REVISED CONCERT INFO — A letter from Dirk

Palms 2010

RESENDING due to the Radio performance just added, as well as some other revisons to the concert information at right —>

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    Hello folks!

     Happy New Year!  That last one was a humdinger. This year, it appears, will be a year of many new releases from Yours Truly.  Last year the American band and I did a tour of Italy celebrating the 30th anniversary of the “Thug of Love” album that was released in January 1980 on Elektra records (!?). A new CD/DVD recorded and shot on that tour will be coming out in the next few months. I’m told that the DVD looks spectacular and will be playable on American televisions and not relegated to computer screens like the European DVDs we’ve done in the past.   
     The band I front each summer in Italy, The Bluesmen, will be releasing their new album on which I co-wrote and sang about half the songs. I’m really interested to hear how those songs came out. I wrote the lyrics and sang them in just a few sessions, wham bam, and it all went down so fast I can hardly remember anything about them. All I know is Bob (Roberto Formignani) and the boys in that band make topnotch recordings and I just hope that what I did did those songs justice.
     Appaloosa records, out of Milan, has decided to re-release two of my favorite albums: “Yep!” and “sufferupachuckle.”  I’m scouring live recordings from years past to add to these releases as bonus tracks and have dug up some surprising little nuggets.  I don’t even remember doing some of those songs I found.
     I’ve been down with Doc Holliday Disease for three months now. I think of Val Kilmer and wish I had a pistol to twirl between coughing fits. I think I’m getting better now, but it’s taking forever. When I get healthy, I hope to record a solo album with all the new songs I’ve got lyin’ around the apartment here.

                       Making “Thug of Love”
     In 1979 I was living alone up in the mountains of Southern Malibu.  To the west you could see—on a sunny day—the sparkling Pacific Ocean. On cloudy days it looked like we were living on a cloud. There were lots of cloudy days up there. My house was one of a tiny cluster of artist’s abodes. To the north was a mysterious mountain range. I climbed it one day and found ancient Indian paintings on rocks just below the summit. The mountain radiated magic. 
     We called it Hoony-Coony Land. I remember our friend Debra, an aspiring film actress, leaving for the airport to shoot a major motion picture in Texas. It was her big break. She became a huge international star and we never saw her again. Once, Debra informed me that my performances on “Meet Me at the Crux” were not ‘in the moment’. I was struck dumb by this un-requested bit of criticism and said nothing in reply. Afterwards I decided I should have said, “Not true. YOU weren’t ‘in the moment’ when you were listening!” I have always admired quick-witted conversationalists but have only occasionally been one myself.
     It was Richard Digby Smith aka ‘Digger’, our engineer, and Mr. Evans and me at United Western Studios working on “Thug of Love”. We’d recorded “Meet Me at the Crux” there too so we felt very much at home… maybe too much at home. 
      We saw Frank Sinatra recording two of his final albums there. For a while Barry Manilow was working on a new album in the studio next door. The tech guys unkindly referred to him as ‘Barely Man Enough’. Later we heard, night after night, Eddie Money’s producer working on “Two Tickets to Paradise.” Around Halloween, a ghoulish guy in a hideous mask was skulking around the hallways and jumping out of corners trying to give people heart attacks. It turned out to be Brian Wilson.
     Garth Hudson came by for a few days to lay down extra parts on a couple songs. We ended up spending timeless hours traveling with him through the worlds he created jamming on his custom keyboard synthesizer and listening to his stories about touring with Bob Dylan back in the glory days.
     These were the cocaine days. Everybody was doing it. You could find cocaine between the modules of every studio’s consoles. All you had to do was unscrew and scrape. It was the same for pinball machines, but they were a lot harder to get apart. One day I noticed that some jerk had chopped out lines of Ajax bathroom cleaner on a ledge in the studio lavatory, and I noticed on my next trip there that one of the lines had been snorted up(!?) Why I didn’t save a dummy’s nose by brushing both lines away I do not know. Cocaine is not a good drug.
     Towards the end of the mixing process we got the idea to blast the songs through the big speakers in the studio and re-record them for extra ambience. Digger hit ‘record’ and I danced around with ping pong paddles scooping the music-filled air up towards the AKG’s atop the chrome mic stands we’d placed in every corner of that huge room. It was the last year of the 1970’s, a decade of self-indulgence.
     Out of black, oversized pipe cleaners our second engineer fashioned bug-eyed spiders as big as Hoyt Axton’s hands. To give them places to live, with masking tape and duct tape Mr. Evans fashioned giant webs over every doorway to the control room.
     The famous Gumby suddenly appeared galloping Pokey across the knobs and faders of our mixing console.
     Digger waited in the waiting room making pictures of black dice and raw chicken parts with his spit-out-the-front Polaroid camera.
      I don’t know how that album ever got finished. It’s a testament to the integrity of these songs that they survived their insane Producers.

     Happy Everything Everybody!  Perhaps it’s all a dream.






THU 1/20
KSYM, San Antonio
Jim Beal's Show
around 5 pm Central Time

FRI 1/21
(in the café, all ages)
The San Antone Café
(formerly Casbeers at the Church)
1150 South Alamo

SAT 1/22
AUSTIN — 1 pm
Saxon Pub
Appearance with
1320 South Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78704

SAT 1/22
(that same evening)
AUSTIN — 10 pm
Evangeline Café
8106 Brodie Lane
Austin, TX 78745


WED 1/26
SOQUEL — 7:30 pm
The Ugly Mug
4640 Soquel Drive
Soquel, CA 95073

SAT 1/29
Woodland, CA


FRI 3/18
Evangeline's Café
5 Depot Street
Colfax, CA 95713

FRI 3/19
The Blackwater Café
912 Yosemite Street
Stockton, CA 95203

THU 3/24
Freight and Salvage
2020 Addison Street
Berkeley, CA
510-644-2020 94704


DATE is being firmed up:
FRI, SAT or SUN (3/25, 26 or 27)
McCabe's Guitar Shop
3101 Pico Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90405



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