Monday, April 18, 2005

Rock School soundtrack update!

Rock School All-Stars performing Black Magic Woman in Las Vegas, Nevada - August, 2004

Okay, it's all straightened out as far as the official soundtrack songs and order. Click here and you'll see Calvin Records has updated their site accordingly. No Zomby Woof, yes to LA Woman and Don't Stand So Close (which will make my daughter happy because she plays that with Stewart Copeland and said those polyrhythms were hard!). The order of the tracks, in my humble opinion, is a lot better than the way the site had it listed yesterday, too. Having been on the road with these guys for close to three weeks, they almost always started their classic rock sets with Black Magic Woman, so it's good to see that listed as Track #1.

I'm gonna cry every time I hear it.


andylucibello said...

Hi Robin

I just came across your info on this post and replied to you about the Rock School rip-off by VH1. I enjoyed your writing style not knowing you were a writer. By reading your entries I came across the March 5 show and I have to tell you how sorry I am for all the miscommunication and series of events leading up to and during that show.

As I have stated before I have nothing but respect for both of your kids and they have met me before and I have spoken to them on many occasions. I always trace great kids to good parents so I thank you for that.

Please let me give you the REAL story as I am a person that prides myself in doing the right thing!

I don't know if you were at the first all star show that we hosted in Bergen County but if you weren’t Eric can tell you first hand that the sound was awesome, the people were very respectful and the show went great thanks to Paul and the All Stars. I worked hard to make sure that the kids had the best equipment, sound and surroundings in addition to dealing with opening a new school.

I must tell you I proceeded with the March 5 show in the same manner. The reason we did a second show was that I had been asked by the American Cancer Society if we could help raise money for kids with cancer. Camp Adventure is a summer camp that sends kids with cancer to a Long Island Camp that has Pediatricians and Oncologists on staff. I then asked Paul if he could do the show and he said that if I paid the expenses he would bring the All Stars. I then thought of the best place to have lots of people to raise lots of money.(In addition to paying Paul's expenses we gave every penny to the Camp Adventure program) I then found a gentleman that agreed to sponsor the show at this expensive venue as long as we did a "New British Invasion" or simply lots of English Rock songs. Proceeding on that information I booked the venue that cost over $6000. I felt it was worth it to have the best venue for the All Stars and since it was a big place we could sell a lot of tickets to raise the most money for this charity. At this time there was NO INTENTION of our kids playing at this show!! It was just supposed to be the ALL STARS. After booking everything, promising the sponsor and advertising the show. I got a call while I was at a Christmas Party from Paul. He told me that he didn't think he could do the show on March 5th. My heart sank. I had spent thousands of dollars and made lots of commitments based on our agreement. Paul told me there was a mistake and he was going to have Ike Willis and had to do a Zappa show. He then asked if he could do a Zappa show on March 5th. I then said if that is what he had to do I would have to do it because I already made all the arrangements.

The next day I spoke to him and told him that I promised to play British tunes because my sponsor is a Jaguar Car Dealership. He told me to have our kids play a few songs. They could play Pink Floyd from the Wall. I thought it would be a great opportunity since we just opened to motivate our kids to work hard. They would have the PRIVELEDGE to play on a rare occasion with the ALL STARS.

Paul was also the person who decided the set structure. He thought since it was a Zappa show and most parents and people are not zappa fans to have our kids play BETWEEN the ALL STARS so people wouldn't leave after we did our set first.

I worked for 3 months with all my kids. Some were very new players and there were 6 kids that enrolled that had been playing for years and were good players but never really played in a set band in front of hundreds of people. There was NO HIRED GUNS or TEENAGE COVER BAND whatsoever. These are students enrolled at the Bergen County Paul Green School of Rock.

Every kid that played that night was honored to be on the stage with your kids. That is the way I taught them I am big on HUMILITY and I am a person that never shows disrespect to anyone purposely.

About two weeks before the show there started to be some words on the SOR Forum about students kicking other students asses(musically that is). I went back after the fact and found an entry that Paul made on competition and that certain schools were hungrier than others. My kids approached me and said told me about this. I told them to just focus on playing there best and forget about words. Just prepare to DO YOUR BEST!. Being that our kids never played such a venue they were scared stiff. I am sure you remember those early days with Eric and Julie.

On March 5th I spent a lot of time setting up the best equipment I could get for the show just like I did at the Mexacali show. I then ran into the biggest asshole of a union sound guy I have met in all my experience in the music industry. I have played professionally since I was 17 years old. He threatened us that we could not take video footage of our kids. I fought with him and even called his Union boss who apologized and granted us that we could film the show with our handhelds. I arranged for sandwiched for all the kids both All Stars and ours in there dressing room. When the ALL Stars showed up. Which was late according to the asshole audio guy and I had to have another argument with the jerk. I also introduced Eric and other All Stars to some of my kids and urged my kids to mingle and make new friends. While I was downstairs dealing with all the preparations. The kids went upstairs and went into separate dressing rooms. I thought maybe that Paul wanted to keep the All Stars separate to keep their ALL Star status. So I then told my kids to visit but remain in their dressing room.

You guys went on and they were great just as they have been like the other 10 times I have supported them by attending a show. The set ended and I focused on getting my kids ready. Whoever said "TOP THAT" I can assure you was not me or is not a teacher at our school. It had to be one of the parents or our construction engineer. So I apologize for them but I cannot control other people’s mouths.

My whole focus at this time was just as Paul would do or you felt about your kids. To have them do the best performance they could. They did the set and did a good job but were in no way as professional as the ALL STARS. The reason most of the songs had the same five or six kids was that because we were left to cover our agreement with the sponsor to do the British thing. They were the only kids that could play all those songs. We could have had the younger kids do more but I did not want the All Stars on the same stage with kids that did a mediocre performance so I tried to have the best I could. I in NO way was having a competition. I put my own money up to buy into the PAUL GREEN School of Rock and agreed to follow his program. Why would I compete with a program that all schools kids in our schools look up to? They strive to be an ALL STAR. I would have to be a pretty stupid business person to teach my kids that the ALL STAR program is worthless!

So to sum it all up I am proud to be affiliated with the school that your kids help build. I realize that they will always be the corner stone of all the schools. No matter how big the Paul Green School of Rock gets. Eric, Julie, Reno, Gina, Allie and the others will always be the founders and I admire all of them in addition to Paul. Lastly I admire all the parents of all these kids for believing and helping make this happen.

Please reply so I could be sure that you got this information.

RobinSlick said...

Andy, I sent you an email earlier today at the BC School of Rock because it occurred to me that once you found me, you would stumble on this blog and that post and my stomach sank to my knees. I'd forgotten all about it. If you will read my email, I think I explained my feelings about that evening to you and that was without the benefit of your comment here. As I also wrote to you, as soon as I realized it, I immediately went into my archives and deleted the post you read.

It seems we both had very emotional evenings that night. It was my first All-Star show without the kids you mention - Gina, Julie, Teddi, Louie...and then we had Allie...who is very, very special to me. It was her second to the last show as an All-Star and she's been with the program since the beginning and...well, I explained it all to you via traditional email. Since I've only recently learned a lot of Rock School kids stop by my blog, I don't want to embarrass anyone and realize I have to be more responsible...that it's not just a personal diary for me to spurt off whatever is bothering me or whatever the hell I feel like saying, especially without checking facts and that I have a responsibility here because I've been Rock School's #1 supporter/fan since I first met Paul in 1998 when my daughter was 11 years old and my son 10 years old and were Paul's original 14 students.

We're all artists here - musicians, writers, etc. which means we're emotional and care about our art. I think what you and the rest of the team are doing is incredible and it's surreal for me to realize how the whole thing has evolved. Part of me mourns the days of old; the other part of me understands that everything has to change. I've had some dreadful fights with Paul; I've also felt more love for him than I've felt for anyone outside of my immediate family. I fully credit him with who Julie and Eric are today...I mean, I'm not discounting what I've done and what their dad has done; but Paul has been an incredible, positive influence in their lives and I wouldn't trade any experience I've had. Because of Paul, I've seen my kids bowed down to in Germany at Zappanale; I've toured the U.S., my kids continue to travel all over the world...and now the movie and the soundtrack.

So I applaud you and Paul and all the kids connected with Rock School and I appreciate your taking the time to write this post.

And your kids were terrific that night. It probably was a parent spouting off something stupid - heh - I of all people should be sensitive to that since I'm guilty myself.

(Hahahaha - and you verified the sound guy thing...Christ, that's the first time I ever heard Eric complain and you know Eric - he's the world's biggest sweetheart who never had a nasty word to say about anyone)

So I apologize for any misunderstanding, and let's hope for global domination! Our kids are going to change the world - something we thought we'd do and somehow fucked up. Like Paul says, we're going to unleash real musicians who give a damn on corporate America! Now. About that plan you have for a boycott...let's talk about that further!!!!