Whoa Nelly! This year has been crazy. My little baby boys are not so little anymore. Dylan & Jake are bouncing off the walls…”Ok boys Daddy’s got to write! Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!” Anyway you get the picture. But (here comes the disclaimer) they’re so adorable. Every morning I am met with big hugs and mushy kisses…. Uhm… but the rest of the day is like an action movie with a little drama thrown in. Accepting the award for supporting role in “Father knows enough to get by” is…
Christmas was pretty wild this year, granted our house looks like Toys R us, but they’re having fun and its been too cold outside to swing from the trees. Our friends Mike and Christy Q. took the Martin familia (including my Mom “Iris”) on a horse and buggy ride last week through the streets of Novato Ca. (it’s the new hip place to be they say…huh…) to see the lights and to visit the famous Christmas house. The kids loved it, Daddy liked the special brew the Q’s cooked up (hot chocolate and peppermint schnapps!!) Yum, Yum. Pretty much right after that everyone except me got the flu or that virus that was going around. I think that the booze was keeping me alive. No really.
Oh yeah Santa came bye to see my sons riding on a fire truck and a Harley (No I’m not drinking now).
So the gigs have been really good this year but not enough of them to throw my fist in the air and say, “ rock on” or anything. But the highlights are:
The long awaited 415 reunions at the Boardwalk and the Mystic theatre ironically called the ”Two for the road tour”. The rehearsals at my house were so great hanging with all the guys. I’ve got to say that Tom Duke is a real fine gentleman.
Working with Ronnie Montrose is always a pleasure and recording at the infamous Record plant is a blast as well (Thanks Michael I. For thinking of me…. I sure would like to hear that song boys). Also Playing along side the great Denny Carmassi sure put a smile on my face and an “Oh my God, I can’t believe this is happening to me” feeling inside my head.
Denise and I making it to the 7-year mark as a couple…that’s a big Rock on!
The Ashland Oregon show with Tommy and Ronnie from DPS was fun. What was that cute percussionist’s name again? Kelly and Beate were really lovable and in a round about way that could rhyme with Double Trouble.
My friend Susan Z gathered all her favorite musicians and singers together and helped raise money and awareness for breast cancer at the Sweetwater. I loved being a part of that group.
I have been fortunate to go to Baltimore for a few years now to participate in an all-star band that raises money for the Casey Cares foundation (The Casey Cares Foundation mission is to provide uplifting and heartwarming programs with a special touch in order to enhance the lives of critically ill children and their families). This year was extra special; I got to rock out with my old band mate and compadre Jack Blades and the nicest guy in show business Kelly Keagy. Honorable mentions go to Jon and Eileen Belinki, Mike and Ellen Dimayo, Lynn Hoffman, Mark Rivera, Rickey Byrd, Will Lee, Teddy Z, Derek St. Holmes, Nils Lofgren, Howard, Eric Biondo, Christine Ohlman, Crystal Taliefero, Jerry Frishman and Leslie Gore.
Amber Morris hosted and performed with her mega talented husband (and best dressed man in the county) Tal Morris at the Larkspur theatre with an alliance of singers and top musicians of the Bay Area called “SuperFriends” (I dig that name). That was a blast, thanks doll; you’re on your way up.
Andre and I “modified” (a long story) this famous instrumental hit song called “Truth,” by the Japanese and world renowned band T-Square for vocals. It has been a wonderful and wacky experience but the finished product is great.
In-between writing and wiping (Yikes) I created this showcase for local talent called “Wooden Music Night” at the Sweetwater in Mill Valley Ca. It’s an evening of music from professional and amateur artists playing acoustic instruments and singing (you can cheat a little bit with a keyboard… there’s no law in dodge city) that ranges from Rock, R&B, Gospel, Country, reggae etc. Our first show Dec. 17 was sold out actually it was soul’d out with strong performances by my brothers and sisters; Lynn Asher (Allyson Paige was out of action with the flu), Monroe & April Grisman, Tal and Amber Morris, Denise Martin, John Nymann, Mike Emerson and James (The Model) Nash. Thanks to all the fans/friends for making my dream come true. I’m keeping that encore medley thing in for all the shows…man that was powerful.
Wooden Music Night II on Jan. 21 is going to have an equally killer cast as the first gig.
Joining Denise and I will be singer/pianist Greg Scott. I met this young man at a local watering hole a few months ago and he gave me a CD to listen too. Now I’ve got to tell ya folks most of the stuff I have been given in the past years has been OK or just works in progress sort of speak and that’s the nice explanation. And no I don’t use them for coasters, Frisbees maybe. Anyway I listened to a couple of songs this kid sang and I thought I was listening to a Stevie Wonder record that I hadn’t heard before. Well after I picked my jaw off the floor I called this guy and praised him for his God given talent. I can’t wait to sing with him; we all have got to check this guy out. Loralee Christensen has got pipes and has had the pipes consistently since I met her in the 80’s. Not only is she an incredible soul belter but one of those women that you need to be friends with. She puts a lot of love in the room. My young apprentice and prodigal guitar player Chris Wilson who has done big things since leaving the Bay Area for San Diego a few years ago is on the bill. I remember when his mother Mary bought him a guitar at 12 years old. I taught him 3 or 4 chords, turned him on to Mr. Big and classic rock & blues music from Led Zeppelin to BB King. By the time the kid was 14 he was playing circles around older guitar players that I knew and standing tall on the stage with me, Tommy Castro and Elena Keating among others. He’s 19 now and has some great music to play and sing for you. The kid is back in town. One more performer and the line up will be complete. I’m waiting for confirmation. This one is a secret.
I hope and pray we get our troops back from the desert and that we keep our children and loved ones safe from fear and evil. God bless everyone that I know and those I don’t know yet.
PS. A special thanks to Monroe Grisman, Tal Morris and Jun Senoue for writing a whole lot of music for me and lighting a fire underneath my ass. Thanks to my band; MarkH. Mark C., and Matt thanks for being there for me dudes. Cheers always to my songwriting partner and best friend Andre Pessis.
And last but never least my wife Denise for managing my life and asking nothing in return…. ok that’s not true. I have to clean out the dreaded shed in the backyard, take down those Christmas lights that were a bitch to put up in the first place and be nice. Well two out of three ain’t bad.
HAPPY NEW YEAR
Look for VH1 Metal mania: Stripped volume 3 coming out in Feb. with my song “Just Take my Heart”.
Sunday, December 31, 2006