Monday, May 20, 2013

Ray Manzarek passes away!

Ray Manzarek, Founding Member of The Doors, Passes Away at 74

Ray Manzarek, keyboardist and founding member of The Doors, passed away today at 12:31PM PT at the RoMed Clinic in Rosenheim, Germany after a lengthy battle with bile duct cancer. He was 74. At the time of his passing, he was surrounded by his wife Dorothy Manzarek, and his brothers Rick and James Manczarek.

Manzarek is best known for his work with The Doors who formed in 1965 when Manzarek had a chance encounter on Venice Beach with poet Jim Morrison. The Doors went on to become one of the most controversial rock acts of the 1960s, selling more than 100-million albums worldwide, and receiving 19 Gold, 14 Platinum and five multi-Platinum albums in the U.S. alone. "L.A.Woman," "Break On Through to the Other Side," "The End," "Hello, I Love You," and "Light My Fire" were just some of the band's iconic and ground-breaking songs. After Morrison's death in 1971, Manzarek went on to become a best-selling author, and a Grammy-nominated recording artist in his own right. In 2002, he revitalized his touring career with Doors' guitarist and long-time collaborator, Robby Krieger.

"I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend and bandmate Ray Manzarek today," said Krieger. "I'm just glad to have been able to have played Doors songs with him for the last decade. Ray was a huge part of my life and I will always miss him."

Manzarek is survived by his wife Dorothy, brothers Rick and James Manczarek, son Pablo Manzarek, Pablo's wife Sharmin and their three children Noah, Apollo and Camille. Funeral arrangements are pending. The family asks that their privacy be respected at this difficult time. In lieu of flowers, please make a memoriam donation in Ray Manzarek's name at

Session tools - Ron Zabrocki

Ron is sharing some basics that are common sense - but common is not so common in these times of instant gratification. Watch, listen and learn.

A Song

As a song you might find your life bittersweet. Your genesis could be that of anger, fear, grief  love, joy, revenge, politics, and nothingness. The the reasons for your birth is endless. However, your journey is not one without the complement of adventure as you wind your way to an end. Like the people who brought you to be, you can be liked by or for every different aspect of your being whether it be your name, your rhythm, your melody, the story, the rhyme and again, it's the perception of the listener. That my friend is completely subjective to the individual listener. You, however, should not worry about the path before you for the worry may end your life before it begins.

A songs life can twist and turn to levels you never imagine. You might start as a spark of a synopsis and then a scribble on a piece of napkin, a mindless note ringing on a instrument, a hammer striking a nail, the air compressor refilling its tank. Never you mind, breath the sound waves. For your journey is daunting and not for the weak hearted. The skys the limit and the abyss is always looming. You might be a piece of acetate, vinyl, magnetic tape, electrons, one's and zero's, mp3's but never judge yourself based on appearance. Again, one day you might be radio waves or sound waves but where will you ultimately be received is the darkness that never speaks. Will you become a treasured piece or recycled plastic? There is certainty and the certainty is that if you never are created then you will never be and nobody will ever have the chance to hear you. Stop the silence and be productive. Be written today.

..... and try not to dwell on the fact that life is finite not infinite and listening to something you don't like is time lost that will never be recovered. Bittersweet.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Tone Secrets of the greats!

Obtaining and utilizing tone takes truck loads of cash and equipment.... This is why some of those born with a gold spoon in their mouth have the best tone while the rest of us wallow in tone hell. Talent is one thing  but great equipment will make up for talent. Pffffffffffffft! Garbage in and gold out when you are rich, and know which equipment you really need. Or is that just BS??? Is your detector on?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Chris Hadfield Sings Space Oddity in the International Space Station

Chris Hadfield has got a very cool job and he share his work with us in a mondo superduper cool video.

This is too cool! I cannot watch it enough and thought I'd share it!

Watching the earth spin beneath him is simply breathtaking. Sooooooooooo Cool That David Bowie allowed this to be done as well.

Chris has my vote for the most personable Astronaut. He makes it cool to be passionate about science, cool to be smart while he is very humble about his virtuosos musical abilities! :)

Click here if you want to know how astronauts go to the bath room!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Los Angeles - My City: Current Production 12AX7 Tubes - Twelve of them

Los Angeles - My City: Current Production 12AX7 Tubes - Twelve of them

A great blog and reference site. Please check it out the site linked above as it is very interesting and informative! The linked article is written by Myles Rose. Great Stuff!


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Happy Birthday Robert Johnson!

The blues legend Robert Johnson was born on on this day, 05/08/1911, over 102 years ago! Some of his recordings have been remastered and his material has be interpreted many times. For the most part the interpretations are better due to the clarity the remastering has brought. Yet, when I was younger those scratched and somewhat distant recording added a mystic and timeliness of an era long gone. Robert Johnson wasn't the only blues man but his story and mythological existence will remain with us forever.

Learn Robert Johnson licks by going "In Deep -Unlocking the mysteries of the Delta Blues Great Robert Johnson," by Andy Aledort and Guitar world magazine.

Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeshi! Great Version!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Jeff Hanneman - Founding member of Slayer RIP

A spider bite? After reading about the premature death of Jeff Hanneman I flipping visited my doctor. Especially since the average human eats 8 spiders a year! Gimmie a break....

I remember seeing that Jeff was making a sustained effort to rehabilitate from the necrotic skin infection in his arm only to initially read that Jeff tragically died from the infection. However, his cause of death was listed as liver failure which is a treatable and generally preventable illness often associated with lifestyle. If lifestyle bears out to be the cause of Jeff's untimely demise then attributing his death to necrotizing fasciitis is unjustly masking the truth and doing a disservice to those who need to realize that abusing one's health is not cool and can be fatal. The truth is that a hard living, live for today, party at all cost and forget about tomorrow is the cause of Jeff's death, then that is a game changer. That makes things different, talent or no talent. Certainly, Jeff was very talented and this is a sad tale and hopefully his untimely death, if due to abuse, can be used as an example to prevent others from traveling down a road of self destruction.

Playing clubs and concerts night to night and town to town is difficult to sustain even for the most robust musician. Touring becomes immeasurably more challenging when you and your mates are oversaturated..... Road food alone can even kill you over time. The requirements of touring involve traveling constantly, eating on the road, lack of sleep, spatial disorientation, and jet lag. Touring on a repetitive basis is tough on the human body.  If time bears witness that hard partying had nothing to do with Jeff perishing then I'll take this post down. Whatever the truth might be the fact remains that this IS tragic and my sympathy goes to his friends and family who now undoubtedly miss him very much.

One that is not in doubt: Jeff had some of the sickest licks. RIP Jeff Hanneman!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

What do you call a guitar repair dude? Or how to pronounce Luthier?!

Dude, I am all, like, soooo confused! See? I'm all like trying to figure out whether this guitar repair guy is called a "Loo Ther, Loo Tee Yeah, Lood tee er"?

Ok, no joking now. A Luthier is pronounced "Lu Tear" or click here to go to my source for the pronunciation. Accordingly, the definition is a person who makes stringed musical instruments. Not all people that call himself a Luthier actually make guitars though the name implies that the person holding the title manufacturers stringed musical instruments. To me; a luthier is a skilled person who can manufacture or repair a stringed instrument.