Saturday, August 16, 2008

Valerie's Research

Two years ago Valerie surprised me with a copy of my first LP “Distances” as a Christmas present. She found it on Ebay. The seller, who lived in L.A., wanted to know more about the buyer and why she even wanted it. They exchanged personal info about me in their correspondence. The seller was Dan Holt, my old buddy from Wuxtry Records.

When I opened the present I didn’t have the heart to tell her I still had a thousand copies of it in Steve Martin’s basement.

Dan sent extra stuff with the record including a DVD of the film “Docta Ignarantia.” I played a small part in it.

The movie starred a friend of ours named Mark Secunda. Mark was schizophrenic and committed suicide 20 years ago. A lot of people misinterpreted his behavior as comical. He was even beginning to enjoy success at the Funny Bone comedy club.

I remember one evening in the 80s when I was bartending at the Oyster Bar he came to visit. We were both interested in juggling at he’d just progressed to 7 objects. We stood at opposite ends of the dining room juggling across the customers as he attempted to teach me how to do it. He terrified everyone when he started throwing knives.

Video was relatively new in the late 70s when I worked at Wuxtry. Mark, Dan and I would videotape shows adding our own sound track. They were hysterical and I think Dan still has them.

Dan turned me on the great sound track composers. I still listen to Ennio Morricone, Bernard Hermann and John Barry. When Alfred Hitchcock made “Torn Curtain” he started with a Bernard Hermann sound track. Studio heads thought it was too intense and it was replaced. Dan found a recording of Hermann’s version and edited it back in. He was always a purist.

It just goes to show how easily my mind wanders. This entry is really about Valerie’s luck with research.

She was searching YouTube for St. Louis music and came across a TV show my band Delay Tactics did circa 1980-1982. The show was called “Sound Waves” and this one featured us.

I had totally forgotten about it. The music is pretty chopped up but you can still get a sense of how young we were in the interview. I believe I was 22 and already had it all figured out. One day I’ll collect all the old TV and film footage for a YouTube page.

While I’m at it, my friend Red sent me a poster advertising the 20th anniversary of The Venice Cafe. Jeff Lockheed and Paul Cuba are in the photo. It’s the weekend of August 29. It’s the pic I’m using for this post.

Check out these links-----

Sound Waves with Delay tactics

Docta Ignarantia


Valerie Pennington said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Valerie Pennington said...

I had to delete my previous comment 'cause I think I got some of the chronology wrong.
You said "Hey, look at this!" and showed me a copy of "Distances" in Kim's basement about a month before Christmas. I said, "Oh, no!" and then had to explain why I reacted like that.
Laura Stefacek had previously warned me "I bet he's got a 1,000 copies of it somewhere" when I told her about my incredible ebay find.
You DID wait until Christmas to open it and thanked me over and over again for it.