Directed by Eubin Kim with Dave Kim as DP.
Special thanks to Rose and Adel Fantozzi for letting us shoot final scenes on the beach, Jeff Tarantino for getting us out to Garret’s marsh on his boat without a hitch and to beautiful baby Kelly Jon for her cameo at the end of the vid.
Finish up the Memorial Day weekend at Mercury lounge with Ming Dynasty.
Eric will be playing drums this night “Not guitar.” I know there are many fans of Eric’s drumming out there, so come check it out.
We are on at 9
admission is $8
Ming and I wanted to demo some stuff with producer Jamie Candiloro. I flew out to LA but Ming had a prior commitment to do a recording session in New York. Our solution was to have Ming track from her Brooklyn apt.
You will notice that I am holding my cell phone in one the pics of Jamie and me. Ming was using a pro sound card and she could see and hear us, but we could only hear her bass. The easiest work around was to talk by cell phone and see each other by computer. The demo is not ready but we will put a snip up when it is.
p.s. It is 70 degrees in LA and was 14 degrees in NY the day we recorded. I love telecommuting.
Trying to record with no space and noise everywhere was driving me crazy and for the first time since coming from Taipei I felt jealous of those living in big houses in Ohio, Montana, or the place in Georgia where they shot the movie Deliverance. I wanted to be in a place where I could bang the drums or howl in the woods, and nobody would argue about it. Anywhere but New York City. So when Eric suggested we record at his grandma’s house in the mountains upstate New York, (almost a two hour drive) I saw an illusion of a floodlit studio luring me in a silent picture.
We hired a Man with a Van from east village and shipped every music related object imaginable to the site including an African whistle. I know, I know, we were making a rock record and we had only 4 days. But the idea of having a garage and a house on 14 acres of property, makes you want to spread every toy you have all around the place.
We planned to use the two car garage next to the house as our live room. With cement floors and plywood walls, the ambiance was ideal for the drum sounds we wanted –and with the weather getting warm the lack of heat and insulation were not a concern. Our goal for this trip was to record at least 5 songs of drum tracks. By now we could assemble a portable recording studio pretty fast and were ready to record in no time.
We focused on drum parts and song arrangements. But at one point when Eric was rehearsing with the click track, I sneaked to the upstairs of the garage and checked out Mr. Miranda’s (Eric’s dad) adventure book collection, American Indian wardrobe, and bows and arrows. I just could not resist. When I appeared from behind a tall file cabinet dressed like the Apache Warrior Geronimo, Eric jumped through the back window and grabbed an ax on his way out. He stood behind a tree waiting to ambush the stray Injun, until I yelled to him that it was me.
With all the space and quiet for free, and the generosity of nature soaked in the April sun, we were relaxed and the recording process became pure fun! We flew with time and all the drum tracks were done in one and half days. We began adding other instruments to the songs. In the garage, Eric lined his guitars up - a Les Paul custom, a Les Paul standard, Telecasters, and acoustic and 12 string guitars, all waiting to be plugged in. Behind them was a wall of amplifiers both vintage and new. The floor was covered with effects pedals. We worked late into the nights to get rhythm guitars done. For the next day and a half we listened to Cd’s for inspiration, rewrote parts and ate Sunchips. The game was on!
Rumor had it that bears were out lately, and Mr. Miranda also saw a wolf hanging right outside of the house a few days earlier. On our last night of recording we decided to move the studio into the house right before midnight so we didn’t have to expose ourselves in the wild when we needed food or to use the bathroom in the house. By the time we resumed it was 1 am. Late as it was, there was an immense mystical energy from the endless forest, bright stars, owls and darkness. Eric played electric guitars on full volume, and we got the American Dream done in one take.
Compared to the sorts of problems we had in the city, the home made studio in Millbrook was really a blessing for us. We decided to mope around on the last day and inhaled as much oxygen as we could. We may have transformed into creatures of nature - when the Man with a Van came back again he looked at us as if we had just come from the Himalayas. The frustration of recording in a noisy city was behind us and we returned home with renewed optimism.
Photos By Art Venable, Rebecca Venable, Rosie Fantozzi and Ursula Dohn
This a cool version of Train Came filmed by Gary Planken
Francis Dunnery used to come out on stage and announce his own show by saying “Ladies and Gentlemen, the Amazing Francis Dunnery.” The fans would cheer, friends would laugh and his intimates would mumble “he’s at it again”.
Several years ago my beautiful little sister Kelly was diagnosed with Leukemia. When I told Francis about Kelly’s illness, like so many friends he suggested that we go visit her. However, there is a difference between Francis and the others. While they paid lip service, Francis actually showed up and several times at that.
Prior to his first visit to the hospital, Francis and Kelly had never met. But, they fell in like old chums in no time. Francis showed up with his guitar played Licking On My Chocolate Heart and many songs from his catalog. He even threw a few Wings and Peter Gabriel songs into the mix.
My sister was moved beyond words. Through the haze of various medications she smiled like a child on Christmas morning. Her’s had always been a smile that came straight from God and Francis lit it up like I had not seen in a while.
During these visits to Kelly, Francis was dealing with his own struggles and obligations. He was just releasing The Gulley Flats Boys, touring in Europe, taking care of his beautiful daughter Eva and traveling to Northern England where his own brother Barry was terminally ill. But it was important to him to do what his heart told him. It is a big heart and it kept him busy.
There was one occasion where Francis and I realized our schedules wouldn’t permit us to visit my sister together so he went to the hospital on his own. Francis was not just showing up for me, but for his new friend Kelly.
My sister Justine came on a weekday afternoon for one of her many weekly visits. When Kelly excitedly told her that Francis Dunnery had been there to see her, Justine assumed Kelly was hallucinating from her meds. Justine only knew Francis from a concert at a large venue where the members of Hootie and the Blow Fish decided to show up and do the set with him. Francis was larger than life to Justine and he was about to become even bigger. She choked up when she learned that Francis had indeed given his limited time to our family’s precious baby.
In the thirteen years that I have known Francis, he has always shown me generosity, unfettered optimism and the most outrageous sense of humor imaginable. But the love he displayed for Kelly and the shear selflessness of his visits was beyond the obligations of a friend.
Kelly passed away in March of 2007 and Barry Dunnery a short time after her. My absolute fondness for Francis has been there for as long as I have known him, but my affection grew stronger as he helped ease the pain of my struggle while enduring his own. I hope, had geography permitted, that I would have shown the same kindness towards Barry. God only knows.
The other day when telling this story to a friend he said “Wow, Francis Dunnery is Amazing.” Indeed he is.
Francis, I will make that announcement for you at any given opportunity . You are indeed the Amazing Francis Dunnery.
Photos by Macarena Planken