Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Someone I wish I had signed ...

There's a recent comment on my very first blog entry

Hey Robbie -

Just waving hello after stumbling upon your blog - fun photos, fun writing, fun life
it looks like :) Too bad I did not have time back in the old days to get to know you - say hi if you are ever again in San Francisco - !

For the moment I won't say who (pictured above, photographed by George Jardine) is saying "hello", but allow me to tell you an extraordinary story

In the early 1990's I was living in Palm Desert, California and I used to take advantage of its proximity to Las Vegas to attend major trade shows there. Score a cheap hotel room or one time, actually sleep in my car in the Las Vegas Hilton lot waiting for the convention center to open.

I used to marvel at the tens of thousands of foreign visitors spending huge sums to either exhibit or just the work the show; and there was me on a $100 budget looking for game developers or anyone to whom I could pitch the Posh Boy catalog of music.

Anyway, one year at COMDEX, I am walking the floor when I pass by one of the countless software demonstation stands. Now I am not a techie and normally tune out when the discussion is of software development tools but the demonstrator's voice just grabbed hold of me and would not let go! Maybe because the guy actually knew what he was talking about!

After he finished, I did my customary record producer hustle and for the first and only time approached a software tech guy and gave him my Posh Boy business card.

The fellow immediately said, "I know you".
"You do?!?!", I replied.

"I played guitar on a record you once released ... "

"Phil Clevenger?", I meekly asked ...

"Sure is."

I had never met the man before in my life, but I knew a Phil Clevenger from the credits for the Hooky album by the group Childrens Day, produced for me by Brett Gurewitz in the mid 1980's, just before Brett became hugely successful with the reformed Bad Religion and his label Epitaph.

The group had brought in Phil to play on the obligatory cover song that I had requested, and they had decided on the Rod Argent penned "Time Of The Season". The result was magic but proved a commercial flop.

But this is a recording that I NEVER tire of listening to. The guitar work could be from a 1970's Steely Dan album ... it's that good. And Brett managed on a budget of a few hundred dollars to deliver a beautiful recording, full of sonic nuance.

Here's the URL for downloading the recording.

As for Phil, he became a software guru. A techie's techie. He has had his own start ups but he's
a hired gun these days, working on other companies' projects. He has just finished designing Lightroom for Adobe, so I assume he's able to pay the rent.

So thanks Phil for saying hello. It has really kick started the week for me. And Phil, the last time someone said something similar to me was Greg Graffin of Bad Religion who reproached me for not having signed them back in 1981.

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