Great method for Cleaning and Polishing Cymbals (when they’re really nasty)

I’ve been a proponent of “non-cleaning” for years, mostly because I couldn’t find a cleaner that would faze fingerprints.  But I spend a couple hours polishing my kit, cleaning all the chrome, and then have crappy looking cymbals when I play out.  And since people expect my kit to look like the ones the guys playing the arenas — who all have bright, shiny [new] cymbals – I figured I’d better try to polish them up.

I tried just about everything (Off the shelf brass cleaners, Groove Juice, Zildjian and Sabian cleaners), and arrived at Barkeeper’s Friend.  I comes in a power and a paste; I use the power since it’s cheaper and makes into a stronger solution than the paste.  I wet the cymbal down, sprinkle the BK Friend across it, and mix it into an even pasty layer.  I let it sit for a few seconds (or minutes, if it’s really nasty).  Then I rinse and rub it off the cymbal. It works fabulous (kiss the logos goodbye if you’re not careful, however) but… the cymbals would tarnish up much faster after I used it, and if a drop of water hit them, it would spot tarnish. I figured there must be some acid left from the Barkeeper’s Friend. So, I decided to try this combination:

 

Barkeeper’s Friend, get them shiny.  Rinse them like crazy, dry them up good.  Then, I use Zildjian polish evenly across the cymbal (which, like Brasso, always turns black, no matter HOW good I clean the cymbals up beforehand) and polish them only part way back to the shine the BKF gave them.  (My theory is that whatever is in Brasso and the Zildjian polish reacts with the bronze and instantly oxidizes.)  So I have cymbals that have a bit of patina and no fingerprints or stains, and a residue of Zildjian polish.  And it seems that the Zildjian polish keeps them from tarnishing as quickly.

 

By the way, for some reason, the BKF works much better with fingers than with a cloth, especially on spots.  I’ll make a paste and I can clean up almost any spot with the paste and a finger.

Now, someone will say that cleaning ruins the sound of the cymbal.  I acquired a Zildjian that had such a heavy bottom logo that it was like the paint on the roadway; I decided to to a before and after video when I decided to clean off that logo. Put on headphones and decide for yourself the difference…

 

If I can find a really nasty cymbal I’ll try to throw together a video showing me cleaning it up…

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Ludwig snare drums (while they have shortcomings) are still the best…

I just posted a new video snare drum demo, this time of a Ludwig Anniversary Edition 6.5×14 Maple snare.  I think this snare rivals the Black Beauty and COB snares…  While the stock P-85 throwoffs have their problems, and Ludwig has had some QC issues over the years, I’ve never played a stock snare that sounds better than the Luddies…  Here’s a playlist of some of the different Ludwig snares I’ve demo’ed over the last few years… and there’s lots of other demos on my YouTube channel, including some Rogers and Pork Pies among others.

I just watched the Buddy Rich Memorial concert, and I’m never surprised to see endorsers of other drums still sneak in a Ludwig Supraphonic to play…

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Get ready for some samples of our project!

Tim’s doing a fantastic job with the lead vocals in Sound Chaser, and we’ve got the show pretty much lined up music-wise… currently putting the finishing touches on Hold On from 90215.  We’re one of the few Yes Tribute bands (only?) to incorporate some of the great newer songs (Owner of a Lonely Heart was, after all, Yes’s biggest hit).

 

Not that we’re ignoring the old material.  We’ve got the entire Close To The Edge album pretty much ready to go (Close to the Edge, And You and I, and Siberian Khatru),  What, you say?  Only three songs? But they are three — expansive – songs, if you will.  (Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about this album.) 

And we’ve got a good chunk of Fragile “in the can,” so to speak.  Roundabout (of course) Long Distance Runaround/the Fish, and Heart of the Sunrise,  And we couldn’t forget I’ve Seen All Good People off the Yes album…

Watch this spot for live video and audio samples from our practices very soon!

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I got an opportunity to interview the Smithereens’ Pat DiNizio…

Pat had some great insights on the music industry, hanging in there with your music, and how they kept the Smithereens going for over three decades.  Check out my interview on our DoWestPalm.com website here:

http://wp.me/p3ai4T-1lj

Do West Palm

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Why can’t Apple do better on their updates? IOS 6.1.3 just toasted…

Beware the iPhone IOS 6.1.3 update!

So why should a x.x.x single digit third tier update (IOS 6.1.2 to 6.1.3) require so much time and a complete wipe of my iPhone?  I got the notification of an update from Apple a few days ago, and I had some time this morning so I decided to say “yes.”  After all, the last update (fixing an issue that nearly burnt up Exchange servers around the world) went rather seamlessly, so why worry?

First attempt failed immediately, so I rebooted my phone and tried again … successfully … sort of .  The phone said it was updating. Then it said I needed to connect to iTunes.  (Good thing my iTunes computer was close by). 45 minutes later I’m waiting for my phone to restore its software and data after it performed a FULL WIPE.  And the data it says it’s restoring is 5 weeks old… What happened to my vaunted iPhone cloud backup?

So, finally my phone lights back up; I slide my finger to see what I’ve got.  90% of my apps have disappeared.  It’s really clean looking, though….

I check my messages.  They are there — up to 5 weeks ago. I see some more action on the phone “desktop” now; all the apps have reappeared, but are greyed out.  Oh, look!  Every single app I have adding is now being downloaded anew from the Apple store…

I check my iCloud backup in settings; it tells me it was backed up less than 12 hours ago, as I thought, so why did Apple choose a backup that was 5 weeks old?  I check my pictures — 5 weeks old. No apps I’ve loaded in the last 5 weeks appear.  My music library is there, though…

I would have been REALLY NICE  of Apple to give me the option of restoring from my iCloud backup within iTunes instead of using an old iTunes backup.  Or have told me (as I’d find out later) that I’d better have a WIFI connection available if I want to restore from my iCloud backup.

So I check out my Bible app.  All the books I’ve purchased and downloaded are gone. I have to re-download those through the app.

So now I’m searching for how to force an iCloud restore (if anyone’s trying to call me this morning, good luck).  iTunes agrees with my iPhone — and says I have an recent iCloud backup; but won’t let me select it, only the old iTunes backups.

So, it appears I have to delete all my data and content again, and hope that the iPhone asks me this time to restore from iCloud and doesn’t default to iTunes.  This time I put in my WIFI password so it can access the WIFI (pity those poor souls that saved their WIFI password on their devices and promptly forgot it).

So my iCloud backup restores, and my apps (which again have to all download all over again) seem to be current now.  I don’t even have that many apps, but the process takes at least 20 minutes.

Check my music library — all gone (except for my iPhone purchases). Looks like I’ll have to sync it to iTunes again, once all my apps download (which is taking well over the 20 minutes it did last time).

Oh, and my Bible Study app has lost all its books again… Some of those apparently are gone forever…

Syncing to iTunes now; another 15-20 minutes to restore…  Five weeks of photos gone, though…  I just went to a message that had one of those photos attached.  The thumbnail shows  up in the message but when I clicked the photo it just said, “Restoring…”  From where?  And how long?  iTunes show space on my phone for 430 photos; my phone says I have 260.  But the space is consumed, according to iTunes for 430 photos and videos.  Finally exited out of messages; didn’t look like restoring is going to work….

Last time I updated my physical device I lost all photos but didn’t regain the space.  Had to backup and restore to recover the space that time.

Nearly 3 hours later, I have 90% of my phone data back.It’s good I didn’t have anything I needed a phone for this morning.

 

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Snare Drums Past and Present

I’m trying to create a unified location for some snare drum pics (instead of scattered all over Facebook and eBay) so let’s see if this works.  First, the queen of my snares, the 6.5 x 14 hammered bronze (I traded a Black Beauty for this one).  I’ve added brass tube lugs and brass plated rims to this drum.  I’ll link a video also…

hammered bronze

I demo a few snares in the video below:

Here is a 60′s super sensitive Ludalloy snare; and it really is super sensitive…

IMG_1945

Here’s a Chrome over Brass snare with tube lugs (demo in first video above):

IMG_1317

And here’s a Ludalloy marching snare converted to P85 throwoff (also demo-ed above):

IMG_1874

I’ve got a Black Beauty back in the stable again, this time a 3×13:

3x13 Black Beauty

And here’s the video demo of it:

 

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Iggy Pop and the Stooges Performance Rider (hilarious)

Stoogeslogo1

I just ran across Iggy Pop’s Rider and about died laughing… I’ve edited it to PG-13 so I could post it.  This is just too good, and I’m going to suggest it as a guideline for our new rider…

BACKLINE REQUIREMENTS

ALL OF THIS LOT FOR A START.

2 X MARSHALL VBA 8 X 10 CABINETS (There’s lovely)

3 X MARSHALL VBA BASS AMPLIFIERS Please make sure they’re good ones or we’ll all end up as wormlike web-based life forms in the bass player’s online literary diahorrea. Honestly. He’s like a sort of internet Pepys or Boswell, except without the gout and the syphilis. For all I know.

1 X KORG 2000 DIGITAL RACK TUNER. Digital in the sense that it works via an electronically generated number system, not digital because it only works if someone holds it together with their fingers

3 x JCM 800 SINGLE CHANNEL MASTER VOLUME MARSHALL AMP HEADS 100 WATT

that have been tested recently. And when I say “recently”, I don’t mean “Sometime in the three weeks preceding the occasion when it fell 3 metres off the top shelf in the warehouse as we were fork-lifting it back up, after it came back from that Inane Clown Pussy gig where they had the ‘Piss On The Live Marshall Amplifier Competition’ (If you make smoke and sparks come out, and you are still alive afterwards, we’ll give you a bottle of Miller Lite. And a go on the band’s skateboard. And some clown make up.) The sound it made as it hit the concrete!! BAD-OI-OI-OING!!! How we laughed”

No! I mean recently. Within living memory. Preferably that of a goldfish.

The actual model number of the amplifiers is 2203.

There should be six (6) knobs – which our guitar roadie Chris will personally count on arrival, (and trust me, he’s a very good counter I once saw him count four dozen packets of guitar strings in what seemed to be the blink of an eye, but was probably more like 20 seconds; I would say he is the closest thing we have in our touring party to a mathematical genius. Very good at Sudoku, and a genuinely pleasant chap to have around. On the other hand, he does have some rather unfortunate ideas on the descent of the panda. ( Please see Monitor Requirements Rider for further details ).

Where was I?

Oh yes.

Six (6) knobs (did I mention that this should be the number of knobs on each amplifier? So I think that would be eighteen altogether, Anyway, Chris has got a calculator)

And the names of these knobs shall be WAR, PESTILENCE, FAMINE…Aargh! What am I saying? I mean

PRESENCE, BASS, MIDDLE, TREBLE, PRE- and POST- GAIN.

And there should be TWO (2) inputs – a HIGH and a LOW. Which I think refers to their impedance, not their geograpical position on the amp.

Please – NO DUAL CHANNEL REVERB HEADS, there should be no footswitch or even a need for one or you may find yourself looking down the barrel of a threatened species of bear.

With black and white fur.

Eating Bamboo.

Moving on…

4 X MARSHALL 1960 B 4 X12 CABINETS ( 4 x STRAIGHT B type cabs).

That’s a shame, isn’t it? If they were all straight A’s, the whole stack would have qualified for a scholarship to go to Oxford University. Still, their loss, our gain/master volume.

1 x 4-6 SPACE GUITAR RACK I’ve just been handed a note by Chris that says

“re: guitar stands / rack

i love the multi-guitar rack

when there’s plenty of room for one

in my side-stage guitar world/banjo hamlet

otherwise, I only really need (3) three

of those crappy broken

unstable unlockable

rubber-feet-missing guitar stands

that is if we can’t get the rack.”<

(He really does write like that. Sweet isn’t it?

Anyway, there you have it – straight from the horse’s mouth. I’m not saying Chris is a horse, naturally.

Actually that would make quite an interesting fight, wouldn’t it – Horse v Panda? I think the panda might just win it if he managed to get on the horse’s back and sink his teeth and claws into its neck. Without getting kicked in the bollocks, of course. Two hooves in a Panda’s gonads would probably bring victory to the horse, though I doubt it would celebrate much. Horses aren’t big champagne drinkers.

And f—-g Grand Prix drivers just squirt it all over each other.

8 X HEAVY DUTY SPEAKER CABLES. (4 x 1 metre and 4 x 2 metre) So we can plug all the speakers in, and still waste half an hour wondering why we’ve got two speaker cables left over.

Please do not take the liberty of improvising or altering this list on our behalf

Any questions or queries about the guitar/bass backline, please contact Chris ‘the wooj’ Wujek direct, as I don’t know s–t.

A SPARKLING DW DRUM KIT (not black please)

(If you can’t get a DW, please tell me , and let me know what other kits are available. Just don’t mention the “P” word)

consisting of the following drum sizes

1 x 24inch OR 1 x 26 inch BASS DRUM, or Kick Drum if you prefer to call it that. What’s that in centimetres? 66, 69 possibly? If you have a girlfriend, now is the time to ask where you keep the tape measure.

If you have a boyfriend, he’s probably sitting on it.

1 X13 inch and 1 x 14 inch TOM-TOM, WITH MOUNTING. And if you can’t bring the mounting to us, we’ll have to send a bloke called Mohammed to the mounting. A stand mount would be fine, or a bass drum mount. Herre endeth the sermon on the mount.

1 x 18 inch FLOOR TOM WITH LEGS. Not stand mounted. Can’t stand stand mounted.

ALL OF THE ABOVE fitted with Remo Ambassador Clear heads, top and bottom Or muddled heads and a bottle of Alka Seltzer.

That’s Ambassador Drumheads, NOT Emperor

1 X LUDWIG 5″ X 14″SNARE DRUM. Complete with newish ambassador heads, coated on the top, and unbent snares please. Call me old fashioned…

1 X DW 5000 BASS DRUM PEDAL. Double chain type. With a footplate. And a little blue plaque with “William Shakespeare lived here for six months* in 1586 shagging the arse off of Anne Hathaway”

(*Not the whole six months, obviously. I think they woke him at mealtimes.)

1 X DW SNARE DRUM STAND, that goes up very high, and preferably with legs that can be flattened against the floor, for at least a count of three.

1 X HEAVY DUTY ROUND CLOTH SEATED DRUM THRONE. Because he’s a king.

1 X HEAVY DUTY DW HI-HAT STAND. A two legger would be super. As long as it was designed to have only two.

2 X HEAVY DUTY BOOM STANDS. Just fill them with gunpowder, light a match, and they go BOOM!

2 X HEAVY DUYY STRAIGHT CYMBAL STANDS. But we are equal opportunity employers, so gay stands may apply also. (They won’t get the f—-g job, though…)

SABIAN OR ZILDJIAN CYMBALS, as follows

2 x14″HI-HAT ROCK CYMBALS that sound nice and are roughly the same size

2 x 18″CRASH CYMBALS

1 x 19 inch CRASH CYMBAL

1 X 20INCH CRASH CYMBAL

3 X HEAVY DUTY FLOOR MOUNTED FANS. I’m making a hovercraft in my spare time

All of the above drums on a CARPETED 8ft x 8ft x 2ft DRUM RISER/PLATFORM.

That’s a 3m x 2m x 0.75m DRUM RISER/PLATFORM for those of you who live in the metric zone

Note to our American brethren: A metre is about 3 feet 3 inches.

And ‘metre’ is ‘meter’ spelt correctly…

Oi Oi, that’s yer lot.

Thank you.

Jos Grain. Production

MONITOR REQUIREMENTS

We need: one (1) monitor man who speaks good English and is not afraid of death.

{Only joking…. or am I?}.

Also, he needs to know a little bit about monitors. This may seem a little obvious, but believe me….

(For example, in Santiago de Compostela, in Galicia in Northern Spain, they appear to think – if they just ignore riders like this, then supply a fat, bearded, ignorant hippy with a digital monitor desk (doh!) who doesn’t know s–t about eq-ing, and monitor wedges that would be better suited to wedging doors open, and a load of stage managers and PA geezers and promoters reps who shout a lot – that this is the same as actually providing what the band needs in order to do a gig to the best of their ability. And that if they deny that their gear is no good, it will suddenly, mysteriously, become good.

Well, I would just like to say that the next time the Stooges get booked for their festival, I’m going to turn up with some pickled eggs, a small blue vibrator with a jelly dolphin balanced on the shaft, a set of dog-eared encyclopedias with the volume E-G missing, and a screwdriver that’s been accidentally dropped in a lavatory

And then, when they say, “That’s not the Stooges”,

I’m going to say, “Yes it is!”

And then they’ll say “No it isn’t”.

And I’m going to say, “Yes it IS!!!”

See how they like it, the f——s!

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes…

We do not have our own monitor man, because in the future robots will work for us and make the world a better place.

Sorry about that rant about Santiago, by the way. I just wanted to get it off my chest, and killing people is just sooo 1980s, don’t you think?

The next page contains the information you require. Bear with me. Not a real bear, of course.

By the way, our guitar roadie, Chris, assures me that the panda does not belong to the “Bear” family, but is actually a part of the “Pig” family. Could this possibly be true? And if it isn’t, why would he risk telling me, when he must realise that I will tell the whole world his half-baked theory?

Unbelievable.

Here’s the Monitor Info

All wedges must be mirrored pairs that are bi-amped, powerful, very loud, uncompressed and unlimited.

Mix 1 – front vocal wedges.

IGGY’S VOCAL

SAXOPHONE

Can we arrange to have these wedges off the front of the stage on some kind of platform that is safe, secure and the same height as the stage.

This will make me very happy, like a happy little bunny rabbit.

About Iggy’s vocal – we need lots. The best thing is, make it strong and punchy, a bit like a boxing kangaroo. Then turn it up.

When you think you have turned it up enough, turn it up some more!.

A tsunami of voice

Mix 2 – side vocal wedges

IGGY’S VOCAL

SAXOPHONE [during the songs marked "saxophone"]

One on stage left, one on stage right, facing towards centre stage, and switched up so loud it feels like they are eating your ears.

Mix 3 – Sidefill Stage Right

VOCAL

KICK DRUM

SNARE BOTTOM

SAXOPHONE

GUITAR..clear and bright, like the sound of jackboots on wet cobblestones, on a beautiful spring morning in 1932, just before it all went a bit sour…      …Like Cali !!!

Mix 4 – Sidefill Stage left

VOCAL

KICK DRUM

SNARE BOTTOM

SAXOPHONE

BASS GUITAR

Warm, but not humid.

For the sidefills, can we have two great big huge enormous things please, of a type that might be venerated as gods by the inhabitants of Easter Island, capable of reaching volumes that would make Beelzebub soil his underpants, and driven by amplifiers that could provide the power for a Monster Truck Rally. With dinosaur drivers.

They should be as far downstage as possible, and only 12 – 14 feet [4-5 meters (metres)] from center (centre) stage.

Mix 5 – Guitar wedge

SNARE BOTTOM

[I know it's always bottom. I'm obsessed with bottoms. I make no apology for that.]

This is all Ron wants in his wedge. Good, innit?

Mix 6 – Bass guitar wedge

Lots of SNARE BOTTOM

Lots of IGGY VOCAL

Oh, and during the show, could you just catch his eye and mouth the words “I love you”?

Thanks.

Mix 7 – Drumfill

KICK DRUM

SNARE TOP

SNARE BOTTOM (Phase reversed)

RACK TOM

GUITAR

VOCAL (Just a little)

BASS D.I. (Just a little)

We would like to have a jolly big drumfill on his left side, with the horns pointing roughly straight down his ear canal; And when I say drumfill, of course, what I mean is a big, powerful bugger; dormant volcano, ever waiting to erupt into streams of audio lava.

Not something that has a label on it saying “Karaoke in your own home, 15 watts per channel max”.

Mix 8 – Saxophone Wedge

…Er…SAXOPHONE.

Wedge Suitability Guide

Here are several quick ways to find out if the wedges you are using are NOT really very suitable for a Stooges concert.

1). They were removed from the parcel shelf of a 1974 Ford Cortina..

2.) When you look underneath, it says “©The Disney Corporation – collect all 5 from BURGER KING™

3.) They can be lifted above head height – easily – by your wife.

4). Er…

5.) That’s it!

Jos Grain’s almost-Zen method of Iggy-Pop-vocal-mic-in-the-monitors style testing type stuff.

(A kind of satellite navigator for the monitors.

Here is a useful, I hope, guide to doing monitors for Iggy and the Stooges.

It’s not a conventional method, because I don’t know anything about frequencies. The last time I told a monitor man that the monitors were folding back a bit, he looked at me really weird, then he said

MONITOR MAN “What do you mean?”

ME “Well you know, there’s some really high pitched foldback in the monitors.”

MONITOR MAN: “You mean feedback?”

ME: “Do I? “

MONITOR MAN: ” What frequency?”

ME: “Er, every time I point this mic at the wedges…”

Right, my voice is what we doctors call “not very loud,” and it’s quite thin as well. I’ve seen fatter supermodels.

Whereas Iggy’s voice is rather powerful, and also very rich and frequency-full.

So what I’ve found works quite well is, if we EQ the vocal mics so that my voice sounds completely normal, with no frequencies boosted, especially at the bottom end, and we turn it up so that it’s as loud as a very loud thing, then when Iggy starts singing into it, all those lost frequencies will return and everything will be fine.

You might even have to turn it down a bit.

And here’s another thing. you might be able to help me with. Why is it that lighting men switch the strobes on for ages, while everybody is trying to work, and when you ask why, they say they are “testing them”?

Strobes are designed to be intermittent, aren’t they?

So how can they tell they’re not f—–d?

STAGE PLAN AND INPUT LIST

On the next pages you will find a stage plan and channel list. Isn’t it exciting? I bet you’re glad you decided on a career in the music business now…

STAGE PLAN

Before we have a look at the stage plan, can I just say that we like to keep it as clear as possible, especially at the front.

This means all cables for the downstage wedges etc must be run off the front in the pit, not across the front of the stage.

My insurance doesn’t cover me for allowing rockstars to fall off the front of the stage.

No lighting or monitor cables, no power cables, no toy robots, no television evangelists, no television cameramen, no substances related to the manufacture of creosote, no plastic seahorses, no bailiwicks, no crepescules, no kooks and especially NO CAMERAMEN.

This way Iggy can run around in his customary manner like a crazed running around-type-thing and we can all relax in a haze of self-satisfied panic.

Stoogeplan

Good isn’t it? I could have been a draughtsman, but we was poor in them days, and what with the war still going on, and the bubonic plague, we had to give up on even the simplest of pleasures. My toy tank was sent of to the Weapons Department, melted down, and made into a real tank. I still miss sitting inside it, firing shells at the neighbours’ chimneypots, and machine-gunning cats.

Happy Days.

I wonder if the Fonz still looks 40.

Apparently Iggy met that Ron Howard once. You know, the ugly, baldy one. Out of Happy Days.  Directs films.  Got one of those faces you’d never get tired of punching. And Ron (Asheton) once saw Ron (Howard) in a restaurant with James Woods, the methodist actor, who is similarly sparsely endowed with handsome genes. Here’s an idea for a film, James. I’ll start punching you in the face, and you method-act that it doesn’t hurt.

And Ron Howard can direct!!!

Input List and Front of House Requirements

*Please note that this document is officially not funny,

Stoogesmiclist

 

FRONT OF HOUSE

Preferred front of house system is d&b or JBL Vertec, and lots and lots of it. Preferred front of house consoles are Midas XL4, Heritage H3000, XL3 or Soundcraft Series 5. In that order. DEFINITELY NO YAMAHAS & DEFINITELY NO DIGITAL CONSOLES.

There should be graphic equalizers across the system.

I need two (2) good quality reverb units – preferably two (2) x Lexicon PCM91 and a tap delay – preferably a TC2290.

I need eight (8) compressors (six (6) to be inserted over input channels and two to be inserted over a pair of groups).

I’m a big fan of valve compressors, so if you have any please put them in otherwise I would like DBX160s.

Please supply a minidisc recorder that is plugged in and ready to record, and a CD player.

I need to have a talk to stage line and also comms between front of house and monitor world.

When we arrive, if there is either a YAMAHA or DIGITAL CONSOLE of any manufacture located on front of house island, I will chop it into a hundred pieces, and each of those pieces I will chop into a hundred pieces… so that’s like, er… tenty hundred? Anyway, then I will douse them in petrol and burn them. In accordance with local and national guidelines on the burning of bits of s–t mixer, of course.

SO DON’T DO IT. I’m like a big nasty man if I get upset…

On a lighter note -

We will supply all microphones, and vocal mic stands that are easy to throw and hard to break. Please supply all microphone cables inc. 3 x 20metre/50ft cables for the main vocal lines.

Any audio questions please contact Rik Hart

Do it now!!

LIGHTING REQUIREMENTS

[This was written by someone who doesn't really know what he's talking about. I cannot tell a lie. Lights-wisely speaking, I'm an absolute arse-head. But I know what I like.

And although nobody goes home whistling the lights, it's also true that no-one goes to gigs to stare at the f----g P.A. stacks.]

We do not have a lighting designer, or lighting person of any kind.

We had a lighting designer once, but he went mad, so we shot him. It was the kindest thing. Now he’s a light of a different kind, one of God’s little Gobos in Dimmer Heaven.

The point of all this nonsense is, of course, that we need someone to brighten up our day, and this is what we would like them to do, if it is at all possible using the whiz-bang technology that is the modern lighting system.

You know in the olden days, when knights were bold and the normal club lighting system was three flaming torches made out of sticks, peasant rags and animal fat, lighting designers used to use these things called “washes”. Nowadays, of course, “washes” are more likely to be skin embrocations that serve to keep the lighting designer’s complexion un-pasty, but in those unsophisticated times they were a bunch of lights, usually all the same colour, or color, which made the stage go, for example, red. Or blue. Or white.

Weell. That’s what we want, really.

Someone colour the stage while the band play, in very basic colours. Benetton Especially white I mean, a nice white backdrop with some color scrollers pointed at it would be nice too, so that we could have, say orange in the background and blue on the stage. But basically, that’s it.

Oh, and a lighting person who could just set a scene at the beginning of a song, then sit on his hands until the start of the next song . I know that this seems like a tall order when most LDs suffer from some sort of nervous disorder that won’t permit their hands to stay still for longer than 8 milliseconds, but honestly, that’s what we would be happiest with. Maybe we could get somebody to sit next to the LD with a big stick, then if they looked like they were going to “do lighting” halfway through a number – WHAMMO!!! broken desk, broken fingers.

As for smoke, if you could save it for sending messages to indigenous North American tribespeople, I, Big Chief F–s-Around-With-Drums, would be um heap grateful.

And moving lights,? I hear you ask. If you do have access to moving lights, II would prefer it if they were moved to the back of the stage, and left there. It’s not that we dislike them, it’s just that we think they may be a little shall we say, overused? these days. Keep a couple for throwing static shapes in the background if you like. That might be interesting…

Lights directly in the eyes are a real problem for the singer, so we don’t like spotlights or lights on the sidefills , or lights on trusses over the audience etc. I know we have to light him up a bit but we have to try to do this using the tlights directly above him.

Sometimes we do gigs where the LD tries to sneak the spotlights on halfway through the show. Unfortunately, if that does happen, it then becomes encumbent upon me to find the LD after the show and eat his entire family.

We really just need someone to set a scene for each song, then leave it. It’s not really too much to ask, is it?

If anyone can come up with a suggestion for lighting that would add to the overall excitement of the Stooges stage show, I would be pleased to hear it, but if it’s along the lines of “When they do a fast song, I think I should flash all the lights quite quickly, whereas if they do a slower song, I think should flash all the lights, but at a slightly reduced rate”, do please keep it to yourselves. My boredom threshold is incredibly low…

So-ooo, just to recap:

Mmmmm!!!

5 or 6 washes in strong colours such as red, blue, white, orange, 181, that type of thing.

Colour scrollers juxtaposing background colours to the washes

Static goboid shapes in the background. Static meansing “not moving”.

Oh yes, some molefays pointing at the audience. The band likes to see their happy faces from time to time. God knows why.

Aaaarrgh!!!

Constantly flashing and moving lights e.g. scans and strobes. Smoke. (I don’t care if I never see another beam in my life…)

Spotlights and other lights in the eyes.

I can promise you that our singer (Iggy Pop, by the way) will make it look like all your lights are attempting to jump off the front of the stage like a gang of par 64 lemmings. He’ll be all over the place, like a mad woman’s s–t, so you don’t have worry about moving lights.

Here’s a thought for you. Why not watch the band instead of trying to make patterns with the beams? Unless you can think of a way of writing “F–K OFF JOS” in beams across the stage….

I hope this is of some use to you. If not, you can always use the other side for doodling on. I’ll even give you a pen. I can’t say fairer than that, now can I?

Some people get it, some people don’t.

Thanks for caring

Your pal

Filming Requirements

Filming – a TV Eye view of the world.

Hello everybody. This is a short message to TV companies, Video makers, Photographers and Media Types in general.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of respect for people in the communications industry, in fact my ancestors have a particularly strong historical link with the Postal Service, as someone once threw a television repairman at my mother.

However in recent years, and I’m sure you’ll agree with me on this one, there has been an explosion in the number of, shall we say, persons blessed by the Good Lord with a complete absence of talent, attempting to force their way, by any means necessary, into the public eye. Hand in hand with this, I’m afraid to say, has come a massive increase in the amount of production companies willing to massage the over-large egos of these unfortunate individuals, and to allow them the airtime they crave. It’s got to a point where there are companies who assume that everyone who walks onto a stage is a desperate, attention-seeking moron, who will put up with any amount of intrusion just to get themselves a little footage.

I have to say that The Stooges are not those guys!

Media attention – GOOD! Interfering with performance – BAD!

Could I therefore request that all putative film-makers and budding Hollywood directors ask themselves the following questions:

1. What type of film am I trying to make?

2. Am I making a pop video, or am I documenting a live show?

Because the fact is, as soon as you push a camera into the face of an artiste, you completely change the nature of their performance. The Stooges do try to give their audience a great show, but I think there is nothing more soul-destroying than to see a band on stage surrounded by cameramen and their assistants scurrying about like bazooka-wielding hobbits. At a wet festival somewhere i once saw a guitarist being followed all over the stage by a cameraman and sidekick all covered, in bright flourescent plastic sheeting, including the camera. It looked like he was being stalked by a demented pantomime horse! I personally thought it looked absolutely terrible, and I speak as someone who believes that most rock and roll bands woulld be improved by the introduction of a pantomime horse.

Take the Rolling Stones as an example; if you could guarantee that there was going to be a pantomime horse, it would be almost worth going to one of their concerts.

With today’s technology, anyone can get a decent shot of anything without a man in a little go-kart tracking its every move. It’s unnecessary, and it looks horrible.

Fly-on-the-wall, lovey, think fly-on-the-wall. It’s just a gig. Nobody’s going to get an Oscar for Best Camerawork. And that’s it, really.

Oh yes, and Iggy adores breaking cameras. Did I mention that??

So really it’s best not to get too close to him. Especially if he looks at you in a funny way.

And cameramen – if he heads towards you looking like he’s about to grab the camera – he’s probably about to grab the camera. It’s a sort of clue…

Of course, I will be on hand to try and prevent him from destroying your equipment; unfortunately, there is only one person I can think of who likes to break cameras more than Iggy does, and that’s ME…

Thanks very much for your kind attention. You’ll get some intense footage whatever happens. Trust me on this one.

Jos. (The ugly one on the crew, possibly wearing a hat and a very, er, visual shirt.)

By the way, I wonder if anyone in media knows why certain cameramen think it’s innovative and exciting to be constantly moving the camera whilst filming, swinging it up in the air, running around with it swaying from side to side in great big arcs, or even worse, going wide/tele/wide/tele/wide/tele in a pathetic attempt to keep in time with the music?

Don’t they ever watch back what they’ve filmed?

Don’t any of their colleagues ever tell them that it looks s–t?

Is it just me who feels like smacking them across the back of the head with a tripod?

For f—k’s sake, someone have a word! It didn’t look good in 1980, and it doesn’t look good now. If they really can’t hold the camera steady for longer than a couple of seconds, maybe it’s time to ring Alcoholics Anonymous…

Just a thought.

General Hospital-ity

Parking and Security

Security:

We will require the use of two dedicated and intensely loyal security persons to be stationed at the entrance to each of the two dressing rooms. Or do I mean one at each? Otherwise that would be four, and I think we only need two, one at each door. Wait a minute, let’s start again.

May we have two dedicated and intensely loyal security men, preferably built like brick s–t-houses, one for each of the doors leading to the two dressing rooms? Unless either of the dressing rooms has an extra door…

OK…

Please count the number of doorways leading in or out of the two dressing rooms that we are going to be using, then supply an unspecified number of security men, with the qualities mentioned above, the quantity of whom shall be exactly proportional to the number of said doors, adhering strictly to a ratio of 1:1. So probably two in total.

They need to be in position 1 hour prior to, and 1 hour after, the band’s performance. And the band play for about one and a half hours. So that’s about…ooh, let me see, three and a half hours altogether.

Call it four just in case they do a particularly long version of one the songs.

No entrance to these rooms during these times will be allowed without co-ordination of the tour manager. Let’s hope he’s got his co-ordination back by then.

Parking

Artist parking area passes will be required for 5 cars. No tour bus parking is required – although some of those American limos are as long as a tour bus… And that one that Madonna rides around in has a lap dancer in it! Can you believe that?!?!? I wonder how that affects the insurance premium?

Notes:

3 large industrial fans to be provided by promoter:  two on stage and one in the dressing room for use by the drummer. He’s practicing that scarf thing that they used to do in Bon Jovi and Heart videos.

We will require the exclusive use of two dressing rooms for the entire day of our performance.

Did I mention about the two dressing rooms before? I think I did. They should have the ability to be temperature regulated by the occupants with both heat and air-conditioning, and have 120 volt electrical service in each. Which normally means a really iffy-looking wall socket that’s already got three things plugged into it, one of which is the entire stage lighting rig. But let’s hope this time it’s different…

Catering Requirements

First of all, can I say what a pleasure it will be to work with you all. Probably.

Secondly, and rather more importantly, I will be working for the Stooges on the day of the show. I personally do not drink alcohol, I don’t like soft drinks, I am rather too fat to be allowed near chocolate and cakes, and I get paid enough to buy my own drugs and dinner. So I would like you to donate, say, 50 U. S. Dollars to a local homeless charity in lieu of the stuff I could possibly have consumed.

It’s not much I know, but it’s better than nothing…

Oh, and I’ll need a receipt.

A BUNCH OF CATERING RIDER-TYPE STUFF

Hello. This is a list of stuff we need for the day of our show. It’s not too complicated, but if you’ve got any problems, talk to us and we’ll resolve them. I think you’ll find we’re very reasonable people. Except me.

Can we have strong coffee & tea with milk, sugar, spoons, etc. all day? You can provide a kettle or a coffee machine if you like, otherwise i’m sure there’s a starbucks in your area. If there isn’t, this is God telling you to open one. ……. Oh, and some cups.

A bit of assorted food for the crew is always appreciated, at lunchtime. Like a lot of people, we like tasty food that isn’t full of pesticides and mad cow disease. Thick vegetarian soup is a safe bet, with some salads and fresh bread; that type of thing. Lovely. For about 4 or 5 people.

At load-out time, when we’re going to leave, we like to be supplied with two enormous pizzas, either to eat, or to leave on the bus until we find a truckstop trashcan with an entrance about 10cm/2 inches round, then we desperately try to fold the enormous stiff pizza box so that it’s small enough to go in, which it never is, so we leave it on the side with all cold tomato puree and stringy cheese stuff dripping out of the side… Anyway… one quattro formaggio and one hot pepperoni. Or if there’s no pizza available, some sandwiches or sandwich making ingredients. Bread, like baguettes (en belgique, d’une boulangerie qui est specialisee en baguettes) cheese, mustard, salad, maybe a bit of ham and chicken. But hopefully not one of those sandwiches from Subway with beef and alfalfa sprouts sticking out, like a Florida retiree’s bikini bottoms. Yuk.

And some fruit.

And chocolate. Yum yum.

3 litres of still water

3 litres of sparkling water

12 bottles of nice beer

and 1 litre of fruit juice. ……….I prefer grapefruit.

Dinner for ten people should be available, cooked at the venue or supplied by a local restaurant, either at the restaurant or brought to the venue. We need to have a selection of chicken, fish, and vegetarian. Calling Germany … vegetarian means “does not have any meat in it”. That includes sausage. And whatever ‘speck’ is.

Dinner for Iggy and two other people should be available at the venue or at a local restaurant, after the show. Local cuisine is acceptable, (i.e. local food for local people) or steak/chicken, endangered species (excluding moths and anything really cute), snake, whale, or nurse shark, – with the nurse on the side, just in case. Well, we could get bitten, couldn’t we?

One (1) pack of Poker size playing cards (such as Bee, Bicycle, or Aviation). For me. In case I want to do some card tricks. Or in case one of the band’s girlfriends fancies a quick game of strip poker while the band are on stage. For money, naturally.

Eric Fischer, The Stooges Road Manager, would like to acquire some pins, or badges, I think he means, that signify the current country (yours) so he can stick them on his tour jacket and look like a big YMCA power walker or something. Is this feasible? You might have to call him to get a sensible version of this request. I feel all nerdy just typing it.

We need two dressing rooms to be made available for our sole use, viz.

Dressing Room One for Iggy Pop

You know what would be really nice? If you could make this room look less like a typical rock & roll dressing room and more sort of…. Interesting? Are you with me? Just let someone loose with a little bit of artistic flair… Er, do you know any homosexuals? And am I allowed to say that? Probably not.

It should contain:

A kettle or water heating device of some description.

Some fresh ginger, honey, lemons, and a sharp knife. So we can make ginger, honey and lemon tea. God knows why.

And some Chinese gunpowder tea. So we can attempt to blow up the dressing room. That’s a joke by the way. Good thing this isn’t an airport…

An English language newspaper like the New York Times or the Miami Herald. Or the Guardian (my personal favourite). Or a copy of USA Today that’s got a story about morbidly obese people in it. Most amusing!

Somebody dressed as Bob Hope doing fantastic Bob Hope impersonations and telling all those hilarious Bob Hope jokes about golf and Hollywood and Bing Crosby. Oh God, I wish I’d been alive in those days, so that Bob Hope could have come and entertained me in some World War 2 hell-hole before I went off and got shot. What joy they must have experienced…

OR Seven dwarves, dressed up as those dwarves out of that marvellous Walt Disney film about the woman who goes to sleep for a hundred years after biting a poisoned dwarf, or maybe after pricking her finger on a rather sharp apple… or something. What was the name of that film? Was it Cinderella? Taller people are acceptable, of course. It’s attitude, more than height, that’s important here. Don’t forget the pointy hats!

A big bucket of ice, or a refrigerator, containing:

2 litres good quality still mineral water. I think it should originate in the country we are in.

6 bottles of Grolsch or decent local beer.

10 16oz plastic cups and 4 glass wine glasses

a corkscrew to open wine bottles

2 bottles of smooth, full-bodied, Bordeaux type red wine. Probably French. And something we’ve heard of, but still can’t pronounce. Look, there’s f–g loads of good red wines. Ask the man in the wine shop. Or here’s a number of suggestions:

1st choice – a Medoc, St. Emilion, Pamerol, or Pauillac, years ’86, ’89, ’90

2nd choice – a Barolo or Barbaresco ’89 or ’90

4 large, clean towels.

See? Not all that bad, is it?

Dressing Room Two for The Stooges

3 cases x 12oz bottles of still mineral water. Good quality. Doesn’t have to be French, though.

3 large bottles of good quality sparkling water. Again, un-French is good. Unless we are in France, in which case – What a marvellous country.

1 x case of big bottles of good, premium beer. You decide. But remember, I might ask you to taste a bottle, so buy something nice!! Here’s a clue – it’s probably won’t start with a letter “B” and end with “udweiser”.

6 cans of red bull or similar. Something with testicles in it. Or testicles lite.

6 bottles of alcohol free beer The saxophonist likes to mix it with his whisky. And vodka. And other beer, probably. Is that classed as having a bit of a drink problem, having to pretend to be drinking, even when you aren’t?

A bottle of vodka decent stuff, please. Not made in bloody England. Some people seem to enjoy that Ketel One vodka from Holland. Our sound man, however, says it’s piss. And he could give the saxophonist a run for his money, not to mention alcohol. No accounting for taste, though, so a bottle of Ketel One, or failing that, Grey Goose. (Down in one, so to speak, haha). I don’t know – do they make alcohol free vodka? In Denmark they have one called Spunk, which tastes of liquorice!! How we laughed. It’s not alcohol free though. Charm free, yes…

1 case of coke in cans. Well I think it’s disgusting stuff . Like McDonalds predigested sandwiches. Do you know, if I had to choose between a Mcdonalds with coke, and having my tongue ripped out and placed inside my own colon, I’d probably be licking my own arse right now…

1 case of cans of assorted sodas. Ginger beer? Dandelion & burdock? I don’t know. Lemonade?

2 x 48oz bottles of ocean spray cranberry juice. (48 oz is American for ‘large”). But no blends please. No orange and cranberry, or cranberry and turkey. Cranberry with even more cranberry is ok.

1 x 48 oz bottles of tropicana orange juice.

Some kettle chips or chips artesanale or hand-made chips or…. Do you know what i mean? Real, old fashioned, proper potato chips. But from a different kettle to the one they made the vodka in.

Cauliflower & broccoli, cut into individual florets and thrown immediately into the garbage. I f—-g hate that.

Nearly finished now. I think I could do with a rest. I’ve been on me feet all day. Really! Somebody stole all the chairs out of the office. Bastards.

Some crackers And maybe some dips. Hummus and taramasalata. Today the world, tamarasalata. Nuts. Assorted nibbly things.

A bit of fresh bread, some corn chips, smoked fish, tinned sardines & tinned tuna.

Lots & lots of clean ice. (Not ice that a polar bear has been standing on, with its big mucky feet. Polar bears are still bears, aren’t they? Not pigs, like the panda.)

And then lots more for after the show. Ice, that is. Forget about the panda.

Plastic cups, assorted sizes, suitable for hot and cold drinks. At least one sleeve of 16oz solo, and some little ones. Does anyone outside the U.S.of A. understand what this means? I don’t, and I wrote it.

18 large bath towels. Not face cloths. Towels. Nice and freshly laundered too.

A copy of the New York Times. A recent copy, if possible. In fact, today’s would be nice.

I think that’s about it.

Oh yes. A Yamaha MT03 motorcycle for me would be nice. To keep. With a full tank, and a helmet. Well, you can’t blame me for trying.

Dead Dog Island

By the way, if there are any Reality TV executives reading this – hardly likely, I know, but – here is my idea for a Reality TV show.

It’s called ‘Dead Dog Island’, where a group of contestants / dog lovers is asked what is their favourite breed of dog, then whatever they reply (for example, ‘Poodle’  Or ‘ Labrador’) they are then presented with a dead dog of that particular breed, which they have to cook in a number of different ways, say about six or seven, and then eat it all up over the course of the next oooh… two weeks or so.

But just to make it a little more difficult and sort of gameshow-y, all the knives are blunt, and they have to wear a pair of those enormous clown trousers, made out of wood or something, so that they can’t quite reach anything. Well only just, anyway.

The first person to completely eat all his (or her) dog, and not be thrown off the island by the public for being too pleasant, or maybe unpleasant, wins another, live dog of exactly the same breed. And pots of money. And free dog food for life (of the dog).

This all would take place on some romantic tropical island somewhere, so it would all be very visual and make really super telly.

Maybe there could be a celebrity version, with currently out-of-the-spotlight celebrities in it. Does anybody know if Cher is a dog lover? I think Stevie Nicks probably is.

Oh, and no sicking it all up into a bucket every night when the cameraman goes to bed. That would be frowned upon…

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