Farm Fur More Head
In summer of 2004 from Joe Walsh called to invite me on a tour with him and his band. Playing with Joe is always guaranteed fun so I accepted the invitation. Robert and Dean DeLeo, (founding members of Stone Temple Pilots) were part of the band for that trip, and a friendship soon developed between us. Dean and Robert often talked of how they used to listen to Average White Band back in their early days of playing, and how much they liked that kind of music. I have been working on a studio album for some time now, a track I named Ya Ali Madad (Urdu for Please God Help Me) was ready for some bass and guitar. So I invited Robert and Dean over to Drumroll Studios to put down the track. We had a lot of fun working on the track that day. Dean at first thought that he didn't play rhythm guitar very well, but soon realized that he had an untapped talent for it. Robert arrived a little unprepared, but soon got into what was going on. That guy plays with a lot of bottom, what a great player! Anyway the track was completed and we all had a good time. Chris Stanke (west coast Sabian rep) popped in from next door to see what was going on. Later on that week, he asked if I could get the STP guys to come and play the Sabian (2005 NAMM Show) party with me. When asked them they were very enthusiastic about doing it, so I suggested that we get together on the material and pick some AWB and STP songs to do along with my originals. Of course, I was going to have my horn section guys along, with Alex Ligertwood and Gia Ciambotti on vocals, Miles Joseph guitar, and Jeff Young on keys and vocals. We picked the STP songs and Tom Saviano took care of horn arrangements. Jason Weber worked on the other AWB songs, and along with arrangements that had been done in the studio sessions with David Woodford and Lee Thornberg we were set. Now the only problem was the amount of songs and parts to learn. Dean and Robert play by instinct, they don't read charts so we started going over the songs at Drumroll about three times a week starting in November. Three months was all we had to learn a lot of material. Miles Joseph went over the rhythm section stuff to get the guitar parts turning, and occasionally Jeff Young would come over too. It was fun seeing Dean put in the spotlight doing stuff he wasn't used to doing, yet managing to really get into the meat of the playing. But man, when they had that stuff in their hearts they played the doo-doo out of it. Robert mentioned one day that he really liked Freedom Jazz Dance, so I had Brian Auger come over to rehearsal and teach them to play it. Auger had so much fun that he became a special guest at the show. It was at this point that I decided to record the show since the band's sound was phenomenal. And what a night it was! I also put a taste of the studio album I am working on. Hatana was originally a song that I came up with for a documentary about preserving the indigenous languages of North America. It features a phrase "Life is our language" spoken in many Native American tongues, the main one being Arapaho. It features Jeff Golub on guitar and really has a wonderful feel. The artwork on this album is exceptional. Deborah Arlook took some wonderful black and white photos at the show, I am sorry that I didn't have the space to put more of them on the album. Now, I know some of you have dirty minds, but the reason this album is called "More Head" is because the last album cover (It Up) also featured a photo of the back of my head on the cover. If you are not aware of this album it can also be found on CD Baby....Next album I will show my face I promise. ... I hope that you enjoy the music. Peace Stephen.