Thursday, June 4, 2009

Kung Fu Fart Bubble

RIP David Carradine

Rarely do I have anything other than a snide comment to give in reference to Kwai Chang Caine, but I feel I should be nice to him today. Just like his birthday, his deathday is in full swing and every media outlet is going crazy on him.

Do a Barrel Roll.

The ringmaster of The Legend Continues decided to practice his auto erotic asphyxiation spinning back fist, over compensated, and severed his spirit from the physical world. I always imagined that he would overdose or be stabbed, but never INXS’d to death. I find myself pondering what would be a reasonable death for a man who graced us with his presence in the yellow book commercials and such hits as “Big Stan” with Rob Schneider. After a long meditation, I feel it is fitting that he go out in Bangkok, naked in a closet.

Let me back track a little bit and preface my objective analysis of his penis rope strangle party with some information. After all, I actually had a four day relationship with this man. I have his name on my resume because I’m a name dropping piece of garbage.

This is going to sound like satyr, but believe me, it’s not.

David Carradine and the Cosmic Rescue Team:

After David Carradine kicked everyone’s ass a hundred times over in the cinema, he decided to form a band. Let me say that again. David Carradine had a band. OK. Apparently he turned 70 and decided to form a band of rapscallions on the verge of global domination through the intense power of folk/rock. Not really, but we can dream. He really did have a band, David Carradine and the Cosmic Rescue Team. His first recording session was at Club Iridium in Times Square, NYC, 6/28/06, for two shows, and I was one of the recording engineers. His people contacted some more people who contacted me and a partner in crime to take on this kung fu force flying right at us with his Japanese flute in tow. We secured a rehearsal space for him a day prior to the recording on the upper west side of Manhattan; Seinfeldland. He originally was supposed to show up at noon, but at 2:00pm we received a phone call from his agent explaining that he would be late because he was having a scotch. Understandable, he’s old and a star, so scotch isn’t out of the question or out of the answer.

THE ARRIVAL: Backwards Knees

He showed up to the rehearsal space out of his mind drunk and didn’t say a word upon arrival. He only gave me and my partner a series of high fives and low fives. In true ninja form, he barreled down the stairs to the space to find the reprehensible objects we laid out for him; a microphone stand, music stand and stool. He scoffed at the stool and its funtime buddies, “what do I look like? Some sort of old man who needs a chair!?!” He followed this proclamation of his unendorsed youth with a slow motion karate kick straight out of a Steven Segal movie, knocking the stool to the ground. Take that!
He then promptly sat crossed legged on the floor and, like he was on shrooms, fiddled for a half hour or hour trying to make his guitar work without upsetting spacetime. Like I said, he was hammered. Eventually his electric violinist (handler) hooked up his guitar and they twanged out a few tunes. We took some notes and figured out a stage setup for recording this conglomerate. I’ll spare you the details of the recording setup, but let’s just say it was huge for a five piece band. During the ensuing day, we recruited interns looking for experience and didn’t stop working until the show was long over the following night.
The show itself was met with mixed reviews. It ranged from terrible to awful. I was sitting side stage during the second performance and David Carradine farted. It was one of those “who invited a nursing home on stage,” melt your face off kind of gas-passery. It was so foul, it actually mucked up my vision, gave me vertigo, nausea and I’m sure I can’t have kids now because of the exposure. I am biased, though, because I was cranky at the time. I hadn’t slept in three days and wasn’t looking forward to the fourth. Not for this kung fu fart bubble.

His sets were filled with generic folk/rock complimented by a soaring electric violin and a black session drummer unfamiliar with the band. The few instances of tolerance I had with the show were his piano pieces, which if I knew him, I’d probably outright enjoy, and his fusion cover songs of House of the Rising Sun, Amazing Grace, and Poker Face. The parts that kept me wanting use a claw hammer on my ear drum were when his guitar went out of tune in the last song of his first set and he failed to put it back in tune throughout the second set.

All in all, it wasn’t a bad gig. I got to meet a celebrity and watched Hung fu [sic] fall on his guitar sword. After the show was over and we were packing up, he did come over to me to shake my hand. He said, “Thank you so much.”

His memory will be forever tarnished in the fashion of his death, but I will always remember him as the guy 70 year old who karate kicked a stool in my presence, farted, and thanked me.

Postscript: Jerkface

The long and the short of it was that I was in audio engineering school when this happened. One of my teachers came to help in the recording and ended up taking the master recordings to mix himself. This cut me and my partner out of the loop completely working on spec, even though we provided the legwork, man power and most of the equipment. The more I think about it, the more I realize that the club was paying him to do this (huge wad of money was exchanged at the end) and had no intention of paying me or my partner. I’m not sore with Bernie. I know he was just teaching us a valuable lesson in the business. Everyone’s out to have buttsecks with you and stab you in the back while they do it. I’m guilty of it just the same. So you better wear metaphysical buttplates and flack jackets when you enter into agreement for services of this magnitude.

Thanks Bernie. I’m sure you’ll find someone to put out that record, finally.

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