Last Wednesday, I went to the studio w/ The Dirty Pearls to record a song which has become our anthem, "New York City is a Drug" with Daniel Rey producing.
The night before, I decided to stay clear of drinking/partying/trouble of any kind in an attempt to get a decent night's sleep for once. Well that was a fucking great idea. I had a Grolsch beer to stabilize my system, read from Bukowski's Women (an old favorite of mine that I've been revisiting lately), listened to some Gram Parsons....and tried to sleep. Well, that didn't work. I tossed and turned, as if my bed was a washing machine set to the goddamn "Spin" cycle. You know how that it is when you know that you need your rest, and the pressure thereof prevents you from getting that rest? That was me. So, I wound up getting two hours of it. I fell asleep around 8am...and Daniel called me up at 10:15 to tell me he was on his way to pick me up....well....I remember what Klaus Meine of the Scorpions once said, "Being a Rock N' Roller is a lot like being an athlete...you have to perform no matter how you feel." Damn right!
So, I put my Thin Lizzy shirt on, grabbed my cymbals, and walked downstairs into the pissing rain, and got into Daniel's car. I told him immediately that I was going on two hours' sleep. He laughed and said, "Yeah, well, you can never sleep the night before a session...I got four hours' sleep myself!"
Yeah, I like this guy. So we drove over, talked about the Ramones, Circus of Power, and whatever the fuck else. Daniel had told me that he had called Tom (an awesome engineer, owner of Nuthouse Studios, and a stand-up dude) the night before w/ some specs re: mics and shit in order to cut down set-up time. Awesome.
I like working with a producer - at least one like Daniel, who understands the band's vision and how to achieve it....and creates an atmosphere that's comfortable for everyone to play their best. His authority in the studio goes without saying, but in such a way that allows the band to be itself and themselves. It was a great balance, and a great dynamic. It looked like a winning team between the 7 of us, and I knew I could do my part no matter how much sleep I'd had. Hell, I played a gig one time on less, w/ guys I was unfamiliar with, and it went down without a hitch...I could certainly kill it in the studio with the Pearls.
After spending some time with drum sounds and getting the drum to sound like the artillery needed to blast this song into Rock N' Roll oblivion (which, of course, takes awhile, but not nearly as long as I'm used to for this sort of thing)....Daniel told me to step out and grab a bite to eat and some coffee, because it was going to be time for me to go to work soon.
So I went to this diner down the street. They wouldn't serve breakfast items (it was "lunch time"....fuck....)....so I ordered something called "pretzyl bread", a french onion soup, a buttered roll for one of the guys, and a couple of coffees. Simple enough, right? Nope....I waited like a HALF HOUR for this crap. While I was waiting, the Rolling Stones song, "You Can't Always Get What You Want" came on the radio. While I sipped a coffee and sort of swayed my head along with it, some numbskull in a booth across from me said to the waiter, "Hey Man...who sings this song?"
I rubbed my temples and shook my head in my hands....
The WAY overpriced food/coffee items, after an extended wait? $16....witnessing the stupidity of one who should be old enough to know who the fucking Rolling Stones are? Priceless!
I went back and ate while the other guys got set up for their rhythm tracks (which they were to play along with me) and Tommy's scratch vocal...which again, took awhile, so I rested for a bit...then it was time to go forth and thrash.
We ran through the song a number of times, only stopping occasionally to make sure we were on the right track in terms of sounds and parts, and to make some adjustments with tempos, etc....after a couple of hours or so of this, I was about done, and someone else mentioned being hungry, so we all ordered these kickass italian subs and bs'd about this and that. Afterwhich, Daniel asked us to do one more take....I decided, since the mozzerella was so fresh on my sandwich, that I'd play some of it a little differently this time....which seemed to be to everyone else's liking. After that, I was through with my biggest responsibility, and could sit back and relax. Who needs sleep, anyway?
Dougie's bass playing was so spot-on from the rhythm takes, I don't think he did any overdubs at all....he's a genius, that boy, he really is.
So...onto guitars....Ritchie was first....he added some great parts on there, as well as, most likely, the best solo I've ever heard him play.....it was fucking awesome....nice one, Rich! Then Johnny sat down and added this fucking "spaghetti western" western part that really added depth and dimension to the sound...
This was really turning into something.
The guitarists had had enough at this point, and split....Dougie and I decided to stay and sit in on Tommy vocal takes....which went pretty much without a hitch. I like to be there after I finsih just to add encouragement and all that shit. Tommy batted it out of the park, and finished up his lead vocal lines and the harmonies he wanted to do rather quickly.
Then Daniel, Tommy, Dougie, and I went in to do the gang vocal parts in the choruses (which for me, is the most fun part of a session).....
....and that was it....the track is in the can....we should have it ready in a couple of weeks.....
...the track will go directly to Sirius/XM Radio, and we will be doing a Single Release Party @ Santo's Party House on Thursday, July 23rd....Eve to Adam and Midnight Fistfight and other special guests are on the bill, and it will be an awesome Rock N' Roll event, and there will be lots of surprises....stay tuned!
I, for one, can't wait!
Thanks for reading!
Monday, June 22, 2009
One day in the life of a performer who always needs to be on or next time I wonder what it will be like if I just go out & get drunk the night before
Labels: accomplishments, adventure, bass, daniel rey, drummer, drums, guitar, marty e, misfits, music, new york city, new yorker, nyc, octane, radio, ramones, Rock N' Roll, rolling stones, satellite, sirius, sleep, the dirty pearls, the perfect age of rock n roll, vocals, xm