Saturday, 22 December 2007

And in the real world....

Mark and Jammi
Mark Mikel. "I do video and graphics for my family's business American Frame. So I actually work for my Dad, my two sisters and my brother. I'm lucky they take such good care of me though really. They've always treated my music as something very important. That's how I have time for it because they don't demand all that much. Any project I do is mostly on my own schedule. I've always been very lucky in that regard. Though I did have a short stint at Kinko's in the late 90's.But no matter how much studio time I get, it's never enough. And to get me to stop working is not easy.

Davey Murnen is the box office promoter for a convention center here in Toledo. Big Bird takes more of his time than we do. Plus he has a jugband he plays with. With a wife and fairly new baby daughter he's pretty busy.

Dan Chalmers is a brick layer. He works harder than anyone else in the band but somehow he never let's it get the best of him. Can you imagine 12 hour days of brick laying and then 5 hours or more in the studio? That's Chalmy. He loves recording as much as I do really. And I've never seen him in a bad mood.

Scott Tabner teaches guitar and has a daytime sales job. Industrial belts or something...I really don't know. He plays with a local blues band quite regularly too. A very busy man. I never get the impression that life is easy for him in any way. I also know he must love the bugs because there's no way in hell he'd be in the band if he didn't.

Mark Kelley is now retired for life. As you may know we don't know how long that is because of the terminal cancer he's been fighting for the past 6 years. He's an amazing man. The strongest I've ever seen. He's still fighting beyond what any of us can conceive.He's never been addicted to alcohol, drugs or cigarettes. He would only occasionally indulge and leave it behind. He doesn't deserve what's happened to him.Everybody counted on him to take care of business and we didn't make a move without his advice and approval. It's really insane to think of going on without him.The fucking cancer brought him down as he was reaching his musical apex with songs like "Al Gabone" and "Alluring Martha."But even in his wheelchair, with a fucking machine in his throat,only able to communicate with people who can lip-read, he made treks to the studio and laid down the bass for the Buzz for Aldrin album.He didn't sound like he was sitting in his chair. He sounded like he was an active moving musician/performing on the stage. Maybe dancing. Maybe flying. Listen to his bass on "I Don't Really Mean To Freak Your Mind" or the bass solo in "Buzz For Aldrin." Listen to him on the last bass track he played "Still Haven't Learned to Behave." The man had life even then that most bass players can't or don't convey.It's been a long time since I've seen my friend. Back in '91 to early 2000's, I used to see him almost every day. And now I don't see him at all and I feel bad. He's moved away. I need to see him. I never got to tell him face to face that we're playing again. He used to be in sales of some kind...rubber belts or something- I don't know. He and Tabner worked together for awhile.

Marky the K, along with Dan and I, would rather be in the studio than almost anywhere else. Unfortunately he doesn't have the energy to be there as much as he'd like. Amazingly his bass playing is still getting better. I think that now that he's retired, he knows he now IS a musician only. Some of his best work ever is on our new album.

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