Tuesday, August 31, 2010

This weeks Greg Adams Short Story

"Tahiti, 2005.  I was invited to travel to Papeete, Tahiti for a week of playing some jazz with a local bass player named Felix. Accompanying me was Joey Navarro, the keyboard player in my band and now EBS. And of course Andrea went with me. It's about an 8 hour flight from L.A. Overnight, so we arr...ived at about sunrise the next day. Wow. What a paradise. They put us in the Hotel Intercontinental. Beautiful hotel right on the beach with over-water bungalows. Talk about a working vacation, you couldn't get any better than this Oh, and the food. Oh boy.

We were given vouchers for the restaurants in the hotel. French and Asian were the predominant cuisines. You could have sushi or sashimi for B, L or D if you wanted. The gigs were just a minor inconvenience, if you know what I mean. But 3 shows in 6 days was do able. And at the end of the week, we were treated to an unbelievable afternoon on a privately owned motu (island) just off the coast. It was a trip of a lifetime for us! Now that I've told you about this wonderful travelogue we went on, there's just one little thing that happened the first night on the bandstand.

Our first show was the evening of the day of our arrival. A little jet lag, but who cared? After all, we were in Tahiti! The show was in the hotel, so there was no stress there. Just stroll down from the room and into the restaurant where they'd built a small stage for us. The restaurant was packed and things were looking good for a nice little show. We'd rehearsed earlier in the afternoon and we were just doing standards, so if it was loose, no biggy. Once again, after all we were in Tahiti. Went on stage to set up, putting my horn stands for my trumpet and flugal on the small drum riser behind me. When we were ready to start, the drummer started the count to Night In Tunisia or something like that. Most the songs were straight ahead jazz, which I love to play. I'm holding my flugal and as the drummer hits the downbeat with his bass drum, my trumpet goes flying and hits the stage mangling my first valve. Oh boy. It's not moving at all. I figure I get through the night on flugal and get it repaired tomorrow. After the song ends, I turn to the local tenor sax player whose in this week's band and ask him, "Where's the closest brass repairman?"  He turns to me and says, "L.A." I finished the week on flugal. After all, we were in Tahiti."

See you next week.

For more on Greg go to http://www.gregadamsmusic.com/ or http://www.eastbaysoul.com/

TOP Ten things Tower of Power wanted to work into the new show but didn’t By Al Carlos

10. Rocco levitating above the stage but "valuable stuff" kept falling out of his pockets.

9. Wino fights during “Knock yourself out”.

8. A tribute to Global warning by horns blow drying bad hairdos.

7. Band uniforms, other than standard issue orange Alameda County convict jumpsuits.

6. Rhythm section’s Afro wig hairdo tribute to Link from Mod Squad.

5. Using the underwear tossed on stage to launch a “Back to Oakland” Blimp.

4. Computer generated animal noises to cause goat stampedes at fair gigs.

3. Flashing strobe lights made real estate Accountants incontinent.

2. Short video on what is Hip...replacement.

1. The Lenny Pickett, way too much caffeine, AARP dance off.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Greg Adams Short Story....

Printed on East Bay Soul's Facebook page last week.

NYC-1988. "I'd been arranging and playing for an ad agency in New York that had the contract for music for Budweiser and later, Michelob beer. My producer, Steve McCabe would fly me in from L.A. about once a month to do a set of jingles, a 30 and 60 second. I first met Steve... when he hired Tower to do one of these ads. Ours was based on Go And Get It With Your Good Credit. All you had to do was get the slogan This Bud's For You in there somewhere and you were good to go. After this first one with Tower, I became his go to guy.

The scenario for these jingles was this: Hire a famous singer or group and build the ad around the song that the artist was famous for. What was cool about it was the fact that we'd do very regional musical styles from around the country. We did Buckwheat Zydeco, The Neville Brothers, Robert Cray a...nd Wilson Pickett to name a few. This story is going to be about the Wilson Pickett sessions. I'd get the assignment from Steve about 2 weeks out and start in on the writing. I'd call Paul Schaffer and The World's Most Dangerous Band, (still on NBC) to be my rhythm section and get a small horn section, usually Barry Rogers on bone and Ronnie Cuber on bari. Sometimes I was lucky enough to snag L.P. fom SNL to play tenor for a couple of hours.

Here's how the trip to New York went. The agency flew me business class. Ahh. Then I'd check into an obscenely expensive hotel and have an obscenely expensive dinner with Steve. Noexpense spared here. Ah, the '80s. The downbeat the next day was for 10 am and the rhythm section was ready to go. This time I had Steve Cropper sitting in on guitar. He wrote the song that I based the song made famous by Wilson, Land Of A Thousand Dances. How cool was that to have the writer on the date. Plus he played on the original record. Wilson and his wife arrived about 11. What a nice couple. He was very soft spoken. Almost to the point of being shy. There was one little thing we didn't know. Wilson didn't know how to read written word. Oh boy. But that didn't faze him. His wife took the lyrics and him into an empty studio next door and they woodshedded for the next couple of hours while we built the tracks for him to sing to. Paul and the guys finished up the rhythm tracks in time to scoot over to NBC for their call on Dave's show. Cropper hung around to hear the horn overdubs and listen to Wilson sing. I always had to be careful not to make the ad sound too much like the original so as not to get in any hot water with the writers or publishers. What's that word? Plagiarism? The agency always had a musicoligist check things out so everything was legal. I had never had a problem besides, I had Cropper, the writer of the song sitting right next to me. I turned to him and asked him, "Does this sound too much like the original to you?" He says, in his deep Memphis drawl, "Nah Greg. Sounds okay with me." Cool. Now it's time for Wilson. Remember how I said he was soft spoken and shy? Well when that red light on the tape recorder goes on... look out!! He nails both the :30 and :60 in one take each. His wife has taught him to memorize the lyrics. I wish it didn't go so fast. I wanted more. The great Wilson Pickett singing a Bud jingle based on one of his biggest hits. How surreal was that?...

The process of building these jingles always took a full day in the studio. 10 to 6, no more no less. So by 8 o'clock we were in another obscenely expensive restaurant having dinner. Ah yes, that good old expense account. Back to the hotel and on my flight home the next morning. A few days later, Steve, my producer calls. Oh boy. It seems the musicoligist has had a listen and says it sounds too much like the original. Wait a minute. Steve has tried in vain to explain how the writer himself has no problem with it. I guess the ad agency's legal department trumps Steve Cropper, the writer. Back on a flight 2 days later to recut the horns to satisfy the suits. This time the nusicoligist was there. By the end of the date everyone was happy. I really didn't have to change much. Just some of the rhythms in the horn chart. Oh, and here's the irony of this jingle for Wilson Pickett: My producer Steve and I recieved International Broadcasting Award honoring the World's Best Broadcasting Advertisements of 1988 from The Hollywood Radio and Television Society. Oh, and I don't think the musicoligist got anything."

See you next week.

For more on Greg go to http://www.gregadamsmusic.com/ or http://www.eastbaysoul.com/

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Our Current Playlist-More from BSM and Michael Grimm

We are continuing to play new music from Bononia Sound Machine (BSM).  BSM's new CD "Funky Dreams" is now available at CDbaby:

Bononia Sound Machine: Funky Dreams!

Also, in our rotation is a new song from Michael Grimm, Las Vegas resident, and current contestant on "America's Got Talent". We are playing the CD's title cut "Leave Your Hat On". This new CD can also be found at CDbaby the link is below:

Michael Grimm: Leave Your Hat On

The complete playlist is below, in artist order and not in order of play.

Ambergris/Home Groan
Anna King/Mama's Got a Bag of Her Own
Arthur Prysock/I've Got The Blues So Bad
Ava Lemert/I Wanna Funk It Up
Band of Oz/Wall to Wall
Barbara Lynn/Movin' On A Groove
Barry Danielian/Keep On Keepin' On
Betty Wright/Shoorah! Shoorah!"
Big Band Der Bundeswehr/Mr. Toad's Wild Ride
Big Twist & The Mellow Fellows/300 Pounds Of Heavenly Joy
Bill Bergman & The Metro Jets/The Ninth Of September
Bill Champlin/Stone Cold Hollywood
Bill Evans/The Shorty Shuffle
Bill King W/Vernon Dodge/Kobe
Bill Withers, G Washington/Just the Two of Us
Bing & The Bingtones/Old Soul Music
Blast/Do it 'till dawn
Blood Sweat & Tears/Nuclear Blues
Bob James/We're All Alone
Bobby Byrd/I Know You Got Soul (Long Version)
Bobby Purify/What's Old To You
Bobby Wayne/Soul's Got A Sound
Bona Fide/The Horse You Came In On
Bononia Sound Machine/No Matter
Bononia Sound Machine/TWISU
Bononia Sound Machine/Vic's Vibe
Bradley Leighton/She's Gone
Brandon Fields/Studio Cafe Blues
Bruce Conte/Queen Of L.A.
Calvin Arnold/Satisfy My Women
Catfish Kray/Busy Woman Blues
Chad Rager Groove/Pyramid Of Pachyderms
Chester Thompson/Mr. T
Chris Cain/Wake up and Smell the Coffee
Chuck Brown & Eva Cassidy/Let The Good Times Roll
Chuck Mangione/Give It All You Got
Clayton Scott Group/Color Of Love
Crusaders/Street Life
Daddy Cool & the Groove Bug/Everybody
Darrell Nulisch/My Baby's Gone
Daryl Hall/Cab Driver
Dave Brubeck/Take Five
Dave Dunlop/I Can't Help It
Dave Weckl Band/Tower Of Inspiration
David Clayton - Thomas/Mornin' Blues
David Mann/Urban Eyes
David Sanborn/I've Got News For You (Feat. Sam Moore)
Delbert McClinton/New York City
Dko the Darren Kramer Organization/Quench!
Doug & the Slugs/It's Got To Be Monday
Down To The Bone/The Zodiac
Downchild Blues Band/I Got Everything I Need
Dr. Hector & the Groove Injectors/Shame, Shame, Shame
Earl Thomas/Can't Live Without You
Earl Thomas/Lost Alone
Earth, Wind & Fire/Sing a Song
Electric Flag/Soul Searchin'
Eric Bolvin/Radio Late Night
Eric Bolvin/Time Bomb
Eric Miyashiro/Ken's Bar
Evie Sands/Signed, Sealed, Delivered
Floyd Miles & Friends/The Same Thing
Fontella Bass/Rescue Me
Four80East/Loosey Goosey
Frank Biner/Old Home Week
Gangbuster/Mercy Mercy
Generation/I'm a Good Woman
Glenn Miller Orchestra/In the Mood
Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band/There's The Rub
Greg Adams/Felix The Cat
Hank Ballard & The Midnighters/From The Love Side
Herb Albert/Rise
Himlaväsen/Ain´t No Stoppin´ Now
Howard Tate/Ain't Nobody Home
Huey Lewis And The News/She Shot A Hole In My Soul
Incognito/Talkn' Loud
Instant Funk/I Got My Mind Made Up
Jack Mack & Heart Attack/Hooray For City
Jaco Pastorius/Soul intro/The Chicken
Jacob Merlin/Madness (Featuring Mic Gillette)
James and Bobby Purify/I'm Your Puppet
James Brown/I Got The Feelin'
James Carr/You Don't Want Me
James Fountain/Seven Day Lover
James Taylor/Whenever Your Ready
Jay Beckenstein/Goodbye Pork Pie Hat
Jay Soto/Slammin'
Jeanette Jones/Jealous Moon
Jeff Golub/Cold Duck Time
Jeff Lorber/Gamma Rays
Jim Byrnes/Every Waking Moment
Joe Simon/Let's Do It Over
John Shipley/If You're Not Callin' You're Askin'
Johnny Guitar Watson/Ain't That A Bitch
Johnny Otis & Friends/The Watts Breakaway
Jules Broussard/Cajun Moon
Kal David/Hound Dog
Kal David/Slippin Away
King Beez/Against The Grain
Kool Blues/I'm Gonna Keep On Lovin' You
Lee Ritenour/Is It You?
Levon Helm/Take Me To The River
Lighthouse/One Fine Morning (Canadian Mix)
Line Drive/You've Gotta Believe In Something
Liquid Soul/This And That
Little Mike & The Sweet Soul Music Band/Free Ride
Little Willie John/All Around The World
Lloyd Jones/I've Got To Get You Back
Low Budget Blues Band/Can I Get a Witness
Luther Kent/That's The Way Love Is
Lyle Lovett/Straighten Up And Fly Right
Mark Broussard/You Met Your Match
Manu Dibango/Soul Makossa
Michael Grimm/You Can Leave Your Hat On
Poncho Sanchez/Shotgun Slim
Tad Robinson/Sunday Morning Woman
The artists of the New York Trumpet Company/Long Haul Flight
The Blues Brothers/634-5789
The Boogie Kings/Standing On Shakey Ground
The Buckinghams/Kind of a Drag
The Butanes Soul Revue/Victim of circumstances
The Chops Band/Scrapple And Grits
The Commitments/Mr. Pitiful
The Dirty Dozen Brass Band/Sissy Strut
The Domino Band/Lets Stay Together
The Doobie Brothers/Long Train Running
The Groove Hogs/Shoulda Read The Rules
The Hip Pocket/The Pocket
The J.B.'s/Pass The Peas
The Lincolns/Don't Fight It
The Serfs Featuring Mike Finnigan/Bread and Water
Tony Adamo/This Time It's Real
Tower Of Power/( Heaven Must Have Sent ) Your Precious Love
Tower of Power/Me and Mrs. Jones

Update on Josh Shpak

Here is an update on Trumpet phenom, Josh Shpak.  As you recall Josh sat in with Tower Of Power in June of this year (Josh is a student of Mic Gillette's).  At that time Josh was about to visit Clark Terry at his home to study with Mr. Terry, and scheduled to go to the Berklee College of Music for a Summer workshop.

The following is an update from Michael Miller, Josh's mentor:

"Dear Raoul,

If you'll recall, we communicated just after my godson, Josh Shpak, sat in with Tower of Power at the Alameda County Fair here in California.

At that time, he was off to Boston to participate in the Berklee College of Music 5-Week Summer Jazz Workshop. Well, the big news is that, at the end of the final Berklee summer concert on Aug. 12th, the Berklee staff awarded Josh with a four-year/full-ride, full-tuition scholarship to the Berklee College of Music! With him currently only just beginning his senior year in high school, he can rest easy knowing he'll be attending the best music school in the world starting in the Fall of 2011. How cool is that!?!?!!

Anyway...I thought I'd give you that news in case you'd like to update your site!

All the best from way out west,


Monday, August 16, 2010

TOP Ten signs you need a Tower of Power, Soul Vaccination By: Al Carlos

10.Prance around the house in PJ's playing trombone parts with a toilet plunger.

9. You hear TOP music in stores and can't stop doing the splits.

8. Plan your vacation around tour schedule knowing that your spouse may file charges.

7. Started watching Lawrence Welk rearranging the horn parts in your head.

6. Family does an intervention, you mock them by getting "Down on My knees".

5. You work the word “Boogalate” into every conversation.

4. Wear an Oakland Raider jersey over your business suit for work.

3. Took a bus to Oakland, just to get beer poured on you and slapped around.

2. Did a life size BBQ rib sculpture of DG’s drum kit in the garage.

1. If you don't know, you need to ask somebody.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Greg Adams Short Stories....

Greg posted this last Monday on Facebook.

Rome, Italy 1991.  "Andrea was with me on this trip. We started out in Nice, France for the Jazz Festival. We were there for a week and it was fabulous. Only played two shows so we got in plenty of beach time. With so many nights off we were able to eat at some fabulous restaurants. Like many trumpet players, we have to eat several hours before the gig because it's difficult to play on a full stomach. For me it's impossible to eat just before the show. Needless to say, we ate and drank it all. Ooh la la. As the week came to an end the band had another 5 or 6 gigs in other European cities. Andrea, along with, Nick Milo's wife, (now ex) headed for Rome for the days we had to gig that would bring us to Rome at the end of the week. They stayed at the Intercontinental Hotel near the Spanish Steps. A very hip area. Right near the Via Condotti. Shopping anyone?.

We are in Rome for only one night and unbeknownst to us, the promoter has decided to change the hotel at the last minute. Well, the girls check out of the Interconti and head for the hotel on the itinerary. As they are getting further away from central Rome and climbing a rather large hill they ent...er a neighborhood that is, not what you would call a tourist destination. Their driver stops at the address on the itinerary. Oh boy. This can't be right, and the band is nowhere in sight. Meanwhile, the band pulls up to the new hotel: The Crown Plaza Minerva, about a block from The Pantheon. Of course Nick and I were, to say the least, very concerned to put it mildly. And by now, Andrea's Italian was good enough to try to find out what the hell was going on. We eventually connected and a car was sent for them to bring them back down the hill and to our hotel. They came from laundry han...ging from balconies and chickens in the street to the 5 star Minerva. Nick and I waited dutifully as they pulled up in a chauffered Mercedes Benz sedan. Nothing was funny. I mean nothing. After checking in to a drop dead gorgeous hotel room and lunch in the piazza nearby, all was forgiven. Even if it wasn't our fault. Poor girls...

After lunch and a little sightseeing, we head back to the hotel to prepare for the gig. Tonights show is at the Rome Tennis Stadium. We do our soundcheck and then are told they have dinner for us in the stadium restaurant. Oh boy! Remember how I said earlier how early I must eat before a show? Besi...des, what could they possibly be serving? Fast food at best, one would think Wrong!!! How about insalata Caprese, followed with spaghetti marinara and ending with steak and French fries. Oh, and dessert too. Bottle after bottle of red wine and anything else you could imagine. It was one of the best meals I've ever had in Italy!! How could I say no. And I didn't. We finished ...about 15 minutes before the downbeat. The house was full and waiting for a show. I never felt better and played my ass off that night. (As an aside, I'm positive I saw a very young Naomi Campbell in the audience dancing with some friends who were very obviously models, too.)

Just a footnote: Andrea and I were able to get one of the shuttle cars back to the hotel as soon as we finished. Others had to wait a couple hours at least. We lucked out because the band had a 4:30 am wake up call to catch a flight to Frankfurt. Sure was tough getting out of that warm bed with Andrea in it. That's show biz."

For more on Greg go to http://www.gregadamsmusic.com/ or http://www.eastbaysoul.com/

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A.C. Hernandez interview with Bassist Jeff Berlin

Below is a link to A.C. Hernandez' interview with Bassist Jeff Berlin.  A.C. not only does the "TOP Ten" published here on "Horn Driven Radio", but writes for "Herald de Paris".  The interview appeared in Herald de Paris on August 2nd.

Here is the link to the interview: www.heralddeparis.com/the-baddest-bass-player-in-the-world-jeff-berlin/101034

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Larry Braggs sits in with Lon Bronson this Friday Night

Friday night August 6th, Larry Braggs (Tower Of Power lead vocalist) will be sitting in with the "Lon Bronson All-Star Band" at the Cannery Hotel and Casino here in Las Vegas.  The show will start at 8 PM and tickets are $5.00 at the door.  For information go to the Cannery's web site at : www.cannerycasinos.com/Can_Home.html or visit the All-Star band's web site at:  www.lonbronson.com

Monday, August 2, 2010

This weeks Greg Adams short story

Origianlly published last week on East Bay Soul's Facebook page.

Greg writes:

"Marin County-Bay Area if you're not familiar... 1979. The Tower horn section got the call to do Tommy Johnston's first solo album. Of course you must know that Tom was and, after a bit of a hiatus, still is the lead singer with The Doobie Brothers. They opened for Tower in 1973 I think, at a little... club on San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley called The Longbranch Saloon. Both bands were on WB and it was the last time they would open for us. Hint: "Listen To The Music" was released a couple of weeks later.

We eventually toured Europe together on the WB Music Tour. Remember that Short Story? And opened for them for several shows after. We were all pals and always looked forward to playing on the same bill. One of my favorites was when we played in Honolulu. And, by the way, I'm off to Honolulu on Tues...day to do a show with Mindi Abair and Michael Paulo on Friday. Can't wait! Anyway, back to the story...

All the Doobs were and are great guys. Real humble. When the call came in for me to get together with him to do the arrangements, I talked to Tom and got his address in Larkspur, Corte Madera, I really can't remember at this point, but in that area. Tom's home was nothing fancy, but it was nice. A ...condo on the side of a hill overlooking the bay. We spent some time catching up and then started in on the tracks. No home studio, just the cassette player in the stereo in his living room. He cleared a space for me on his coffee table so I could put my manuscript pad down to sketch out some ideas...

That's when I saw it. As I set my tablet down I noticed something that resembled a check. It had a coffee mug on it and he seemed to be using the check as a coaster. He quickly picked up the mug to get it out of my way. The check, and another right next to it were made out to the amounts of, drum roll.... $275,000.00 and $234,000.00 Dollars. Coffee mug ring stain on the one for 275K. I didn't say anything. Neither did he. I wanted to ask him, "So how's that Listen To The Music treatin' ya?" I hope he went for the Direct Deposit option in the future. We went on to do the sessions and the album was entitled Everything You've Heard Is True. Did one more with him and also a couple with his bandmate Patrick Simmons. Always a pleasure working with all of them!"

See you next week.
For more on Greg Adams go to http://www.gregadamsmusic.com/ or http://www.eastbaysoul.com/