallery curator Theo Dorian, "Glam!" opening

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but just to say that Caroline and I took the ferry to Staten Island on a foggy late summer night last Saturday to attend a brilliant opening party for the brand new Show Gallery in Staten Island--home of David Johansen, among other luminaries--to celebrate the publication of legendary photographer Mick Rock's new "Glam!" book of classic photos of the likes of Syd Barrett, David Bowie, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, Kate Moss, Ian Hunter, Bryan Ferry, et al--great great shots, a whole bunch of terrific pix festooning the walls of this ultra-cool space whose blazing red neon sign was visible as you step off the ferry, the gallery is on St George behind what looks like a French chateau...and inside was the aforementioned rogues' gallery a' hanging, dj a' spinning (vintage glam trax natch), 7 lords 'a leaping, and Mick a' grinning devilishly sitting next to curator Theo Dorian behind a table in the front autographing copies of his books which were flying off the shelves like tea trays in the sky, lots of great faces there including designer Danielle Cheng and filmmaker Victoria Larrimore, some stately dames/drag queens, plus my old friends boho music epicureans Richard and Roberta Berger whom I last saw at my 20th anniversary show at the Gramercy Theater last June, wuz a great party cum bacchanale with wine flowing copiously and a great strawberry and cream cake, Mick's the man, his very name connotes the obsidienne substrata of rock rock rock a rolla, just look at his resume--right up there with my dear friend Anton Corbijn as a genius lensman/artist/chronicleer of the moment, aftermath, thought and reflection, his earlier book "Psychedelic Renegades" which is basically shots of his Syd Barrett in languid late 60's rockstar dissipation in the Earl's Court flat he then shared with Duggie Fields is a must-have (Mick shot the classic cover of "The Madcap Laughs" featuring Syd with his then girlfriend Iggy the Eskimo--short for igloo?), Mick is also old old pals with my good friend legendary Andrew Loog Oldham, with whom I've been working recently with in Bogota on a new album of Stones hits Latin-stylee (Andrew just sold the rights to his 2 volumes of classic memoirs "Stoned" and "2Stoned" to HBO for a fictionalized series--his books are seminal semaphore signals beckoning you... 'jes like the red neon sign of the Show Gallery..."and don't fergit to Let It Rock!")...

Rochefort-En-Accords Festival which preceded this event in my admittedly scattered (for the moment) brain was a wonderfully long weekend in which I was accompanied first to Paris and then down to Rochefort by my pal Eli Kabillo, a great Israeli expat filmmaker who was doing a piece on my musical peregrinations (emphasis on grin) for The Travel Channel, should be broadcast early October, Eli is a great guy who is a rock (love that word) steady Man with a Movie Camera and after we had arrived at my beloved Terrass Hotel in the Abbesses Montmartre (which sports a fantastic view of the city from its rooftop restaurant--the hotel has basically been my home away from home Paris for many many years) we went over to the Eiffel Tour, took a pleasure boat down the Seine for more shots, hooked up with his friend Marty McDonough who served as a second cameraman and still photographer for dinner--then took the train down to Rochefort the next morning with my old pal French avant-guitarist Jean-Francois Pauvros with whom I've played and recorded with over the years...Rochefort is such a beautiful city, you may know it from Jacques Demy's 1967 "Les Demoiselles de Rochefort" which features a wonderfully jazzy and tuneful score by the great Michel Legrand, thanks to the organizers Karel Beer (blessed UK expat impresario, mover and shaker, former NME Paris stringer who hooked up several key shows for me in Paris over the years), Philippe Thieyre (another legendary French music guy/journalist who wrote a classic book about psychedelic rock which he gave me at the festival's end), and Gilles Ypremian (old old friend, manager of Urban Sax, a guy who literally rescued/recuperated an inebriated Jim Morrison from the Paris gutter, whisking him off the pavement and onto his sofa after Jim was bounced out of a French nightclub several weeks before his tragic death)...

Gary in Paris 8/26/09 | photo by Eli Kabilio

Gary and Baron Samedi, Rochefort-En-Accords Festival, 8/29/09 | photo by Marty McDonough

Gary at Le Tour Eiffel filming a segment for The Travel Channel, Paris France 8/26/09 | photo by Eli Kabilio

Gary performs solo at the Rochefort-En-Accords Festival, France 8/26/09 | photo by Marty McDonough

Gary on the River Seine, Paris filming for The Travel Channel 8/26/09 | photo by Eli Kabilio

Gary and legendary French music journalist Gilles Tordjman, Paris France 8/31/09

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Fantastic lineup too, check it out--such great singers and players, all of them worldclass performers and artistes making various joyful noises, we were all encouraged to collaborate which I did to the max over 3 days playing my old friend the hypnotic Piers Faccini, soulful Ladychild (Natalia M. King) whom I first met playing solo acoustic at a memorable concert in the classique Hotel Du Nord 10 years ago (which resulted in my being signed to Label Bleu from whence ensued my "Edge of Heaven" 30's Chinese Pop album--but that's another story), Canadienne sax and guitar maniac Rob Armus, lovely vocalist Gabriela Arnon, legendary UK instrumental whizzes BJ Cole on pedal steel and Geraint Watkins whupping the pearls, Nick Harper (a stone Jeff Buckley fan) an onstage banshee, amazing French artists such as Daniel Yvinec on acoustic bass, sexy punk punk rockers Berline, the list goes on and you should check them all out actually, American singer/songwriter rocker Ken Stringfellow is another one, Rebecca Hollweg, Marisa Yeaman--I could go into encomiums and raptures till the cows come home, but let's just say I had a ball on a sun-dappled weekend with a great bunch of friendly people, at some exquisite meals, made and heard some amazing music in various locations (including the opening concert on the famous Pont Transbordeur bridge which moves folks ferry-like across the river running through Rochefort...we were encouraged to perform river-themed songs and I picked Tim Buckley's "The River", before leading the gang into "Proud Mary"), the crowds were super-friendly, I played a great solo set on the mainstage Friday night and later reappeared with Jean-Francois at 1am on the same stage to perform our new improv piece "Bob le Flaneur", I hooked up with Piers, Ken, Daniel, Gabriela, Natalia, BJ, Geraint, et al over the course of the festival--hell, I performed with almost everyone there...still buzzing from the weekend... and then a couple days off in Paris where I hung with legendary French music journalist Gilles Tordjman and his girfriend the filmmaker Anne Fremy...I love Paris...I love Rochefort...Vive la France!!

Gary in Montmartre, Paris France 8/30/09

Gary and his friend Natalia M. King (Ladychild) rock out at the Rochefort Festival, France 8/27/09

Gary and his old friend French avant-guitarist Jean-Francois Pauvros being filmed on the train to Rochefort for the Travel Channel 8/27/09

Gary at the Terrass Hotel, Paris France 8/26/09 | photo by Marty McDonough

Gary and singer Gabriela Arnon waiting for the train to Rochefort, Larochelle France 8/27/09 | photo by Marty McDonough

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Off now to record some new solo guitar pieces with my pal Tim Powell, who engineered some of my "Edge of Heaven" album...

Gods and Monsters are playing at the Living Room here in NYC Saturday night at 10pm, come on down and hear my supergroup lift the bandstand...

Chase the Devil (me and Dean Bowman) had 2 smoking shows on 9/11 here, despite the rain and wind we held our own at the Clearwater festival in Washington Square Park and later that night at Drom...

off to Europe again on Monday for solo shows in Amsterdam at the Paradiso Sept. 25th... at the Madame Guitar Festival in Tricesimo Italy near Udine Sept. 27th...and headlining the Jazz Cafe London Saturday Oct. 3rd with a Very Special guest :-)

Flash: Najma Akhtar and I have just been confirmed to perform at the WOMAD Festival in Los Palmas in the Canary Islands Spain on Saturday Nov. 14th...our new album "Rishte" is currently #4 on the World Music Charts Europe...and

around and around

we go...



PS I wrote a tribute to Davy O'List, guitar hero of my youth, whom I selected as one of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time in an article in the latest issue of Classic Rock (UK)--which also cites me as one the 100 Greatest Living Guitarists...made my mother very happy, I can tell you :-))


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