Listen Up – July 2023

Records I’ve listened to to more than once this month. That’s saying something.

Ian Hunter’s always been one of my favorite rock’n’roll singer/songwriters, both with Mott the Hoople, and on his solo records. Can he still rock at 83? You bet he can, with a little help from his friends, including Ringo, Billy Gibbons, Jeff Beck, Mike Campbell, Taylor Hawkins and a whole host of others. Defiance indeed.

Available on Apple Music, Spotify and on CD/Vinyl.

Staying buoyant above a sea of troubles, this folk-country-pop record highlights Jenny Lewis’ supple voice and bright instrumental arrangements with songs that float along like gin and lemonade on a summer evening. And just try to resist the charm of putting your troubles in proper perspective with “Puppy and a Truck.”

Available on Apple Music, Spotify and on CD/Vinyl.

This one’s a bit different. Recorded at The Tank Center for Sonic Arts in Rangely, CO, this recording takes full advantage of The Tank’s remarkable reverberation effects. It is exactly what it says it is—Beethoven’s String Quartet Number 14 in C-sharp minor, Opus 131 played slowly (a 7 minute piece stretched to 45 minutes) by a virtuoso quartet led by Jeffrey Zeigler. The effect is a remarkably rich, contemplative and meditative piece. Available on Apple Music, Spotify, and BandCamp.

Murder She Wrote Giveaway

Audio Book Preview

I’ve got an audio book version of Gillespie Field Groove coming out in a few weeks. This is the first Rolly Waters mystery to get an audio version. Maria McCann has done a great job with the narration. Here’s a preview below. Update: Now available at Amazon, Apple or Audible

Someday Video

My earlier post about my song Someday inspired me put together this lyrics-based video. Warning: There are teddy bears. Also available on YouTube.

Someday is included on the Best of Bad Dog (Remastered 2022), available on Apple Music or Spotify

A Beatle’s Guitar in San Diego

You remember Intravaia’s buddy, right—they found out he’d been playing John Lennon’s guitar for the last forty years?”

Gillespie Field Groove, Chapter 3:The Mostly
John Lennon’s Gibson J-160e guitar. Stolen in England in 1963. Discovered in San Diego 2014.

When I started writing Gillespie Field Groove, I knew the plot would center around a highly collectible Jimi Hendrix guitar that had gone missing. And I knew I’d have to do some research on the process of identifying and assessing guitars that had been owned by legendary rock stars. Little did I know that a remarkable “lost” guitar story had moved in next door to me.

As I left my condo apartment one day, my neighbor two doors down was also leaving. I hadn’t met him before. He looked about my age and I noticed he was carrying a couple of guitar cases. I said hello and asked the brilliant question:

Are you a guitar player?

And, of course, he was. His name’s Marc Intravaia and, unlike me, he’s still performing, someone who’s actually managed to carve out a career in the music business (Richie Furay Band, Back to the Garden and more). We chatted a bit, realized we might have crossed paths a few times in the past and agreed to meet later for coffee.

A few days later, at the coffee shop, we managed to piece together some shared history and realized we’d played on the same bill at the Roxy Theatre in Pacific Beach forty years ago. Yipes! We’d also worked with a few of the same musicians from around town.

I gave Marc one of my books and told him about the new one I was working on. That’s when he dropped the bombshell. He’d been involved in the discovery and identification of a lost John Lennon guitar several years earlier. The guitar had been in San Diego since at least 1967 and had been played and owned by one of Marc’s guitar students, John McCaw, since 1969. It was eventually put up for auction and sold for a then record $2.41 million dollars (half of which went to Lennon’s estate).

It’s a remarkable story, and I won’t go into it here but you can get the full details from this 2016 MusicRadar story. Suffice to say, I learned a lot about collectible guitars from Marc and his story, some of which I was able to use in Gillespie Field Groove.

A short documentary with some of the story about identifying the guitar. Also features Marc playing the guitar in the studio.
Video of the auction when the guitar was sold