(photo by Parisa Moradi)
Saturday, AR Audio/Presidio Yacht Club
After a 0330 bedtime, morning came with its own challenges on Saturday.
I looked gratefully at the empty cereal bowl on the nightstand beside me. Granola and vanilla coffee creamer was a good drunken, pre-slumber meal choice. I knew I’d be feeling a lot worse having gone to bed on an empty stomach. Keeping up with musicians and fighter pilots can be hazardous to your health.
Despite hearing some stirring downstairs, when I arrived in the kitchen, it was empty so I proceeded to make the all-important morning coffee, then, in a sweatshirt, sat outside on another NorCal morning just enjoying the sun.
A bit later in the morning, I tagged along with Rob, Andrew and Rachel to AR Studios once again. I must admit, I may have had some ulterior shopping motives in SF, but I was incredibly happy to have made the decision to come along. Rachel had some vocals to finish up for some awesome songs you’ll be hearing soon, and Andrew took the opportunity to record a chill-inducing, acoustic tune called “White Mache’”.
As everyone was finishing up, and we were listening to playback in the control room, I looked down on Adam’s desk and saw a cassette tape labeled “Counting Crows 1991 DEMO”.
I asked “Is that no-shit what it says?” to which he replied “Yep” and proceeded to tell me the story of his old friend that used to drum for them. Sadly, he’d passed away and his mother asked Adam to transfer some music from cassette to CD for her. Among the tapes in the trash bag he was handed, sat this gem.
Then Adam said “I have a tape player around here somewhere…wanna hear it?”
Um. F*ck Yes. Please. Let’s.
I sat with goosebumps, and teary-eyes listening to Adam Duritz’ unmistakable voice, singing the familiar lines of “Mr. Jones” along an unfamiliar piano line. It was incredible. Probably the highlight of the entire trip, and we hadn’t even celebrated Guy’s birthday yet.
Post-studio, we stopped by Guy’s place, watched Washington lose to Oregon on a missed field goal, elating Tom Abbott and pissing off the entire Jaquier household. Then it was back to the house, shower, change of clothes and forward to the Presidio Yacht Club. Sitting on one of the most beautiful scenic spots on the entire coastline, we were treated to an amazing view of the bay, as we rocked the entire previous evening’s sets, along with a few extra tunes thrown in for good measure. Despite whatever crud I picked up starting to affect my voice, my shortcomings were more than overcome by Rob, Paul, Darrin, Adam, Tom and Rob…If it can be done, I would take these guys on the road in a heartbeat.
In honor of my studio surprise, I decided to forego “Cold Steel Rain” that evening and threw down a little impromptu “Mr. Jones”.
Honoring the amazing gentleman that was instrumental in making the weekend happen, we did our best to celebrate Guy and the incredible dude he is. Additionally, we were fortunate to meet some of Guy’s great friends, Operation Encore supporters and contributors. It was a pretty fantastic night, and a great end to the festivities. Despite feeling like rock stars, we couldn’t muster the energy for a party afterparty, so it was home to bed that night. With musicians leaving as early as 0730 the following morning, it would be a hectic Sunday for some.
You could feel the change in atmosphere, moving from quiet excitement to a kind of post-elation, exhaustion. There is nothing comparable to “the comedown” and all I could think about was doing it again. I have a sneaking feeling the others felt the same way.