Wednesday, October 23, 2013



B A C K S T A G E 

S T O R I E S:

eye-opening. informative.


from friends & iconic minds...

Bill Grahm

"Concert impresario Bill Graham was known for three things: Foul language, picking up trash wherever he encountered it, whether backstage at his own venues or elsewhere, and a deep and abiding love of music -- if not necessarily musicians -- that he parlayed into what is without question the most extraordinary run of concerts in rock 'n' roll history.
To say that the charismatic Graham could be difficult is an understatement. He introduced himself to me by way of asking "What the f*ck are you doing?" the first time I bumped into him back stage at a concert. He was, of course, picking up trash at the time.
It's not just that Graham caught the counterculture wave in San Francisco at just the right time, he rode it hard, along the way helping introduce and in a few cases promote some of the seminal music acts from that era.They included the Jefferson Airplane,Janis Joplin and Big Brother,SantanaCountry Joe and the Fish and his personal favorite, the Grateful Dead, with whom he had a love-hate relationship for years. (The Dead felt the same way.)"

SNL’s Shawn Pelton

"Best known for his tenure as house drummer for Saturday Night Live, Shawn Pelton has built a tremendous career by capturing such in-studio magic, session after recording session. The top-call New York studio drummer has recorded for artists like Ray Charles, Sheryl Crow, Pink, Rod Stewart, Shakira, and Elton John. Here are some tips from the master on how to bring your own best playing to every take that you track."

“If you’re working with a group and somebody that was into the Beatles drops the reference of the drum part for ‘Come Together,’ it’s great to know what he’s talking about,” says Pelton. “By the same token, if they drop a reference about Stone Temple Pilots or a Dave Grohl drum part, the more exposure you have to recorded music in the world of whoever you’re working with, the more helpful it can be. It’s all about giving yourself the right background to play in context with the other musicians you’re working with.”

“If you’re recording take after take and step back into the control room to listen, if the engineer hasn’t hooked up an inspiring playback for everybody to listen to, that can tank your spirit as a performer and a player,” says Pelton. “If you’re recording drums in a really dead, small room, but the track needs big, rocking Led Zeppelin drums, it’s possible for an engineer to recreate a similar sound with room simulation reverbs, which can really help.”

Pelton points out that many classic records were recorded in shed-like conditions, so don’t give a recording session only half of your creativity, due to less than luxurious digs. “Whenever it’s time to record, wherever you are, make sure that you’re 100-percent present,” he continues. “So much great work can be done anywhere these days, which is cool as far as leveling the playing field for independent artists of all sorts.”

Chaka Kahn: Backstage w/ Whitney Houston 2011.
"I performed with her at the Prince concert last May and we had a lovely time backstage together," Chaka Khan recalled of her last encounter with Whitney Houston. "We sat in my dressing room for hours and talked. We laughed a lot."

"We talked about addiction and music and Whitney's ex husband Bobby Brown and everything. But, Whitney knew if she was going to talk to me, that we were  going to talk about getting her life together."

CHAKA on the biz:

Speaking of how the music business treats its stars- Khan said previously, 

"It's a very lonely existence. You are stuck in hotel rooms. They keep you isolated from the outside world so you perform like a dancing bear". 
This is an ugly ass business". the 58- year- old went on... 

"All we want to do is sing. We are highly sensitive people; we don't want to feel pain. People are pulling from you and sucking from you. There are so many types of vampires out there".

"As the audiences got larger, the participation got larger. And I found myself in Dallas, and 20,000 people were singing 'Madonna Whore' back at me. I thought... this is really a great thing. They wanted to hear it really badly, and here they are". 
~ Cyndi Lauper

Michael McDonald
Michael McDonald is teaming up with WhyHunger on tour to offer VIP Meet & Greet Packages for select dates, available only from Tickets-for-Charity.
Each Package includes a ticket in the first 20 rows and the opportunity to meet Michael in person.
All proceeds benefit WhyHunger's work to fight hunger and poverty and to ensure that everyone has access to nutritious food.

BAMM MAGAZINE Interviews Michael McDonald at BR Cohn Winery 2011)

BAMM Magazine:
"Did your parents have any issues with you joining a group called the Doobie Brothers"?

Michael:"No, I was too old for them to worry about that then! 
My son threw it out at me years later...I was telling him that I didn't appreciate some of the music he was listening to. I didn't think it had a good message for the youth of America. He kind of just stared at me for a second and goes...."yeah a giant roach on the album there's a great message for the youth of Amercia! 
I just shut up and didn't say anything after that!"

Watch the entire BAMM Magazine backstage video with Michael. 

A r e t h a   F r a n k l i n
Aretha Franklin, when discussing the future of music, didn’t see roadblocks, but opportunities. “I don’t think it’s a demise,” she said of the industry, “it’s just a different business now. It’s not what it used to be. You’ve got iTunes and Starbucks and Walmart and QVC and everybody’s in the game now. It’s still the music industry, but it’s a different industry.” She recalled fondly when Atlantic Records co-founder Ahmet Ertegun took her to London on tour in her youth. “I think my most favorite memory is when we we went to London and Ahmet drove us around in the big Rolls Royce — he took us down to Carnaby street and we shopped, we had lunch. I loved it.”
Franklin’s stage partner Annie Lennox, who had moments earlier joined her for a thrilling take on “Chain of Fools,” also spoke of pop’s changing climate. “In life, you know, there’s nothing new under the sun,” she said, “but at the same time, fresh things come in. Innovation is interesting. To young artists I would say: "Don’t sell out. Stay true and do this for the right reasons. ”

  H U E Y     L E W I S

 "After the show.... at the hotel bar where the band was staying, Huey sits down next to me and my date (who couldn't have cared less). The bar was a contrast to the sold out show they had just played."  

"He had recognized me before the show getting a picture & autograph from him and now asked me what my favorite part of the concert was.  I had seen them a handful of times already but it was the first in 14 years that they had played "Hip To Be Square", which had now been changed to "(Too) Hip To Be Square".  I asked him if any of the lyrics had been re-written to accommodate the subtle title change and while he explains, he tells me it was written about his brother!  I didn't know that!  He had always been quoted saying the song was inspired by him riding through Haight-Ashbury in 1985.  
Anonymity can even have its perks in hit songs and even backstage.  Thanks Huey for the hospitality!  Negroni's on the house!!"
~ Rob Cole       

"I love the music of Huey Lewis & The News!  I got my wish to meet and socialize with my favorite band of all-time in 2001!!" 

~ Rob Cole ("Razor" Rob Cole)
private guitar instructor, jazz solo instrumentalist,
 radio & tv personality

"Alcohol gives you infinite patience for stupidity". 

"What have I got? No looks, no money, no education. Just talent".

~ Sammy Davis Jr.

n’t sell out. Stay true and do this for the right reasons.’ ”

"Would you go into a CD store and steal a CD? It's the same thing, people going into the computers and loggin' on and stealing our music." ~ Brittany

"Hollywood is a place where they'll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul."

~ Marilyn Monroe

Before you sell your CD’s...

Unwrap the plastic!

(common sense advice)

"For any independent artist, hand-to-hand CD sales are necessary. I make the majority of my album sales at my live shows in the form of a CD (not a digital download card or a vinyl record). 


Buying my CD live is one part “I want to listen to this,” two parts “I want to listen to this in my car on the way home” and three parts “I want to have a moment with this artist who I just enjoyed the live show and get him to sign it.” It’s the same kind of moment they want to have buying you a drink; however, this moment they’ll actually walk away with some music."

"No Social Network or YouTube video can change the electrifying energy of a physical experience".

Artistic Director & Founder of CLOSET ROCK:
Lisa Battle