Album Stories (1)

This is the first of 5 days of stories from the making of my album. The reason there are plenty of them is because the album took so long to make, but I guess that’s what gave plenty of time for interesting things to happen…

For example the way I ended up recording the songs ‘Last Dance’ and ‘Untitled’. I was in California trying to set up a music tour. Of course not having a record company, a manager or even an agent, setting up a tour becomes a very personal and challenging project. You make your own phone calls, you do your own sales pitch to the venues…and you do your best to promote your gigs! So there i was in LA speaking to venues like ‘Tangier’ in West Hollywood, Borders Bookstore in Beverly Hills, ’14 Below’ in Santa Monica…and I’ll admit there were days when I thought ‘this could be a complete failure!’ But somehow it came together. We played some unforgettable gigs and met some amazing people…one of whom was the mighty Bear. Yes, his real name was Bear – in fact ‘Gray Bear’. Like he said, he was the child of the hippy generation, but somehow the name really suited him. But the way we met was truly in the style of how things often happen in my life…a series of strange coincidences. We had stopped in a town called Solvang (myself, Nik and my brother Luka, who had joined us for a few days to play Bass)- a Danish town, full of old fashioned Danish buildings and restaurants, and a bar called ‘Benders’. I’m not sure they realised the English meaning of the word, but I recall Nik taking great pleasure in posing for pictures underneath the sign.

Anyway, having spent a day there and run into the hollywood actor Jason Lee (my name is Earl) along the way, we were about to leave town but wanted to grab breakfast first. So I stopped two ladies in the street and asked where they recommended & they suggested ‘Ellen’s Pancake House’, and so that’s where we went. We ate some huge pancakes & got chatting with ‘Ellen’ about Eddie Izzard (she adored him), but it was when we said we were touring musicians that she enthusiastically pointed across the room and said that the young guy in the corner was the best musician in town! I turned and looked and embarrassingly caught his eye, with no way of explaining from across the restaurant why I was turning to look at him! And so I just gave a friendly nod…and that was that. But as we were leaving, some instinct told me to stop and say hello – even though it felt a bit weird to do so. But I will be forever glad that I did. Two days later there we were, hanging out with the Bear in his beautiful recording studio talking about Nirvana, Springstein, Jeff Buckley…and preparing to do a completely spontaneous recording session. He just set up his best mic’s, pulled out a 50yr old acoustic guitar, turned on the recording equipment, turned down the lights and said ‘play’. So there i sat, not having a clue what i was going to play, totally ‘cold’ – but somehow more inspired than i had felt in a long while.

There was something about Bear’s passion for music and the weirdness of the situation – absolutely unforgettable. (I can still smell the newly cut wood of his Dad’s guitar workshop next door!) And so as i sat there I don’t know why, but I decided to sing a song I’d never performed before. ‘Last Dance’ – just because it seemed right. And that day I didn’t just sing it – I felt every note of it and remembered why I’d written every word. And I ended up using that one-and-only take of that song, and I’m glad I did because it reminds me of a brilliant meeting and a great guy – the mighty Bear.

Posted in Rajko's Blog | 1 Comment

1 Response to Album Stories (1)

  1. milla says:

    why don’t you coming in france ? WHY USA ? europe isn’t quite well?

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