From: Steve Luongo
The John Entwistle Band trip to the UK.
Now it's just after midnight and we've been flying for about an hour. I just received my Virgin diet cola in a 120ml can. At first I thought is was a small can of concentrated pineapple juice. Everyone else has regular size drinks??? I was looking around for someone to give me the punch line but there was none. I had just been served my beverage in an eye cup with a pop top.
BTW today's film is Twister which is perfect. They have these little screens on every seat and a set of headphones (ALA walkman) which really makes the movie experience a bad trip. The thing is that on a plane it sounds like you are listening to the "Twister" with or without the headphones. I think I'll wait for pay per view.
Our stewardess has a name plaque on and underneath her name it says "green and friendly." Now I figured it meant that she was new and ready to be extra nice to the passengers but it turned out to be an environmental thing -- bravo!
Here we are in London Heathrow airport and we've just seen Lisa ( John's girlfriend) who has come to pick us up and after a short wait for our bags, we're off to Quarwood (John's estate).
Here we are and it's good to see our friend again. He looks good sporting a tan from a recent trip to Cabo. After a few minutes of catching up on the past couple of months it's into the studio to take a look at the equipment. It has all arrived in good shape so I guess we're almost ready to start recording. The plan is to rehearse for a few days and then start cutting tracks on Monday. Bob Pridden will be engineering for us and for you trivia buffs Bob not only ran monitors among other things for The Who from the early days until now but he was our FOH soundman for the '88 tour.
Well, it's time for dinner so we'll go to a restaurant, eat, drink and laugh, tell a few stories. The band, Lisa and Bob were joined for dinner by Bob's wife Mia.
Now it's back to the house.
Jet lag is setting in now and it's midnight in England so it's off to bed. Oops not quite yet. It seems that the hounds of the Entwistles need to be walked and when two 200 pound wolfhounds ( Scarlet & Flynn ) want to be walked they can sing or howl up a storm. So Lisa and I took them for a quick one (no pun intended) and now it's time to crash. Good night.
Date: Fri, 13 Sep 1996 14:35:41 -0400
We began the day by reading all of the e-mail responses to the question "what would you like to hear on a new JAE CD?" John was pleased with what he read and agreed with 99% of it. We had a cup of tea and then Bob Pridden drove us into town where we ate breakfast and discussed the day ahead.
We returned to John's studio and began shaking out our equipment. I noticed that John was using a very small setup with a couple of GK 10" speakers and a small amp. He called it his practice rig. We called it history about 10 minutes after we started playing because it just wasn't loud enough.. Enter little Manhattan (John's stage rig). Ahhhh now all is right with the world.
We started running down a few different things and just having some fun. Our day was cut short by a TV interview that John had to do. It took place in his bar next to the studio. Afterwards we went out for dinner, returned and started forming a real plan on how to attack this CD. You will all be proud to know that your suggestions and comments were a big part of that conversation.
Tomorrow the real rehearsals begin and we are all looking forward to it.
Date: Sat, 14 Sep 1996 13:42:19 -0400
Godfrey and I were the first ones up and we decided to walk to town for breakfast. We exited John's 1/2-mile driveway and Godfrey looked left to be sure he wasn't in the path of a speeding car before he stepped out into the street. Since we are in England it's a good thing that I looked right or he would have been hit for sure. Neither one of us needed coffee after that.
Godfrey had a veggie burger that cost him about $9.00. I had a regular hamburger and freaked out half way through it when I remembered about the mad cow thing in England.
We got back to Quarwood and were attacked by a kissing mob of Rottweiler puppies. There were 4 puppies, 2 adults and 2 adult Labradors. There are 3 more puppies that weren't there and Scarlet and Flynn ( the wolfhounds ) were also absent.
Our tour manager, Ken Jones and his family are also staying here. Marie is Ken's wife and she cooked a full course meal for 10. WOW! It was great. I asked her if it was hard to cook for that many people then I was informed that Marie worked for one of the biggest rock & roll caterers in the US.
After dinner we were joined by Chris ( John's son) and his girlfriend Leah. We all headed in the bar and started our evening session with a glass of wine and an acoustic guitar. Pretty soon John picked up the acoustic bass I grabbed a tambourine and Alan got a pad and pen. One half hour later we finished our next song entitled Left For Dead. Things are really going great and we are all having a blast. 2am time for bed.
From: Steve Luongo
We began the day in the Kitchen. Everyone was cooking something different. John cooked his regular sausages in the same pan as the Linda McCartney veggie sausages that Godfrey and I were sharing. I had to surround GT's sausages with mine to try to create a dam and prevent the animal fat from mixing with the veggie stuff. Life has its little trials.
We got a lot done today. The idea is to get 3 or 4 songs ready to record on Monday when Pridden returns. We already have 2 done and most of the 3rd. The 2nd song is called "I wouldn't sleep with you" so if you had any concerns about the black humor don't worry.
This is a very productive time. The lyrics and music are still flowing so I guess I didn't jinx it. We are all getting on real well and we can't wait for everyone else to hear the results of this trip. I really feel that the band is going to produce a great CD and that everyone ( OK almost everyone) will be pleased. We begin tracking tomorrow and I get the feeling that we may complete more than 3 or 4 numbers but we'll see. We will record for a week straight, OK maybe we'll sleep a little.
So now it's back to the house and in the studio for another couple of hours and then a quick movie ( Needful Things) and off to bed.
2:30am goodnight all
From: Steve Luongo
Today is a day off which means that we only played for about an hour or so. After that Dave (better known as odd job) was asked by John and Lisa to set up the castle. We were wondering what that meant-???? We would soon find out. It turned out to be a giant inflatable castle like the ones that kids jump around in at a fair. As we looked out the window we could see this amazing rubber structure starting to take shape. After a while it was filled with air and standing proud just off to the side of the archery lawn. It looked sort of out of place against the English countryside but so do a lot of things at Quarwood like the '64 T-bird that Lisa was taking us for rides in.
Ken Jones' (our tour manager's) kids were the first in. They did flips and jumped around like---well like kids! During all this Alan was filming and also caught a hot air balloon taking off. I was informed that many a party guest wound up spending the night on the rubber castle which made perfect sense.
I went inside for some lunch and when I returned the kids were replaced by Lisa and Alan. Alan gave up after a short while but Lisa was doing flips and bouncing around like---well like a kid. So I decided to give it a shot. With my luck, being 6'4" 205 lbs the thing would pop and I would never hear the end of it but it didn't instead it beat the crap out of me. I can play drums flat out for 2 or 3 hours with the all time madman of bass guitar but this thing kicked my ass in 5 minutes. So for those of you that are parents, if your kids invite you in beware!
The rest of the day was pretty uneventful. We ate dinner, watched some videos including one of an Irish dance company. It sounded like they were dancing to Jethro Tull.
John and I ended the day by walking the wolfhounds (Scarlet and Flynn) around the grounds. It is always a peaceful way to end a day--unless a red fox happens to run by. Those of you that have the Left For Dead tour book have seen the dogs. There is a picture of Scarlet on her back in a bed and a couple of Flynn as well. But since then Scarlet has grown (a lot) and Flynn has to be the biggest dog I have ever seen. He is even bigger than Fitz Perfectly (John's last wolfhound) who held the biggest dog record until now. The pictures in the tour book don't do their size justice.
Tomorrow we start getting sounds with Pridden and begin tracking in the afternoon. I can't wait. We all can't wait!
3am off to bed.
From: Steve Luongo
I woke up today and was greeted by a half dozen or so assorted dogs in the kitchen. John's mom, Queenie, stopped by and brought Gretchen and Otto the Rottweilers. Sue the grounds keeper also brought Winston, Rocky and Sebastian the Labradors. Dave ( odd job ) brought his two Rottweiler puppies. So breakfast started with lots of doggie kisses. I am a dog'animal person so I am in heaven here except for the fact that all these dogs make me miss Cody, my wolfhound setter mix. He's the one that's sitting at the mixing desk on my page in the tour book ( Steve's favorite producer ). By the way I was asked how we came up with the name Bitsa Talent. The first time John met Cody he said "That's a bitsa" and I said "what?" he said "you know bitsa this and bitsa that" and so that's how we got the name.
The early part of the day consisted of moving gear around in the studio. We removed John's rig because he records direct into the mixing desk. John hates headphones so he records in the control room and listens to the monitors. Godfrey's rig was moved into the pinball room for isolation and Alan plays direct in as well. The only one thing that has mics on it is the drum kit.
I was the first to get sounds with Bobby Pridden. That is the worst part of recording for me because you just sit there banging out single strokes on one drum so that the engineer can get it sounding good in the control room.
The kit I am using is the same setup as the one I used on the last tour. 4 rack toms, 1 floor tom, 1 snare drum and 2 kick drums with assorted cymbals and a hi hat. That's a lot of single strokes! Lucky for me Bobby is fast and got the sounds in just under 2 hours. Godfrey went next. He noticed that a bridge spring was missing from his Paul Reed Smith guitar. He asked Bobby if there might be one around some place. Bobby said "Maybe you should check the guitar room." This was Godfrey's passport to bliss. He says that walking into that room is like going to a classic guitar show. When he returned he told Alan and me about the inventory in the guitar vault. Some of his favorites include all types of pre CBS Fender guitars (stratocasters, telecasters and such) there are also a number of Gibson classics like a 1962 SG Les Paul, a 1958 Explorer that Godfrey offered to look after for John. He also found some rare Firebirds and flying Vs. Alan and John were the last to get sounds and by late afternoon we were ready to start tracking. We started with "Left For Dead" and things were going OK but John was unhappy with his bass sound so we took a break and let Bobby and John sort it out. They were trying all kinds of things and John was getting pretty frustrated. I saw him come out of the studio with a scowl on his face and I said "Did you smash anything yet?" he glared at me and said "Not yet!"
We were about to pack it in for the day because the sound wasn't coming together and then we decided to try a few more takes. All of a sudden things were poppin' and sounding great. We were all locked in and we knew it. 2 takes later we had it and you could see joy and relief on everyone's face. Bobby had sorted out John's sound and we were very happy with the result. Godfrey went in for some acoustic guitar over dubs and we were done for the day. We will track 2 more songs tomorrow and then start vocals. You all will be happy to know that John will be singing on most of the tracks we do this trip. We all share the vocals on Left For Dead. Alan will sing the first verse I'll sing the 2nd and John gets the 3rd. Godfrey will share backing vocal duties. Of course this might change but that is the plan right now. John will sing the lead on "I Wouldn't Sleep With You" and most likely on the 3rd one as well. We are all pleased with the progress we are making and feel very confident in this project.
12:30 am time to walk Scarlet and Flynn and off to bed.
From: Steve Luongo
Before I begin day 7 I thought I'd share my favorite Quarwood practical joke with you. Since John has so many dogs running the property and because they are so big there is a sign posted that reads STAY IN YOUR CAR AND BLOW YOUR HORN. I am staying in the green suite which has a view of the driveway. When people pull up they honk the horn which is my signal to prepare for my prank. Someone always walks around the corner and motions the person to come inside. As soon as they open the car door I start barking from my window and most of the time they jump and slam the door. Naughty boy!
We began this days recording by singing a scratch vocal to Left For Dead. As I said Alan has the 1st verse I have the 2nd and John has the 3rd. It wasn't necessary for John to sing since it was a scratch vocal so Alan and I did the whole thing ourselves. The purpose of a scratch or guide vocal is so that when someone is overdubbing a part they know where the vocal is and they don't step on it. The vocal that we did came out rather well so we may keep parts of it and have John fly in his part later.
Now it was time to start the next backing track which simply means that we will record the basic song with bass, guitar, keys and drums. We picked I Wouldn't Sleep With You and began playing. Bobby said I'm going to print (record ) this because you never know, it could be a keeper. Sure enough it was a great performance and we were glad he hit record. We then decided to put another take on the tape after that one. Take 2 wasn't as good so we tried again and number 3 was a killer so that's the one we kept.
Then we went back to Left For Dead and Godfrey added some acoustic guitar vamps in a few spots. We then moved on to the 3rd backing track which has a working title of Endless Vacation. We got this one in 3 takes as well so we were really ahead of the game time wise. By this time everyone was hungry so we set out for the local fish and chips shop with Bobby and returned home to devour the meal. Vegetarians take note Godfrey had a veggie burger and chips. There seems to be a growing awareness of the vegetarian way of life here which is good for GT.
After returning to Quarwood we ate and went back in the studio to carry on. After listening to what we had done earlier. It was time to for me to add a scratch vocal to I Wouldn't Sleep With You even though I won't be singing this one on the record. At Bobby suggestion Alan added some mellotron string parts and Godfrey played some smoking leads. John Alan and I worked on lyrics for the 3rd track and we quit early.
I had the honor of a solo walk with Scarlet and Flynn and hit the sack early.
11:30pm goodnight all
From: Steve Luongo
We began today's session by having Godfrey add a clean Stratocaster sound and some acoustic guitars to the 3rd track. That about finishes the song except for John's vocal and some backing vocals. Every time we play back these tracks they sound better and better. We can't wait for everyone to hear them. We are very proud of these tracks. Next up was John's 8 bar bass solo ( yes that's right I said bass solo) to the 3rd track. I have been playing with John on and off for almost 10 years and he never fails to amaze me. I'm sure you'll all agree.
Now it's vocal time. John is getting ready to sing the last verse of Left For Dead. Many of you may know that John hates to wear headphones in the studio. Bobby set up a special rig so that John could sing without having to wear them. He used an SM58 because he knows John's voice and how to record it. Bobby threw us all out of the control room which is where the mic was setup. John laid down his vocal very quickly and we were soon invited back to listen to the result. They doubled the vocal track and it sounds great.
It's good to hear John singing again. Now there is one in the can and we've sent John to his room ( without dinner ) to compose the remainder of the lyrics for the other 2 tracks. However he broke out and seizes the computer in order to write his "week 1" journal. He reads your mail whenever he can and is so happy with your comments and support. The truth is that he really cares what you think, we all do!
Godfrey and Alan are here with me as I am writing this days journal. Alan has been locked in John's wine cellar and feels bad about not chiming in sooner so he sends his best. He has been working on a jig and seeks his inspiration in the darkness of the winery. Godfrey on the other hand sneaks off to bed early and was almost the victim of one of my pranks. He also says to say hello and thanks you for sticking by us.
We ended the night in the bar ( what else is new ) and listened to the play back of the days work. It was as good as we hoped it would be so we spent the rest of the time patting each other on the back and making plans for the next sessions. It looks like we'll go to Ireland to prepare and of course you all have a cyber invitation. In other words there will be journals kept on this trip too.
From: Steve Luongo
John's journal week 1
First - Now I have Ken Jones, his wife Marie, his 2 kids, Steve, Alan and Godfrey living in my house. I've finally realized something, the reason I bought this bloody great house is that it has 13 toilets! I feel like I'm on my paper round again delivering toilet rolls to all my customers.
As Steve has been reporting so far the recording has been going really well. Apart from a little trouble with my bass sound ( normal day ) everything has gone remarkably smoothly. I'm really glad I built a bar next to my studio instead of a chapel! We always seem to finish the day propping up the bar with our bellies telling each other how "great we were today." I've lost count of the number of studio engineers that I've asked the morning after "who was that fuckin' drunk singing vocals on my song?"
We have 3 great backing track so far and now we are taking a lyrics break. Pridden tells me that I have to present him with 2 sets of lyrics in the morning. I asked him " Does it matter which morning?" It's all right for him he has just gone back to his cottage to watch a couple of black & white videos. Bobby has always had this strange preference for old B&W films. I think the last movie in color he watched was The Wizard Of Oz and then he only watched the beginning and the end. So I'm here slaving on song words and he's at home watching The Great Stagecoach Robbery for the 20th time. Still he works hard------at standing up.
Before I go I'd like to thank everyone that has been following this journal. Steve will be back at the computer tomorrow after I let him out of the dog kennel. There have already been a lot of complaining noises-----from the dogs.
Lets do lunch,
I plan on locking Steve up again soon so you'll hear from me and I'll hear from the dogs.
From: Steve Luongo
This was a creative day. We worked on lyrics and music. John needed to finish the lyrics for I Wouldn't Sleep With You and Endless Vacation so he went his own way for the early part of the day. He disappeared into the lounge so we didn't see much of him until later. In the mean time Alan went into the studio to begin work on another piece of material that we had been outlining the night before. It is based on the Irish folk music that we saw on one of John's millions of video tapes.
I joined Alan in the studio and added a part that I had had a dream about last night. I don't usually dream or at least I don't remember them but we are all having vivid dreams here and the music from mine was stuck in my head. When I walked into the studio Alan was playing his new parts and it was easy for me to sit with him and work it out. I ran into the room shouting "I got it, I got it" and the next part of the song was born. Alan did a great job of making the 2 parts merge and we were making some small changes to his parts when Godfrey came in to add his guitar. We knew we were onto to something when Bobby started jigging through the room and whistling the tune we were playing. We promptly name it "Jig-on-the-Wold" (Dance on the Hill). I burst in on John's lyric writing to declare that we had written a great piece of music and he said "leave some room in it for me" which we gladly did. I guess I got his curiosity going because 5 minutes later he peeked in the studio and listened to what we were doing. We received a smile of approval and we felt good about our latest creation.
When we broke for dinner John was just finishing up the 2nd set of lyrics. We took a look and laughed at some of the clever lines he had penned. As always John has found a way to make the obvious hysterical. After our meal John and Bobby disappeared into the studio to begin tracking the new vocals. When I caught up with Alan and Godfrey they were in the lounge watching Raging Bull. I sat down and the sound of hard Ds replacing Ts (dis, dat, dees, dems and doze) made us all home sick for New York and some Italian food. It also made John "homesick for the English language." The end of this film prompted a search for another NY classic, Good Fellas but we had no luck. We asked John if he had it and he said no. We were bummed out and resorted to one of my personal favorites The Godfather pt 2. While we were watching the film Godfrey happened to mention that several people in his neighborhood had car horns that play the Godfather theme. You might have guessed that Godfrey is from Queens.
We took a break to listen to the vocal tracks that Bobby and John had laid down. They were great and we were thrilled. That's 2 down and one to go.
We went back into the lounge and watch the rest of the film. Godfrey dubbed me Mr. Closed Caption because I was reciting the dialogue alone with the characters in the film. John asked " Have you seen this before?"
Now it was time for the ritual dog walking and then off to bed to dream of Johnny's Pizza in Mount Vernon of maybe Umberto's Clam House on Mulberry St. in Little Italy. Either way maybe there's a song in there somewhere.
From: Steve Luongo
Day 10 started with the early morning moose vocal. I had the pleasure of added a vocal track that was an octave below John's vocal which is no easy task. This was done in the middle of the chorus section of I Wouldn't Sleep With You and we did it at about 10:30am to preserve the low end morning phlegm sound. We got it too! Godfrey say it worked because I'm part phlegmish. (not really).
Enter Godfrey who is always a stickler for perfection. He insisted on doing some guitar vamp repairs. We didn't want him to change anything but we gave in and as a result his parts were even stronger. Godfrey and Alan worked on the jig in the studio while John and I prepared to lay down some rhythm section grooves for Cakewalk's new digital audio program. These short rhythm tracks will be made available to other composers through Cakewalk's Musician's Toolbox. The idea is to let people use our tracks to create the rhythm section for their songs. They can edit and alter the tracks to suit their needs. We headed down to the studio and laid down the tracks with Bobby.
After this was completed Alan, Godfrey and I went in the studio to finalize the arrangement for the jig and put it on tape. The next step is for John to add his parts. We are looking forward to his input.
Now it's dinner time and then into the lounge for a movie. But before tonight's feature we went into the bar ( for a change ). Alan had broken John's record on Asteroids and now felt that I had to join this competition. Godfrey wanted to play too so we set it up for 2 players. Watching him fly the little spacecraft around made me realize why I used to drive myself to gigs. He'd zoom off the screen, start to panic and ask " Where's my little guy ?" In the heat of the competition we were joined by a fat little mouse. He was walking through the bar so calmly that I asked John "Is this a friend of yours?" He replied yes, no, yes he is. We ushered him to the door but not before he turned to laugh at Godfrey's poor video game technique.
Godfrey and I went to the lounge to begin watching the movie of the night which was Tombstone. This film is one of our favorites. We had it on the bus for the last tour. Footnote: every film we had on the bus had explosions and screaming in it. This list included The Specialist, Gettysburg, Natural Born Killers ( Godfrey still has nightmares from that one) Starwars, The Battle of Britain and Speed. Needless to say it was tough to get any sleep while someone was watching a movie with the surround sound cranked.
We had just started the movie when John and Alan came in the room and asked us to watch Euro Trash on regular TV. We agreed and for the next ¸ hour we were entertained by some of the weirdest things I've ever seen on a TV screen. This program included an old guy in a penguin suit eating raw fish and I don't mean sushi. However there was a section that featured sushi that was served to the customers on a naked girl. You can't make this stuff up folks. We asked "Is this regular TV?" John just smiled.
After our short detour through the bizarre we continued watching Tombstone. John disappeared and returned with a book about the old west. We needed to know certain facts and John provided the answers.
At midnight Lisa showed up with some crumbled birthday cake. Yes it's my birthday now 9/21. Godfrey passed on the cake fearing the sugar would keep him up all night. He soon retired and the rest of us yacked until almost 5am. Good cake! John took me to the snooker room to show me a painting of Butch Cassidy's gun. As you may or may not know John is well versed on the subject of the old west and antique firearms. I then found an old book titled The Who in Sweden. John told us the stories that went along with the pictures. It's hard to believe that the kid in those 30 year old pictures is our bass guitarist.
5am time for bed.
From: Steve Luongo
This was a great day. We started with a cup of tea from Bob's favorite green tea pot. Then it was into the studio to begin mixing Left For Dead. Since there is no one else using the studio we are able to work on a mix a little at a time and leave it overnight so Bobby does a bit of mixing each day as the track progresses and that makes it easier to do the final mix.
Before we could begin we had to learn a little more about the new automation computer that John and Bobby had installed recently. After sorting it out we started the first mix. About 2 hours later we had the first song in the can.
After a short break we started on I Wouldn't Sleep With You. This song was mixed in about the same amount of time. One reason it was so easy to mix these 2 songs is that we knew what we wanted sound wise before we started.
As we were mixing Bobby was squirming and dancing like a madman. He was also doing his impression of the mixing monkey which has to be seen to be appreciated. During all this jiving and twisting Alan asked him "What's the deal with this rug?" Bobby had a small oriental rug under his chair that was getting bunched under the casters. Alan suggested that he nail it down to keep it from moving. At this point John looked down to see what he was talking about and realized that this was one of his expensive Chinese silk rugs from Harrods. John screamed "The hell you will! That rug cost me 135 quid and that was at a half-price sale." This rug was soon replaced by a runner from the bar.
Many of you asked to hear a live sound with lots of bass & drums, John's vocals, raw guitars and real keyboards. Well, YOU GOT IT!
Next on the agenda was John's vocal on Endless Vacation. We all gave him some space. We left the control room to him and Bobby. If you remember I told you John hates headphones so he has to record his vocals in the control room. The first song he sang was done exactly that way. For the next one he actually wore the headphones and by the time he sang the 3rd song he was out in the studio with the headphones cranked. While John was cutting his vocals I went to the office to write the next installment of the journal. I realized it was still my birthday and I had a lot to celebrate. Here we were in the perfect place doing the thing we love to do the most. Playing rock & roll. I finished and went downstairs to hear the results. They were beyond a doubt the best vocals he has laid down during these sessions.
John went out to the kitchen and I stayed for another listen. That's when Alan walked in and asked me for my video camera. I should have known something was up. Lisa, John, Alan and Godfrey walked in singing Happy Birthday and carrying a cake. It doesn't get much better than that. Here I am listening to the playback of our new music and my band mates walk in to wish me a happy birthday. The only thing that was missing was my wife and dog.
With 2 songs in the can and one more ready for backing vocals and mixing we adjourned to the bar once again to party with some friends from the hotel down the street. We spent the rest of the night winding down and laughing our asses off as usual. We had a lot to be happy about. We were even joined by Ralph the parrot who does a mean version of Pridden mixing.
4am (Quite a birthday!)
From: Steve Luongo
Godfrey, Alan and I met Bobby in the bar for a cup of tea. We were discussing the backing vocals that we were going to add to Endless Vacation. It took a while for us to loosen our voices up. It's very hard to sing in the morning and since John had turned in such a stellar performance on the lead vocal we wanted to be sure we were warmed up and ready.
Bobby placed us around a U87 in the vocal booth and we all knew that these would be the last tracks we would be printing for a while. The plan was to all sing the harmony parts together and then double them which is exactly what we did. They came off without a hitch and we were soon ready for the final mix.
After a short break Bobby set the desk up for mixing and started to get things balanced. John joined us in the control room and we tweaked and fine tuned the tracks until they sounded right. Bobby printed the final mix on the ¸ inch machine and we were ready to make copies of all 3 songs. Bobby ran off a cassette for everyone and a few DATs. The 1st John Entwistle Band sessions were history and there was a mixed feeling of joy and sorrow. John had me fire up the stereo in the bar and we listened to the mixes. They sounded great and we were pleased.
After a while I met up with Godfrey and Alan who were in the lounge watching old Twilight Zone episodes. We all sort of passed out and when we woke up it was time for dinner. Alan had a headache and stayed home while Lisa drove John, Godfrey and myself to an Indian restaurant in town. Dinner was on Bitsa Talent which bummed Alan out. I guess I'll have to buy him lunch at Heathrow to make up for it.
After dinner we returned to the house and once again listened to the cassette mixes in the lounge. We realized that we had no more work to do so we hung around watching Doris ( the spider ) in her tank. Doris is a Tarantula and she's about 5 years old. There is a house spider that has taken up residence in her tank. We affectionately named him Morris. I took some great video of Doris moving around. She looks animated and almost fake when she moves.
Alan was the 1st to turn in followed by Godfrey. I stayed in the lounge with John and we watched an old western with Burt Lancaster and Gary Cooper and talked about the future.
All of a sudden I see the head of an old man peek around the door and it scared the breakfast out of me. It turned out to be Lisa with a muppets mask on. It's one of the old men that sit in the balcony complaining. I immediately wanted to dress up a dummy and place it on Godfrey's toilet. But they talked me out of it. Not because they were being kind to Godfrey but because they would have had to get the clothes for it.
We watched the movie and all of a sudden John breaks out with a Burt Lancaster impression. The impression consists only of Lancaster's clinched teeth laugh but it's was quite accurate and funny as hell. I was ready for bed but I stayed up for almost another hour waiting for Burt to laugh in the film but he never did so it was off to bed.
From: Steve Luongo
Today was picture day. We strolled around the grounds and Lisa took some casual band shots. We also took some schmooze shots of Godfrey with his Trace Elliot amps and Paul Reed Smith guitar as well as some shots of me for Zildjian. Since these picture were taken during the day they look like an ad for sunglasses.
We all piled in the Rolls and went to Cheltenham to visit a friend in the hospital. On the ride to Cheltenham we decided to make a video for Left For Dead. So we popped the tape into the car stereo and out came my video camera. Everyone was mugging and singing their parts. Lisa was almost hit by an oncoming car which was an exciting scene in the video. Maybe we'll keep it. Every film needs an action scene. We went to a mall and shopped around for a while to ease us through our withdrawls. John dashed into an HMV to pick up Goodfellas after being ragged by the band for have an incomplete mob section in his video collection. He also bought about 20 other titles as well as a dozen CDs. John got a kick out of seeing his first CD on sale. Naturally he bought it.
We then went for dinner while the film was developing at a one hour photo place. We got the pictures back and had some real laughs. Maybe I'll get brave and post some on our page for you all to see, just don't tell John. Alan and I have a lot of great video and stills from the rest of the trip that we will share with you also.
So that's about it for now. We leave in the morning and no matter what he tells you he'll be up to say goodbye unless he hides in another bedroom and we can't find him. We'll will miss it here and we all can't wait to return and reunite our musical family.
I will log my last entry for this journal tomorrow when I return to NY.
We watched some comedy videos and tried to stay up as long as we could so we will sleep on the plane. We did it! John is not one for long goodbyes and I'm not very big on them myself. Since we stayed up so late we won't wake him in the morning which means we said goodbye before bed. We hugged at the top of the stairs and he said I'll see you before you know it. You can bet your last 10er on that!
From: Steve Luongo
John's journal week 2
Well, here I am again. Steve is locked up in the dog kennel and I'm back writing the last journal. The days have flown by like weeks and we have 3 (almost) finished songs under our belt. Unfortunately that's not all we have under our belts and the DIETS start tomorrow.
Godfrey and Alan are downstairs in the lounge watching Goodfellas on the video. I guess they're trying to get acclimated to NY before they go home tomorrow.
The dogs will be sad to see them go- 3 less plates for the to steal food from. I've been doing some calculations and it seems in 13 days we have used up 120 toilet rolls. That seems an awful lot, 3 each per day! Maybe I should have put some towels in their rooms too!
They'll be off back to NY in the morning. I guess I'll say goodbye tonight, I'm not very good at mornings. It's not that I'm lazy it's just that I'm allergic to them. Bobby always called me the Prince of Darkness affectionately of course. At one point while he was recording The Cast at my studio here he had them convinced that I was a vampire. They had asked him why they never was me until it was dark! So-I guess that's it. I've enjoyed reading Steve's and writing these journals. I wish it was as easy to write my damn book. I guess I'll see some of you soon on the Quadraderilict tour.
Thanks for your feedback and letters, I'll try to write again from the road. Until then, I remain.
From: Steve Luongo
Day 14 going home
We had a 2pm flight today from London Heathrow. John and Lisa's friend Richard drove us to the airport. Before we left we stopped at Alldays to pick up as much English chocolate as we could fit in our bags. I for one don't want to hear the word Cadbury for a long time but I promised the girls in the office that I'd bring some home and I did. 2 of everything. I felt like a Cadbury salesman. The people at Alldays must have thought we were pretty well off our rockers.
As we pulled in to Heathrow we saw a dozen cops with machine guns looking for someone. Godfrey said that yesterday they had arrested a terrorist member of the IRA. This didn't not make me feel very good about checking into Heathrow.
When we got inside we went to the check-in desk to make sure that we had the right reservations this time and we did. Yeah, upper class. During our dance of joy a man asked me to take my bag and go behind a screen so it could be checked by a customs lady. I had a reel of 2" tape and a brief case with several electronic devices in it. I guess it must have looked kind of strange on the X-ray machine. When she opened my bag and saw the candy she said "Don't get sick." I said "Too late." She let me pack my bag and sent me off to meet Godfrey and Alan.
We were escorted to the upper class lounge by a very nice flight attendant and sat down for a bite to eat. They have a lot of great stuff to eat and it's all free. However Alan didn't know this and asked the price of something since there were no prices on the menu. From that point on the girl that was serving us kept asking him if he'd like to borrow a few quid. Alan thought about it for a while...
We then discovered a skiing machine and that was that. We were in the Alps skiing for free. It was one of those virtual reality machines that you have to stand in and move as if you're skiing. We were doing OK until we tried the pro racer setting. At that point we were hitting trees and fences like there was no tomorrow. If this had been real there would have been no tomorrow for any of us.
Now it was time to board our flight. We had 3 spacious seats together and 7-1/2 hours of clear blue skies ahead of us. After a while we had a nice lunch and prepared for the movie. You'll never guess what it was.
Yup that's right Quad, as if we hadn't heard enough of that at MSG for 6 nights. No matter, we watched and it was funny to see Phil Daniels as Jimmy after hanging out with him back stage and at the hotel. When the film was over we all talked about our sessions at John's and the whole thing made us miss him so we pulled out the pictures from the day before and had a few laughs.
We were just served "high tea" which consisted of finger sandwiches, salad, strawberries and a scone with crusted clotted cream spread. MMmmmm sounds appetizing doesn't it. Well you can bet your boots we ate it all and it turned out to be quite nice.
The captain just announced that we will be delayed by about 10 or 15 minutes.
I CAN"T WAIT TO GET OUT OF THIS PLANE!!!!!!!!!
Ahhhh New York I can hear the pleasant ring of F*** You A**hole permeating the air. Did I say air? Well you know what mean. It's good to be home. It is almost 6:00pm and customs was a breeze which means we'll be right on time for rush hour. I have an hour drive from Kennedy but it's no problem because I have a tape (JE Band) to listen to in the car and 2 weeks of stories to tell. I can't wait to see my wife and Cody. Then it's off for that Italian dinner.
John is now in London beginning his Quad rehearsals and Godfrey, Alan and I will be doing some gigs around the area just for fun. Godfrey has already told me about a jam at the Sam Ash on Queens Boulevard at 5pm Saturday. You can bet I'll be there with him. ( any chance to play ). We'll keep you posted about other events that we are involved in and we hope to run into some of you along the way. I thank you all for joining us on this trip and I'll drop in on you from time to time.
Thanks again and we'll see you soon.
All My Best Wishes,
P.S. a very special thanks to Alan McKendree for all his help. Thanks Alan from the John Entwistle Band