Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Dave Carlock - A Day In The Life
NAMM 2014 PT. 2--OPENING DAY
Originally Posted: 01-31-2014 1:19 PM
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Omelettes with Tapatio, corned beef hash, and plenty of water proved to be the breakfast menu that prepped Dave Medd (The Tubes) and me for entry into NAMM 2014. A solid breakfast is a must to keep nerves even when trying to find the best registration line for badges. The lines this year were incredibly long and merciless but a tip from one of the NAMM staff sent us to another ballroom with a shorter wait time and after about 15 minutes, Dave and I said our goodbyes for the day and split to start two of the infinite paths of opportunity offered by the convention.

Among the first new connections I made was Bernard "Pretty" Purdie, perhaps most famous for the "Purdie Shuffle" that Toto drummer Jeff Porcaro modified a bit for the groove in the Toto IV hit, "Rosanna". I chatted with him about doing some sessions in Michigan and he was game, indicating that he comes to Chicago with some regularity.

Using my patented technique of "Being the Planchette", I very quickly ran into other friends in the 95,000 sq ft convention center, as if we were all at a gigantic office. Requisite Audio and Standel designer Danny McKinney had made the trek from Ventura and it was great seeing him. One of my favorite friends in LA. My Standel Switchmaster 30 amp is one of the tools that brings me true joy in playing and making music. If you've heard anything I've done on records or in random videos on the internet, you've heard my Standel.

I caught up with author Jules Follett (Sticks & Skins) and learned about her new mentoring and educational venture called The Sessions. Jules has ties to Benton Harbor, so I was pleased to see her so plugged in to the general pro music community. She invited me to a few of The Sessions' events and I made a note in my schedule to check out what her org was all about.

When legendary Motown bassist Tony Newton called out to me across the Seymour Duncan booth, "WHAT'S UP MUTHAFUCKER?", I knew I was among friends again--just as much as when Sabian's Bob Rupp shouted across the aisle "HEY PRICK!", which ended up as meeting and hang with Stephen Perkins (Jane's Addiction). As I mentioned in a column last year, the filthier the nickname, the higher they hold you in esteem. It's always great to see these cats.

Dave Pensado of the music tech info program Pensado's Place is just getting bigger and bigger while his show gains more and more steam. He had camera crew in tow this year when we said hi to each other. Dave and I worked together on Pink's Try This record and despite his heart attack a few years ago, he got a new lease in life after teaming up with longtime music industry manager and Pensado's Place partner Herb Trawick (Brian McKnight), who was managing Cherokee Pogue (Esprit De Corps) when I first met him.

As I mentioned before, NAMM to me is about people and relationships not gear, but sometimes I notice a few things. Old friend Colin McDowell of McDSP showed me a few of his new plugs and we talked about the new implementation in Pro Tools 11 AAX Format. SSL's Marc DeGeorge gave me another look at the AWS-900 and Matrix consoles for consideration for a larger studio complex I'm working on plans for.

And what's music without some love somewhere? Jonathan Moffett, the longtime live drummer extraordinaire for The Jacksons, Michael Jackson, and Janet Jackson, introduced me to his beautiful new fiancee Gella. It was great seeing a couple so obviously in love.

"Being the Planchett" walked me directly to my pal Tommy Denander, Swedish guitar wunderkind, who had called me earlier in the week to engineer on a session for Mutt Lange's newest artist, Rachele Royale. Sadly the session was two days before I arrived in LA so I missed out, but we found each other easily on the convention center floor. We first met years ago when I engineered Fee Waybill's vocal for "A Case Of Right And Wrong" off Tommy's 'Ceremony Of Innocence' album for his band project, Radioactive, which featured many of the members of TOTO. Several tracks featured with the late great Jeff Porcaro, sadly the closest I came to working with Jeff.

At the end of the first day, my dear friend Leslie Kogan had made plans to meet up with me for dinner at Ruth's Chris Steak House. This dinner maintained our tradition of sharing a Filet Mignon and decompressing after the first day's action every NAMM. We shared some secrets over brussel sprouts and buttered bread and as we were leaving, made sure to take a few ridiculous pictures with various wall art in the busy restaurant. Leslie later texted me:

"Delete photo number 2, please. Thank u! Please."

On the way out, we quite literally bumped into mastering engineer friend Peter Doell, whom I had just worked the previous week with on Kareemah El-Amin's new EP, 'I Have No Tears For Me'. We made plans to meet at Universal Mastering the following week so I could check out his room, as Leslie split out the front door as the crush of the lobby got to be a bit much. But I couldn't leave before pulling Pete toward the Men's Room for an epic selfie with both of us awash in amazing blue light in front of a textured white/blue backdrop. Pete was unsure about the low light, but I told him, "Don't worry Pete, I do this all the time..."

NEXT WEEK: NAMM 2014 PT. 3!

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Dave Carlock
DAVE CARLOCK -
A DAY IN THE LIFE
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