STRING ALONG WITH MITCH – CLASS IS NOW IN SESSION BY ED HUERTA

STRING ALONG WITH MITCH – CLASS IS NOW IN  SESSION BY ED HUERTA

The “Prince of Primitive”, Jackaboutguitars.com’s Ed Huerta, has done a remarkably cool interview with Mitch Holder, Session Man Extraordinaire, that’s full of all kinds of information about how studios once operated, a look into session work concerning movies, T.V., and records, and a glimpse into the unfolding of the future at the very beginning stages of digital…way before any of us had a clue about what any series of zeroes and ones and their arrangement meant and the huge impact it would have not just in the music business, but concerning every facet of our daily lives.

Many thanks to Mitch Holder. Enjoy STRING ALONG WITH MITCH – CLASS IS NOW IN SESSION BY ED HUERTA.        –   Jack

THIS ARTICLE IS DEDICATED TO MISTY MARIE HUERTA 1974-2014 REST IN PEACE

Misty Marie Huerta with Boris and Edie

STRING ALONG WITH MITCH (CLASS IS NOW IN  SESSION) BY ED HUERTA

What can you say about Mitch Holder that hasn’t already been said? Sure, the man can rest on his hardy laurels. Sure, he can just be sitting back on some farm tinkering around in his garden just whilin’ away the time. Dig, you think you know Mitch Holder?? Think again!

This man has played on sessions with Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Stevie Nicks, Seals and Crofts, Woody Herman, Brian Wilson, Dean Martin, Cher, just to name a few…

His soundtracks include Space Cowboys, City Slickers 2, On Golden Pond, E.T., Grease, Tootsie, Pretty in Pink, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom…

Tons of TV shows including The Simpsons, King of the Hill, Family Guy, Moonlighting, Sledge Hammer, Chips, Quincy, General Hospital, Cheers…

Is this enough? But wait, there’s more…Commercials include Pepsi Cola, Coke, Toyota, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Coors, Honda, Disneyland, Disney World, Pabst, Sea World…Can your heart stand any more???

Dig, this is THE guy, people! If it’s out there, Mitch has probably played on it. Okay, a couple notes before we get started. I just want to add that Mitch Holder is truly a genuinely great person. We did this interview in the beginning of October.

Unfortunately, my wife Misty took ill towards the end of that month and battled illness past the middle of November. I usually do a portrait of the person that I interview and Mitch’s portrait was about halfway sketched out when life took an unexpected turn for me. Needless to say, I took care of the home front before continuing on with the interview and portrait (thanks to my brother Jack for transcribing this for me and the readers).

I wanted to apologize to Mitch for the delay and I kept receiving word from my brother Jack that Mitch was sending thoughts and prayers to me and Misty all during this time. Mitch Holder, a guitar legend, whom I have never met in person, constantly sent well wishes to my family.

Continue reading STRING ALONG WITH MITCH – CLASS IS NOW IN SESSION BY ED HUERTA

RANDY CALIFORNIA HAS KEPT AN UPDATED SPIRIT ALIVE
 BY JIM WASHBURN


RANDY CALIFORNIA HAS KEPT AN UPDATED SPIRIT ALIVE
 BY JIM WASHBURN

This was one of those interesting articles I missed way back when it ran in 1986, being newly married with a 7 month old son at the time, and just trying to stay working (as a professional product) photographer, while living down in Orange County, California.  In fact, this was some 2-1/2 years before my wife, 2 kids, and I headed on to new adventures to the Pacific Northwest in Portland, Oregon, after having lived all of my life previously in Southern California.

 

Spirit had been one of my favorite bands as I was growing up. I was fortunate enough to have older brothers who knew about music (not just plain old everyday music, but good music, and that’s what they brought home – thanks Al & Ger.)  I got to see Spirit live at places like the Anaheim Convention Center, Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, and even the wonderful Golden Bear in Huntington Beach, California.

 

I grew up with great music all around me to listen to: surf music from Dick Dale, as well as surf songs from The Chantays, The Surfaris, and even The Challengers. There was all the other cool music too, instrumentals from The Ventures, and all the cool stuff from The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, The Electric Flag, Spirit, and so on and so on.

 

Guitarist Randy California of Spirit was one of my guitar idols. As a seventh and eighth grader, and then later as a high school and college age kid, I actually really tried to play in a “style” as he did. I even had a Danelectro Silvertone and a Boss Tone. He was one of the greatest players ever as far as I was concerned.  As a fifteen year old he played guitar alongside Jimi Hendrix in Jimi’s band Jimmy James and The Blue Flames.

 

His name was Randy Wolfe at the time and the name California was given to him by Hendrix to distinguish him from another Randy in the band whom Hendrix called Randy Texas.

 

It’s hard to wonder just what else Randy California might have done musically as his life was cut short when he drowned in Hawaii while in the process of saving his son from a rip current. This happened on January 2, 1997, some 10 plus years after Jim Washburn wrote this story.

There’s also the others too that I can’t help but think about that influenced the music I have liked to play who left us way too soon: Robert Johnson, Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, Mike Bloomfield, Stevie Ray Vaughan, George Harrison, Randy California…and I had better stop here.

 

Every time I use my Danelectro or my BossTone, I think of the great guitar sounds and solos that Randy California gave us, along with all of the cool songs that he wrote (I actually still play a lot of those solos – by myself).

 

And one more thing before getting to the story, regardless of what anyone else says, or thinks, the first time I heard Stairway To Heaven by Led Zeppelin, I thought to myself,”That was pulled right from Randy California’s “Taurus” off the first Spirit album my brother had.”  Just sayin’. I know those descending types of things are quite common in music, but as a kid who hardly knew anything about music “the first time I heard it”.

 

Spirit

Enjoy this cool story by a most knowledgeable music writer, Jim Washburn. If you like this story or are interested in Danelectros at all, check out The Danelectro Story right here on Jackaboutguitars.com by Jim Washburn and Steve Soest.

Also check out “A Bit on The New Danelectro Company” which contains a whole bunch of info including an interview with Steve Soest, the guy who seems to know more about Danelectros than just about anybody on the planet!

Special thanks to Jim Washburn for sharing this.    –  Jack

Continue reading RANDY CALIFORNIA HAS KEPT AN UPDATED SPIRIT ALIVE
 BY JIM WASHBURN