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Saturday, November 15, 2008


I've always considered myself more of a Mick Jones fan than that of Joe Strummer. Mick was the hookmaster, he brought the pop to the mix whereas Joe was sort of the Dylan of the band, his art was in his message more than the musicianship.

A few weeks ago 'White Man In Hammersmith Palais' popped into my head, I was Robin Hood, the famous early 13th century wealth distributionist for Halloween, and the line about Robin Hood suddenly surfaced into my consciousness.

"White youth, black youth
Better find another solution
Why not phone up Robin Hood
And ask him for some wealth distribution"

It dawned on me that 'White Man In Hammersmith Palais', a Joe Strummer number, was clearly my favorite Clash tune. More than that, upon further retrospection, my second favorite had to be 'Bankrobber', another Joe tune.

These revelations forced me to take stock, and here's the results:

1) White Man In Hammersmith Palais - Joe
2) Bankrobber - Joe
3) Stay Free - Mick
4) The Card Cheat - Mick
5) Death or Glory - Joe
6) Clampdown - Joe and Mick
7) Somebody Got Murdered - Mick
8) Hate and War - Mick
9) Career Opportunities - Joe
10) Safe European Home - Joe

So, as you can see, Joe eeks out a narrow advantage in the top ten. If I extrapolated out a bit, I'm sure it's stay about even.


So, since we're on the topic (see below); here's how it's supposed to be done.

We're in the thick of the new House of Blondes album, and it was decided that two songs needed adjustments in the rhythm tracks after a goodly amount of tracking had been done.

We bit the bullet, shit-canned 90% of the tracks, and started over. We tracked drums, bass, and scratch vocals on the two songs this afternoon. Afterwards we added rhythm guitar.

The rhythm section is the foundation. Everything else can be added later, if necessary, but you just can't work the other way around. I mean you can, but you shouldn't.

It was nice to be at the studio working with Chrispy again after a long hiatus.


Old news, I know, but I heard 'Crazy Train' on the radio on the way home from the studio tonight, and I listened to the rhythm section to determine if they were playing the original or the new (a few years old now) one with the replaced drums and bass. It was the new one, of course.

The decision to re-track all the drums and bass on the first two Ozzy records was, on the surface, a financial one, but more specifically, it was done out of spite. It was a despicable move on Sharon's part to short change bassist Bob Daisley's royalties.

The original rhythm section consisted of Bob and drummer Lee Kerslake, who also suffers financially from the re-tracking, but it was Bob that Sharon was out to get.

Why? Because Bob and Sharon have been at war for over twenty years over writing credit he was never given; you see Bob wrote almost all the lyrics on not only the first two Ozzy albums, but the following two as well, but he was never given the credit, and thusly he has been denied the publishing money as well.

Now, you gotta give Sharon credit for keeping Ozzy alive, but this re-tracking move has to be among the lowest deals in a business rife with slime.

What's more, it damages the song. Randy played his parts to Bob and Lee's rhythm. The greatest session players can't replace the groove of musicians playing together. Robert Trujillo and Mike Bordin (bass and drums respectively), who did the re-tracking, are great musicians, and to their credit they did a great job of it, but in the end, it's just not the same, not as good, and completely unwarranted.

What a jerk.

Sunday, November 09, 2008


Wednesday, November 05, 2008


I'm trying to think of something classy, something decidedly not smug to say, but, well, honestly nothing comes to mind. Since neither Tony nor Misanthrope took me up on the 'buck and a beer' bet, that would suggest they smelled the winds of change coming down the pike months ago, so I would suppose they've already gotten comfortable with the facts at hand.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Jackson just returned from his local polling center where he cast his vote for Barack Obama, in fact, he voted communist straight down the line.

The outcome is uncertain, though I'm very confident. One thing is certain, starting tomorrow I can quit obsessively watching cable news. I've come to dislike Chris Mathews and Keith Olberman, though I'm still a Rachel Maddow fan. I suspect Bill O'Reilly will gain back some ratings points because I think I'm not alone in my proposed abandonment of punditry among my fellow comrades; whereas Bill and the Foxcists will begin the post campaign trash talking immediately.

One surprising turn of events has come of all this. I now see what Hunter S. Thompson saw in Pat Robertson. I'll never agree with Pat's agenda, but he's come across as a reasonable sort, and short of endorsing Obama, Pat has at least conceded that Obama is fit to sit in the Oval Office.

Vote, now......

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