Ladies and Gentlemen I Give You The Fabulous Fucking Del Rays.
Oh, you guys are going to love this. Look at these fucking guys. Who the hell are these fucking guys?
It starts like this- I'm lying in a bed in a Motel 6 in Mission Valley San Diego. 've been there 6 months. Oh, a long and dark tale it is. A long, sad and sordid tale of music, deception and pure, razor's-edge evil and corruption.
I stumble out at 8 every night like a vampire to run sound at Brick by Brick. Machinehead, Mikey Dread, The Corey Feldman Band. It's ugly. It's off-off-off-The Strip. Did some on-their-way-down-fast metal bands.
I just stopped calling my bandmates one day. They never called back. That's how fiction broke up. It was fitting. Fit like a glove. Like a dental dam. Those guys were ASSHOLES. Gee whiz.
I'm running sound. I'm doing three-four bands a night. I take one blast a whiskey at 11 pm and other than that I work my ass off, trying to make it good. Neddie- that cd you gave me of 50's and 60's ad computer music for commercials is what I play between bands. It's fuckin' postmodern.
So Joe D'Amico from Spectrum Audio shows up one night to mix a band called Modesto. Hires me to do sound production gigs. Festivals. Theatres. Clubs. Corporates.
He hired me because some drunk was abusing me for playing Willie Nelson between speed metal bands (postmodern!) and I took it in stride and put on some Woundfuckers or something for him. Musta been after my 11 o'clock snack. Yeah, I'm pretty sure it was.
I'm doing a club in Kensington. Some place in the Gas Lamp.
Then I get the Del Rays gig. A year and a half around California and th' Southwest. Vegas. LA. San Francisco. Palm Springs. Beverly Hills. Arizona. Tahoe. Reno. R&B. Surf music. Ray Charles. Horn section.
Fuckin' Del Rays. The cream of the cream of th' corporate music scene. They pull down 16 large a show, baby. A hundred costumes, a million stories. It was O.K., you know? I liked making life easier for a band. Nobody ever made it easy for me, that's for fucking sure. I was happy in a supporting role. I liked running sound and that. I had the mojo for it. I took a personal interest in these guys and in doing right by them. I'm actually very fond of doing a decent job; it's rare for me because it's seldom I get to do something for which I have a talent. Mostly I do shit I'm bad at for chump change so I can eat and pay The Man his fucking blackmail fucking hush money.
That's why I hate life and the world so much. I'm backed into mediocrity. I fucking hate that. I've hit the nail on the head with that shit. That's why. That's why I hate this fucking place with such a passion. But that's another 600 posts. Or a previous 600 posts, I should say. What this is is the essence of Bobby Lightfoot. Never mind Robert Sherwood. This shit KILLED his ass. He's back lying in a gutter in North Motherfucking Hollywood. He's gone forever, poor bastard. Went in '00. He didn't even have the nuts to jerk off and hang himself. He's a name on a god damn license. He had to go; he couldn't take it. Poor kid. The 'Footmeister had to come forward and lay claim to his Vessel 'cause somebody with a hard-on for this shit had to step up, you know?
Anyway; back, back, back:
I liked looking at a venue and seeing how I was going to make it work. If they had just worked a bit more I could have made a career of it. Sound people and tour managers and all these folks in general are such unmitigated fucking cracksuckers that hanging out with them is about as fun as eating glass. So that's a problem. God, are they stupid and mean little bitches. Stupid and mean. Hate 'em. Now when I deal with a soundperson I treat 'em as bad as I can. Fuckstains. They try to throw that technical crap at you so you'll acquiesce to their way and I just tell 'em they're not getting paid to do it their way and get with the fucking program or go sit in their fucking truck and I'll tell them when it's time for them to go home. Idiots. The XLR D.I. on my SWR 400S is better than their stupid gay active DI., you know? Shove that thing up your ass and do right by your act. The way I used to. When I ran The Mar Dels and them.
So check these guys out. I ran them for a good spell. All the ins and outs. I made these guys sound pretty good. And more importantly, they're somewhat colorful.
Oh- one other thing. I had to change all the names so as not to incriminate. Del Rays got a family rep to uphold and I don't need some event coordinator Googling them and getting tales of dope running and priest molestation (don't we wish?).
Bruce Stone- king of th' Fender Bass. Duck Dunn On Hi-test hydroponic Cali reefer. Bruce Stone. Bruce fucking Stone. Look at this guy. Guy is NOT fucking around with that custom fiver. You should see him play. His fret hand is like the pistons on an engine. He zeros in on a note with a fierce precision. Wears the electric on his back like an M-16 when he plays the upright.
Fucking guy. Awesome hair. Lives in a little house on a hill just East of th' 5 in Solana Beach that he gutted and was doing up.
-In unrequited love with Trixie.
-Smokes more marijuana than anyone else on the planet except for:
Poster boy for the legalization of the devils' weed Mac Pierce. THE Mac Pierce. Of the Fabulous Del Rays. Fronts the band with an easy authority. Swings like fucking TARZAN. Guy is like a rock 'n' roll MACHINE. Plays keys, plays sax (sometimes 2 at once), sets his piano on fire, all that shit.
Guy fired up a huge spliff outside the Southwest terminal in Phoenix in Nov. '01 because "if he didn't then the terrorists have already won".
Guy does th' Christmas party for IDUN Pharmaceuticals. Informs the crowd, "I done pharmaceuticals too!"
Reckon they'd never heard THAT before.
Mac. Talk about sui generis. Really good guy. Lives with his prodigiously boob-jobbed blond oriental fiancee in a lovely little ranch with a yard in Cardiff By The Sea. Maybe they're married or divorced by now for all I know. Guy was born on a god damn surf board. Plays the tenor sax and rocks it pretty good.
Mac is not a believer in the wall between performer and audience. Mac wants 'em all up on stage, man. He wants them all around, singin'. Singing, dancin' and shirt-liftin'. Doug is similar to what I imagine Jerry Lee Lewis being back in th' day. Largely unconcerned and largely unmoved except in the most positive ways by the chaos around him.
(Mac Pierce- that's a funny name I came up with for Doug.)
Mac Pierce was born to motherfucking rock. Mac Pierce will have Hymie from Marketing up on stage in a grass skirt before you can say ay ay ay TEQUILA!!! Only person on the planet that blows a hotter horn is
Super-gay closeted saxophonist extraordinaire Dan Beeman.
Dan! Dude! Why try to hide it, baby? You're the coolest! Everybody knows that! We're all musicians here, baby. Dude, I wouldn't hang with anybody who would have some freakass problem with gays! We're no friendsa Jeebus, dude!
Dan Beeman. What a fucking breath of fresh air THIS guy was when he took over from the joyless, sniffing academic Chris Clich. Clich was there for the cash, yo, and he would NEVER let you forget it. He'd tell me his monitor had too much upper mids, I'd act like I was turning a knob, and he'd smile knowledgeably and say, "there you go, theeeere it is..." Dan Beeman? what you've got for Dan is what he wants, man. Shared more 5-star hotel rooms in Vegas and Palm Springs than I can count. Swear to god if I was a rough putter I would have married this dude. Dan's the motherly kind of gay dude- lots of good advice and lots of empathy. I love this fucking guy. He rode in th' van up to Reno with me after 9/11 and he was shaking scared because I was playing "Within You Without You" when we pulled up to th' I-15 checkpoint. "They're going to think we're terrorists! Turn it off!"
Sound advice, Dan. Sound and sage as always. I miss you, dude. Almost as much as I miss
Jimmy Wilson, Mr. California. Mr. God damn California right here, diggity. This guy is so 1976 Hotel California Ventura Highway in th' sun you can practically see the neon writing on his ever-more-capacious forehead. How fucking awesome is that?
Jimmy Wilson- he's got a sitar, babe. He does TM on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Poor Jimmy is often in a bad way 'cause his wife is one of those psycho jealous rich South American chicks and she's constantly up in his crap over nothin'. Nothin'. Guy is true-blue. I mean that. Been there, Jimmy. Been there. heck, after a while you DO start accepting head from cocktail waitresses 'cuz heck, you're gonna get abused whether you do or don't, right? so you might as well do!! Argue that!
Anyway, Jimmy keeps it decidedly mellow, but not when he's kickin' into "Telstar" or "Walk Don't Run". That's not mellow time, baby. That's psycho-teenage-beach-party-reverbomatic- freakout time.
And Jimmy knows that. Jimmy knows what music looks like. you know what I mean? Wink, wink? Jimmy's not a tea head like his buds (NPI) but he'd never say no to a well-manicured line of booger sugar, unlike the god-fearin'
Alf Stone, Jesus' Own Groove Disciple. Yes, that's right- brother of bassmeister Bruce, but oh, does the similarity end there. You see, where Bruce has made his peace with the universe through repeated administrations of God's Good Weed, Alf prefers to commune with God's only Son for he so loved th' world. I think what happened is that this handsome, craggy and Ringoesquely drumming fella maybe communed with a few drugs too many, and it maybe came down to Jesus or an early grave. So it's hard to hold it against him that instead of joining Bruce or Mac in a darkened van for a bonghit or six, he can usually be found stageside reading th' Good Book. Or perhaps trading verses with his hot, psycho wife Lundy.
Anyway, hell of a drummer. My sound colleagues at Spectrum thought he was rotten but that's 'cause he doesn't play like Porcaro or those homos. Those guys listen to all that sort of crap. Their dream gig is Spyro fucking Gyra. Fuck them. Those guys are all idiots. With their crappy crossover points and weak acting like they know shit.
Alf shakes th' room in a remarkably simple Watts-type fashion, rocking at the resonant frequency of whatever crowd (Phillip Morris sales execs etc.) he is bringing the Lord's backbeat to.
Rock on, Alf. Jesus requested "Sympathy For Th' Devil". I hope you dig the name I came up with for you. And speaking of things devilish I bring you Mac's "lovely ladies"- first up is
World Champion Female Surfer Donna Valens
Oh, you think I'm kidding. I don't know what year it was but Donna's th' real deal. All these fuckers- they all surf. Just like the Beach Boys. Oh, wait. Never mind. They really ACTUALLY surf. Everybody there does. Even I did it a couple times. I sucked, you'll be surprised to know.
yup, that Donna. Lives with her husband and their cool teen boy child in a lovely ranch on the east side o' the 5 in Solana Beach. Blatts that tenor like it was going outta style. Which it is, but fuck that. Chick's 6'1'' if she's a inch. My dickhead buddies at Spectrum call her "Big Bird". This chick is as California as Jimmy. She puts that Aretha stuff out there, man. "Respect" and that. She's a kool kool kitten and she's strong, man. A strong soul.
She organized my going-away party when I decided to come back East. No one has ever done anything like that for me. That was aces. All these guys were unbelievably supportive of my music and I always had to steer the conversation away from me. How nuts is that? Both of these hep chicks were like sisters to me- Donna and the somewhat kooky
Trixie Weld; born for th' stage
Yeah, I know those are big words. Some of us just got it.
Trixie's a nice woman but she's whackier than fuck. She will go from America's Sweetheart to Cruella De Stihl in no seconds flat if you unintentionally put delay in her monitor etc. She has bolt-ons too, now, which are so sad on one so young. I shouldn't paint her in too harsh a light; if anyone in the Del Rays has the moxie to actually move up to th' Crap Train it's Trixie. Trixie has got the goods for the Crap Train.
She'll probably make some lawyer or some rich O.C. web marketer happy someday instead. That's how these things tend to go. Oh, she is and will always remain completely immune to the advances of Bruce Stone, sadly. Mac Pierce has a chance if it doesn't work out with his other saline-totin' paramour.
So! The Del god damn Rays! Here's to you fuckin' guys and all the madcap times. I hope you all Mustang Sally it right on through, doggone it.