My mum is staying at the moment, which is yet another great excuse to do not much for a few days. Today we went to the Tate Modern, a huge art gallery in London. Apart from the walk through Southwark to get there, through what looked like some sort of post-apocalyptic hellhole, it was a wonderful experience – the art was largely marvellous (especially the collection of stuff that had been found in the Thames, and Bill Viola’s 5 angels of the millenium piece, which is incredible and I’m going to have to go and see again very very soon…) – the video loop of the naked guy punching himself in the face and the plums wasn’t quite so inspiring, and some of the explainations seemed to read far too much into the symbolism of some of the art, but all in all, an amazing day out.
On another note, the NAMM show (big trade fair thingie I was at in LA in January) has two types of people at it – those I have to talk to out of obligation to the mag that I’m doing the show report for (largely, this group is made up of flunkies from companies like Ibanez and Behringer, telling me how great it is that they can release their chinese made lame-o rubbish at such a low price, and then get all edgy when I suggest fair trade might be a good path to take…), and then there are the lovely people. And there are lots of lovely people. It’s not without coincidence that most of the lovely people are also the talented ones, who are there because they make amazing instruments. Some of the lovely people are people I just know a bit from chatting at NAMM shows. Others I meet up with some are Email buddies. Jill Azola, from Azola basses is an email buddy – sharing as we do a love of gorgeous instruments (her husband Steve is the genius behind the basses), and a love of cats (Steve and Jill were commuting daily from San Diego to NAMM because one of their cats was ill and needed daily TLC – see, my kind of peoplez), and it’s always a pleasure to drop by the Azola booth, fuel my desire for one of their basses, and chat about lots of non-NAMM related stuff with Jill and Steve.
Anyway, Jill just sent me this pic, taken at the show, of me with LA session dude and nice chap, Bob Lee – (I know two Bob Lees in the LA area – the other one is my amazing friend who works for QSC, knows everything about amps, and is a top bloke. this one is session bassist and Jamerson fanatic Bob Lee…) Steve Azola is the guy stood between us with his back to the camera –
so, a fun NAMM moment, with good people, toying around with marvellous instruments. Check out the Azolas if you’re into getting an electric upright – I’m saving up for one!
Soundtrack – ah, the new Jonatha Brooke CD arived today – Back In The Circus is, on first listen, as wonderful as anything else that Jonatha has done. She’s a genius, and a very consistently geniusish genius at that. She good! Highly recommended.by