Hello from Los Angeles
We land at LAX, where we take a shuttle to our rent a car. This is my dog Quixote’s second trip to USA – he’s more well traveled than most people are. We will remain in L.A. for 5 months to see how it has changed over the years, to hook up with old friends and band mates, visit family, try to get some jam sessions going and to also see if we’d ever consider moving back. Although we’re both from Los Angeles, Mark and I haven’t lived here in almost 15 years. We don’t know how we’ll feel – I for one am feeling a bit anxious at how long we are staying, but I know we need to do this. Also, we need to furnish our recently inherited apartment and make it homey and fun. Our new winter getaway…
We arrive a few days before Christmas and invite some of our friends to come celebrate an orphan Christmas with us. A handful of my oldest friends show up, which is a comfortable reintroduction to the giddy social life here. Mark happily mans the grill. And dances. Yes, we’re jet lagged, but when has that ever gotten in the way of fun?
Mark’s pre-BBQ dance moves on Dec. 24. He’s happy to be in L.A.
Despite chronic jet lag, earlier this morning Mark went “Christmas Shopping” at the Guitar Center, which was having a 50% CHRISTMAS BLOW OUT SALE. He came home with a mixed bag of on sale instruments for friends to play, including a $200 bass and bass amp deal package, plus a few fancy gizmos for guitar effects and vocals. He even came home with an auto-tuner that will make anyone sing perfectly in pitch. I’m sure this will come in handy for our future jam sessions. We decide to wrap all the presents, put them under the Christmas tree and have our guests open the presents and play them if they are inspired, thus introducing his big idea to have assorted instruments around for guests to play but not take home. Our friends are at first perplexed and then amused. We have two bass player friends over for Christmas turkey supper (yum!) who try out and approve our new bass rig set-up. Everyone agrees he got a deal.
Christmas Day snapshops of friends:
1) Our Xmas Tree 1) Friend and fellow scenster from the 80′s, Phast Phreddie
Arlo Zoo, former bass player/bandmate from my Band The SKANKSTERS
1) Our first BBQ with friends. 2) Christmas Eve susnset viewed from our deck.
Mark wants to get a jam band going here in L.A. and has a great angle; we’ll invite our accomplished and mostly successful musician friends over for a BBQ and a jam if they’re up for it. We’ll provide the instruments. I brought one of my 2 Roland JX8P keyboards back with me from Barcelona and will leave it here. And Mark brought one of his electrical guitars, having gotten an amp on his visit last July. We also brought our sampler drum machine in case no drummers show up. So we’re all set. We will call the jam band “Public Storage” because all the instruments will be stored here. Our first big jam will be on New Years Eve. I invite everyone I’ve ever known and am friends with on Facebook, as did Mark. We have no idea what to expect.
New Years Eve 2014
Auld Lang Sang
Our New Year’s party has quite a turnout, with some real unexpected show-ups, like Lee Curreri (remember the movie and TV show FAME?) and Mark’s former Visual Effects supervisor in NZ, Jim Rygiel ((multi Oscar award winner) . Our first jam is chaotic, loud and fun. Welcome 2014!
1- With Henry Peck (goo Salon) 2 – with Joel 3 – Mark and Lee Curreri 4- Arlo Zoos
1 – Lauren Wood on drums, Lee Curreri on keyboards. 2- Henry Peck and me. 3 – me with Lauren Wood. 4 – Azalia Snail
Ivy Ney with friends, Lauren and Paul Mars Black
New Years Eve jam was such a success, we begin having a BBQ/jam every few weeks, inviting different musicians every time. This is what I will miss most when we go back to Spain.
After several weeks here, I must say, I find L.A. to be more welcoming than I had imagined it would be. I had expected that having been gone so long, everyone would forget me. Instead, friends are always calling with invites to cool events and they come to our jam/parties. I am touched by what a big, wide, warm and wonderful reception by old friends and peers we have gotten since being here.
Los Angeles itself is a bit kooky. For example, one Sunday they closed off Wilshire Blvd. to automobile traffic for a day they called Ciclavia. People are encouraged to walk or ride their bikes down Wilshire, between Fairfax and Downtown. We got our old clunker bikes out of storage and cleaned up for the event. Here’s a few snapshots:
Tommy and Quixote are ready to go:
DJ over the freeway
We have a total of about 6 jam sessions in the 5 months we are in L.A., pulling together friends who haven’t seen each other (or us) in decades. Many of the musicians I threw together to jam had never met each other before. Some of the sessions are rockin’ others were more reggae and one of them even went the country direction for awhile. Everyone enjoyed out gourmet BBQ’s
Musician friends meet each other over a BBQ and jam if they feel so inclined.
1- Tina and Nancye hadn’t seen each other in about 20 years. (Check out the book Nancye is holding up). 2 – Reunion with our third original Partner in Rhyme founder, John X.
1- Scarlet Rouge. 2 – Cliff Martinez
1 – More jamming 2 – Nancye with Bob Mann
1- Mark has known Mari since he was a kid. It was quite a reunion. 2 – Jordi Klemperman-
Jann Karam is one of my funniest girlfriends. 2 – Blake and Kenny.
With all the above photos you get the idea. I have a lot more I’m not sharing here and now, but if you’re one of my long lost friends or simply want to see all the Public Storage BBQ/Jam photos, they’re all up on my facebook page.
We were so busy playing and organizing these sessions that this is the only little iphone video clip I have of our jams, but it does capture the spirit: †¥†
I end this L.A. part 1 blog with some amazing sunset shots taken from our decks. Plus 2 photos of the “Blood Red” eclipse of the moon:
Blood Red Eclipse