Today is the long awaited release of the new CD by the MVP – the Mar Vista Philharmonic: NO FOREST FIRE (Zonic Entertainment ZEN 2005).
Jeff Beck in NYC
Herbie Hancock is mad cool!
I have been ill since Halloween with Pneumonia but I finally got well enough to work again. My friend Nathan East, who plays bass (for many big names like Michael Jackson, Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart, Bon Jovi, Quincy Jones and loads more) suggested that I come to his gig in Berlin, as he is touring with Herbie Hancock now.
^Herbie is a wonderful person
The last time I saw Nathan was about 8 years ago when he was on tour with Eric Clapton. I massaged them all back then and was amazed that Nathan insisted on riding his mountain bike from the Hotel to the concert hall, which was MILES away and in East Berlin. It was already (it gets dark early in the winter).. but he was confident that he could find it and he did. He is soooo outgoing and fun. Nathan is a perfectionist and you can hear that in his music. That's why he only works with the best musicians around. He has been called one of the best bassist in the world…You can read all about him by clicking HERE
After I massaged Nathan, we all met in the lobby to go to the gig which was at the UdK (university of Art) here in Berlin. I met their tour manager Phil and was told he is also Paul McCartney's tour manager, so we chatted about Paul a bit *sigh* I LOVE PAUL! Anyhow, next time Sir Paul tours, I may be able to massage him..yay!
Nathan introduced me to Herbie outside the hotel, he was super friendly and has a warm, contagious smile.
He was driven to the gig in a sleek black Mercedes and the band and I went in a van.
VInnie was so tired that he was delirious and hence, FUN. Vinnie sort of reminds me of Dee Dee Ramone; he is
funny even when he isn't trying to be.
Vinnie Colaiuta is on tour with Herbie too, playing drums of course. Vinnie has slept through his wake up call (he was napping) and was a bit tired, but perked up when he saw me and gave me a big hug. Last time I saw Vinnie was this past summer when he toured with Jeff Beck. Poor Vinnie, he hasn't been getting much sleep on tour, I feel really bad for touring musicians, no matter HOW cushy the tour, no matter how rich they are, it's still hard on the body. You hardly ever get a good night's sleep and the constant sitting (in the tour bus, on the plane, on the train, backstage) and irregular meals and meeting new people every day can be exhausting. If I could give them a gift of 8 hours sleep, I would. Massage does help, but nothing beats a good sleep.
Backstage, before sound check, Herbie asked me if I would like to join him chanting later. He is a Buddist
and has been for the last 25 years. I told him I was open minded and would love to try. I was thinking, maybe this
could be the answer to my nasty sleep disorder.
During the sound check I got to stand on the stage and watch the geniuses in action. Vinnie is so exciting to
to watch, no wonder he gets so many hits on youtube.The last time I saw Vinnie was n the summer when he was drumming
for Jeff Beck. He said he was actually planning on a long break but "when Herbie called, well, that was a no
brainer, of course I said yes, he is one of my hero's."
Nathan had me film him while he sang "I just called" (Stevie Wonder) with his high tech camera during the sound
check. I am almost certain if he wasn't busy being on of the best bassist on earth, he would be a full time
photographer. He takes more pics than I do and he always makes sure the background, angle and lighting are right.
Nathan is also madly in love with his wife and super proud of his twins. He shows off pics of them so proudly. It's
nice and refreshing to meet a man in the music business that tours so often to still be so dedicated and in love
with their wife. In fact, I rarely meet anyone anymore that is so in love with their spouse. People usually moan
about how they wish things were like they used to be, in the beginning of the relationship, or the complain about
"the ol'ball and chain". My Father and Step Mom are madly in love STILL after 25 years and they were the only
couple I knew that were like that until I met Nathan. I thought to myself "all women would love a man like that".
Nathan is such a positive person and he radiates that. This man truly loves life. I love being around people like
him, it recharges your battery, takes away any jaded edges you have lurking around (well, at least for a while).
To top that all off, he can sing his ass off too. Herbie chose the best musicians for his quartette.
I was really surprised when Herbie told me he had never collaborated with Zappa. He said they had spoken a few times
about doing so, but things always seem to get in the way. I could tell he regrets that deeply, as he speaks so
highly of Frank, which just confirms how cool Heribe is.
Herbie during sound check ^
My friend Shai ^ arrived during the sound check. Herbie was standing on stage with a mic in his
hand and I introduced her to him. He spoke into the mic for all to hear "Shai? How do you spell
that?" Shai spelled it for him. "Oh, nice! Great name!" Herbie is so friendly!
After the sound check, Herbie invited us into his dressing room.
I gave him a quick back massage and they he asked us if we wanted to chant.
He set it all up, and everyone came in to join us, except Vinnie, I think he was too tired.
Herbie handed us a booklet with all of the verses he was going to say and we were to follow. He has been doing
this every day for the last 25 years, so he doesn't even need to look at the book. It sounds Japanese to me,
and he speaks very fast, we got lost at one point and Herbie turned around, found our spot were we should have been
and never even missed a beat with his chanting. We were gob smacked.Amazed. He gave us a card with the web site
and info we need to chant. Almost every city has a Buddha center. It was so relaxing and calming, I find myself
chanting now, when I get stressed. You can read up about it online..Apparently Herbie is really famous for his
participation as I have been approached online by people who say they are also Buddhist and they have chanted with
Herbie too.Wtf? Small world.
The show was long, well over 2 hours. It was amazing, sounded perfect.Herbie is really charming on stage,
he talks sometimes in between songs, and the people love it. He makes them all laugh. He needed help translating
something; he needed the German words for his song "Watermelon man" and I shouted it out in German for him
(note: I am NOT German, no German blood, I just have a flat here and speak the lingo). Anyways, Herbie
repeated it in German and it was super cute. If Herbie is to play anywhere near you, do check out the show,
the band is TIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!
After the show, my daughter Jasmine and her "friend" Julian, who is from Italy, came backstage to say Hi to
Herbie, Nathan, Vinnie and Lionel. Nathan entertained us with a few magic tricks, he is a magician too (jack of
all trades!). I am glad Jasmine gets to meet such musical legends, they are rare and should be treasured.
I was going to go to Italy and massage Herbie and co. at a few Italian shows but as I said before, the first
show was canceled and it just didn't work out. Looking very forward to seeing the lads again..
My massage assistant in Italy, Melissa, got to massage them in Milan for a few days. She also chanted and went to see the Buddha center with Herbie. Mad cool.