Dave Alvin Q&A

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Latest addition: Wednesday, January 23, 2008 at 04:12:01

Questions Answered:

From: Gary Cahill (Tuesday, January 22, 2008 at 17:43:43)
Answered: Wednesday, January 23, 2008 at 04:12:01.

from Gary Cahill
Weehawken, NJ

Brother Dave,

I, my daughter Ryan, family and a growing bunch of friends are wondering about
an East Coast NYC/NJ swing by you and the Guilty Men. A redux of that South
Street Seaport show by the FDR? Or whatever. Just want to see you plumb that
Brian Wilson catalog again. As well as play a little blues guitar and point.


Hey Gary:

Oh, yeah, I can point with the best of them!

Unfortunately, the only plans I have for this year is to finally get a new CD recorded
but, quoting Chuck Berry, you never can tell.
I'm seriously going through road withdrawals
over not being on tour and playing every night.
Hopefully, you, Ryan and your pals will still be interested when The Guilty Men
and I finally do make it back onto the highways where we belong.

From: elaine lasseter (Tuesday, January 22, 2008 at 15:18:03)
Answered: Wednesday, January 23, 2008 at 04:05:04.

Hey Dave - As usual you were just great at Mc Cabes this past Friday, though
the saddness did show in many of your songs. At the time I was unawear of John
Stewarts condition and thought that you just got an attitude when I asked for
an autograph on my c-d. I was the girl with pink and blue in her hair, but I
am sure you did not even notice me. I was put off and hurt by your response to
me - I am a huge fan and go to as many concerts of yours as I can. Bottom line
I finally get to sort of meet you and I got blown off. Ouch it hurt. But
realizing now the condition of John I can forgive you your reactions, becase I
always felt that you are one of the good guys. Maybe next time you can take a
nano second and say hello.

Keep rockin' Elaine Lasseter

Hey Elaine:

I'm very sorry that you felt blown off on Friday night.
I don't know if I'm one of the "good guys" or not but I do try to not be a jerk
most of the time. Sometimes, though, I can be a real big pain (ask my brother).
The sad news about John Stewart's stroke was delivered to me right before I walked
on stage that night and it certainly affected my mood for the performance
(He was a hero and an influence on me since my childhood and I was sort of in a state of shock).
I hoped that it didn't show but apparently it did and I sincerely apologize if I was rude to you
or anyone else that night. I'll try to make it up to you somehow.

From: Laurie Gibson (Saturday, January 12, 2008 at 14:03:53)
Answered: Tuesday, January 15, 2008 at 04:27:50.

Hi Dave,

I read on Peter Case's web site that there's going to be an Ash Grove
celebration in mid-April in L.A., and was wondering if there are any specifics
yet on events other than the Songwriter's circle. Also, I brought the Ash Grove
CD along a road trip earlier this week and wanted to sincerely thank you for
some truly incredible songs -- the music, melodies and storytelling really
touch my soul.

Laurie Gibson

Hey Laurie:

I'm glad that you enjoyed the Ashgrove CD. I'm very proud of that one.
Ash Grove specifics? Well, what I know is that there will be several workshops
at UCLA on the weekend of the reunion shows and the one I'm hosting features Peter,
Michelle Shock and Van Dyke Parks and probably a few other songwriters.
The main stage performances are Friday and Saturday, April 18 and 19
at Royce Hall on the UCLA campus.
I'm playing the 18th on a bill that includes Ry Cooder, Rambling Jack Elliot,
Holly Near and several other performers that I'm not at liberty to announce yet.
The 19th features Taj Mahal, Michelle and others I can't think of right now.
It should be a nice to celebrate the old Ash Grove and how much of an influence
it had on so many artists. I hope you can make it.

From: Michele Applebee (Friday, January 11, 2008 at 15:54:04)
Answered: Tuesday, January 15, 2008 at 04:16:50.

Hello Dave:

Hailing from snowy McCall Idaho. This is a long shot in the dark... but here
goes anyway. I attended your concert this past summer at the last "Alive At
Five" on the Grove in Boise Idaho. My boyfriend of two years introduced me to
your awesome self/music and songs, just one year prior. I was very excited
when he told me we were going to see you perform at the Grove. It was an
awesome show by the way. You see, you met my boyfriend Whitey(Richard)Rehberg
many years ago on a cold evening in Park City, Utah as you were hitching a ride
from a gig or too a gig (I'm not sure which). Apparently, someone was supposed
to pick you up but didn't show. He picked you up in his pickup and you had to
take a back seat to his dog Bertha (sorry for that). He loves to tell that
story as he really loves your work and now we both do.

Well long story short, his 50th Birthday is coming up February 14th, I am
planning a big suprise party for him and wanted to invite you. As crazy as
that might sound... I realize you are a very busy man and that you will likely
be performing accross the country. Not too mention we have about 10 feet of
snow and expecting more. Not too appealing I gather, but thought I would
extend the invite. McCall is a laid back small mountain resort community, most
of the full time residents work for the U.S. Forest Service, teach or take on
odd jobs in the service industry. We have an amazing population of really good
musician and artist residents though. So that is pretty much what we do in the
winter - ski, dance and party, so I expect quite a few of the locals to
attend. Should be fun.

The party is happening February 16th at the Babble Fish - Mile High Marina (a
local restaraunt and Marina on the Payette Lake).

I would love you book you and the Guilty Men but I'm not a Trust Funder nor am
I inherintly wealthy (not even close). I have hopefully, tentatively scheduled
a local group to play.

Enough Said, Hope you had an excellent Christmas and Happy New Years. Hope to
see you there.

Michele Applebee (Whitey's Girlfriend).

Hey Michele:

I'm very sorry that I can't repay Whitey's kindness with a performance on his birthday
but I'll be stuck somewhere else on the 16th.
It sounds like a great time with some cool folks in a beautiful, yet chilly, location.
I have been known to do things like this if the right situation presents itself
and I do owe him for saving me from freezing to death in Utah.
Maybe when he turns 55?
Thanks for thinking of me
and please send my regards to my furry truck partner, Bertha.

From: Avi Shorer (Sunday, December 30, 2007 at 20:21:13)
Answered: Tuesday, January 15, 2008 at 04:05:29.

Hey Dave,
Sorry we missed at Annie's but it was 21 and over and I would not be allowed in. My mom could not go
either. Sorry. But we did catch an X concert at Slim's. It was pretty cool. We got the wristband and
everything to go back stage and everyone was very nice. The only bad part was you weren't there. By the
way, when are you coming up again? We realize you were just here, so it probably won't be for a while but
you are welcome at our house anytime. We're thinking of coming down and seeing your Ashgrove concert
in LA. It's my mom's birthday the next day. So, I guess we will see you whenever and we hope it is soon.
I hope eevrything is good for you.
Your friend,

Hey Avi:

I'm sorry that couldn't get in to Annie's. If we ever do a Gene Taylor Blues Band gig
again, I hope it will be an all ages club. I am glad that you got to see X
and they were nice to you. They're a pretty good band, huh?
As to when I'll be up there again, I don't know right now but you never know.
I guess in the fall but it's really a guess.
The Ashgrove reunion show should be very cool and I hope you guys can make it
down. You'll be able to see Ry Cooder and guitar playing doesn't get much
better than that.
Until I see you again, keep practicing!

From: Scott (Thursday, December 20, 2007 at 14:19:47)
Answered: Tuesday, January 15, 2008 at 03:58:48.


I'm a longtime fan who grew up in Los Alamitos, just down the 605 from your
former Downey stomping grounds -- so it was with special pleasure that I caught
your show with Gene Taylor and other former Downey-ites last night at Annie's
Social Club. I mean no hyperbole when I say that the show was a musical
highlight of my life -- just really some fantastic musicianship and musical joy.
Plus, to top it off, the venue was like having you guys play in my garage
(which, while perhaps not great for your bottom line, was a real treat for those
of us who came out). I know you all obviously played a lot together in your
former musical lives, but in a gig like this, how much do you actually rehearse
or plot out what you're going to do in advance? The song selection and
interplay among you was great, and it seemed like you'd been playing together
weekly for the last 20 years.


Hey Scott:

Thanks and I'm really glad you had a good time at Annie's.
We certainly didn't play there for the bottom line but for the fun.
Annie is a longtime pal of all of us and getting together as the
Gene Taylor Blues Band gave us an excuse to finally play her joint.

We did rehearse once for the string of shows we played but we spent
most of the time just goofing off. I think the gig at Annie's might have been
our real rehearsal seeing how it was the first show of the little tour.
The thing about us is that we grew up playing together and listening
to the same old records and that makes a big difference.
When Gene would say, "Boogie in G", or "Slow blues in E" or even just "B flat",
we kind of knew what he wanted. At least we did by the second verse.

I had a blast playing those shows and I'm happy to report that a live CD
of the Gene Taylor Blues Band should be available later this year.
See you on the 605 Freeway.

From: Don (Thursday, December 20, 2007 at 04:50:39)
Answered: Tuesday, January 15, 2008 at 03:41:16.

Hi Dave,

A couple years ago, I reluctantly moved back to my native Southern California
after having lived in New York for several years. Being a songwriter myself,
your music really helped me to shift gears and readjust creatively to being
back in California at a time when Id just lost the great muse of New York City
(as well as my band and my gigs!) and was feeling a bit deflated.

Listening to Blackjack David and King of California (over and over again)
reminded me that it was possible to write songs about this environment that I
grew up in, and that underneath all the malls and the sprawl and the palm trees
there were still compelling stories to be told, even if it meant digging a
little. So, I just wanted to say thanks for that.

My parents both grew up in Downey in the 50s and 60s. My grandparents still
live on Brookshire Ave, and my wife and I go over there every other Sunday or
so to visit and maybe go out for lunch.

Driving around out there gets me wondering about how Downey figures in to your
writing. Im curious as to whether you think its left a distinct mark on what
you do or whether you think youd still be making the music you make and
writing the songs you write even if youd grown up in some other LA suburb.
Hopefully that's not too broad!



Hey Don:

Yeah, New York is a "great muse" but it gets pretty damn cold there.
I'm glad that I could help you transition back to southern California
and you're right, there are a lot stories out there beneath the malls.

Downey and the southeast side of Los Angeles certainly played a big part
in shaping me as a musician and songwriter for too many reasons to go into
here. There were a wide variety of people (from family to musicians to poets to bums)
in the area at that time that influenced me profoundly and perhaps if I'd grown up
somewhere else I'd be a lawyer or a ditch digger instead of a songwriter. I don't know.
I haven't lived in Downey for almost 30 years but no matter where I am in the world,
I still consider myself a 'Downey guy."
I deeply believe that the landscapes, people and events that
you see/experience as a kid remain part of your creative process.
Well, at least they do for me.

Sorry you lost your band and gigs, Try not to be too deflated,
there's always more bands and gigs out there. Somewhere.
Say hello to your parents, Hell, I may have gone to school with them.

From: Barr Bentley (Saturday, November 24, 2007 at 22:34:48)
Answered: Tuesday, January 15, 2008 at 03:23:33.

Dave :

I found your songwriting workshop FPR on the road and followed the lead to
here. I liked your perspective on songwriting I've got over 200 songs written
to date, and hope to someday write a good one. I also hope to try for the
first time to begin recording a few of these this winter before I forget how
they go. I'd like to have a chance to inhabit the territory of someone of your
calibre Though I can't afford the tuition of the desert springs workshop ( and
I'm not much used to pampering.) Perhaps you can suggest alternative workshop
(s) for an aspiring songwriter living in SW colorado?

Thanks for carin'

Hey Barr:

Will there be "pampering" going on at the Fur Peace Ranch?
Nobody told me about any pampering. We could all use some.

Anyway, I don't know of any SW Colorado song writing workshops off hand
but I'm sure that there must be something in the area. Maybe at a junior college
or something like that.

I'll try to give you a few nuggets of wisdom that I will be discussing at
The Fur Peace affair.
I find song writing to be a pretty lonely and difficult process
and I don't recommend it for the faint of heart.
It doesn't get easier as you grow as a writer, if anything it gets harder.
My main focus for the song writing class will be studying the
classic song forms in American traditional music like the blues form or the folk ballad form.
These forms have influenced everyone from Hank Williams to Tom Waits to Dylan
and I believe they can make all of us better songwriters.
If I had one piece of advice I guess it would be to go find a book of old folk songs
and start learning them. Sing 'em in the shower, sing 'em when you're drunk or sober,
sing 'em when your sad or happy or neither.

I'm sure that if you've written "200" songs that you've probably written more than one good one.
Best of luck.

From: John Jenkins (Tuesday, December 18, 2007 at 09:08:53)
Answered: Tuesday, January 15, 2008 at 02:45:39.

Dave, just wanting to say Thanks for another wonderful show at the Coach House
in San Juan Cap on Saturday. We were just off stage right in the second row and
seeing you play from that close was absolutely chilling. My buddy was seeing the
Knitters for the first time, and hadn't seen you live. He made this comment:
"I've seen a lot of great guitarists up close, Brian May, Eddie Van H, this guy
is right there with them."
I totally agree, can't wait for the McCabes shows in January.

Hey John:

Well, I'm extremely complimented by your words.
In reality, I wish I was as good as those big league guitar heroes
but I'm just trying to have some fun and not make too many mistakes.
I try to practice guitar as much as I can and someday maybe I'll live up
to your high praise until then I remain a very dedicated barroom guitarist.
See you at McCabe's.

From: Janet (Tuesday, December 18, 2007 at 12:33:37)
Answered: Tuesday, January 15, 2008 at 02:40:21.

Season Greetings.

It is the time of the year for all good American consumers to be busy, busy,
busy. But why no answered questions as of late? Or in other words, what's new
or up or happening?

Not exactly a compelling question, but it qualifies just the same.

Merry, Merry and Happy, Happy


Hey Janet:

Well, I guess I've just been a lazy bum.

Seriously, I've been a bit busy between various little projects
and have meant to get around to answering some questions but
something always came up. I plan to be more dutiful in responding
to the messages. I do enjoy it an awful lot.

Or I really am just a lazy bum.
Maybe a bit both.
Merry, Merry, Happy to you.

From: Anonymous(Thursday, October 18, 2007 at 12:40:03)
Answered: Thursday, October 18, 2007 at 23:59:58.

well, i'm starting here...i have some really great pictures of dave from
hardly strictly bluegrass a few weeks ago and would like him to get them as
appreciation for all his fine music.

This sort of thing is exactly what the show archive is for.
Besides dates, venue and setlist information, I provide a place
for pictures of the show and user reviews. On the main Dave page,
click on Shows then use the calendar to display that date of the show of
your pictures. If the show is already entered in the database, you can
just go ahead and upload your pictures. If not, add as much details as you know
about the show, submit it, then go back to the show page- you'll now be
able to add pictures. Hope that's not too complicated! :>


From: Scot (Sunday, October 14, 2007 at 23:08:51)
Answered: Sunday, October 14, 2007 at 23:10:20.

Hey Scot,
Where did all Dave's Questions and Answers go?

Good question, Scot.
Thought I'd do my yearly housecleaning around here and I moved
all the previous year's of questions to a different page. See the
links above.


Return to Blasters page.

Return to Dave Alvin page.

Return to Scot's page.

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