Run Fast and Swerve mUthaFucka !
Here’s an audio version for everyone who is like me and hates to sit there reading, just hit play 😉
Standing where Les Claypool stood, recording where Primus recorded, at Prarie Sun Studios where a Grammy Award winning album was produced, with engineer Oz Fritz who produced Primus, I was thinking “What in the f*%k did I do to be here now?!”
Well, little did I know that less than a year later I’d take a huge fall, and end up about as far from that glamorous recording environment as possible: in Whitefish, Montana. This story is about how I got back up, and reached heights better than the ones I just outlined. At least for my tastes.
I was on my way up to Whitefish, Montana and I can’t say I was going home, but that’s where I lived at the time… On our stopover the bus got stranded due to hazardous hail and fog, so I had to stay overnight somewhere.
I checked in the motel room Greyhound bought me, showered, found the remote, stretched out and watched a Pink Floyd concert that was on. Now I’m not a real fan, but something told me to watch them, closely. It was good, but this one line hit me like God with a switch, punishing a kid: “One day you find ten years have got behind you, no one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.” It hit me… Hard.
I fell asleep to the concert, TV blaring, forgot my dream and ate a continental breakfast. I went back to the Greyhound station and that’s when I entered the twilight zone~
There was this guy next to me that I just wanted to go away, so I ignored him for about 15 whole minutes. They opened the bus doors and my icy boot eagerly touched down on the 1st step up. That’s when I heard him… “Run fast and swerve muthafucka!”, he yelled to me, his skinny arm extended, his breath sour and his jagged pointer finger aimed directly at my heart.
Prior to that instant he was just an annoyance, a wiry tweaker, a glom-on, an unwanted conversationalist when I just wanted to be alone and wait for my bus. I still don’t know why he said it, but when he said those words to me I knew he was a guide… an angel. Not in a religious sense, but the feeling I got right then was like I was in the right place. I know it sounds cheesy.
For the whole bus ride I was heavy. I recalled my band’s “success'”: we packed Great American Music Hall, won Hall of Fame status in my hometown, serenaded World Tennis star Venus Williams at her birthday party, played over a thousand gigs, 10,000 hours live and shivered together in the dead of winter on a tour bus with no heater. We were veterans, but I was still unsatisfied about the major thing I hadn’t achieved -my personal pink elephant if you will… I hadn’t styled my own sound the right way. I had a vision, and the band wasn’t seeing it… (Or I wasn’t illustrating it).
I snapped back to reality when I arrived in Whitefish, immediately packed up and moved home to California. Feeling like a bad muthfucka, I left behind what I couldn’t fit in the car and drove 22 hrs over the next 2 days, home to what would be my new apt. I wrote 50 songs (at least) in that little place and documented all my old ones: all lean, mean, direct, raw and fiery on bass, belting out my lyrics churchy, yet articulately.
Around the same time I realized I’d be moving home to California, my band went into the studio to record what would be our final album. Knowing I had a muse for a leaner, meaner, funkier bass sound, the whole band thought that I should have one solo track on the album. Funny how things work out, that was the start of my solo career.
We were recording at Prarie Sun, where Primus recorded (fitting). Our producer was Oz Fritz, who also produced Les Claypool with Oysterhead (Stewart Copeland, Tre Anestasio). Oz also produced the album “Mule Variations” by Tom Waits, which won a Grammy. The studio was on a barn, with chickens and roosters literally walking around everywhere. It was an honor to just be there.
When it came time for me to record my solo track, I woke up that morning literally to “cock-a-doodle-doo!” like, “OK, here we go. Just a normal day.” I put on a tank top and strutted in the studio with a different attitude. I admit I was kinda frontin’ and puffing out my chest, but any unwarranted machismo was worth it since I played and sang well on those $20,000 mics.
It was funny because Oz looked confused when I 1st started recording the guitar and vocals, because it’s a weird little song. But when I got down to laying the bass line, it all made sense to him… He lit up and then we had fun taking my little bass pos, slaps and taps and creating an eccentric, 2 minute musical tale… We had fun!
Like I said It’s a super weird song called “Critters.” The track is not currently available for sale but as a thank you for being one of my subscribers, I want to give it to you for free ~ no email required.
It’s kinda about weirdos like that tweaker guy at the Greyhound who told me to run. The tweaker who was an annoyance at 1st, but turned out to be a major part of my journey. I guess you never know, and I really can’t ever judge someone.
If you like the track you might also consider checking out ‘Run Fast and Swerve.’ Its my latest album and it’s full of Eccentric Bass Rock that I think would make my tweaker angel Proud. 🙂 In addition, Oz Fritz’ apprentice mixed the whole album (fitting) — We referenced Les Claypool’s latest work back and forth, back and forth for mixing, to get the levels just right…
Thanks for taking the time to really read, its not lost on me 😉
Talk soon, Brian
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