• June 10, 2016

    From my Windy City Travelogue

    Our good buddy, Emmy Award winning actor and Chicagoan, Joe Mantegna, invited my brother Ed and me to be his guests at Wrigley Field to see him throw out the first pitch (a perfect strike – take that Snoop Dog!) and sing the 7th inning stretch (perfectly on key – take that Bill Murray!). The Cubs crushed 4 homers and won big over the Dodgers. Good times.

  • May 27, 2016

    Makita

    My good friend and riding buddy Tony Gauthier introduced me to his friend Bob who owns an automotive repair shop and has so many cool collectables including several vintage pedal cars. I rode my Triumph Bonnie out to the shop today. But for me, the centerpiece is the larger than life statue of the Chicago Blackhawks’ legendary Stan Makita which was featured in “Wayne’s World.”
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  • May 10, 2016

    RIFF 2016

    I was so honored to be asked to present the Riverside International Film Festival’s 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Jimi Hendrix to his sister Janie. I have worked on many great projects with her over the years including the Hard Rock Cafe’s Artist 29 Series Hendrix T-Shirt and lapel pin program which raised over $1.5 million for the Jimi Hendrix Park Foundation and through Janie’s generous support, music education programs through the Fender Music Foundation which Janie and I are both on the board of. Janie fittingly also received the Festival’s 2016 Legacy Award for her dedication in protecting and promoting her brother’s music and legacy for generations to come.
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  • April 21, 2016

    Prince

    “I heard the news today, oh boy.” Glenn, David, Sir George, Merle and now Prince – lost too many great ones already this year. With all the wonderful tributes today, I’d like to share a story: back in my Fender days, I received a call from Live Nation that Prince had a vision of a gold guitar that he wanted custom made for charitable cause. Keep in mind we didn’t have a relationship with Prince so I was excited for the opportunity. It just so happened that Custom Shop Master Builder Yuriy Shishkov (who had followed me to Fender from our previous company Washburn) had told me he had a stunning Gold Leaf Stratocaster that a customer cancelled, so it was not quite finished but if I knew anyone……well… perfect timing.
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  • April 18, 2016

    Combat Vets Motorcycle Ride

    I was honored to be invited to ride with the local chapter of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association for their annual fundraising event. They do so much good work to benefit the Wounded Warriors and other related veteran initiatives and once again, they had an amazing turnout – the ride was one of the most memorable, snaking through the backroads of wine country on a perfect So. Cal afternoon.
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  • April 14, 2016

    The Meddler

    Last night I had the pleasure of attending the premiere of “The Meddler” at the Grove in LA as the guest of my good friend Lani Sarem. The film features one of the bands she manages, Blues Traveler, performing two great songs on camera – their big hit “Run-Around” and a great new track from their current record “Blow up the Moon.” The film, written and directed by Lorene Scafaria, is a touching comedy/drama starring two Oscar winners; Susan Sarandon (coincidentally I had just watched one of my favorite baseball movies “Bull Durham” the night before without knowing I would be invited to the premiere) and J.K. Simmons.
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  • April 6, 2016

    Merle Haggard

    I was saddened today when I learned of the passing of the legendary Merle Haggard – a true giant who still influences each new generation of musicians (check out Country Music’s top artist Chris Stapleton). I had the honor of meeting Merle when I worked at Fender and my best memory of him was when Custom Shop Sr. Master Builder extraordinaire Mark Kendrick, who was very close with Merle, asked him to play fundraisers in support of our local music education program in Corona, Kids Rock Free.
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  • March 20, 2016

    Catalina Island Blues Fest Anniversary

    It was exactly 19 years ago that John Page (VP and founder of Fender’s Custom Shop) and my daughter Holly and me were met on the lovely Catalina Island by Packy Offield Enterprises (P.O.E.) president Billy Delbert, and my future wife-to-be, P.O.E. marketing director Bettina, to lay out a plan for an annual blues festival. It would feature Fender artists and would originate at the Casino Ballroom, then expand over the years to include other island venues.
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  • March 16, 2016

    NCIS 300th Episode “Scope”

    I was so pleased with the many positive comments about last night’s episode of NCIS. And a moving tribute to the MusiCorps band too! My team with Music Depot LA and I were a small part of the show, but working on that set I came to realize that cast, crew and producers treat each other like family.
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  • March 9, 2016

    Sir George Martin

    Like so many, I was saddened to find out today that Sir George Martin has passed away. To say he was a legendary figure in the music industry wouldn’t do him justice. Many years ago, a good friend of mine Lisa Ferris, who worked for Universal at the time, invited me to Sir George’s retirement party at the Beverly Hilton. Knowing I was such a fan, she said he agreed to autograph one piece of Beatles’ memorabilia – I thought it would fitting to bring my cherished picture disc of Abbey Road, which to me, still represents not only one of the greatest albums of all time, but one of the greatest recordings as well.
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