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Long Days Journey to Sunday

I’ve been bad. Been 6 weeks since my last post. I’ve been away and you would think I would have plenty to say…but honestly, the miniature keyboard on my netbook, the snails pace of the virus laden, worm colonied internal drive and processor was just too much to deal with…I felt like Gulliver typing on a Lilliputian Underwood on frustration level reached the point to where I actually punched the poor little Toshiba…yeah, that helped. I did however manage to remember every single, minute detail of my journey in my head…yep, its right there, in my head. All of it… even the parts I’m going to make up…

No one I know is neutral in their opinion of New York City. One either loves it, or hates it. New York City embraces you, or shuns you. Myself, I cannot imagine not touching base in the City on a regular basis, in my case, a few months out of the year…most of that time in the Summer. Call me crazy, most New Yorkers flee the heat and humidity of the Summer months but not me, nothing better than melting into the East Village at sunset when the fireflies start their fancy, ass glow dance in Tompkins Square…when it’s just light enough, before the dark descends, to still catch a glimpse of the rats checking out the days discarded trash in the bins and corners of that oasis of hipster green, leftover 70’s junkies with Richard Hell T-shirts, and moms pushing babes in $1000.00 Maclaren strollers…

So…why New York?…the solitude. Where else can anonymity walk shoulder to shoulder with seven million others? Where personal space measures twenty two by twenty two inches…where you can be alone and unalone by simple speeding up or slowing down the pace of your next step…in short, its a very good fit for me.

A year or so ago I had this half baked idea…make a record and play a show in New York City. Me, solo, new music, new songs, not a HOSTAGES or Die Bossa Nova reunion tour…my old bands for those who are wondering…but new music. A crazy dream considering I hadn’t written anything new in 20 years…but then something happened that set things in motion. I had been spending Summers in NYC for the past several years and one day just started to write again. I wrote lyrics for a couple of songs.  Sat on them for a bit…but just couldn’t find the melody to go with the lyrics. Tried and tried but nothing. So I gave the lyrics to a friend, fellow song writer, musician, and said here…maybe you can use these…the next day I wrote a song with the words I had just given away, that song was called Boardwalk. Just like that…gave the words away and they came boomeranging right back at me. Then, I wrote another song, then another…

If any of you have read previous posts you know that I went back in to the studio last December to record. The CD was supposed to have been completed by now but one thing lead to another…we added this and that…and to be honest it just wasn’t done. Michael Rosen, Producer, Engineer, best friend, convinced me to not rush it, let it unfold…think about it…and in the middle of all of this I left for my annual Summer pilgrimage to New York City. I figured as long as the CD was on hold I would at least try to get a gig there…right? After a couple of open mics, waiting till 2 AM to play my one song…I had had enough of open mics…I hit up every hipster joint and dive from Manhattan to Brooklyn to Williamsburg…looking for a spot to play. The first question was do you have a CD out? Well, um…no but…my website is, or you can Google rayosomusic…or search You Tube under rayosomusic…I have some live clips up from Lennon Studios in San Francisco…oy!

Anna Karney, singer songwriter, friend of many years, saved the day. Out of no where she calls me from San Francisco and says, “I’m going to be in New York and I got this gig at some club in the Village I know nothing about.” Karney has just released her latest CD, Love and Respect, which is great by the way…now understand, this is the same Anna Karney I gave my lyrics to a year and a half ago hoping she could use them for a song! She asks me, “can you check out the club, let me know what to expect?” So I did…the place is called ZirZamin Subterranean Music Parlor, and it is a gem of a club! I fell in love with it the minute I walked down the steps and entered the place. While I was there I met the guy who books bands…got to talking and boom, he puts me on the bill for a Tuesday night! But it doesn’t end there. Turns out the guy who helps with booking the place, Jack, also played with a band called the Gun Club. Just so happens that we (HOSTAGES) played with The Gun Club at the I Beam in San Francisco in the early 80’s! Gets you to thinking huh?

Tuesday night came, played my show, small but adoring crowd…they were all my friends…but the point is I did it.  A word about ZirZamin…the owner is Paul Oveisi, used to own Momo’s in Austin…I have never felt more support from a club and staff…ever. Thank you Frank and Paul! The place is classic, good sound, small room but the vibe is 100% Greenwich Village – no bullshit – no attitude – seems everyone is there for the music…can’t wait to get back!

Now, back in San Francisco, time to get the CD done. Back in the studio this week, one or two vocal clean up tracks then we should be good to start mixing…excited to be back and working on the damn thing…been a lot of work but wouldn’t have it any other way…

Yes…back in San Fran…miss New York a bit, Summer weather hot and wet…lots of leg and exposed bodies looking like a million bucks…that wicked radiant heat screaming off the concrete and pavement, blast furnace body shots at 3AM in the Lower east Side…and heatwaves and thunderstorms, and a hundred stories just waiting to be told…

See you all next Sunday…and thanks for tuning in…

Love, Ray


About My Personal Mess

Musician Songwriter

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