January 16 2012
Los Angeles, California
Did you know that between the original Star Trek series and the first film, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Paramount was planning to launch their own television network to compete with the big 3 (NBC, ABC and CBS)? What was to the flagship of this fledgling network? Star Trek: Phase II starring William Shatner. Nimoy wasn’t interested. They actually cast some other dude to play the new Vulcan science officer. Then a little something called Star Wars came along and changed everything. Someone at Paramount said, “Hey, we have a ‘Star’ thing as well!” Hence the birth of Star Trek: The Motion Picture which was not exactly Star Wars. It wasn’t even The Phantom Menace. By this point Nimoy was like, “well, if it’s gonna be a movie…sure.” Cha ching! After Wrath Of Khan Nimoy was ready to bail again. I guess he was Spocked out so they killed him off at the end of Khan. Then Nimoy was convinced to return by handing him the director’s chair for the next one, Search For Spock. That was so successful they got him to do IV:The Voyage Home. Then Shatner threw a tantrum. “How come Leonard gets all the fun!?!” and Paramount, as loving parents, let little Willy take the reigns for a spell. Unfortunately Bill was more Ed Wood than acclaimed director Leonard Nimoy (who also went on to direct the successful Three Men And A Baby) and steered the franchise into oblivion with V:The Final Frontier leaving the only option as one last goodbye with the awesome VI:The Undiscovered directed by the great Nicolas Meyer (Khan, Time After Time-so great, McDowel, Warner).
“…where no man…where no one has gone before…”
Wow. Well, that’s not the ‘Phase II’ I’m talking about at all. Too late to disregard the above so…moving on…I apologize.
I’m referring to Phase II of the recording process of the new Slash album.
We finished recording bed tracks about a week ago and have moved into vocals and overdub land. It’s a strange land for the guy who plays bass on the project. He’s on call like a volunteer fireman. “we need background vocals here!” or “we gotta put a fuzz bass on this chorus!” Otherwise there’s a lot of hurrying up and waiting.
I’m not complaining. Not at all. If there’s one thing I can do it’s hang. I think I share the same dream as Peter Gibbons from Office Space. If I had a million dollars I would do nothing.
I mean, not exactly nothing. Not like I’d sit in my house until I became one with the furniture like that obese lady I saw on Nip/Tuck (eeesh, by the way). I mean that I wouldn’t really change anything about my life. I would make music, play gigs, drink coffee with my friends, go to movies…all the things I like to do. I do all that anyway.
Would I take trips to exotic locations?
I don’t think so. I travel to awesome places all the time. I don’t really understand the idea of going somewhere and NOT playing music. What, sit on a beach? Do I look like a beach guy? I’m not even a pool guy.
Would I buy a big fancy mansion?
I don’t think so. I have a house. It’s called DisGraceland. I would prefer to build one complete with revolving book cases and portraits with the eyes cut out for spying and a Batcave. Basically a cross between Scooby Doo, the Haunted Mansion and Wayne Manor. Hardly seems like a mature way to spend one’s money.
What about a fancy car?
I have a car. It gets me to Starbucks and the movie theater just fine.
Well, then what about a really fast one?
Do you know how many tickets I’ve acquired all these years rocking the 15 from Vegas to LA and back? Like I really need a FASTER car…
Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that after an intense few months of recording I’m ok with kicking back and waiting for ‘the call’.
Tonight I enjoyed Thai food from my fave Hollywood Thai joint, Palm Thai with Eric Singer, Fitz, Rutger from Line 6 and my dear friend Cheryl Hall who works for the amazing Blondie and Steven Tyler. Good food good times. Highly recommended.
Today we visited Jim Survis and John Douglas from last year’s Slash crew. They are a part of Van Halen’s crew now. Lotsa buzz about VH right now. I’ve kinda caught that bug myself. How can’t you love VH? My fave album is Women And Children First…and discuss…
Last night we went to the drum off over at Nokia Theater. It’s NAMM time so there’s all kinds of these musiciany things going on everywhere. We hung out with Tommy Clufetos who we got to know as Ozzy’s drummer last year when we toured together. Our pal, Stefan Adika who played with my beloved Dee Dee Ramone was there with his son as well.
I said hi to John 5 when I realized that Peter Criss was sitting at the next table. Surreal. I never got up the nerve to say hi but Stefan got a pic of Peter and his son together. Come on-an original KISS member. That’s a big deal to me. Peter looked great.
We watched Mike Portnoy, Billy Sheehan, Tony Macalpine and Derek Sherinian play some crazy jazz math rock that was wayyy over my head and then bailed. Stephen Perkins from Jane’s hosted. He’s one of my faves. Brooks from Bad Religion played with Trujillo from Metallica later but we missed it.
This weekend is NAMM. I’ve been a few times and it is definitely interesting. The best part is catching up with friends. I’ll see Mike from Prestige guitars and I’ll see one of my best friends, Reed Shimozawa. Reed and I wrote and recorded half of my solo album, Go Time! together.
We are attending the Zakk Wylde celebrity roast on Thursday. That should be uber entertaining.
NAMM is kinda overwhelming. Lots going on. Sensory overload! I love guitars so it’s a non stop geek fest for me looking at all the beautiful baby guitars everywhere.
I’ll be seeing all my peeps at Ernie Ball, Music Man, Gallien Krueger, Line 6 etc etc etc. To be honest my biggest purpose is to walk out of there with a Gene Simmons Punisher bass. I’ll letcha know how THAT goes…
We did a photo shoot last Sunday for the new Slash album that was pretty enjoyable as far as photo shoots go. Trust me they can be painful. Again I’m not complaining. Poor rock dude has to stand around getting his photo taken. I can only stand being that self conscious for so long. It’s one thing getting your picture taken while you’re playing a show. It’s a whole other thing when it comes to four or five guys standing around-A-trying to look cool and-B-trying to look natural. There’s nothing natural about us standing here facing the same direction. You immediately turn into Ricky Bobby-”I’m not sure what to do with my hands”
Fitz and I went back for some RnR (not the Rock N Roll kind) in Vegas for literally 2 and a half days while the set up for “Phase II” was occurring in the studio. While there we sat in with some pals at the newly opened Gibson guitar showroom in Vegas. Pretty cool. Got to play A Girl Like You with Pat from the Smithereens. I love that song.
I recently devoured all 5 seasons of Dexter. not all in one sitting. That would be crazy. I’ve been chipping away at it like a bad heroin habit since the beginning of recording. I know-I’m late to the party but I’m almost all caught up. You can stop saying, “You’ve never seen Dexter?” I’m cool like you now!
Is it weird that I identify with Dexter sometimes? Not his ‘hobby’ exactly but his feeling like an alien to ‘normal’ human interactions etc. There’s a scene where Vince Masuka tells Dexter of the “premium alcohol, all you can eat buffet plus high class adult entertainment” there will be at Dexter’s bachelor party and Dexter’s inner monologue responds, “Kill me now”. I had to giggle at how familiar that response is to me.
Now I have to scour around like a junkie looking for Season 6 online somehow. I am NOT a computer guy. Luckily Cian at the studio IS. I foresee season 6 being in my hot little hands by this time tomorrow! Otherwise I’ll be the guy on the corner of Hollywood and Vine with the homemade sign that reads ‘Will Work For Dexter Season 6″.
I just finished brother Duff’s book recently and very much enjoyed it. It was very inspiring. The man nearly killed himself with self abuse and is now a whole new man. He is super educated and in amazing physical condition.
Speaking of which I got to watch my bro, Slash, rock it for the first time in like 4 years with Velvet Revolver at the House Of Blues on Sunset the other night. THEE Velvet Revolver. Complete with Scott. It was cool to see. I hadn’t seen them since the first tour for Contraband. Always great to see Duff rock it. A lot of fun.
It’s funny with all that GNR Hall Of Fame talk that it’s VR doing a reunion show. People keep asking, “What are you gonna do if Velvet Revolver gets a new singer?” or now, “What if they get back together?” since they played with Scott the other night. Or the big one since the Hall Of Fame announcement, “what are you gonna do if GNR does a reunion tour?”
“What am I gonna do?” The same thing we do every night, Pinky. Try to take over the world. Yes, that was a Pinky And The Brain reference.
No, seriously-I feel fortunate enough to call Slash my friend. As my friend I support whatever he deems best for him just as I would for any of my friends. If he decided tomorrow to go back to any of his former musical homes I would wish him the best. To be honest I never even got to see GNR back in the day so I guess I’d look at the cup as half full to get the chance.
If he decided to cut all his hair off, become a Scientologist and make a world music concept album about the life of L Ron Hubbard I’d say, “Good on ya, bro!” cuz that’s what pals do. You support your friends in the decisions they make that are important to them. It’s not about how those decisions affect me. That said we have an album coming out in May and we will be supporting it for a long time. After that who knows? Maybe there’ll be a GNR/VR/Alter Bridge tour and I’ll be in Vegas working on that L Ron Hubbard concept album idea I just thought up one paragraph ago with the Sinners. That’s then. This is now. I’m too busy enjoying now to worry about then.
Speaking of the Sin City Sinners-
Go here and vote for the Sinners for the ol’ Best In Vegas thingie
Here’s what I love about the Sinners. It’s a rock band. There’s no keyboards and vocals etc on tape or whatever digital enhancement. What you hear is what you get-played by human beings (well, kinda) on stage. It’s a snotty rock band that should totally not be allowed in Vegas showrooms that play whatever we wanna play including several cds of our own music. There are no ‘costumes’ or ‘wigs’ or ‘characters’ in the show. It’s just a rock band. I use the word ‘just’ as a source of pride. I don’t wanna be anyone but me. I count my lucky stars every day that that’s exactly what I get to do.
Nothing against any of the bands and shows that have costuming and digital accompaniment. I enjoy many of those shows around town. I suck in that type of environment. I only wanna play no nonsense rock n roll. I’ll leave that other stuff up to the professionals. Call me blissfully unprofessional.
Slash and pals will be making our way to Toronto for Canadian Music Week playing March 23rd at the Phoenix Theater. Seems fitting that we would start our first tour of 2012 on Canadian soil. The Motherland! That is going to be exciting for many reasons. Not least of which the debuting of new material. Oh you lucky Canadians!
I can’t think of anything else to say. There’s a reason I call this ‘The Ramblings Of The Mentally Ill’. I’m always surprised anyone enjoys reading these rambling but I continue to ramble for those that do’s amusement.
I’m reading Russell Brand’s Booky Wook which is super entertaining thus far. I’ve been on a Marilyn Manson kick as of late. Lost track of him after the Golden Age Of Grotesque. I saw him on the Anti-Christ tour when he was the only one putting on an arena size rock show. Everyone else was kinda staring at their shoes while playing their guitars. I ‘got it’. I ‘got’ Mechanical Animals but he lost me on Holywood. He got me back on Golden Age and then he just lost me altogether. I preferred when MM was a band. I knew who was in it and who played what. Now I don’t know who’s there and who isn’t. I believe Twiggy’s back. That’s a step in the right direction. I hear there’s a new album coming out. We’ll see…
All right! That’s it for me! (Practicing my George Costanza ‘going out on a high note’)
I’ll get back to you at Phase III
Your loyal and humble servant