Operation Ivy.html

Great live shows:
Brave Combo- too many to mention but one show at the Playhouse in Winters, CA was especially memorable. The audience was small and reserved so most bands would have packed it in and split, but not Brave Combo. They took a 15 minute break and came back and just SLAYED everyone. They didn't give up until everyone was on the dance floor.

Toxic Reasons at the Farm in SF. That night was just magic with their two guitar attack. One of the few times I've gone up front in the pit. The other was a very early show by Bow Wow Wow at Galactica 2000 in Sacramento, that was just incredible.

DOA at the Mab in SF. I don't think it was their first time in SF but that "Harcore'81" lineup with Joey Shithead, Dave Gregg, Randy Rampage & Chuck Biscuits on drums was phenomenal. I think "Harcore'81" is the best punk rock record ever and that night they were on fire.

Angelic Upstarts at the Berkeley Square. The band was at its' peak and the whole room was one giant pogo.

Other favorite Mabhuay Gardens memories were JFA doing an all ages early show and one night with Sun Ra where fortunately the sound man left.

Duke Ellington and his orchestra at the Mt. Tamalpais amphitheater- wow!

A great show at the Cow Palace with Marilyn Manson, Hole & Monster Magnet. You should have seen the parking lot after the concert.

Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival (SF). End of the day and not alot of people there, these guys make music special.

Horrible live shows: James Brown at SF State, The Ramones at Wolfgangs. These two greats phoned it in.

Great Music:
I don't care for this Race To The Bottom. I like high fidelity music and high resolution images. I don't want to watch "Bridge On The River Kwai" on a cellphone, I want to watch it on a large, high definition screen.  I want to hear music the same way the artist hears it. A lot of people have worked very hard to give us perfect playback systems and yet the kids today listen to MP3's?
Now let's talk about some albums that I call "note for note" perfect:

John Hammond "I Can Tell" (1967)
John HammondThis record really grabs me. Most people have never heard it. Engineered by Phil Ramone it had tube microphones, tube mixing console and tube tape recorder. It was pretty much recorded live with a few overdubs. Robbie Robertson from The Band is on lead guitar and it's up there as his best work.

Jr.Mance Jr. Mance "Get Ready, Set, Jump!"(1963)
Another just perfect record (it never was released on CD). Wow what an album. The Capitol Records echo chamber shines.

TheSonsThe Sons of Champlin "Loosen Up Naturally" (1968)
Another gem that just stands the test of time. These guys could really play.

DukeEllington Duke Ellington "Indigos" (1958)
A stunning recording even today and maybe the best of America's greatest composer.

ChuckBerry Chuck Berry, America's second greatest composer. With Johnnie Johnson on piano, Chuck wrote Rock'n Roll. Not the best recording quality, but with these songs and these performances it transcends into heaven on earth.

MobyGrape Moby Grape (1967)
I was one of the fortunate few to see these guys live and at their peak which is something I will never forget. The first album didn't disappoint. Again, not the best recording quality but the songs and performances are great.

KittyMargolis Kitty Margolis "Live At The Jazz Workshop" (1989) A long time ago a friend of mine told me you have to check this singer out. She was playing in this tiny hole in the wall in San Francico's Mission District. I thought no way could she be as good as he described. Then a just regular looking woman got up on stage and blew my mind. I must have been to one hundred of her performances. This album just shines.

So Long So Wrong Alison Krauss & Union Station "So Long So Wrong" (1997)
Somebody gave me this album and I loved it. Superb engineering by Gary Paczosa (who's done many great albums). I don't like the song sequencing (fast- slow-fast- slow) but other than that it's perfect.
Ojays"My Favorite Person" by the O'Jays (1982). Wow- eight songs all of them perfect. Engineered by Joe Tarsia. This was released right when Gamble & Huff were breaking up and thus the album had zero promotion.
4thCorner.jpgTrixie Whitley "Fourth Corner" (2012) Masterpiece! What a great singer/ songwriter.

Remembering The Sound Of Music And Punk's Tenderloin Roots

The Sound of Music was my first paying sound gig. I went crazy working there for about a year. A guy named "Celso" owned and ran it. We did punk bands on the weekends and drag shows during the weekdays. The PA was all Peavey. The only good thing about the sound system was one floor below, a small room was equipped with a Tascam 80-8 eight track reel to reel recorder, a Tascam 22- 2 track and a Tascam Model 5 mixing console. There was no outboard gear on either floor.

Bands that played the Sound of Music included Flipper, Frightwig, The Contractions, The Farmers and Faith No More among hundreds of others. My favorites were the Farmers, Katherine, Arkansas Man, Necropolis of Love and the Lifers.

I convinced Celso to do a compilation album from the bands that played there. Up until that point, Celso's only interest in the 8 track was he could charge bands for doing demos, another revenue source.

Various - SF Sound Of Music Club Live, Vol. 1

Sound of Music was the sleaziest club you would have ever seen. It made CBGB's look like the Hollywood Bowl. It was in what you would kindly call "a bad neighborhood". This was pre-yuppie San Francisco.

I did make one friend out my adventure. Someone who gave kind advice to a sound guy that was just starting out: Krieg Wunderlich. Thanks Krieg!
One more memory from Sound of Music: the band Angst. They came from Los Angeles, loading in these monstrous bass and guitar cabinets and I said look fellows, there's no way this crappy PA with keep up with these speakers and to their credit, they said we understand, these cabinets are more about tone than just sheer volume. I said what they are these anyway? They said they are Rat Cabs... Angst played great that night, the Dave Rat cabinets sounded wonderful. I wish that band had gotten more recognition...