My earliest ‘Spinal Tap’ Moment.

11/03/2010

Many moons ago, I was in a rock band with a drummer who fancied himself as a ‘McGyver’ sort of guy. He was always rigging up these insane contraptions that he believed would make our gigs better and propel us into instant stardom, or at least the occasional backstage case of beer. Trouble was, none of them worked. Ever. Why, once he welded one metal snare drum shell ON TOP of another. Why? I don’t know.

Anyway, I still vividly recall the time he had the brilliant idea to take one of my old, empty 4 x12  guitar cabinets and build himself a little monitor system, so he could hear things better while drumming at our gigs. So, he wired up and old 12 inch, 30 watt guitar speaker of mine and placed it in the cabinet. He was really proud of himself.

He brought it to a gig we had (4 hours, 3 sets) and when we set up out P.A. system, he rigged up his speaker directly to the main power amps that were powering our entire P.A. system. So, he had about 600 watts of power going into a 30 watt speaker. Not a good idea.

In the middle of our first song, The bass player and I are rocking out like nobody’s business when all of a sudden the drummer stops playing. We turned around to find his fancy little monitor  IN FLAMES! and he was blowing on it and sort of patting at it in hopes of putting out the fire. Did he think that no one notice? Fortunately, one of the bouncers tossed a pitcher of water on the cabinet and the fire went out. Thankfully, no one was hurt – just freaked out. However, most everyone left the bar – you know, because of the fire…

Needless to say the owners of the club were extremely furious (in a wanting to kick our asses sort of way), they didn’t pay us (but they made us play all night) and the agent that booked that gig for us never booked us again.

So, yeah. That was my earliest “Spinal Tap’ moment.


My new record, Phantom Power Trip!

09/08/2010

OK. It’s here! My new record, “Phantom Power Trip.”  You can investigate things further at my website robskane.net.

For those of you interested in the recording of this record, the bass and drums (along with my ‘guide’ vocals and guitar) were recorded by Marc Fuller at Edie Road Studio, in Argyle, New York. Peter Maine played drums and Todd Havalind played bass. Those sessions were a blast! Marc, Peter and Todd are really professional and a lot of fun to work with.

After those sessions finished, I took the tracks to my home studio. I then replaced my ‘guide’ vocals and guitar parts. I used my Gibson J-45 for most of the acoustic guitar tracks and switched between Fender Telecasters, Stratocasters and Mustangs and my Gibson Les Paul for all the electric guitar parts. All of the electric guitar parts were tracked using either a Vox AC30 or an old (1966 or 1968) Vox Cambridge Reverb tube amp. I used a Shure SM57 microphone and a Mojave Audio MA-201 microphone for the electric guitars. The MoJave mic served me well on acoustic guitars and vocals as well.

Then I mixed everything at home. It was a fun process. I really enjoy recording and always learn something new along the way. Some songs ended up only having a couple of alternate mixes and others ended up with many, many more. One song had, not kidding, 80 different mixes. Hey, it happens… Once the mixes were done, the recording was mastered by Jamal Ruhe at West West Side Music. Jamal did a wonderful job! I highly recommend Jamal and West West Side music if you’re in need of mastering.

Thanks for reading!


Rockpile

08/07/2010

Rockpile. The greatest band you’ve never heard? This might be true.  Rockpile was an amazing British rock and roll band that performed in the 1970’s and into the early 1980’s. Their line-up was: Nick Lowe on bass, Dave Edmunds on guitar, Billy Bremner on guitar  and ‘Smashing’ Terry Williams played the drums. Lowe, Edmunds and Bremner all sang. They looked sharp, played loud and had killer songs. Check them out as they rip it up on “Crawling From The Wreckage,” a Graham Parker composition.

Rockpile made four albums, “Tracks On Wax 4” and “Repeat When Necessary” were issued as Dave Edmunds solo records, “Labour Of Lust” was released as Nick Lowe solo record and “Seconds Of Pleasure,” which was released as a Rockpile record. All four records are fantastic. Look them up, you won’t regret it.


E Minor Pentatonic!

06/14/2010

The E Minor Pentatonic scale is comprised of the following notes: E, G, A, B, D. Can you find these notes all over the fretboard?