Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Walking on Planet C

When Death Comes Knocking

September 4, 2012


Summer is officially over and now we Americans go back to work

Summer is officially over and now we Americans go back to work. I've worked harder this summer than any summer of my life - so the calendar has little meaning to me other than it being a measuring tool of events. My life is a journey through endless mazes, tunnels, windows, and doors with no knowledge of what's on the other side of any of them.

This past summer I've played countless shows and guitar on a number of records, composed dozens of songs, written scores of blog posts and spoken at a number of book and corporate events, penned a few articles for newspapers, and have snapped thousands of photographs. I've always worked hard but since being attacked by aggressive cancer almost two years ago, I've more than doubled my workload. I figure I'll just be too busy to answer the door When Death Comes Knocking.

 


I've worked harder this summer than any summer of my life!!


My life is a journey through endless mazes with no knowledge of what's on the other side


This past summer I've played countless shows


Kim & me on "He's The Greatest Dancer" at Ibiza 123


Me playing guitar on "Shady" with Adam Lambert


Me in one of Pablo Picasso's cape-maker's capes being shot by the legendary Bruce Weber at my apartment


Signing a staffers t-shirt at a book event (while it's still on her body)


I gave a speech at DraftFCB ad agency with another music man, Billy Man


I've penned a few articles for newspapers


My first meal after cancer surgery and since then, I've more than doubled my workload


I have snapped thousands of photographs this summer

 


Add a comment Add a comment

Read more...

Category: Walking on Planet C

To Save My Life

August 31, 2012


Today I'd dreamt a wild mandrill was outside my window and I didn't know whether to run for my camera or run for my life

Today I awakened from a nightmare before I realized I was dreaming. I'd dreamt a wild mandrill was outside my window and I didn't know whether to run for my camera or run for my life. When I looked again, I saw there was no wild primate waiting to pounce on me.

My moment of peace was short lived when I looked at the clock and saw I'd overslept. I quickly got dressed because I had a meeting scheduled with an assistant dean from Drexel University.

Earlier this year I'd been given an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degree from the institution. It was really a great honor which I'll always cherish. As I was getting the degree I couldn't help but think, "Not bad for a person who set the national truancy record for the entire parochial school system of the United States of America, at seven years old."

Drexel University is in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and is also the home of the famed Sigma Sound Studios tape library archive. They've successfully saved this precious resource that's played such an important role in R&B, Pop, and Dance Music, which to this day continues To Save My Life.

 


I quickly got dressed because I had a meeting


Driving to meet with assistant dean of Drexel University, Louisa Hanshew


Earlier this year I'd been given an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degree


It was really a great honor which I'll always cherish


Not bad for a person who set the national truancy record for the entire parochial school system of the United States of America, at seven years old.


Everyday, music continues To Save My Life


Drexel University is in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and is also the home of the famed Sigma Sound Studios tape library archive

 


Add a comment Add a comment

Read more...

Category: Walking on Planet C

Serene, Almost, but Not Indifference

August 28, 2012


A Le Freak book party in Belfast, Ireland with some new friends

It's been almost a year since my memoir Le Freak was released. The experience has given me more than I'd ever expected. I've come to know so many new people by sharing my story with the book's readers. And they've gotten to know what life was like in a time and a place that can never be documented enough as far as I'm concerned. The music, fashion, and idealism was wonderful in that time. I believe I have a lot of music, life, and love left in me, and I'll be idealistic until my last breath - I call it acceptance.

Yesterday, a lifelong friend and cancer survivor lost two of his close relatives. "The planet is going through some shit" he said. But, damn, I've developed such a Zen calm about things. Serene, Almost, but Not Indifference."

 


Kyle MacLachlan, Angela Yee, me and Gayle King at my 1st Le Freak Salon


Me at the Edinburgh International Book Festival where my book sold out


It's been almost a year since my memoir Le Freak was released


The experience has given me more than I'd ever expected


Do you have a copy of Le Freak yet?


An autographed copy of Le Freak for the book store


Serene, Almost, but Not Indifference

 


Add a comment Add a comment

Read more...

Category: Walking on Planet C

F Jazz Blues Movement

August 25, 2012


7x7TH STREET Animation tracks down the street and stops at my Indigo F Shack

Just a few days ago I was in Edinburgh, Scotland at the Fringe Festival. It's the biggest arts festival in the world. I was there primarily as an author but I was also there as a composer. I was part of a project called 7x7TH STREET. Seven different composers scored seven different interactive sculptures that were displayed in structures that were the colors that corresponded to the seven tones of a major scale in music. It was the brain-child of Belgian neo-pop artist, Jean Pierre Muller.

My composition is in the key of f, represented by the color indigo. The entire piece represents the many phases of my life. The overall length is around eleven minutes with seven movements. It's called the "Indigo F Suite" and today's playlist will start with the "F Jazz Blues Movement."

 


Jamming on some jazz for the folks at the Edinburgh Book Festival before talking about my memoir Le Freak


The wall display inside the Indigo F house on 7x7TH STREET


Me inside the the indigo house on 7x7TH STREET (I love that the photographer is visible in my eyeglasses)


Hanging on 7x7TH STREET


Chilling on 7x7TH STREET


Letter I is the beginning of the "F Jazz Blues Movement" (Yes, I know there should be a double bar marking)

 


Add a comment Add a comment

Read more...

Category: Walking on Planet C

Importance or Hipness

August 21, 2012


Mr Welsh holding back a little chuckle as I play "Aw Fuck Off," the original version of "Le Freak"

The last few days in Edinburgh have been nothing short of amazing. I was there primarily for the Edinburgh International Book Festival, where I did two formal events, but I was also a part of the Edinburgh Arts Festival at Summerhall's Visual Arts Programme. I collaborated with artist Jean Pierre Muller to create 7x7, an exhibition on an entire street with him and seven musicians: Robert Wyatt, Archie Shepp, Sean O' Hagan, Mulatu Astatake, Kassin, Terry Riley and myself.

There were so many highlights that happened over the last few days, I literally could write an entire book on all of my amazing encounters. Since this is only a blog, I'll show and tell you about a mere few in no particular order of Importance or Hipness.

 


Highly opinionated author extraordinaire Irvine Welsh interviewed me at sold out event for my memoir Le Freak


Me in the foreground with Clive Anderson on BBC 4 show Loose Ends - Greg Proops from Whose Line Is It Anyway (left)


Me and the brilliant TV personality Sue Perkins, who interviewed me at the 7x7TH STREET exhibit


My little corner of the 7x7TH STREET - Check out Norma Jean poster at the Lenox Lounge


A night I'll never forget - I picked up my guitar and the whole place started singing almost every song I'd ever written


I stole the idea from a beautiful girl that I met in Ibiza when I posed for this photo at the book festival


The book signing line was so long it went outside and around the building


7x7TH STREET in the Summerhall booklet (photo taken while the street was under construction)


Playing jazz standards while the people take their seats for my first book lecture


Fan holds up one of the bowie albums I produced while heading to their seat


Me in front of the 7x7 sculputre that features my F Indigo Suite

 


Add a comment Add a comment

Read more...

Category: Walking on Planet C

Edinburgh to NYC

August 19, 2012


United Airlines FL #109 - Edinburgh UK to NYC

Heading home after an amazing weekend at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Today's flight is from Edinburgh to NYC.

 

 


Add a comment Add a comment

Read more...

Category: Walking on Planet C

In Words (& Music)

August 17, 2012


The Edinburgh International Book Festival's author logistics officer Emma Hay and me

Though there was a slight drizzle of rain, it was unseasonably warm when I landed around 10 A.M. in Edinburgh, Scotland. I was met by the Edinburgh International Book Festival's author logistics officer Emma Hay. She told me my room wouldn't be ready until noon. We dropped my bags at the hotel, then we killed a couple hours eating breakfast and touring the festival grounds.

As we approached the entrance I said to myself, "I'm at the largest book festival in the world." It actually felt a little awkward when my laminated pass said "Author" instead of musician, talent, or access-all-areas, which is typical in the music business.

There's something exciting about being a new person, in a new field, in a new place. My overactive imagination fired up. I always hear music soundtracks in my head but today I was thinking about words and pictures too. I saw a statue and thought of a scene from the film Jason and the Argonauts where a statue comes to life. Near the base of the statue was a large rubberized area covered with puddles of rain and colorful squares with phrases designed to make one think. I named it Pick Your Rain Soaked Truth and heard Teddy Pendergrass singing Harold Melvin's "Wake Everybody" in my head.

I walked into the large bookstore. I was overwhelmed. So many people and so many books - could this really be my new world? Then I entered the tent where I'll give my first performance, it reminded me of the film The Greatest Show on Earth. As my eyes scanned the room I started hearing the film's score in my head. I looked on the stage and noticed the same image that was on the rubberized area outside near the statue. In the center it simply said, The World, In Words (& Music).

 


The Edinburgh International Book Festival is the largest book festival in the world


My laminated pass said "Author" instead of musician, talent, or access-all-areas


I love when statues come to life in films - I was waiting for him to suddenly ride off the festival grounds


As I walked the festival grounds I happened upon this large rubberized area - I don't know what it's called but I named it Pick Your Rainsoaked Truth


Customers and curious browsers at the Edinburgh Int. Book Festival - I was overwhelmed


The Guardian Spiegeltent where I'll give my 1st performance


The Greatest Show on Earth movie poster


I looked on the stage and noticed the same image that was on the rubberized area outside near the statue


Le Freak - My World, In Words (& Music)

 


Add a comment Add a comment

Read more...

Category: Walking on Planet C

NYC > Edinburgh

August 16, 2012


United Airlines FL #108 - NYC to Edinburgh, Scotland UK

Headed to the Edinburgh International Book Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, to talk about my memoir "Le Freak." My engagement is on Sunday the 19th.

The event will be held at the RBS Main Theatre, and tickets can be purchased here: TIX

Here's the info on this trip from NYC > Edinburgh.

 

 


Add a comment Add a comment

Read more...

Category: Walking on Planet C

The Songwriter's Master Class

August 15, 2012


Songwriters Hall of Fame - Master Sessions at NYU with Nile Rodgers

On April 10, 2012, NYU Steinhardt songwriter-in-residence, Phil Galdston, interviewed me at the Frederick Loewe Theatre for a Songwriter's Hall Of Fame event. We talked about many different aspects of songwriting. Phil is a 1st class songwriter with with a long list of hit recordings to his credit. He and I have written together in the past and are collaborating on a project currently.

Here is the entire interview. I'm sorry I can't provide subtitles for all the languages the blog gets translated to - but if you don't speak English at least you can see how much fun I had at The Songwriter's Master Class.

 

 


Add a comment Add a comment

Read more...

Category: Walking on Planet C

Daft Punk Album - I'm Hyped

August 10, 2012


Daft Art's Paul Hahn and me at Michael Jordan's restaurant (shot by a dude at the bar)

Over the last few days I've had tons of meetings to plan for the rest of what's already been an exciting year. Just when I thought I couldn't get more hyped up about the future, I got a call from Daft Art's Paul Hahn. He was in New York and so was I - we figured out a way to meet between our other meetings. We linked up at the bar at Michael Jordan's restaurant in Grand Central Terminal. We talked about as many things as we could fit into our quick meeting.

Suddenly, I remembered I had to make a few calls because I was late for my next meeting since my earlier ones had gone overtime. Paul was cool with my frenetic situation. As soon as I hung up we jumped back into our conversation without dropping a beat. We marveled about some new technology, some visual concepts, and how many things had come together over the last few months. We talked about my Fender Stratocaster nicknamed "The Hitmaker," my plexiglass Guitarman nicknamed "The CHIC-ocaster," and of course the current state of the mixes for the next Daft Punk Album. I'm Hyped.

 


Me playing my Fender stratocaster nicknamed "The Hitmaker"


My plexiglass Guitarman nicknamed "The CHIC-ocaster"


Officially, I'm Hyped!


Nile Daft Funk


Daft Punk animation by @CatnipSoup

 


Add a comment Add a comment

Read more...

Category: Walking on Planet C

Page 8 of 36