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just a sarcastic working mom living life in New England

RIP, Les Paul. Thanks for one of the best nights of my life August 14, 2009

Filed under: Music,things I love — nashsmom @ 6:02 pm
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Les Paul died and I couldn’t help but smile.   Not because he died (duh) but because one of my most memorable “hollywood nights” was at a tribute to Les Paul.  I don’t know that I’ve ever documented it anywhere so here goes…..

It was 1994 and I was living in L.A. working at Capitol Records.  Les Paul recorded the majority of his records (yes, that’s what we called them back then) for Capitol and there was going to be a Tribute to Les Paul night at the House of Blues.  I managed to score 3 tickets so I invited my music loving pal, Jennifer.  If I recall correctly, this may have been in the plan all along but it sounds so random now,  I decided to  invite Spencer Davis to come along with us.  For all you kids, Spencer Davis was the founder of a 60’s group called The Spencer Davis Group (natch) that also featured, among others, Steve Winwood.  They had a big hit with “Gimme Some Lovin'” (look it up) which I licensed on a pretty non-stop basis as part of my job at Capitol.  We had become friendly and when I extended the invite, he was thrilled.  Needless to say, Jennifer and I were more thrilled.  We were going on a date with a legend and we were on cloud nine.  Little did we know that was just the beginning of  what we still to this day refer to as the “pinch me night”.

We met Spencer at Barney’s Beanery for dinner.  We got to know each other  better and were off to a great start laughing, drinking and hearing stories from him about our favorite rock stars.   We then headed up the hill to the HOB (House of Blues people, stay with me).  The parking lot  was jammed as the crowd from the first show left (talking about how Eddie Van Halen and Peter Frampton had been on stage moments ago)  and the crowd for the later,  much cooler show moved in.  As we made our way to the entrance, we ran into the first of our many rock stars –  Robby Krieger from The Doors.  He greeted Spencer with a hug and our date was quick to introduce us.  Turns out Robby needed some help getting in as his name wasn’t on the list.  We got him in and made our way to the bar for a drink. Then Spencer mentioned that he had never met Les Paul and would love the opportunity to do so.  I put on my hollywood hat and went up to the beefy bouncer at “the” backstage door.  (the inside of HOB is a maze but having been there a few times before, I knew my way around cuz that’s how I rolled in those days).  I tried to convince explained that I was a hot shot at Capitol Records, Mr. Paul’s label, and I was escorting THE Mr. Spencer Davis and Mr. Davis would like to come up and say hello before the show.  He walkie talkied with upstairs bouncer and I nervously sweated patiently waited all cool until I eventually got the “yeah, send ’em up”.  I gathered the troops and we made our way up the winding stairs only to be greeted by Graham Nash of Crosby Stills & Nash fame (look them up kids, they’re kind of a big deal).  He was thrilled to see Spencer and Spencer quickly introduced us to Mr. Nash as well as to his good friend, Dave Edmunds (google him).  At this point Jennifer was nearing heart attack stage with all the excitement.  (I was too but really, she was dying!)  Les was out on the balcony having his dinner all alone.  I poked my head out and asked if I could bring Spencer out to say “hi”.  He was more than happy to have us all join him at his table while he continued to have his dinner and the four of us just chatted it up for a bit.  It was thrilling for all of us, but Spencer was BEAMING and it made me so happy to have not only been there for it but to have helped to make it happen.  A photographer inside got wind of the legend meeting the rock star and came out and snapped this pic (which I later had Spencer autograph for me):

les_spencer

The night could have ended there and all three of us would have been more than happy but alas, it was just beginning.  We went back down to the main room for the tribute show.  The place was jammed and there wasn’t an inch of space to be found.  That is until Stephen Stills spotted Spencer and waved him (and his two dates!) into the VIP area.  There were only two seats next to Mr. Stills (and Mr. Nash who also joined us) so they asked this super cute guy if he could move down one seat.  He was more than happy to so I moved in and sat next to him and Jennifer sat between me and Spencer who sat next to his CS&N pals.  One by one guitar legends got up and jammed with Les Paul (oh God, was he on stage all night or just at the end??  I can’t even remember).   Robby Kreiger, Johnny Rivers, Dave Edmunds, Jeff Healy, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash.  It just kept going getting better and better as they went.  Slash and Gilby Clarke (Guns & Roses!  Finally someone you’ve heard of!)  and their two bimbos were sitting directly in front of us and were drunk, obnoxious and annoying (not necessarily in that order).  They talked through most of it and I was filled with hate for them for tarnishing our perfect night.  Then all of  a sudden super cute guy sitting next to me asked us to excuse him so he could get out.  I assumed to go to the bathroom and thought he was nuts because who knew what he might miss!  Two minutes later the guy on stage said “ladies and gentlemen, Steve Vai”.  And there he was, super cute guy. Up on stage tearing up the guitar like nobody’s business!!  The old guys were great but this guy blew the roof off.  Do a search for him on youtube and you’ll see what I mean.  And the best part?  Slash finally shut the hell up.  I mean he was speechless.  Until Steve super-cute-guy Vai finished and he said “I can’t follow that”.  HA!  That right a$$hole!!   When Steve Vai returned to his seat (next to me!!) everyone in the VIP section was patting him on the back telling him how awesome he was, including me.  When Slash got up to play, I told Steve what what Slash said and he chuckled and thought I was kidding but Jennifer backed me up and told him it was true.  I think he really liked that!  

The night ended with everyone that had played gathering on stage for one last super jam.  The stage was filled with everyone I’ve mentioned above plus Jeff “Skunk” Baxter (Doobie Brothers & Steely Dan) and Slim Jim Phantom from the Stray Cats on drums.  

jam

Spencer gave Jennifer and I a hug and a kiss and we parted ways.  I’m sure he went home straight to bed but me and Jennifer?  We sat up for hours recounting every second of the night squealing like school girls after holding it in all night in an effort to be cool.  But really, after a night like that?  We were cool.  At least for this one night.  

Thank you, Les Paul.  For creating the guitar and the music that paved the way for rock & roll as we know it.   You are a true legend and will be sadly missed.

 

Tinted Windows April 29, 2009

Filed under: Music,things I love — nashsmom @ 8:17 am

Every summer there’s at least one song that you blast while you’re driving with the windows down and you sing along at the top of your lungs and it makes all the bad stuff go away you just feel great.   Yesterday we had a little taste of summer with a record temperature of 93 (second hottest April day in the history or recorded temps!!  Yes, weather nerd, I know.)  and I’m happy to report, that song has been found so I’m officially ready for summer.  The hubby discovered this one last week and it almost seemed too good to be true.  A power-pop supergroup made up of, get this, Taylor Hanson from Hanson on lead vocals (think “Mmmmbop” all grows up.  Yum!), James Iha from Smashing Pumpkins killing on guitar, Adam Schlesinger (writer/producer/singer of at least a dozen songs you’ve had stuck in your head at some point over the last ten years) on bass and vocals and my favorite part of the mix is the drummer.  These three were getting the band together, writing songs  but they just needed to find the right drummer.  They all agreed they wanted someone like Bun E. Carlos from Cheap Trick.  So what did they do?  They got Bun E. Carlos from Cheap Trick!!  

So roll down the windows (or look out the window) and crank up your stereo (or computer) and enjoy this year’s first head-bopping summer song.  Ladies and gentlemen, Tinted Windows…..

 

Grammy Shmammy February 9, 2009

Filed under: Music — nashsmom @ 9:10 pm

I grew up never missing a Grammy show.  I lived for this night and still have a stack of VHS tapes that I’ll never watch again but refuse to throw away  from some of the great ones.  But over the last six years or so, I’ve lost a bit of interest and haven’t kept up with all the latest music, so it’s just not as fun to watch.  I still can’t tell the difference between T.I., T-Pain or Little Wayne.  (although this time I think I’ve got it – T.Pain has the big hat and gold grill on his teeth, Little Wayne needs to pull his pants up and T.I. is the other one….).   I have the same problem with Selma Hayek and Penelope Cruise so maybe I’m not as out of it as I am just getting senile.  

I just really expected so much more from everyone last night.  U2 opening should be triumphant but I thought it was just feh.  And the announcers just kept falling flat.  Whitney looked like Lisa Rinna channelling Tina Tuner.  And The Rock?  What the hell was he even doing there anyway?    

Thank God for Tivo because we were able to watch SNL and Catie Couric’s interview with Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger while recording the Grammy’s and then tuned in and skimmed through most of it.   But the show really  jumped the shark when Coldplay beat Kid Rock for Best Rock Album.  Seriously??   And what the hell was up with those jackets?  

And ladies, what were you doing on your due date?   I was home on my big bed playing Crash Bandicoot.  I could barely get up to pee.  M.I.A.?  She spent her due date bouncing around on stage wearing this:

Grammy Awards Press Room

Um, OK.  You go girl?  

And if it’s true that Chris Brown, a 19 year old with the freaking world at his feet and the most stunning girlfriend on the planet, actually HIT her.  Well, then the night is forever tarnished anyway.

My favorite part of the whole night was the 60 Minutes interview with Sully.  What a spectacular human being.   Top notch.  I’m almost embarrassed to mention his name in the same post as these yahoos.

 

I kicked a squirrel January 22, 2009

Filed under: Music,Nash — nashsmom @ 7:43 am
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When Katy Perry’s song “I Kissed A Girl” hit the radio airwaves in heavy rotation this summer, lot of parents were concerned about their kids hearing this and asking girl-on-girl questions.  Nash never really made any mention of it so I figured I was off the hook.  But then last night he burst into song with his own spin on the lyrics….

Actual lyrics:  

I kissed a girl and I liked it
The taste of her cherry chapstick
I kissed a girl just to try it
I hope my boyfriend don’t mind it
It felt so wrong, It felt so right
Don’t mean I’m in love tonight

Nash lyrics:

Once I kicked a squirrel and he liked it
I did a triple back flip
Once I kicked a squirrel and he liked it
I did a triple back flip
If felt so wrong it felt so right
just wait until tonight

He cracks me up!

 

Love is alright tonight October 18, 2008

Filed under: Music — nashsmom @ 10:24 am
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Oh boy.  Teenage Nash’s Mom is back!!  Last night the hubby treated me to an early anniversary present and took me to see Rick Springfield.  It takes a pretty cool husband to pay for his wife to sit and scream like a teenage girl at another man for a couple hours.  

Rick rocked out in the round right in the next town over.  He was fantastic.  He knows his audience and works it like a true rock star.  Someone asked me if he was still as hot as he used to be.  Frankly, he’s hotter now.  Don’t believe me?  Here he is at 32 in 1982:

Here he is today at 59:

See what I’m sayin’??

The crowd on the other hand, very scary.  A lot of 40-50 year old plus sized wanna be MILFs dressed in animal prints.  Yowza.

But Mr. Springfield made it a memorable evening and managed to make me and every one of those ladies (and the handful of devoted husbands) feel special.  If you want to see a clip of Rick working the crowd, click here

If you still need more Rick, you can visit one of my early posts about Jessie’s Girl.  

And yes, still giddy…..

 

Bumping into Geniuses October 4, 2008

Filed under: Music — nashsmom @ 4:34 pm
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I have just finished what might be my favorite autobiography ever!  As you may recall from previous posts, I love autobiographies, biographies, journals, etc.  It’s just fascinating to me to be able to peek into someone’s life and hear their stories.  I’ve also been involved in the music business in some way shape or form for most of my life.  So when I heard an interview with Danny Goldberg and he mentioned that he had a new book coming out, I signed myself right up and was first on the list when it arrived at the library last week (and after reading I think I might buy it so I can own it forever and ever).  Danny has worked with some artists that you may have heard of.  Like Led Zepplin, Stevie Nicks, Bonnie Raitt, Nirvana and Warren Zevon.  This guy has been in the front row behind the scenes for some of the greatest (and saddest) moments in music history.   He’s done everything from PR to A&R and the ultimate baby sitting gig, artist management.  I am in awe of anyone that could be involved with half of what he is in just one of the eleven chapters in this book.  The stories just kept going and going, each one more interesting than the last.   And he manages to pull it off without sounding like an asshole which is another great accomplishment as far as I’m concerned.  I laughed, I cried and enjoyed every page of it.  So if you’re a music fan or interested in what goes on behind the scenes in the music biz, check it out.  You won’t be disappointed!    Oh, and my favorite thing is that after reading 288 pages about his life, there’s an “About the Author” on page 289 which summarizes what you just read into one short paragraph.  That made me laugh….

 

A is for Apple B is for Butt September 9, 2008

Filed under: Music,Nash — nashsmom @ 7:02 pm
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I hope by now you’ve all seen Juno.  If you have (and possibly if you haven’t) you’ve heard the story of Kimya Dawson.  She’s pretty much was the soundtrack to the movie.  She’s a quirky singer/songwriter from the Seattle area that was/is all “indie” but became sort of a big deal after the success of Juno.  And I’m sure she would be the first to disagree with that.

ANYWAY….

She’s now a mom to a two year old girl named Panda (really).   And like all songwriters, once you have a kid you know what’s next – a kid’s album.  Today she released (or as they say these days “dropped”)  Alphabutt.

I honestly haven’t listened to the whole thing through because we’re stuck on one song.  But if you don’t mind some of the not-so-bad words like “fart” and “butt” and you love to hear your child giggle like a crazy nut, download the title track (that would be “Alphabutt” by Kimya Dawson) from iTunes for .99.

Nash has been laughing his ass butt off all night singing – “F” is for fart, “G” is for gorilla fart, “H” is for huge gorilla fart……

Good stuff.

**click on the comments for the full lyrics!**