Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Entrepreneur of the Year Update

the entrepreneur of the year application is done
i honed it to balance nicely between artsy fartsy and business
i wrote in the style i'm known for
no capital letters
no punctuation
my buddy des calls it pompous!
i just call it lazy
i'm okay with that

i tried to invite all the judges to the massey hall zep 4 show
but this is not doable
it's just not protocol
i just wanted them to see and hear exactly what the series is about
i figured that when steamwhistle was in the running they sent along a few cases and pints
it didn't fly

next i'm trying to get a CAL band to perform at one of the awards shows
this idea seems to have some legs
it would be cool to have the dark side band set up
and play the album as part of the evenings entertainment
"hi everyone! listen to this!"
that would be heavy
and surely get our message across
i'll keep you posted on how far this idea goes
it's all so exciting

i push
i don't think there's anything wrong with wanting more
it's selfless in some ways
and zen
i just want to sell more tickets so i can employ more musicians
this is the new mantra
i'm okay with that too

march 30, 2011
bubblemint gum at pearson

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Exceptions for Rick Vatour

here's an email i sent to the zep crew:

this massey hall show is getting bigger
and we need to step up our look
being from scarborough i realize that for some of us
this is a tough thing to do
nevertheless i have faith that a trip to the outlet stores and malls
will bear fruit

no running shoes on stage - except for ricky
no short sleeves - except for ricky
no t shirts - except for ricky
no track pants - except for ricky
no headbands - except for ricky
no flexing - except for ricky
no high fiving the audience during the introductions - except for ricky
no throwing things into the audience - except for ricky
no bear hugging me while covered in sweat - except for ricky

many thanks
looking forward to a great show

march 29, 2011
slices of orange

Monday, 28 March 2011

Border Song

the borders are toughening up
we have all of our paperwork in order
but we sense a changing of the guard
and we want to make sure that we're well within the rules

it's cool to say that you don't need rules
or can bend the rules
i've found this not to be true
my rock n' roll heart wants to question authority
but there's common sense at play here

i saw an old movie from the 70s
and everyone was going through security at the airport
just like we are now
they were taking off metal things
and walking through a screen
i always thought that this was a post 9/11 mindset
but it's always been in play

i love america
my father loved america
he had a little pin of both the canadian and american flags he used to wear
funny how those tiny things carry over

we like working with american musicians
it's fun when a newbie shows up for his first rehearsal
we usually hand their ass to them in a sling
then by second rehearsal they're standing to attention and hitting it

borders disappear
connections are forever

unite the nations
play some rock n' roll


Entrepreneur Of The Year Nomination

i've been nominated for entrepreneur of the year
a great honour
and now i swim with sharks

business is important
and i've tried to stay creative and flexy with my business
the shows allow for zero creativity
consequently i like to colour outside the lines
in all the other aspects of my life

i was unsure about jumping in the shark tank
but christopher from ernst and young contacted me
and we met over lunch
we talked music - which put me right at ease
and then he went over the process of the entrepreneur competition
i liked christopher
and i trusted him
and after a chat about deep purple
i decided that i would move ahead with the process

it turns out that i don't make anywhere near the money
that the other sharks make
i mean we're talking about companies like
cirque de soleil
steamwhistle breweries
hakim optical
i'm just a baby shark
but i know i got the best story
and that makes it worth swimming for

i employ dozens of musicians
that's the story
that's the blood in the tank
and that's how i'm going to surf within the competition
always bringing the story back to the musicians and the music
if there's a chance to get a CAL band to perform at a ceremony
i'm going to tear into it
and shed my baby teeth

being a media maven
i'm going to start putting the entrepreneur of the year process out there
and document my experience
i don't expect to win
nor do i really expect to make it to the finals
but i do want to get the CAL story out there
and then i want more people to come the shows
which will allow me to employ more musicians

just to be nominated
this is a true honour
and i sincerely share this with every musician that i've worked with
and every fan that sat and listened to us

2nd coffee in and organic ginger snaps
march 28, 2011

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

An Email from Johnnie B

Were all good to go !!
arrived in LA...went to dinner !!
can't believe I'm here....
feel very cool right now....
looking forward to tomorrow !!
have to go to rodeo drive...
might bump into Kim Kardashian !! ( I'm such a loser !)
Me & Rusty are playing all the tunes on satelitte radio ( hair bands of course ! ) :)
White Lion...Dokken...Great White...Def Leppard !! Wheooooo !!!!! Troy & James are just simply asking ....WHY ??
Clifton is in Las Vegas playing a gig with someone ??
living the dream !!! :)

Johnnie B (Bassist)
Classic Albums Live

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Centre For The Arts

The Centre For the Arts

when we first started performing in theatres
i was a fish out of water
no booze
no smoking
no talking
no being late
it was a left turn for us
on both how to behave
and how to execute the shows

the centre for the arts at brock university was my schooling
first time into the theatre we were both excited and intimidated by the seating
don't forget our main gig at that time was the phoenix
where people stood and drank and watched us on a stage 5 feet off the ground
now here we were with a wall of people all seated ascending directly in front of us
i loved it
it was here that the series began to shine

the staff there
sensing our theatre inexperience took us under their wing
taught about the call times
the etiquette of theatre
and the importance of being professional
for this i can't thank them enough

since then
we've put on countless shows
all of them stellar
the theatre forces the best from you
it's comfortable for us to return there

this thursday we return with houses of the holy
if you're a zep fan
then this is an important album for you

if you haven't been to the theatre
or live close and have always wavered on going
then this is a prime chance
there's still a few tickets left
and the experience of CAL in this theatre is unique and compelling
like i've said dozens of times before
i have the best zep band in world

craig martin
march 22, 2011
coffee in the paquin offices

Monday, 21 March 2011

I Hate Hipsters

there's a record store in my hood
called soundscapes
they play terrible music in the store
but it's local and i support all the local businesses

a couple of months ago i bought a the bob dylan box set there
the witmark demos
5 records
a great box set for the serious dylan fan
right there on the wrapping it says : free digital download

i pay for the box set
get a hurmph from the clerk
he's playing a new band that sounds like a fridge buzzing
'the download works in canada?' i ask
'of course' replies the not so young hipster
a swipe of the visa and i'm on my way

i have issues
i know this
i've removed all the digital readouts from my house
i have no micro wave
no digital clocks
i covered the digital readout on the cable box in black electrical tape
there are no cd players
only vinyl
i have 3 record players set up throughout the digs
everyone makes fun of me and my house
i'm okay with this
deep down i don't ever want it to stop being 1977
from time to time
i'm forced to listen to music digitally
like on a plane
once i tried to bring a small stereo complete with turntable on board for a flight
but it didn't fly with the airline
i use an ipod - an old one - i think it's from the 80s

the digital dylan download doesn't do what the not so young hipster at soundscapes said it would do
not in canada
back to the store
this time the music playing sounds like whale farts with a female singer warbling along
i don't get it but it doesn't matter
i state my case
there's an older looking cat behind the counter with the already not so young looking hipster
together they tell me that there's nothing they can do

$100 for the box set
you'd think there would be some kind of sympathy
even a phone number for columbia
but they both stand there stunned looking as the warbling continues overhead
no effort is made
i spend at least a grand there over the course of the year
never again

a week later i'm on queen street east
there's a smelly old vinyl store
an old cat at a desk with a bagel and cream cheese
spinning steven stills 
i tell him of the dylan digital download
he says 'what a drag'
and digs out the number for columbia records for me

hipsters don't get it
they're style over substance
i judge people by the music they listen to
that's why at the shows i want to invite everyone back to my place or at least the hotel
because i know the common bond of classic rock will make everything okay

i called columbia
got lost on their voice mail
kept pressing zero
finally got a guy who took my number and said someone would call me back
that was a month ago
still no call
therefore i am forced to believe that columbia is overrun with hipsters

craig martin
march 21, 2011
a cup of tea and digestive biscuits

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Hotel California

just back from a heavy night in jersey
we did the hotel california album
tough album
we first took it on 7 years ago
we thought it was going to be campfire songs
but no
the album immediately began kicking our asses

i remember this funny thing one of the cats in the eagles were talking about
they said that they had all the fancy cars
exotic houses
a private jet
tons of drugs
everything they wanted
and then they released hotel california

there's some funny skits by a comedian named bill hicks
he goes on about how all the music we loved
was made by guys fucked up on drugs
now don't get me wrong
i'm not a drug advocate
but this is a valid statement
and i get this sense from the eagles
whatever you want to say about them
they made a perfect album
and there's only a handful of artists in the world that can make that claim

hotel california sounds like a sun setting
listen to 'pretty maids all in a row'
it's the joe walsh track
the beauty of this song is the restraint
the song is slow
with a groove that sets slowly
when we do this song live
rob phillips sings with grace
i know we all rush towards 'life in the fast lane' and the title track
but this gem is a song that any serious music lover should seek out

'new kid in town' is a massively complex song
i don't understand how frey got around to writing this song
it twists and turns and there are layer after layer of creamy vocals
i kissed my first girl to this song
i was glad when it won grammy of the year back in 1856

'wasted time' is the song that we relive bad relationships to
this is henley baring it all
the drugs had turned
the money was meaningless
someone - maybe stevie nicks - took his heart from his chest and slap chopped it
(note that stevie nicks wrote 'sara' about henley - the key line "when you build your house - call me)
i can't move when i hear this song
nick hildyard sings it when we perform it
it's strange because nicky owns the zep when he sings it
it's his signature within CAL
but he sings henley perfect
he's able to find the depth of the lyrics and force them into your being
he destroys me when he does 'wasted time' live

bands like the eagles go down with sun
that's their role
not to overplay
not to overkill
not to over market
but to go down with grace
only to soar another day

craig martin
march 20, 2011
11:50 pm - sipping whiskey