Thursday, April 10, 2014

I Had A Dream

I had a dream; 
I was shopping with some beautiful girlfriends for dresses. We were looking at very shiny happy sparkly dresses, quite mod and colorful really. And a few hats, with feathers, fit for a princess. 

Then amidst all these happy things I remembered Paul and that he was dead and how much I missed him and how I wished he were still here. I went barreling down a hallway sobbing...fearing the loss of more loved ones and friends. 

How could I go on? Go forward in the face of that inevitable loss? I cried some more, than went back to my girlfriends who were still looking at fun, happy dresses. Somehow, I knew, even with the sadness, I would face the loss and go forward. Even in the presence of dichotomy; happy dress and smiling girlfriends and brutal loss. 

I would always be marked in this way, but in time we all are. And we all move forward, touching the nice things still.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

More Austin with Friends...

(photo Sharyl Holtzman)
The panel on Paul Williams and Crawdaddy, went great and it was Wednesday at noon and my band show was that night, so Thursday was a sorta day off. Cellist Renata Bratt and I met up with Alejandro Escovedo and the Lou Reed Tribute All Star Band at the Gibson Guitar Showroom and ran through our song, Femme Fatale.  It was cool seeing my pal Lenny Kaye, who was playing in the band, in this other context; outside of New York and outside of the long arm of the Patti Smith world. 

(photo John Doe)
That night, after rehearsal we went into South Austin to catch a few bands and ran into friends having dinner; John Doe and Chrissy and Cindy Wasserman and Patrick Dennis. We had planned to see X after our gig Wednesday night but our ring-leader, Paula Luber (and the van), decided to lay low at the hotel after load out. So instead of going to the Mohawk we had dinner on 6th and mosied around Stubbs never making it over to the X show. Good thing. We would have been in the line of people that were plowed into by a random drunk guy. Very tragic scene. Fortunately we were too tired after our own gig to make it over.

(photo Todd V Wolfson)
The night of the Lou Reed Tribute show at the Paramount Theater there were about 10 amazing photographers running around with cameras. Todd Wolfson and Richard Kerris came back to the "women's locker room" backstage and picked up a few shots of us before the whole thing began. 
(photo by Louise Goffin)
This one was taken right before I went up and played Femme Fatale, waiting my turn as Cheetah Chrome plays his tune. Louise Goffin, one great songwriter from a family of great songwriters, snapped this one. 





(Todd V Wolfson)
Me and Louise backstage pre show. With Renata's cello case.

(Todd V Wolfson)
Alejandro checks up on us women folk. With Rosie Flores and her manager, me in the back, Louise Goffin, Roggie Baer, Paula Luber, and Renata Bratt



(photo Todd V Wolfson)
Suzanne Vega sang Walk on the Wild Side with Alejandro, Richard Barone and I doing backup vocals and Renata playing cello.





Richard Barone has a marvelous version of All Tomorrows Parties which you can find and buy on line and a super cool video of original Warhol footage to go with. Here I'm singing backup while Nico hovers over us and the band. 

(photo Todd V Wolfson)
Backstage we were all tromping around tryin' to figure out who was on next, what was goin' on. Here is Sharon Needles who inspired me to put on a little extra makeup...

(photo Todd V Wolfson)
The big finale with everyone chiming in on Lou Reed's Rock And Roll. It was the first song of his I heard, back in the mid 80s when a friend made me a Velvet Underground mixtape. Shortly after hearing it I was impelled to move to NewYork City. Standing next to Sharon Needles...

(photo Todd V Wolfson)
Saturday noon Paula Luber and I caught some brunch and music at Alejandro's SXSW tradition at Maria's Taco's. Here we are with Jan Stabile and Mike Thompson, Alejandro and Richard. 

Then it's time to hit the road. Man, I woulda liked to have stayed another day or two, I feel like I made a bunch of new friends and saw lots of old ones. It was hard to leave. But both Paula and I had work to get back to and three full days of driving to do. 


It's kinda crazy to come out of a scene full of friends and fabulous musicians and then be in these remote places a few hours later. About 15 miles between cell towers. Time to get the mind unwired, de-wifi'd, and tuned in to the rhythm of the land. 

(photo clb)
Have you ever seen, or heard of those 2 thousand year old ceramic bowls and cups where the ancient potter used a wheel and spun it round to make them the way they are...only to find out that some of those old potters cups recorded the sounds of the people making them. Long ago conversations happening. Scientists have tuned in to the grooves made by those ancient potters and found that accidental recordings were made. I've wondered if that could be the case with the grooves in the highway. Ever noticed how the highway sings? Sometimes you can hear a song singing in those asphalt grooves, pulling you forward. 

Monday, March 31, 2014

Cindy Lee Berryhill Photos by Richard Kerris

Photos from Richard Kerris at the Official Sxsw Lou Reed Tribute

with Rosie Flores, Lenny Kaye, show organizer Richard Barone, Cindy Lee Berryhill, 
and Clem Burke











Backstage, before the show



Saturday, March 29, 2014

Thank You Teacher; A Remembrance of Rick Saxton

(photo Greg Allen 1987)
You taught me how to sing harmony. How to find the root, the third, the fifth. How to find the ninth tone in a guitar chord. 

Crazy maybe; you willingly went along as tour manager of my bands first tour, in the dead of winter, in 1988. You and Waygone Rex got into a fight, almost really bad, back stage in a lousy club in Birmingham Alabama, the last gig of the tour. You said "that's it" you were going to take a Greyhound bus home, you went back to the hotel. Instead you got up the next morning took the terrible $1500 van in for an oil change and we drove back to Southern California our friendships still in tact. 

When I was ready to leave home, leave my parents, you were a safe place to learn how to become a un-child. Maybe not an adult just yet, but not a child. I paid rent, got my first job and listened to your extensive record collection, on shelves made of boards and cement blocks

You were my friend and advisor when I needed to talk about guys and figure out where I fit in. One time you said, "what's with you?" I said I had a big wall (I was 22) and that if anyone wanted to get close they'd have to knock it down. You said, "okay I'm knocking it down". You really knew how to be my friend.

Our friend David Ruderman reminded me the other day, of the time we went with you in your old 1940s Ford truck, tooling down the freeway, on our way to a little gig at a steakhouse and the entire front wheel came off the axel. Thump! And then it, the wheel, rolling on ahead of us, passing in front of us, while we screeched and sparked to a halt, safely somehow, miraculously,  on the shoulder of the freeway.  

When I got married to Paul, you were our photographer. When our little 4 year old son had a birthday you were the train engineer that told tall tales of steam-engines and sang songs of railroad yards. 


Everyone (Elizabeth Hummel, Veronica Boyer, Bart Mendoza) looking cool for your shutter snap, at the wedding..

Rick, the last time I saw you, in 2005 or 6, I was pretty much a mess with everything going on with Paul's health, as you remember he was still living at home. And raising a young child on my own. I wasn't much a friend to you and your sister these past 12 years. But I've always got you here, in my heart, and in my harmony, and those photographic memories. May your life now as a free spirit of energy take you to all the places you always wanted to go, the Holland Tunnel, Route 66, and beyond. 

Rick Saxton passed away 2 weeks ago. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Garage Orchestra @ Sxsw Esther's Follies

A Great review of our show at SXSW from the syndicated NPR show Sound Opinions!...@ 22:24
http://www.soundopinions.org/show/434#

*      *      *
I just arrived home from Austin Tx on Monday and it was such a joyful reunion with my son Alexander, and the family, our good friends the Hahm's, that he stayed with those 10 days. In New Mexico I picked up trinkets for their son and mine, bullwhips, and a dream catcher for their 9 year old daughter. 
A delight to be back home with family and friends. 

For the 10 days I was gone, everyone here suddenly discovered Pharrell Williams Happy. So not only is my son and the Hahm's singing it but the next day at work several students want to learn it on guitar. So i put it on the player just now, listen, catch the wave, irresistible even in it's nonsensical nebulosity. You can't not feel happy in the listening. It reminds me of some of the music I liked best as a kid, in the Charlie Brown 1973 Thanksgiving special a riff between Snoopy and Woodstock, a song called Little Birdie. Listen to them both and tell me you don't hear just a little bit of that too. I'm a total sucker for that 70s style pop-soul.

*      *      *

Last Wednesday was our official show at SXSW and we lucked out and got one of the best rooms in town. It's a comedy club part of the time and it's got elevated seats, (yes! one of the few venues that lets you sit down and watch a show) that lead down to the thoroughly colorful stage, with props and multi colored lights. Perfect for the Garage Orchestra sound. The sound was great and lights were very creative. We had a good crowd and folks dug the sounds. 


Renata Bratt on cello, Randy Hoffman on percussion and wall heater cover


Paula Luber on vibraphone. She and I drove a minivan out to Texas with most of our stuff. Three days there, three days back. Listening to lectures recorded from a medical convention (actually very interesting stuff!)

David Schwartz on bass and fuzz tones. David and Jody Schwartz got into Austin Monday night and we had a lovely dinner and hang with them and their LA drummer friend Michael Jerome Moore, a few days before the crazy began. 


By Wednesday the town was full of road blocks and spring breakers and mini-vans like ours. We were fortunate to have a show on the early side, in front of still sober music lovers. Shows like this with my friends; it's pure joy. Feeling fortunate and grateful. Happy. 

*      *      *

Is it happy I feel just now listening as the 127, 171, 934th listener to the song on Youtube? It was , something. Some kind of feeling....but it came out as a huge burst of tears. That joy for living and the great sadness for those that have departed, leaving us to these little everyday moments of oddly connected bliss.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

SXSW Lou Reed Tribute ...Photos by Todd Wolfson

An atonal 4 bars to start. A nod to Lou Reeds Metal Machine Music
With cellist Renata Bratt and violinist Susan Voelz, Rosie Flores and show organizer Richard Barone singing harmonies on Femme Fatale

That's Lenny Kaye behind us on guitar, Clem Burke (from Blondie) on drums, Tony Shanahan (ala Patti Smith) on bass, and Ivan Julian (from the Voidoids) unseen on guitar on my far right

I took a guitar solo.
As for that 4 bar dissonant intro; the plan was to have a percussionist play the 6 foot tall wall heater cover we brought to Sxsw (and used in our show at Esther's Follies), however everyone we asked and said yes to playing the metallic wonder suddenly got a paying gig. We brought it to the Paramount Theater that night just in case a miracle percussionist would turn up. Alas, it was not to be. Even Clem Burke, got wild eyed and bewildered when I talked of starting the song with the 4 bars of banging metal. 

Renata and I set the metal heater cover aside in the back of the theater and played our part in the show. After it was over I noticed it was gone. Someone had taken it out back to the dumpster. We found it luckily, and it is safely home now... 

A rockin' ending, ...making way for BP Fallon and the Strypes up next on Vicious


And backstage...


photos by Todd Wolfson







Sunday, February 23, 2014

South By South West.....Next Week!

Newsflash; this just in from Sxsw.com:
CLB Blog and Lou Reed Tribute Show

cindy lee berryhill featured @ sxsw.com


Meanwhile: Here's my updated SXSW Schedule (2/2)

Weds 3/12

12:30-1:30pm 
Paul Williams/Crawdaddy panel
A tribute and discussion; Crawdaddy was the first intelligent magazine of rock, a breeding ground of great writers, is there anything comparable today? Is the kind of rock writing that Paul instigated and nurtured in 1966 still relevant or influential today? Please come join in on the discussion!
 Panelists: 
Ed Ward, David Fricke, Ann Powers, Paula Mejia 
and moderator: cindy lee berryhill
Austin Convention Center-room 13AB

Weds 3/12

9pm-9:40
Cindy Lee Berryhill 
with her Garage Orchestra
featuring: David Schwartz-fuzz bass, Renata Bratt-cello
Randy Hoffman-percussion/drums/metal heater, Paula Luber-vibraphone 
@Esther's Follies 525 E 6th St. Austin, TX

Fri 3/14
7:30pm

The Official SXSW Tribute To Lou Reed
with Alejandro Escovedo, Richard Barone, Cindy Lee Berryhill,The Baseball Project (w Peter Buck, Steve Wynn, Scott McCaughey, Linda Pitmon) Suzanne Vega, Garland Jeffrey's, Cheetah Chrome, Spandau Ballet, Louise Goffin, Bobby Bare Jr, Wayne Kramer, Sharon Needles, Lucinda Williams, Sean Lennon, Chuck Prophet, Lenny Kaye, and more ..stay tuned!
@ Paramount Theater
713 Congress Ave, Austin 





Thursday, February 20, 2014

Going Through Photos...1992

Paul Williams German publishing agent Dieter and his Japanese agent Mr Asano 1992.

In preparation for the Paul Williams/Crawdaddy panel at SxSW this next month I've been going through folders of photographs looking for possible slides. Meanwhile coming across some of these photos that have deep feeling and meaning on a personal level. 

Grieving the loss of someone that slipped away so slowly... is an odd animal. Sometimes relief, sometimes numb, suddenly sad, and all the while remembering the beauty of the soul alongside the very corporeal human being. 

Oddly, the connection between souls that meet and mingle in the deeper sense, transcends the death. At least that is how it feels. He's gone, but right here. What do you want from me Paul? 
Play music, express love, feeeelll.




In Orange Country at the home of a friend that connected with Paul via his book Das Energi;  
Clb, Donna Grace and Paul during the 1992 BEA 
Book Convention in Anaheim


I was working for a book store, Joseph Tabler Books, at the time and it happened we had a booth at the book fair. Turned out Paul and Donna were there too..


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

CLB, Gary Heffern, John Doe and The Sidewalk Scene








Post by The Sidewalk Scene.






Just having a little fun with the guys, sitting in on The Weight.


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Growing Up California

My dad and I in the Sierra's. We had just moved to the central valley town of Delano and he loved driving us out on the two lane blacktop roads all around the area, exploring. I'm not quite sure what year this was but likely the same year my mother moved back to Hermosa Beach while my dad kept his job as a business manager of the Delano High School. He looked so important at his job with the desk and the secretaries that fawned over me and my blue eyes.

k
Wildflowers, and fields of poppies...


Another shot my dad took with his Brownie camera, somewhere on a two lane between the Sierra's and Delano, Tulare and Bakersfield. This one became the cover for my 4th album. 

This bongo girl was taken a few years earlier than the others, while we were still living in Hermosa Beach. I recognize the wood panel walls of the beach, and my favorite flannel pjs. My dad and I would sing songs together and from appearances, play bongos. I remember these being some kind of furry hide.

At night I was afraid of the dark, alone in my room, and would have a tough time going to sleep. My dad could be very comforting during these times. He was actually quite patient. He'd let me get settled into bed and then he'd come in and sit by me and tell me stories, often pertaining to our favorite movies. The best "story" went something like this...

"I'm walking down the main street of downtown Delano and I hear a big noise suddenly, it goes...ba-da-dee-dump. I look around and nothing is there. What was it! Then again it comes ..ba-da-dee-dum-dump. A very big sound then nothing and no one. What could it be? Then again it starts up and I realize it's a trumpet and a drum and then a band a big marching band and it's turning the corner heading my way, with a little girl leading the band with her baton at the very front and they are playing Seventy Six Trombones from the music man, with this little girl leading them down the street. "

What a good dad he was. Within minutes I felt empowered and able to handle the dark night of my room on my own. Oh, and with the assistance of the radio station my dad would put on when he'd leave the room, Radio Delano -50 watts of power, playing old World War 2 standards nightly.


My best friend was Lisa Mashburn. We were girls that sorta wanted to be boys. We'd play cowboys and ride bikes with banana seats, we'd make drawings of things like dinosaurs and sell them to the elderly people on the block from our wagon and we'd play Beatles wherein we would be Ringo or Paul and pretend girls were chasing us around the house and we'd have to hide. 

Another adventure with daddy.


With my dad and my little sister Tami. This is in either Fresno or Bakersfield...
Tami was rarely up with us in the Central Valley she lived with my mom and grandmother in Hermosa. My dad was the classic 60s man, cigarette in hand, dashing with his wavy black hair, olive colored skin and slender physique. He told me his mom, grandma Berryhill, never thought any woman was good enough. Somehow he got by.