Saturday, 24 October 2015

Mark Yannetta phones home

Classic Albums Live, 2015, OCT 17
Jimi Hendrix - Are You Experienced
Folsom, California
Toronto crew = Clifton and Mark Y.
Flight departed Toronto, arrived in San Francisco.
At Pearson airport it took almost 1.5 hrs from check-in to clearing customs.
This seems to becoming typical for US flights out of Pearson.
Arrived almost on schedule in San Francisco (10:30am-ish). Rental car was reserved by Tracy which was very important because there were people showing up with no reservation and no cars available.
Since we arrived the day before show, we took advantage of some San Fran sight-seeing. Awesome day !
Left San Fran about 5:30pm and arrived in Folsom about 8:30pm. There were some minor traffic delays and we stopped for a coffee.
Went to Hampton Inn in Folsom. Rooms are quite large and very comfortable. Would recommend same place in future.
Day of show lobby call was 1:30pm. The LA crew was also there at that time. All are very nice guys. Spent some time hugging and chatting.
LA crew = Blair-drums, Andrew-guitar, Matt-keys
Venue is less than 10 minutes from the hotel.
Arrived at venue just before 2pm. Met with Mary Carrera (booking/promoter) and got along very well.
Backline company arrived about 2:15-ish. Although they seemed to arrive a little late, they had things set up quickly and we were running sound check around 3pm-ish.
Sound check went pretty smoothly with John at FOH and Eduardo on monitors. I think Eduardo is also the stage manager.
Since sound check went fairly quickly, we were able to run through almost every song on the list. This helped us iron out a few bugs.
Afternoon snacks were available and dinner was provided at the venue.
Show time was 8pm. The band did a very good job and Clifton was awesome. There were some very minor imperfections but that’s gonna happen with 4 new guys. The audience seemed to really love the show and Mary was also very happy.
I didn’t get an official number from Mary, but she said we had most of the floor and first 2 rows of the balcony. My guess is it was about 600 people. See attached photos for venue.
Drove back to San Fran the next morning (3hrs) and flew back to Toronto. The drive from Folsom to San Fran was beautiful.
Me and Clifton would like to thank Tracy for sending us from Toronto to San Fran instead of the Buffalo to ????? to Sacramento.
Conclusion : Classic Albums Live put on a great show, the audience loved it, and me and Clifton had a lot of fun.

Friday, 9 October 2015


greetings all

i’ve written a musical
it debuts in toronto in february
at the panasonic theatre on yonge street
i’ve got a good feeling about it
the same way i felt when i started CAL

GIG is the story of five singers and their quest for the lights
alongside two agents and their quest for the money
four musicians play onstage - not in a pit - always interacting
and four ensemble members keep the scenes moving
they physically change the sets
it’s quite the production

the show unfolds like a concert
the twist is that GIG features the backstage onstage
we all get a peek at what goes on behind the scenes
there’s a lot of comedy
a lot of drama
and most importantly - a lot of music
music is the first star of GIG

GIG started out as a TV show
years ago shari and i were at a concert
we were in our seats watching all the pre show goings on
and shari said ‘this would make a great TV show’
i agreed and immediately started writing
i wrote 13 episodes
and wound up meeting with the big decision makers at all the canadian networks
everyone loved it
but nothing happened
i think a lot of that goes on in the TV world
so last summer - i’m up at rob’s cottage
lamenting the work vs. reward vs. hope dynamic
and rob says ‘turn it into a musical’
i agreed and immediately started writing
and recording the music

then i went to see the good people at mirvish
like minded people who love and care deeply for the arts
they loved GIG
and began walking me through the process of getting it to stage
i can’t say enough about mirvish
the legacy of the name alone has ensured quality and commitment 
that embodies the spirit of toronto
we’re up on sale right now
we’re doing a ‘soft launch’ - which means if you’re reading this
you can purchase preferred advance tickets at a discount

because this is a brand new canadian musical
i didn’t have any media to launch with
so i began casting early - drawing deep from the CAL pool
and we made a bunch of promotional videos
they’re all up on the site -
we had so much fun shooting them - lexi - as the groupie - is hilarious
there was a moment when we were having our initial meeting
all sitting around a table
i saw all these beautiful hopeful faces looking at me
there was a tangible vibe of aspiration
we all feel like we’re creating something special and important 
we all believe deeply in GIG

find some time and check out the web site
there’s a zen ticket button
and if you click it and follow through
you’ll be supporting the arts and the spirit of the toronto
you’ll be supporting performers musicians and actors 
and you’ll be supporting a dream 
that we all get to take part in
you can say - i was there when it launched

wish us luck
we’re finding our way 
shine on

craig martin
october 9, 2015

coffee and toast with peanut butter