Wednesday, October 14, 2009

All the Way from Swansea

... came Jeffrey Preece and his lovely lady to my London Jazz Cafe show Saturday night Oct. 3rd in swinging Camden Town (and I mean swinging, as in fisticuffs--beware the lager louts abounding on the London weekend scene, which diminishes not a jot the hip aura of this club, rapidly becoming my favorite place to play in England, if not the Western Hemisphere)...they drove 3 long hours to come and see me perform which was really really nice, what a great night for giving generously to so lovely an audience--UK fans are among the most loyal in the world-- I was really really buzzing from the incredibly warm and positive good energy they were beaming my way... and I did my best to return it in kind...check 'em out, I opened with my version of The Stones' "She's a Rainbow" (dedicated to original hip malchick/Stones producer Andrew Loog Oldham, with whom I cut a version of this in Bogota in July with his protege Juan Galeano), segued into "Rise Up to Be" for Jeff, and later was joined by my special guest vocalist extraordinaire Najma Akhtar for three numbers, our "Rishte" album continues to make press waves as we prepare for our big show at the WOMAD Festival in the Caary Islands on Nov. 14th-- check out this great review from Rock 'n Reel)...We sailed off together for India and environs and the crowd was with us all the way, then I continued solo with a journey further East to Shanghai (my Edge of Heaven" before bringing it all back home with "One Man's Meat" at the end of the set...I could have played all night, frankly!!

Gary headlines the Jazz Cafe London, 10/4/09 | photo by Richard Heath

Gary and his UK publicist Tracy Gosling after his triumphant Jazz Cafe Show London 10/4/09

Gary and Najma Akhtar outside Survival Rehearsal Studios, London 10/1/09

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There is a nice review online by Pete Sargeant on the Fairhearing music website which I think really captured the spirit of the whole evening, he also did a Q & A with me beforehand which may shed some light on my current state of mind and recent and upcoming activities...

In the house were my dear friends lovely Soo Lucas (the original punkette Soo Catwoman) and her beautiful daughter Dion October who leads the band Good Weather Girl...also NYC expat East Village mainstay fixture singer/songwriter/producer/engineer/good friend of Jeff Buckley/Rufus Wainwright/and yrs truly the one and only Jack McKeever...and so many other new and old friends and fans, some of whom were there at my first ever appearances in London at The Venue with Captain Beefheart in November 1980...special special thanks to the Mean Fiddler's Craig Wylie for bringing me over to play (he actually angel-like reached out to invite me there to play last spring during a very dark hour for me) and also to the Mean Fiddler's ace publicist beautiful Tracy Gosling who did such a great job spreading the word and making it such a successful show...I LOVE PLAYING AT THE JAZZ CAFE...I actually had opened there in '91 and had a famous set-to with the noisy dinner crowd who were there for the jazz pianist headliner (amplifier volume is a great equalizer--it DEFINITELY got loud!), an account of which was in a live review of my show in The Wire back in the day... this time I was headlining, and it felt gooood--only took 18 years to get there :-)

The night before I was Craig's guest at the Mott the Hoople sold-out week-long reunion show at the Hammersmith Apollo, which I went to with my dear friend whimsical Scottish madman John Stewart who lives down the road, after a day spent ding a photo shoot with Najma out at the Harmonia Mundi offices in East London...I've always loved Mott, and remember seeing them on acid in 1974 right before I graduated from Yale in Wallingford Conneticut with my friend Michael Caplan, who at that point worked as a clerk at Cutler's Records in New Haven, later was to become a successful a&r guy at Epic Records (where he signed Living Colour among others)...a great night that was in '74, he turned me onto both Iggy and the Stooge's "Raw Power" album and Roxy Music's Stranded" before we headed off to see Queen open for Mott, who were so awesome, Luther Grosvenor (Ariel Bender) was in the lineup then and he was always one of my favorite British guitarists, I actually wished he had been invited to do a cameo at this reunion--I love Mick Ralphs of course, but Luther has a manic energy to his playing I find quite incendiary--in any case, Mott were so great, they did all their hits of course, I spotted Mick Jones from The Clash outside before the show (a big Mott fan), the after-show party was fun too in the Apollo's private bar, I ran into my old friend Glenn Max who books Royal Festival Hall (he booked me there solo with Faust a few years ago, also The Magic Band) who was there with Damien Hirst's wife Maia Norman, journalist Kate Bernard, and some other nice folks...I left humming "Hymn for the Dudes" to catch the last tube train back to my beloved Swiss Cottage Hotel--a great warmup that really got me psyched for my solo show at the Jazz Cafe next night!!

Gary and his friend singer Marina Conti backstage at the Madame Guitar Festival, Tricesimo Italy 9/27/09

Sardinian guitarist Alberto Balia, Argentinean guitarist Mauro Cardozo, GL, and Italian singer Marina Conti, Madame Guitar Festival Tricesimo Italy 9/27/09

Madame Guitar Festival director Marco Micconi, Marina Conti and Gary backstage at the Madame Guitar Festival, Tricesimo Italy 9/26/09 | photo by Riccardo Bostiancich

Madame Guitar Festival director Marco Micconi and Gary, Tricesimo Italy 9/26/09

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I had arrived in London directly from playing the Madame Guitar Festival in Tricesimo Italy, which was an amazing experience in itself, my good friend the lovely and ever so fantastic a singer Marina Conti accompanied me there on a 6 hour train trip from Rome after a beautiful day visiting and catching up with her (drinks on Via Veneto, whizzing around in her car to catch the late night sights after dinner in a spectacular outdoor restaurant featuring home-cooked local delicacies, devouring Sicilian snacks such as succulent arancini mmmmmmmmm) and once in Tricesimo (up near the Austrian border, near Udine) I really was made to feel at home by the gracious artistic director Marco Miconi and his lovely wife, Marco had booled such lumiaries as my old friend John Renbourn to perform there, and I closed the festival on Sunday night solo with Marina as my special guest performing a terrific version of "Mojo Pin" with me plus our new song "A Wandering Minstrel Eye", the next day was spent relaxing and eating the greatest food (I adore Italian food) and hanging with this great Argentinean acoustic guitar duo the Brothers Pablo and Mauro Cardozo and Sardinian guitarist Alberto Balia, folk legend Wizz Jones from the UK was there as well and he was just splendid--it was soe great festival, a real guitar pot-pourri/jamboree--the weather was balmy throughout, summery skies and mid-8-'s temperatures, really the best festival since Rochefort-En Accords back in August (and there is a nice clip of selections from my mainstage solo set from that blast here, thanks to Festival artistic director Karel Beer...also please check out a piece for The Travel Channel directed by my pal Eli Kabilio which is up online now here on Yahoo's travel site, and you can view Yahoo's Trip Planner account of our sojourn here...

Gary and his special guests Wilmar Devisser and Emi Ohi Resnick outside the Paradiso Amsterdam, 9/24/09

Gary with Paradiso artistic director Jan-Willem Sligting, Paradiso Amsterdam 9/24/09

Gary @ the Paradiso, Amsterdam 9/24/09

Gary about to teach a Master Class at the Amsterdam Music Conservatorum, 9/23/09

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My Italian idyll followed on the heels of my lovely Sept. 24th solo gig in Amsterdam at the fabulous Paradiso, my 20th something gig there (I've stopped counting) since 1980 with Beefheart, in myriad configurations...this time I was joined onstage by special guests Wilmar DeVisser on acoustic bass and the incredible Emi Ohi Resnick on violin, together we performed the main title music from our "J'Accuse" project, a live score to accompany Abel Gance's searing anti-war silent masterpiece which sold-out the Holland Festival two nights running last June at the Staadschouwburg (check out this clip from the 1919 film with myself and Emi on the soundtrack)...a DVD of the nearly 3-hour film with our live score on the soundtrack (a joint effort with the great Dutch composer Reza Namavar, who was in the house, performed by myself and the wonderful Ensemble Kameleon led by Wilmar) is being prepared for a spring release...also present were my old friend Dutch broadcaster Mary-Lou Busch, my oldest pal in Amsterdam visionary artist Joep Ver who had driven in all the way from the Aveyron in France for the gig...also joining me onstage that night was Canadian sax maniac Rob Armus, who I'd first hooked up with in Rochefort, he and I spent the night before the Paradiso gig (along with his lovely gal Emma) blowing our brains out at a squat restaurant/theater cafe, great fun, the man can really play!! He joined me for a few numbers including a killing acoustic "One Man's Meat"...the gig was jammed with so many old friends and fans, Amsterdam has been like a second home for me since I started really touring there in 1990...Jack Pisters was in the house as well, an old friend and super musician who is also a director of the Amsterdam Music Conservatorum where I taught a guitar master class the day before, I really enjoy speaking with the students there ("pass it on, boys... pass it on!")...another highlight was hanging with Rob Havers from Amsterdam's supercool Plug Guitars, the amazing Dutch luthier who really made my Gibson J-45 sound terrific after several recent mishaps had knocked the pickup for a loop, Rob worked on Jeff Buckley's guitars on Jeff's last tour of Holland, and when I met him last summer he smiled and said: "Everyone comes to me eventually!" I like that :-)

Gary and Dutch luthier Rob Havers (who fixed Jeff Buckley's guitars on his last Dutch tour), Amsterdam 9/24/09

Gary and legendary Dutch broadcaster Co de Kloet, outside the Paradiso Amsterdam 9/24/09

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My buddy the Zappa/Beefheart go-to guy of Holland, legendary Dutch broadcaster Co de Kloet from NPS was there as well and lent me a beautiful dobro to play at the Paradiso, so was old old Flip Nagler from NGN Films (who made a documentary on my work back in '92, "Guitar Unbound" for the Dutch Arte tv channel) and his lovely wife many old friends...I'd hate to leave any out but alas I might have, sorry--I love to play in Amsterdam!!

Gary recording music for the score of the new doc. "American Faust: From Condi to Neo-Condi", d. Sebastian Doggart, The Cutting Room NYC 10/5/09

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Immediately I was back NYC I was in the studio the very next night recording a part of a new score for Sebastian Doggart, my English director friend whom I hooked up with with at the Jecheon Festival in South Korea last August, where he was represented with his amazing "Courting Condi" he's doing it again with a hard-hitting documentary "American Faust: From Condi to Neo-Condi"...and I am very happy to be involved with it...folks in NYC should check out a screening at the Chashamah Film Fest on Oct. 25th...

Working hard on my new solo live score for Tod Browing's "The Unholy Three", which will receive its word premiere next Thursday at 7pm at the Walter Reade Theater, Lincoln Center (a commission from the Film Society of Lincoln Center, bless them)...

Tomorrow I am heading out to Staten Island for a solo acoustic set at 8pm at the wonderful Show Gallery in support of my friend Mick Rock on the occasion of his "Glam!" exhibition ongoing there (photos of Bryan Ferry, David Bowie, Lou Reed, and especially SYD)...

Saturday I am performing live at 11am on WPRB Princeton's radio station, talking about the making of "Rishte" amongst other things...

and then in the evening around 9pm am sitting in with my pal Mike Edison at the new Knitting Factory in Willamsburg (amazing space!) as part of his Space Liberation Army...

Reading Roberto Bolano's last novel "2666" right now...the most amazing headtrip you can have these days without the easy aid of drugs...

This just in:

I've just been invited to perform at the 31st Havana Film Festival, which runs Dec. 3rd-13th where I will perform the world premiere of my new solo score for the Spanish-language "Dracula"
(1931, d. George Melford)

time and date tba...

stay tuned...

"Por la sangre es la vida, seƱor Renfield"

Gary and his good friend author Mitch Myers ("The Boy Who Cried Freebird"), White Horse Tavern, NYC 9/19/09

Gary and Lulu, West Village Hudson River Walk, 9/14/09

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Anonymous Ruby Flower Records said...


12/31/2009 1:11 AM  

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