28 05 2009

IMG_2528 1I think that someday I’ll need to write a book.  Being a parent with two offspring in the entertainment industry can be one exciting ride.  It has taken me to many places I never thought I’d go and taught me a million things about the particulars of recording studios and movie sets that I never thought I’d know.  And frankly, I can never get enough of it.

This Sunday, well before the sun is up Shop Girl and I will be on our way to LA where she has studio time booked for 10 days of laying down some new music.  She comes alive in the studio but it has been a long road since her first experience back in 1999.  Yes, chapters could be written and I’m not going to go there now.

On Monday we heard the sad news of the death of Jay Bennett.  In our personal opinions – he WAS Wilco.  In the early Spring of 2003, Shop Girl’s first EP was recorded at the Pieholden Studios in Chicago with Jay Bennett as her producer / engineer.  Best Boy’s wonderkin multi-instrumentalist roomate back then was David Vandervelde.  When Jay got to know David during those work days that started at 1 p.m. and went till 6 a.m. the next morning – something magical happened.

I think Jay saw in David his own particular brand of musical genius and a deep friendship / musical mentoring was born.  We were able to stand at a distance and be amazed at the things that were created in the Pieholden Studio at David’s hand over the next number of years until he was signed to a Secretly Canadian.

Just wanted to take a minute before these next few days get incredibly busy to say sometimes the scariest risks we take in our lives can be the richest.  If you ever have to drop your barely 20 year old daughter off at a warehouse in Chicago and enter through a dark passageway lined with filthy discarded mattresses, take a deep breath and walk through the darkness.  Leaving her there as the only female with a half a dozen guys was another little adventure in faith.  And from that beginning has come a lot of great music.

I woke at 3:30 a.m. today.  Thinking about this journey, thinking about Jay and the funeral that will probably be this week sometime…and wondering about the fun Shop Girl is about to have with good friends in LA.  This time around her producer will be Evan Slamka from Marjorie Fair.  And I’ll leave you with Evan singing  Empty Room…”but if I die young, fill my empty room with the sun.”  Shop Girl will try to do just that for you, Jay.