First 16 pages of my novel BASS SOLO. Full manuscript available on request!
Hendrix. That’s who inspired me to play bass. See, I didn’t want to be him—he was so cool I’d never even
dare—I just wanted to be in a band with
him. My mom’s boyfriend at the time, this white dude Dave, had a huge old
record collection, and he’d play them at night, and these sounds would come out of the speakers, crazy shit. Feedback, like
when the preacher at church would get too close to the microphone, only this
was music. Controlled noise. And when I looked at the records, there was a
black guy like my father, like me, except with this big crazy afro, with a cool
white glowing guitar, the expression on his face all contorted like it was almost
hurting him to play, either hurting him physically, or hurting him that he was
causing his guitar pain by making it scream like that. I wanted to be that, I
wanted to be with him, be his friend
and be in his band. And though his drummer, Mitch Mitchell, was white (and
British I later learned), on some albums (the later Band of Gypsies ones,
though I didn’t know that until later) there were pictures of this other black
guy, who looked like me, playing this other instrument. This was Billy Cox, and
the instrument looked like a guitar, but it only had four, thicker, strings,
and was bigger. I asked Dave what it was and he said, —That’s a bass guitar!
—What’s a bass
guitar? What does bass mean?
He smiled and
thought about it, and said, —It’s the low end, the part you feel in your chest.
The thumpy part.
We got right next
to the speakers. “Red House” was playing, and he said, —Listen. You hear that
low part going dum-da dum-da dum-da dum-da, going up and down like that?
I nodded. —Yeah.
He smiled. —That’s
the bass. That’s the part that makes people dance.
—That’s what I
want to do! I want to play bass with Jimi Hendrix!
When my momma got
home from the hospital that night I ran up to her before she even got her coat
off and almost yelled, —I want to play bass!
She looked at me
like I’d gone crazy. I think I had. —You want to play what?
—Bass! With Jimi
But on my birthday
a week later, there it was. Momma had Dave go out and buy me one. I didn’t know
it at the time, and Dave probably didn’t know it either, but it was a cheap
thing, by a company called Univox, and smaller than a regular bass, more the
size of a guitar, I guess designed for beginners like me. I didn’t mind though.
I liked it. It was white, kinda like Jimi Hendrix’s guitar and I was already
picturing myself up on stage with him—us and our matching white guitars.
I also got a small
amplifier, and a cord to plug my bass into it. I think back now on it and
laugh, it was pathetic, the speaker in it was shot, making the sound that came out
fuzzy, but I didn’t care, in fact I liked the fuzziness. It sounded
Hendrix-ish. And it was loud enough that Momma yelled at me from downstairs to
turn it down. Yes! That was rock ‘n roll!
That would also in
some way make up for in fifth grade, when a woman came into our class and gave
us a music aptitude test. I don’t remember the specifics, but it required her
playing recordings of sets of tones, and us answering multiple guess questions
about the differences or similarities between them. Like, was the first note
higher than the second, or lower? After we took the test, she vanished with our
answers and we all forgot about her, until she came back a week later and asked
everyone whose name she called off to come with her. One by one, a few of the
other kids names were called, all of them white. She took them out and up to
the library. When they got back an hour later, I asked one of the girls what
happened. She said that, based on how well they’d done on the music aptitude
test, they had been given the opportunity to join the middle school orchestra,
and choose the instrument they might like to learn. And: —Oh yeah Anthony, that
lady said she forgot to call your name because Young was so far down the list.
Which, was it
that, or because I was black? Because the woman never came back to get me.
Nobody did. Nada. Nothing. I sometimes wonder what would’ve happened if I’d
been able to go with that group. Like, maybe I would’ve learned to play the
cello and be playing in some orchestra now. Or hell, maybe I would’ve ended up
playing the double bass, I probably would’ve picked something huge like that,
and played in an orchestra, or become an old school Charles Mingus type jazz
dude. Or maybe that wouldn’t have changed anything, that I would’ve felt the
pull of rock anyways. But I kinda think it would’ve changed everything.
The problem was,
of course, that Jimi Hendrix was long dead by that time, which Dave eventually,
reluctantly, had to tell me. My drooped down to my chest and I slumped up to my
room and sat on my bed. I didn't cry, but neither did life seem fair at that
point. I looked at my bass, laying in its case. I went over to it and put it
on, looping the strap over my left shoulder, and looked at myself in my mirror,
something I still do to this day actually, and imagined myself on stage with
him, imagined him standing behind me nodding, like a father I did not have. But
I would make him proud, or try, and I knew, the way children know, that if I
made him proud he'd somehow look after me. And he has.
Friday night in Portland.
Stumptown. Third night of the tour. Always good crowds here. I've even years
ago played over across the river in the stadium, with Ozzy, tens thousand
people. Now I'm downtown in a place than can hold maybe 300. If we get that. Started
in LA, hit San Fran last night, Seattle tomorrow night. Bam bam bam. Knocking
them out up the coast, then we go inland to Boise and who the fuck knows after
that. Minneapolis? Then Chicago Detroit Cleveland and on to New York. I think.
Or maybe we go down to Memphis and Louisville first. I'm already losing track
of time. Or place. Or both.
I'm hungry. Being on tour there's no lack of
food, just that it ain't that good, junk that doesn't really fill you up, at
least not in a good way. The club we're playing at, Dante's, has a little to-go
pizza place in the corner, and the band gets free pizza. Hard to resist that, but
I'm holding off getting dinner with the guys to have something with my sister
Jenna a little later, before the show. But hungry, sitting around, standing
around, doing soundcheck, waiting to go through all the soundchecks with each
group. Or each grouping, I should say: We've got us a sort of magical mystery
tour of three total bands, but I'm playing bass for all of them, as is this
young kid Sean playing keyboards, and Chris is singing in the first and third,
but we've got three different drummers, and three different guitar players.
It's a mess, messy, but a messy room is a sign of creativity, right? And it's
the new economics of bands and touring, cutting down on personnel to save
money, though I'm doing alright on pay, at least, every night we play, and when
I got the offer to do the tour, under these circumstances, after the money was
negotiated, I said, I'm getting my own hotel room for this. Which was actually
the bigger grumble than the money, but touring, big- or small-time, kills me: 24/7
with a bunch of dudes on the bus, sharing meals, playing gigs, I needs me some
alone time some time.
guitarist dude's the headliner. Udo Johann Rot. Old white hippie-looking dude
with long hair, gotta be in his sixties by now though I never asked. But wears
a psychedelic bandana when he plays, kinda to cover up his bald spot, but also
has his 'thing,' his look, with an Indian dreamcatcher hanging off his guitar.
I don't know, rock and metal musicians from Europe are always a little bit more
eccentric, whereas us americans just go out with jeans and a t-shirt.
Udo's the one who
founded The Scorpions, way back in the seventies, when they were more of the
next step beyond Jimi Hendrix, that is to say when they were good, and why I
knew about them. But either they kicked him out, or he quit, or who knows, but
they then of course went on to be huge, if not good, with their pop song sing
along choruses. Udo kinda dropped out, did some solo records, was still popular
in Europe, and amongst the guitar god wanna-bes here. With good reason: he is a guitar god. He's a hella good
guitarist. I've played with some other hella good guitar players in my career,
and most of them were influenced by this guy. So I'm honored to be on this
tour, honored he picked me, and the best part is we get to jam out on a couple
Hendrix tunes every night. That's how I got the gig: I was recommended, he'd heard
my solo album, and called me himself from Germany, and like the first question
he asked was, 'Do you like Jimi Hendrix?'
And I was like,
Man, hell yes, I know everything.
—You know Castles
Made of Sand?
Everyone knows that. Yes.
—Hear My Train A
—Yes, even that.
—Ok, let's do it.
—I got the gig?
—You got the gig.
that. First time we got together, just him and me and Jimmy Butcher, his wiz kid
south african/british drummer, we just jammed on Hendrix tunes, with Udo
singing. He sings english way better than he speaks it, and for a white guy, he
sounds like Hendrix.
The rest of the
songs we're doing are old Scorpions songs, the early greatest hits. He's coming
out with a new album of re-recordings of those songs. Which, if the first two
nights are an indication, fans already know. I was a little surprised, I admit,
to see young dudes singing along to something like "Coins For
Charon," recorded before they were born.
The problem with
playing the bass back then in Michigan was that I had no idea how to play the
damn thing. But my momma, and to this I give her eternal credit and my eternal
thanks, made me take lessons, and paid for them, saying, —Well if you gonna
have an instrument, you better damn well learn how to play it right.
She walked into
Playland Music one day, without my knowing, and signed me up, once a week,
every Friday after school. She’d pick me up, drive me home to get my bass, drive
me over to Playland, wait outside in the car for the half hour lesson, drive me
home and drop me off, then head to work at the hospital for the second shift.
My teacher was
Gary Glass, this older slightly overweight white guy. Gary made his living as a
musician, back when that was still possible, even in a small town like Jackson.
He’d gig at night and teach during the day, and lived in an apartment with his
wife on the north side by I-94. He had thin short light brown hair, parted on
the side, and a small bald spot in back. He wore thin rim glasses and kinda
nerdy plaid shirts, the kind that were maybe in style back in the fifties. In
fact, he looked like an accountant, but he spoke like a total musician, like
I’ve heard both white guys and black guys speak, especially in jazz, dropping
words like ‘cat’ and ‘cool’. As in, —Yeah, Hendrix was a cool cat.
I was nervous
walking in that first day. The guy behind the counter at Playland was white
(the owner I learned later) and the other people in the store where white, and
they all looked at me, though to be fair, I think they would’ve all looked at
anyone coming in, and the owner smiled and said hello. Gary came out smiling
and shook my hand and led back to his little room in back. There was a desk,
with a stereo on it, and two filing cabinets that I later learned were filled
with sheet music transcriptions of all kinds of songs. There was also a Fender
guitar amp, with dual plugs for us to both plug into. The coolest thing was
that Gary played a Fender Stratocaster, just like Hendrix. It wasn’t quite
white, more like a pale yellow, but that was what I focused on, the Strat.
My momma hadn’t
quite explained everything exactly. When I pulled my instrument out of its
case, Gary said, —Oh, you play bass.
Let me check it out.
I think at the
time Playland had a separate bass instructor, but Gary knew how to play. He did
some kind of bluesy line, plucking the strings with his right thumb, something
I’d never seen before, then with his two fingers. He sounded good. He handed it
back to me and asked me what I was interested in, why I wanted to play. I of
course told him about Hendrix, and he smiled and nodded. —Ok, that’s cool. I
dig it. Here’s the deal. We’ll learn some basics, but also get into learning
some actual songs soon too, ok? And one thing you’re gonna need to do, is learn
how to read music, dig?
I nodded. I didn’t
know. Sounded good. Sounded logical. I knew about reading music, had seen the
music in the hymnals at church, and seen how some people to sign along to the
music just by looking at that fly shit on the black lines. Only much later did
I learn that Hendrix never learned to read music.
Gary went out into
the store and returned with two books, The
Complete Electric Bass Player, and Chuck Rainey, and a book of blank sheet
music. He also pulled out a piece of paper from one of his file cabinets with a
diagram of the fret board of a bass, with letters, A, B, C, etcetera, scattered
what looked like at first kind of randomly all over. But he explained how there
were really only seven notes, A to G, which made up a scale, and the eighth note,
or the ‘octave.’ For that first lesson, and the first month, he patiently
explained what those letters meant, and how each letter corresponded a note on
the fret board, and to one of those black lines on sheet music. There was a
basic logic to it, even if some things were weird, like that there were two
frets between most notes, like C and D, but only one between B and C, and E and
F. When I asked why, Gary shrugged and smiled, —It’s just the way music works.
If it was totally logical, it wouldn’t be that interesting.
He also showed me
the beginnings of rhythm, and how songs are broken down into ‘measures’ with
each measure being broken down into, usually, four ‘beats’, or quarter notes,
which themselves can be broken down into eight notes, and then sixteenth notes.
Sounds complicated, and it was then, but I got the basic idea, especially when
he reminded me of how some of those old songs you can here on the radio start with
the drummer actually counting off ‘One, two, three, four!’ The trick, or what
makes music music is how, and more importantly when notes come in, so that for
example even though there’s four beats to a measure, the actual notes played
may or may not be on the beat, and some instruments may be playing notes in
different parts of the measure than others. I’m making it way more complicated
than it is, and just at the beginning Gary only had me working on basic stuff.
Once I had a basic
concept of rhythm, and the notes, Gary showed me what’s called a 12 bar blues,
one of the most basic chord progressions. —This will serve you well. Once you
know the 12 bar, you’ll be able to play anything from blues, to rock, to
country. Hell, they use it in bluegrass sometimes!
He drew out the
basic chord progression on a sheet of blank sheet music. —There’s only three
chords. That first one, the ‘one chord’ is the root. So whatever key you’re in,
you start on that note. After four measures on the root chord, you go up to the
four for two measures. So, if you’re in C for example, you count up the scale
to the fourth note. C, one, D, two, E, three, F, four. You go up to F. Get it?
I nodded. That
—Then it goes back
to the one chord for two more measures. Then is goes up to the five. If we’re
still in C, what’s the five chord going to be?
I counted up. —C,
D, E, F, G. G?
He nodded. —That’s
right. Now where’s G on your bass?
I found C and
counted up to G. Which was also the highest open string on the bass.
—Now where else
can you play G?
I didn’t get it.
—Go down. Is there
another G below C?
There was. At the
third fret on the lowest string. —Oh. Here.
He nodded again.
—That’s right. And that’s part of the art of bass playing. You got choices
sometimes. You can play notes an octave up, or an octave down.
—How do you know
which to play?
—You just figure
it out after a while. Usually you’d want to play the lower note, because that’s
what a bass player does, is hold to low end down, but sometimes, for effect, or
a change, or for variety, you might want to slip up higher. It adds tension and
intensity. It happens in all types of a music. Bach, Mingus, all them cats did
stuff like that.
I thought about
that, looking at my fret board. I knew by then that each fret was one note, and
that there were twelve actual notes between every octave, so that the twelfth
fret was the same note at the open string, just an octave up, so I went up to
the E at the twelfth fret and counted up, F at the thirteenth, F sharp at the
fourteenth, to G at the fifteenth, which was that same actual G as the open G
string, just played at a different part of the neck. And from there, at the
seventeenth fret on the D string, was a G note another octave up from that. —So
I could be playing up here too?
—Well, no. You
don’t want to ever go up above the twelfth fret. That’s guitar territory. A
bass player needs to hold down the bottom.
I didn’t ask him,
but at the time I thought, then why does the bass have those notes? Why are
there notes above the twelfth fret? But something about the way he said it, the
way he acted, he seemed almost angry about the idea, which seemed crazy to me,
but that has been the reaction of most guitar players I’ve ever known: they
just do not like the idea of a bass player playing up high, taking a solo.
Every week Gary
would teach me some new stuff and send me home with something to practice. Like
when he showed me where all the basic notes on the fret board where, he told me
to practice playing them, memorize them. And I did. It didn’t even feel like
work, or homework. It was like he’d opened up a room full of treasure and told
me, Explore this room all week. Every day, after school I’d sit down with his
diagrams and go over what we’d talked about in the lesson. I think about it now
and it’s amazing. I’d memorize the four open strings, E, A, D, G, then find the
notes, slowly, on each string. Like I’d find the C note on the third fret of the
A string, on the diagram, then spend what seems like minutes in my memory now
finding the C note on my bass, counting up the frets. Then the D note, which
could be played either on the open D string, or at the fifth fret of the A
string. They were the same note, the same amount of vibrations, and that’s how
you can tune an instrument: pluck the D note on the fifth fret, and pluck the
open string, and adjust the open string until they both sound the same.
Nowadays there’s electric tuners that are super accurate, but they weren’t
around at the time, and tuning my bass like that (because same thing for the
other strings, find the G on the fifth fret of the D string, and it’s the same
note at the open G string) helped me develop of sense for even hearing notes, especially down on the
lower range like that,
I would spend
hours going over this, all on my own up in my room. Hours just going back and
forth from Gary’s diagrams to my bass fretboard, gradually memorizing where
each note was, and being able to go from one, up to the next, crossing over to
next string. So, starting with the open E string, then one fret up to the F,
then two frets up to the G, up to the open A string, two frets up to B, one
fret up to C, to the open D string, two frets up to E, one fret to F, to the
open G, and two frets up to A. And then back down. It took me so long to be
able to even do that, play all those notes up and down, without looking at
Gary’s diagram. I swear it was hours. And it was not work. It was play. Or, not
even that, it was just intensity, concentration. I wanted to be there figuring those notes out. I wanted to be learning them. I don’t know how or why. There were
frustrations, but I think there were enough little accomplishments along the
way that felt like rewards, that I constantly felt like I was improving,
getting better, even though I know now how almost pitiful my growth would seem
to me. On the other hand, Gary told Momma one time when she came into the store
to pick me up, —Anthony’s my best student. He actually practices at home. Most
It never would
have occurred to me not to practice.
My point is, I’m not saying I was born with some innate talent. I practiced my
ass off. Though there were some certain circumstances that made practicing my
ass off interesting. Having a room of
my own. Having free time. Being an introvert and ok with being alone. Having a
good teacher like Gary, both experienced and patient and a good explainer.
Having a mother willing to spend money for lessons. Having Dave there with his
record collection, being exposed to music at a young age. Seeing a picture of
Though some stuff
seemed, or seems, unique to me, like my love of music, something I was born
with, especially when I met my father later on. Like it was in my blood. But
then I wonder if music isn’t in everyone’s blood and it’s just that the way our
society is set up, for both blacks and whites and everybody, that it not only
doesn’t encourage music, but discourages it in some way. I love music so much,
it’s been such a vital part of my life, I can’t conceive of someone not liking
it as much as I do, but some people don’t. I guess. I mean, everyone seemed to
love music in college, people defined themselves by it, even non-musicians, but
later on, people I knew, once they got into the real world, with jobs and
families and shit, they listen to it less and less. I’ve seen it with my family
and I’ve seen it with my friends. My momma had all those Motown records, still
has them somewhere, or else Dave took them, but she just doesn’t listen to
music much anymore. Just whatever’s on the radio. If that.
Or my sister
Jenna. Back then, she just listened to hip-hop, which was still called rap back
then, and what’s called R&B on the radio. She eventually did become a
dancer, but the exotic kind. Not to say though, that that choice (if it was a
choice, and not economic necessity) wasn't somehow relevant. But, I sometimes
think that my friends, not that I have a lot, are my friends because we all
still like to listen to music.
I’m not saying
parents should force music on their children. Any time children are forced to
do anything they’ll usually grow up to hate it. But if their children show any
inclination, like singing or anything, which most children do, they should
offer music lessons up as something fun to try, like, Hey, do you want to try
this? Or, that goes with anything. Like, if you’re son is dancing around the
house, show him a video of people dancing, different styles, and ask him if
he’d like to try it. I think the key is being an observant parent and picking
up on cues, on interests, and encouraging instead of forcing them. Easy for me
to say, I never had kids. That I know of.
It's Udo's tour,
his name, he's the headliner. We've got two busses and a truck, and the one bus
is basically his, with his actual real bed in back, and computer with internet,
and hot german girlfriend half his age. Whereas the rest of us get the bunkbeds
and/or just hang out up front.
The two opening
acts are older guitarists too, though not quite as old, more my age. The first
group is made up of the drummer and guitarist who played with Dio before he
died. And if you don't know who he
is, well, he sang with Rainbow then Black Sabbath, then had a successful solo
career with multiple albums. They've stayed together as a kind of tribute band,
still playing Dio's songs, though they did a solo album and tour, which didn't
do much. But somehow they got tagged on the tour, with me playing bass, and Sean
and Chris playing keys and singing. It kind of feels like I'm playing in a
cover band again, since we're doing Dio songs, but also they like to just do
older classic rock/metal songs, something like "Highway Star" by Deep
Purple. Why not though? The crowd seems to like it, everybody knows the songs,
and actually, based on what I've seen these first two nights, the biggest crowds
came to see them, or at least the drummer, Vinnie Appice, who played with Dio
in Black Sabbath too. Of name recognition for any of us, he's got it. I'm not
quite sure how Udo feels about the opening act getting the biggest crowd, but
I'm not sure he knows, since he hasn't come out to watch them, so far. Or maybe
he knows, or his management company knows, and Vinnie and Jason are actually
doing their job: drawing folks in who might actually stay and check out Udo Johann
Rot. But it's strange, seeing a 'god', someone I've seen in arenas, with a huge
drumset surrounding so he had to crawl into it, now playing with a basic set,
not even on a drum riser, on the fucking stage floor. Is it for the money?
Yeah, probably. Us drummers and bass players don't get songwriting credits most
of the time, so we don't get the residuals. And nobody pays for music anymore,
so one of the main ways for a musician to earn a living is to tour. But, also,
gotta give Vinnie credit for getting out and playing, and enjoying it, because
he does, I've seen him, looked over while we're playing, and he's got that
light in his eyes. Doesn't matter how big the crowd (well, as long as there is a crowd and not an empty hall) every
musician loves to just play. Me too. I've played stadiums and festivals, and
had a row of amps behind me. Now I'm back to one.
The second 'band'
is really Robbie Less, an instrumental guitarist (at least for his own stuff—he
played in Alice Cooper's touring band), one of the shredders from Shrapnel
Records. I played on his first album, which in itself was a crazy story, since
he recorded it just him and drummer (Steve Seard, from the pop band Voyager—I
know I know, but he's actually a great drummer and that album is, in my humble
opinion, his best drumming ever) and they brought me in after to record the bass. So I'm like, sitting there in the studio,
plugged directly into the console, with Vinnie sitting next to me calling out
chord changes as they come. It was crazy, but it worked, and I'm really proud
of my playing on that album. Vinnie's the one, or one of the one's, who
recommended me for the tour, and so it's been cool to actually play those
songs, for reals, with him. Though I gotta say, I'm not sure the dynamic of
instrumental metal/rock songs works in a place like this, for a crowd like this.
Maybe for one song, but for a whole set? Fans need some kind of focal point. That
is, lyrics, and a singer. I say this from experience. I've done jazz gigs, all
kinds, where the expectations are different, people expect instrumentals, but
they're more mellow affairs. With rock though, you need that singer to unite
everyone, and to have those sing-along choruses, something that you can
basically memorize by the second time around without too much difficulty.
Still though, this
is a crowd that's come to hear Udo Johann Rot, so there's a bunch of a
musicians, guitarists, in the audience, and Vinnie shreds, so he has some
appreciators. He's a good guy too, real Bronx accent, showing his age like all
of us, a little more stockier than when I first met him, way back in the early
90s. He's not much of a front man, just asking everyone between songs if
they're having a good time, then back into another song. But hey, this is the
only part of the night where I get any bass solos, so I'm happy.
It's a long night
for me, true. Even when I was playing with Ozzy, headlining, we'd only do about
two hours, tops. This is like three hours. More, including the waiting around
between sets. So I'm trying to pace myself. I dig playing with Chris and Jason,
and with Vinnie, but my main priority is to be 'on' for Udo, so while Jason and
Vinnie are trying to give their all, I gotta hold back a little, which I think
they don't like, but like I said, having me play bass for all three acts gives
them a little bit more of a bigger cut.
Everyone is still
rough around the edges. We had about a week to rehearse down in LA, and we've
all made it through all the songs without flubbing anything too bad. I don't
think most fans even notice, though Udo does have a little bit of the evil eye
if you fuck up. He's a rock star and expects perfection, and the dude is good,
and a legend, so it's hard to deny him that. But for example, Chris is still
reading some of the lyrics for both sets off of an iPad, which he sets up on a
stand at the back of the stage, but still visible to everybody. Kinda
unprofessional, but he got the gig even later than I did, and memorizing two
sets' worth of lyrics is hard. I also feel bad for him because even though he's
the singer and supposed to be the focus on stage, he's not, nobody's ever heard
of him, and they came to see the guitarists (and Vinnie the drummer) and though
he's got a certain charisma, and can do the jive-talking between songs, Udo
just dominates the stage, dominates all of us really, and literally last night
in San Fran, when we were about to go into the two Hendrix songs of the night, Udo
just pointed at Chris, then gave him the thumb, like, get off stage, right in
front of everybody. Which, how is a singer supposed to work with that dynamic?
How's he supposed to come back after those two kickass songs with Udo singing,
and try and reassert himself? I personally think Udo should have him sing the
Hendrix tunes, except Chris doesn't sound anything like Hendrix, he's got the
high metal band voice, and Udo is Udo and wants to sing his Hendrix.
But, with all
these dynamics, and all older dudes getting paid more than the younger ones,
and people coming to see the Dio drummer more than Udo, who knows if this band
of gypsies will stay together the whole tour. I'm just trying to enjoy myself,
and am, getting to play with some legends. Getting to play, period. Gotta pay
the bills just like everyone else. Touring is hopefully a better deal
financially for me right now, though I'm giving up three months (maybe more) of
potential, though not for sure, studio work back in LA. Those gigs are hit and
miss, at least for tour I know how much I'll make ahead of time, which is
enough afford the mortgage payments on the house I 'bought' there while I was
with Ozzy. Because yeah, I'm working to afford a house I'm not even living in
while I'm working. The life of a working musician. Everyone seems to think all
musicians are millionaires, like Ozzy, but most of us unknowns, the back-up
musicians, even the band backing up Ozzy in those stadiums, we're just trying
to make some kind of middle-class living. And even Ozzy had to downgrade and
sell his mansion in LA.