May Newsletter

Sunday, May 13, 2012
Dear Friends,
 
It has been quite a busy last 2 weeks!
 
Tuesday the 1st May I attended the regular Grammy Board meeting where I was also acting as President (due to our President MC Lyte being absent). It was a moving meeting as we said goodbye to the Board Governors that were terming out. Amongst those were Lamont Dozier, Andrew Sheps, Steven Miller, Dave Koz and many others. Lamont was the first person I met when I got on the Board about 6 years ago and he never missed a single meeting. It will be strange to not see him each month, although everyone always remains involved in some capacity. 
Here is the Grammy Recording Academy Board room just moments before the meeting.
 
At 8:45 pm I jumped into the car and tore down the delightful 405 at a high rate of speed to another great solo gig at Cafe Cordiale; people said that the band played better than ever before and we had some terrific guests drop in to play. John Sawicki, from the hit rhythm show "Stomp", Rick Z, Richie Kotzen, JP Cervoni, Dave Keckhut, Bret Domrose, Daniel Pearson and the inimitable Cara Lee. I am looking forward to our next show at Cordiale at 9:15 pm on Tuesday May 29th. Please come along to the gig or to jam if you wish!
 
Bright and early Wednesday and we started the Rock Fantasy Camp featuring Steven Tyler. After David Fishof's opening remarks we met our campers and got off to the grueling task of four days of solid rehearsing!  Actually, it is a lot of fun. 
 
David Fishof - opening remarks
 
The first night we, the Counselors, put on a show for the campers hosted at the Hollywood Guitar Center; I played the Yes song "Roundabout" with Alan White, Bruce Kulick, Teddy ZigZag, Robert Sarzo and Kip Winger and Billy Sheehan on vocals. After that I sang "Tie Your Mother Down" splitting vocals with Kip. If you listen to that song Freddy Mercury RIP had some unbelievable phrasing on the vocals - very tricky! 
Big Bottom - Kip Winger, Tim Bogert, Billy Sheehan and Rudi Sarzo
Tie Your Mother Down
 
With so many bass players in one place we had to get up on stage at the same time and perform Spinal Tap's "Big Bottom" !
That was another thing off the bucket list - just brilliant!!
 
 
 
 
My allocated musicians were terrific; we called ourselves Led Hefner! Jason and Wendi on drums, Vito, Joe and Ross on guitars, Ben on bass and Maria and Alison on vocals. After some decision making process we were performing "Dude Looks Like a Lady" "Cuts Like a Knife" and "Sweet Home Alabama". Some of these Campers had never played in a band before but you would never have known it - they were awesome!
 
On the Friday we went into NRG Studios where we had a recording session to cut one of our songs, we cut "Sweet Home…" The guys cut the song in 3 takes and we overdubbed some background vocals, acoustic and percussion instruments.
 
   
Ross and Alison
 
  
Joe and Vito
 
Come Saturday and the gig at the Playboy Mansion. We arrived at the Mansion at about 6 pm and got settled in. I guess that 
they have transferred control of the Mansion from Hef to an agency, so there were some differences that I could notice, but if you didn't know you would have seen any difference. Our band played 9th in order on the double stage and we killed it! Steven was there but unable to actually sing due to some problems with his throat - apparently. Either way we nailed the song. We also had a great time with our other two songs.
 
With my wife, Jen at the soundcheck....
 
LED HEFNER !
 
So Sunday we said goodbye to our Campers at a farewell brunch and this week I started shooting video for my next YouTube vid. The song is "Free My Soul" and it will feature the photographic work of David Honl. David is a photojournalist of great repute whose work is published in Newsweek and Time and he spends many months in Afghanistan, Iraq and Turkey. His pictures are emotive and compelling and they fit the storyline that I have planned so this is going to be interesting!  David's Website
Please keep an eye out as I will announce the video shortly. Make sure that you follow me on www.twitter.com/philsoussan
 
So that's about it - once again please come to the gig at Cordiale on the 29th.
 
Other appearances that are not quite confirmed yet will be the John Bonham Birthday Tribute concert at the House of Blues, a Vinny and Carmine Appice Drum Wars in Corona and a possible solo gig at the Brixton. We are also working on Big Noize shows but are in the process of making a change to the line up of the band that should result in it being made much easier for us to be able to perform more frequently. 
 
Details on all this to follow…
 
Talk to you all soon and thank you for your continued support!
 
Phil
 

 

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