As you might imagine, I’m spending a lot of time at the keyboard this days tapping out chapter after chapter of my Music and Audio book. My hope is to get is completed in time for the AXPONA show in mid April but after speaking with a printer yesterday, it seems like it will get delivered some weeks later. They need 6-8 weeks to set it up, provide a review copy, and then complete the printing process. So for those of you who supported the Kickstarter campaign, I’m making great progress on the content but things are slipping off of my initial scheduling commitment.
In spite of my very busy schedule, I managed to pry myself away from the computer and attend a performance by the group Big Daddy at Boulevard Music in Culver City last Saturday evening. I’ve been a fan for decades and two of the members are very close friends. Big Daddy’s albums and live performances deliver an unusual and very clever musical twist. They rearrange familiar hits in the style of the later 50s. Imagine hearing Rick James’ “Super Freak” in the style of the Everly Brothers or Dire Straits’ “Money for Nothing” as like Tennessee Ernie Ford’s “Sixteen Tons”. The arrangements are very polished and the band puts on a really entertaining show. But they haven’t performed as Big Daddy for over 20 years! Boy time flies. I can remember seeing them at clubs like “At My Place” back in the 90s.
When I was actively mastering CDs, I worked on a couple of Big Daddy projects including their remake of the entire Sgt. Peppers album. Every song on that classical record was lovingly recast in the style of Harry Belafonte, Johnny Cash, or another later 50s performer. I even remember adding the “hidden” bit of sound following the tune “A Day In The Life” 25 seconds after the final cadence. The Big Daddy version includes my voice very quietly saying, “why are you still listening?” backwards. More than a few listener took the time to figure out what we did at 3 am during the mastering of the CD.
The guys in the band contrived a story to explain why they perform everything in the 50s style. During a tour of Southeast Asia, they were captured and held capture for 10 years or so. So they missed the British Invasion, Surf Music, and mainstream rock ‘n roll. They only way they got to know the music of the 60s was through sheet music…thus their sound remained rooted in the past but the lyrics and melodies are current and familiar.
It makes for a very good time complete with costume changes, props, and vocal imitations. I especially liked Paul McCartney’s “Ebony and Ivory” as Little Richard would have done it. Thanks Donnie D and Bubba! You brought back a lot of great memories and made me laugh out loud. You can check out Big Daddy by clicking here.