to the end of the week. It’s Thursday Feb 16. Last night I watched a documentary about Roy Orbison. It was great up until the point where he got mixed up with U2 and Bruce Springsteen. A man’s gotta do what he’s gotta do to keep relevant I suppose. Roy didn’t need those clowns and neither did I. The poor bastard was fat and out of shape for most of his life. It seems shocking that he died at 52, it’s far too young. Then again Elvis died at 42. He surpassed the not so magical rock star death age of 27 at least. They call it the 27 club. Here’s a partial list as it stands today. 1. Jim Morrison 2. Kurt Cobain 3. Amy Winehouse 4. Brian Jones 5. Jimi Hendrix 6. Janis Joplin 7. Robert Johnson 8. Kristen Pfaff. There are more, but I’ve never heard of most of them and I don’t care. Kristen Pfaff I don’t really know either. I think there may be more added from the ‘pandemic’ in the future though.
Let’s focus on life now, it’s more appealing. I think I might have to send my AKG D12E bass drum mic to have it repaired. It has served me well for a long time now, but its lost its mojo recently. This morning I went through the recording set up here at the Fortess to see what was working and what was not. I set the whole thing up about 5 years ago. It’s basically a room on the ground floor with instruments and microphones, all tethered to an audio snake which goes out the window at the bottom and comes back into a recording console on the floor above. It works quite well, but the snake sits outside in the four seasons getting alternatively fried and frozen depending on what time of the year it is. It also suffered a bit of damage when I dropped a very heavy keyboard on the crucial part where the cables plug in. It still works, which is some kind of miracle considering how smashed up it looks.
There’s 16 outputs, but only about half of them work. It’s ok because it’s a three piece band. All I need is 4 drum mics, guitar, bass, vocals and a couple of overheads. That’s eight. I have no idea what’s going on. It’s probably time to upgrade all that as well. I don’t like spending money, so that’s why it’s like it is. I think I inherited the snake from the radio station that I managed back in Mosman years ago. There’s paint flaking from the ceiling in here too. Maybe I’ll refurbish the whole thing if I get the will to do it. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t. Anyway, back to the Big O. The interesting thing about the Roy doco was the way they did recordings back then. It was one take with everything all at once. When you listen back to these records, you can begin to understand the skills involved in the recording process. It’s as easy as ordering a sandwich now to make a decent sounding track, and that’s probably why music becomes more worthless all the time. You can see it creeping in at the end of the story, when they start meddling with perfection.
Why re do “Crying” with KD Lang? As the engineer tasked with the job said, “Why are we trying to remake Mount Rushmore?” The KD Lang version isn’t an improvement IMHO. In the 60’s Roy started writing songs with Joe Melson. They wrote Only the Lonely and Crying together among other hits including “Working for the Man” and “Leah” which were both recorded on August 14, 1962 at RCA Studio B in Nashville Tenn. “Leah” was just the B side, but it’s a gorillion times better than whatever garbage currently sits at the top of the Billboard charts today. (for the record it’s “Flowers” by Miley Cyrus..the least said about that the better. WTF is with her voice now? It sounds fucking awful.)