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In this episode, Carl King announces his NEW BOOK. Dale Turner stops by to share wild stories about meeting 10 famous guitarists, Carl answers 3 listener questions (Evolving Musical Tastes, The Name CARL KING, and What Carl King is reading), and wraps it all up with a rant on ROBOTS.
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I’m Carl King, and welcome to the Carl King Podcast, where I talk about music, filmmaking, and general creativity stuff. To support this podcast, head over to Patreon.com/carlking. And help fund my creative projects with $1 a month or $5 a month. If you’re like Chewbode and Hank Howard III, you could even join at the Arch-Mage Level of $50 OR MORE a month. And by the way, Hank Howard III has taken the top spot back, at $50 and 2 PENNIES. It goes a long way towards buying Carl King some gluten free pasta. So thank you.
Quick shout-out to my music endorsements: Vienna Symphonic Library, Fractal Audio, Ernie Ball Strings, Toontrack, and Millennia Media. They make amazing musical gear that I love to use.
So let’s prepare to begin to get started.
IN THIS EPISODE
In this episode, I announce the new BOOK I wrote. Then I’ll tell you a little bit about the process of re-releasing my first Sir Millard Mulch CD to streaming platforms. Then we’ll have a special GUEST SEGMENT from Dale Turner – he’s going to tell us some hilarious behind-the-scenes stories about famous guitarists he has interviewed for magazines. I’ll answer some listener questions about Evolving Opinions on Music, Carl King’s NAME, and What Carl King Reading. And we’ll rap up with a rant about ROBOTS.
Let’s do a Carl King HEALTH UPDATE.
CARL KING HEALTH UPDATE
As always, it 94 degrees F here in Los Angeles. Alternating between freezing and sweating in my studio thanks to my intense AC unit.
I just got back from the doctor because I truly believe I have sleep apnea. Because I’m old, and things are going wrong. One of my dads favorite sayings was “That’s what happens when you get old.”
I’ve been waking up multiple times a night gasping for air, and I’m trying some simple things like wearing a chin strap and sleeping on my side, but it’s still happening. Sleep apnea is related to heart attacks and strokes, due to the long-term damage is causes. The doctor scheduled me for an at-home sleep test. All in all, the whole process of ordering the test, taking it, sending it back, and getting the results will take about a month.
If it comes back positive, which I expect it will, I’ll get to sleep with one of those CPAP machines attached to my face. With the mask and all the tubes. Looking forward to that.
In other news, I’m finally recovered from COVID. Just have a slight, slight remaining cough. How dow dah?
And now that you all know I am kinda doing OK, let’s talk about The New Carl King PRODUCT. Another one? Yes. Because as Mark Borchardt says, Carl King is the creative engine that could.
NEW CARL KING BOOK: ROBOTS & ALIENS
THIS WEEK, I have a NEW CARL KING PRODUCT to announce. I wrote a new book. Can you believe that?
It’s called Robots & Aliens: Deep Liner Notes (1996-1999)
It’s 126 pages long and it tells the story of recording the first Sir Millard Mulch CD: 50 Intellectually Stimulating Themes From A Cheap Amusement Park For Robots & Aliens, Vol. 1.
That’s the album that contains the songs: A Brief History of Broccoli, 15 Interesting Things To Do With Tiny Chairs I and II, and The Boy With The Perfectly Square Butthole. All the classics. All the hits.
I call the book “Deep Liner Notes” but it’s also a memoir.
It’s full of candid photos, handwritten music notation, crazy fliers and artwork, magazine clippings, and memories of my wildly creative friends. I talk all about my music college years in Florida, my mundane day jobs, and my personal brand of scrambled anxiety and pathological ambition.
AND my track-by-track observations… for all 53 TRACKS!
This is the story of a weird guy, and the weird environment his weird album emerged from.
Robots & Aliens is a PDF download and it’s ONLY available to my $5 and up Patreon Patrons.
And it was edited by Chris Higgins.
So you can get it at patreon.com/CarlKing
50 INTEL CD – CDBABY AND TUNECORE
Speaking of Robots & Aliens, I’m in the process of getting my Sir Millard Mulch 50 Intellectually Stimulating CD… re-released through Digital and Streaming, which has not been easy. I’ve had some problems!
I usually use CDBaby for all my digital releases. So the other day I was in my CDBaby accounts for a couple of hours, creating all the tracks, typing in all my ridiculously long song titles, researching and entering all the cover song songwriter and publishing company info. Lots of fun. So after hours of doing this, I get the artwork uploaded and everything, and the final step is to upload the AUDIO files. And this stupid notice pops up that says, SORRY we have a limit of 50 songs for uploading. If your album has more than 50 songs you have to mail us 5 COPIES OF YOUR CD. Well, my album has FIFTY THREE tracks. So I was over the limit. Ridiculous. What year is this, CDBaby? The amount of audio tracks I can upload to your form should at this point be unlimited. And there’s no way I was going to burn 5 copies of a CD with TOAST or whatever, and mail them to Portland.
So, I headed over to TuneCore, which I’ve also used in the past. Something weird I’ve always noticed is that they CHARGE YOU the setup fee before you can even proceed to do anything. Which is fine, I guess. Whatever. The downside is that it’s not a one-time fee like CDBaby. They actually charge you annually. You stop paying the fee, and your albums disappear from streaming. Oh, well. So I go through the process yet again of typing in all my weird song titles, 53 of them, enter a bunch of publisher and songwriter info, and finally get through all the steps and hit submit.
Later that day, I get a message that my album has been flagged and put on hold because of the album title. And not because it was too long. Because they considered it a SOUNDTRACK. Because of the title “… from a Cheap Amusement Park For Robots & Aliens.” They thought it was a soundtrack from an ACTUAL amusement park for robots & aliens. Amazing. As if there is an amusement park out there for Robots and Aliens. I don’t know, maybe there is and I just haven’t heard of it. So I wrote back, no, that title is correct. There’s no amusement park. It’s just the name of the album. They wrote back, ok, thank you for clarifying.
A few hours later… AGAIN, I get an email from them. Your release has been FLAGGED and placed on hold. Due to the COVER ART being an Unauthorized Usage. What? This cover art has been on the album since 1998. I was there as Flil Tenacious drew it for me. I wrote back to them: Thank you for your concern, but artwork on my album is authorized. Nope. They respond that I need to PROVE to them I am allowed to use it. I don’t know if they have some bot or algorithm that searches the web and tries to flag artwork that it thinks is copyrighted? Maybe they figure the artwork is just so cool, there’s no way I could have the right to use it?
So I email my artist, Flail Tenacious, and I’m asking him to type up a document stating I have the right to use his art on my album that’s been out for over 20 years. Hoping that satisfies the folks at TuneCore.
But I’m bracing myself for what’s next. Are they going to say my Carl King drumming was bad on track 42? Or that I used a direct into the board bass tone on Broccoli because I didn’t own an amp? Or I can’t end a song on a diminished chord?
We’ll find out. Won’t we? Won’t we.
Let’s get into some Listener Questions.
1 – SPYDR MND
You seemed to have some strong opinions on certain music in time past. (like Tool, The White Stripes, RATM) I was wondering how your perspective has evolved. It seems many of us have strong opinions when we are young. Have you ever had a musical ‘unification’ moment? Is there a different way you acclimate and consume music now? Or maybe not.
Answer: Hey Spydr Mnd. I’m not sure what a unification moment is. But I can tell you how my perspective has changed over time. Specifically, my perspective on being judgmental about music and the people who listen to it. You mentioned the Dr. Zoltan videos I made, making fun of Tool, The White Stripes, and Rage Against The Machine. To my knowledge those are no longer available anywhere, and I’ll probably keep it that way. I made those in my landlord’s back yard with my laptop’s webcam when I had just moved to Los Angeles, and I was trying to find my creative voice again. It was this confusing process of reinventing my musical persona, for a few different reasons, which I won’t go into at this moment, because that’s totally unrelated to your questions. When I made those videos, I was a volatile and neurotic person who spent a LOT of time angry about what other people were doing. For instance, I could hear one annoying guitar solo on the radio and be in a bad mood for the rest of the day. It was pretty childish, but that’s how I was at the time.
So back to the videos. For the record, I never actually had anything against Tool. I was making fun of someone I knew, so it was really an inside joke. Anyway, I was writing essays attacking popular bands partially as an entertainment stunt. But deep down, I was envious that those bands were getting all the attention. I wanted to succeed like them. Since then, I’ve worked through a lot of my more acute ego problems. Getting into secular buddhism has helped. Accepting that my personal tastes are not objective reality is also a big one. Let people like what they like. If you don’t like it, don’t listen to it. I try to live and let live. I try to be “non-judgmental.” Because it’s something that can get totally carried away and serve no purpose. Like an addiction. Also this idea that we have no freewill has given me a lot of peace. Anyway, Spydr Mind, I hope that all answers your questions about Dr. Zoltan, and how my views have evolved.
2 – MODIAK
Why do you hate the first three letters of your name? Is it because the L is the only thing blocking the Car from the King? (Slightly modified).
Answer: You know what, Modiak, I don’t know how to answer that question. But I’ll talk about the name Carl King a little bit. You know, I’ve always found it hard to say my name. Whenever I tell it to someone I aggressively spell it out, because inevitably the person will say “Gar? Carlin? Keen? Keanen?”I’ve also had more than one person make the joke that my name is a mixture between Carl’s Jr. and Burger King. Which is why I finally got around the designing a logo for myself blending those two fast food logos. You can see it on my Discord server. By the way, if anyone out there wants to join my little community on discord where we share links to music and paranormal videos, head over to CarlKingdom.com and at the top you’ll see a link that says Discord. That should take you to it. Discord is a really cool mixture between AOL Instant Messenger and an old Forum, where people can talk about things, but it also has a lot of multimedia capabilities like Zoom. Anyway back to addressing Modiak’s question while also not addressing his question. I used to be embarrassed by my name Carl King and think it was nerdy, like Clark Kent. When I was 17 I started officially going by Millard, which is my middle name. People would ask me about my unusual first name, Millard. I’d say I go by it because my real first name is nerdy. And they’d laugh. Because what name could be more nerdy than MILLARD? Thank you for your question, Modiak. Even though I didn’t really answer it.
3 – LILAC SHADOWSOUL
Do you like to read books? If so, what BOOKS are you reading lately?
Answer: Well, lemme pop open my Kindle account and tell you. I’ve been checking out some book on WRITING… since I’ve been working on some books and also doing this podcast regularly. Trying to improve my skills. My recent items are: Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clark, On Writing Well by William Zinsser, and Several Short Sentences about Writing by Verlyn Klinkenborg. To be honest it was too philosophical and abstract for me. Couldn’t understand much of it.
Anyway, I haven’t had the time to dig into all of those books yet. I also intend to revisit Elements of Style by Strunk & White, because it’s probably been a decade.
The last physical book I bought a couple of weeks ago was: Sapiens The Graphic Novel by Yuval Noah Harari. It’s about the beginning of the universe and giant wombats.
If I’m going to buy physical books, I like it to be something that’s better for reading in printed form. Like a graphic novel, because I think those are difficult to read in digital form. Otherwise, I’m a person who does a TON of Highlighting in my Kindle books. I like to be able to go back and quickly review or search through my highlights. I read almost entirely non-fiction, mostly business-related or books to improve myself. Or at least try.
I have a blog entry on my site called 5 Books To Read. If you’re interested to find out what some of my favorites are. Or they’re at least the books I often recommend to people. Thank you for the question, Lilac Shadowsoul. Are you a bard? There’s definitely a fantasy thing going on lately. This podcast must be popular with the LARPers.
If you’ve got an answer, Carl King will question it. Send it to email@example.com.
DALE TURNER SEGMENT
Today, the Carl King podcast has a GUEST Segment. I’m trying out the idea of having shorter dedicated portions where a creative individual shares something, rather than an open-ended interview. We’ll see how it works out.
Have you ever met a Famous Guitarist? I’ve met some. But I haven’t met as many as Dale Turner has. Dale Turner is a rock singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and film-composer. His album, Mannerisms Magnified, is totally unbelievable. He sang and played all the instruments himself, and you’ve gotta hear it. Go look it up. Mannerisms Magnified. I’m telling you, you won’t be disappointed.
In the 90s and 2000s, Dale worked for Guitar World, Guitar For The Practicing Musician… and also Guitar One, which brought him face to face with tons of Guitar Gods I’m sure you’ve heard of. He stopped by, parked his car backwards, and shared some behind-the-scenes stories.
So Dale Turner, your guest segment begins now. Tell us what you’ve got.
DT: So in this period between 1997 and 2007 in Guitar Magazine, which used to be Guitar for the Practicing Musician, Guitar One, possibly Guitar World, but I forget, for 10 years one of my duties was interviewing a bunch of my all-time favorite guitar pickers, which was a blast, though it does seem like a previous life. In that era, interviews were conducted in person, over the phone and rarely over email. The trick and bummer with these, though, is that almost zero of them were filmed, because if you think about it back then, YouTube was born in 2005, the only time people would film interviews is if they were going to use the actual video, and it wasn’t until way later when we started to have a DVD with our magazines or even feature some of the footage on our website that we would actually bother filming these. So most of these all … I mean, all of them ended up imprints in the magazine. I have audio recordings, of course, of all these. Because it was a print magazine, though, that means you’ve got a hard word count that you can’t exceed, so inevitably there’s stuff that ends up being left on the cutting room floor, so hopefully some of them outtakes I can dredge up in my skull and throw down today.
CK: So I heard that you interviewed Buckethead. Can you tell me about that?
DT: Buckethead, I’d met … I mean, I guess you could call it “met” a few times at NAMM. Stalked might be another way to say it. I would walk around, trail along with him and talk at him because when he’s Buckethead, he’s in character and the only time you hear his voice is through Herbie, that nutty hand puppet that he made. One of these times I actually slipped him my Guitar Magazine business card. Lo and behold, a few months later I actually get a call from his publicist and an interview has been scheduled. Of course, the kooky thing about that is he would only do this particular interview through email, which, of course, would allow him to stay in character and not blow the mystique of Buckethead, even though everybody knew Brian Carroll was his name, way later he did start to do interviews in person, but this, again, is between ’97 and 2007 I’m talking about. I think this particular thing was 2005, but I’m not sure. Every interview I’ve ever done, obviously I researched the player like crazy. In the majority of cases, though, these are some of my all-time favorite players to begin with, so I’m already pretty dialed in with what their playing style involves. So getting questions relating to their playing is pretty easy. This particular interview was a combination of regular interview, just like a Q & A type style thing about whatever topic related to his release and history, but there was also a lesson aspect to this. So I typed up a very specific list of questions for the guitar lesson part that I’d hoped he would tick off and do his thing, and then a regular part of the interview as well.
The cool thing is, a while later I get a DVD from Buckethead with timecode on it and everything, and he filmed himself doing every single question I’d asked about a particular lick, topic, approach, song, whatever, and the hilarious thing is we were able to include that, excerpts of it that I chopped out based on the timecode, and put it on our, I believe, DVD in the magazine at the time, which then of course instantly got ripped off and put on YouTube which, you know, is the way it goes. So if you hit YouTube and surf out “Buckethead lesson,” the thing that you’re going to see where it’s Buckethead standing in a stairwell in a yellow raincoat obviously in his Buckethead garb doing a huge variety of his cool multi-finger tapping things, shreddy picking stuff, riffs, octave displacement, hybrid picking, all cool stuff, and occasionally you’ll see in the right corner, “Figure 1, Figure 2,” all of that coincides with the interview that I got to do. All of that was transcribed in our magazine, so if you know examples on … or what video I’m talking about, maybe you could hit a back issue or something, get the tabs if you want. But yeah, that was definitely cool and lives on in cyberspace in addition to the paper factor that’s the entire interview. Oh yeah, and I even got to transcribe everything that Herbie said, which is pretty funny, and that would only be in the magazine.
CK: And again, Herbie was like his hand puppet?
DT: Yeah, Herbie is that hand puppet where he’s … “kind of talking like this.” I can’t do his voice, but it’s kind of in the ballpark like that, if you add in slurping sounds and other diseased larynx factor.
CK: And what about Paul Gilbert? Paul Gilbert?
DT: Paul Gilbert rules. The first time I interviewed Paul Gilbert was when he lived in Las Vegas but he drove out to Los Angeles and we met at my friend’s photography studio. Gilbert had been driving obviously himself the whole time, hands on the steering wheel, however long that drive is, six hours, seven hours, I forget. He gets out of the car, I brought my amp, he plugs into my amp, instant shredding madness. Like, no warmup, no nothing. Perpetual road chops. So that was the first thing that, like, holy crap. I know road chops, that is a real phenomenon, people that are constantly touring, constantly playing, constantly having to be on, at some point the need to warm up doesn’t really exist for them and they’re instantly able to just destroy. So that was pretty obvious in the case of him.
CK: Do you remember what guitar he brought? He brought his own guitar, right?
DT: Yeah, he I believe brought two guitars. I know for sure he brought his giant, white Ibanez double neck because I have a photo of me holding it with him dwarfing me from that first interview, and that double neck, if I remember correctly, the bottom neck, he had three D strings tuned in octaves put into the middle of the neck so he could do all of his string skipping, shreddy, brutal arpeggio stuff but kind of stay in one position and each string being an octave apart, so it was pretty sick ripping stuff, and then the top neck was just a regular neck, I think tuned down a whole step.
So one oddball thing that I remember that was shocking that would not translate from just reading … Oh yeah, by the way, this, of course, was a similar thing where it would be a regular interview but then separately a lesson. What a shame, which is super cool getting to interview … to do some deep-probing picking vocabulary, finger finesse type of discussions and see these pickers three feet away from me was pretty deadly. So at some point I think the subject of incorporating chromaticism into lead lines came up. I don’t remember why. It might have been because he talked about how he got into what he calls the Ace Frehley scale, which is a three-note-per-string, sort of chromaticising version of the blues scale. So he was doing something with that, but then he started to talk about how other people talk chromaticism into the extreme and he said, “I don’t know why some people just don’t do this,” and he started to just pick super quickly on one string and just slide his index finger around, but in a jagged, rhythmic way that sort of tried to outline a line, but because he’s sliding across a bunch of frets super quick, it sounded like chromatic passing tones, and me just saying that does not do it justice, but it was one of the sickest things I’ve ever heard. Would had to have been there. I of course do also have that recorded, but it’s also one of those things, it’s untranscribable, which of course was another part of my job, which was cool, transcribing all the stuff that these beasts threw down.
One other weird thing I remember is he did bring up this point that I thought was funny, is that he was just interviewed by a guitar magazine in Japan and the interviewer asked him … Or, it wasn’t really a question, it was more of a statement, “Yngwie, he has a style,” and he listed some other people, “but it seems like you have no style.” I think this was one of those outtake things and it was funny how he was having to defend himself for having a style, which is weird. And we talked about Shawn Lane and a billion other things that would all be cutting room floor stuff. But yeah, he’s one of my favorites.
CK: Okay, Steve Vai. Everybody knows that Steve Vai is my favorite guitarist, favorite musician in the world. He actually was on the first episode of this podcast doing an interview. What can you tell me about your experience interviewing Mr. Vai?
DT: Well, I second the favorite factor. Yeah, long-time fave. I got to interview that feller three times, the first two times at his home in Encino and then the other time I think was at Mates Rehearsal Studio. So I’ll maybe just narrow this down to the Encino environment. Here’s a funny thing. Of course I am pretty much always on time and I arrive early to not be late. You know how that goes. I parked on the street, which is a pretty major street, waiting so I wouldn’t be late, and I put some money in the meter and I look at the meter number, and the meter number is 666. And of course I already knew Steve Vai’s birthday is 6/6/60, so given that that was the very first time I was going to interview a hero of mine, I figured, “Okay, that’s a positive omen.” So this first interview was in ’99, I believe, so quite a ways back. I think it’s when The Ultra Zone came out, which is one of my top five or six Steve Vai albums of all time. Pretty much everything that I went for in that interview ended up in the giant magazine feature. I even got him talking about his birthday, which, from my knowledge, up to that point, he’d not really addressed the fact that he was born in 6/6/60. So he did say some funny stuff about how when he was a kid, when The Omen came out, the movie, that he was tripping hard and his friends were making fun of him because they knew his birthday.
So the interview itself is kickass. To me it was like one of the ultimate tributes to one of my all-time favorite musicians ever. You just have to read it, and if you’re a fan of Vai, you know exactly where I’m coming from and what I was trying to contain into one multi-page magazine interview. The cool thing about Guitar One in particular, these were not little one-and-a-half-page interviews. They’d be like 10-page beasts. Super, super cool. The end of that interview, everybody knows that Steve Vai’s also a bee wrangler, and this I think was maybe semi-early into his bee farming, and so he went into the kitchen and came out with a jar of Fire Garden Honey, which had his two sons on … a picture of them on the jar of honey itself. I still have that jar of honey. I’m never going to open it. It’s a sacred item to me, Steve Vai’s Fire Garden Honey.
CK: And how about Yngwie Malmsteen?
DT: Anybody who’s read guitar magazines since like 1983 or 1984, when Yngwie first started getting ink, at some point they noticed that some of the commentary coming from him would be brutalizing his fellow picking peeps. I know exactly how that started to happen. It was a trend, no different than stupid journalists in any form of industry where once one person says something controversial, every other journalist tries to dredge up the same crap out of that artist to try to put that in their own magazine, TV program, whatever. Very easy to bait the hook with Yngwie and get him to just rag on all these other guitar players, other styles of music. There’s no way in hell I was going to waste his time doing that. He instantly knew I was a fan, instantly knew I respected him, clearly trusted me because I wasn’t going to drag him into that BS, so we totally got to go deep every time we had our little adventure there.
I’d seen Yngwie live like a billion times, believe it or not since his very first Rising Force Tour in Seattle, which was way back, right after he left Alcatrazz. And I’d never seen him play actual blues live. He had yet to really do Red House as part of his set. I knew on some of the Alcatrazz songs that were more straight-ahead rock, he would go into intense blues rock with the Phase 90 that were more like Van Halen-ish blues, chopsy stuff with balls that was killer, but all of a sudden in one of the interview lessons, he went off playing the most kick-ass, screaming, ballsy, authentic, legit blues I … I don’t want to say that I’d ever heard. I’m adding a couple extra adjectives to differentiate him from other players. The screaming, on-fire aspect, for 15 minutes, just destroying. Occasionally there’d be some inappropriate, weird chromatic scale thing, which is like, what the fuck? I actually was freaking out, and I’d been a fan of his forever. So I started to try to convince him to do a blues album. I guess for real, we did … This is not in the interview at all. I mean, I put a little bit of the blues stuff as a transcription thing and had him talk a little bit about it, but I went deep on trying to get him to not have one of those falsetto metalhead goofball yodelers that he started to have. Jeff Scott Soto is killer, plus, again, we’re talking about blues. There’s a certain vocal quality that ain’t going to work when you’re trying to do a blues thing, really. I begged this guy to come out with some kind of blues cover album, different guest vocalists, who knows. Hilariously maybe two years ago he did finally come out with a blues album, except I think he’s singing, right?
CK: I’ve never heard that.
DT: Yeah, there is a blues album that he came out with, I think right before COVID kicked off or early into it. I don’t know, I’ve been kind of out of the loop with some of this stuff, but-
CK: If that really happened, I’m going to have to check that out. That sounds really interesting.
DT: Definitely interesting. However, to be honest, the stuff that he was doing, this particular back and forth, it doesn’t compare. I mean, anything he does, always is going to be cool, but this, just him playing by himself, I was just blown away, because if people really know what blues is, blues is not just a pentatonic sequence played quickly.
CK: Oh, yes it is.
DT: Five notes and the truth. So, very specific natural mixtures of major pentatonic, minor pentatonic, blues scale, position shifty, slidey, rhythmic, all sorts of stuff outlining chord changes. It was sick.
CK: I understand you even met Dimebag Darrell from Pantera.
DT: Man, crazily that was actually on his birthday, which is in a way … I didn’t realize this, of course, because he passed away somewhat shortly after that, for a while I thought I got to interview him on his last birthday, but I believe it was his second to last. Either way, obvious freaking tragedy because he was shot December 8th, which is, of course, the same date John Lennon was shot. I guess I could just say a quick little birthday nugget, because this was kind of funny. He, at the end of the interview, had a hair stylist coming to his home, which I was like, “What the hell?” And at first I thought, “Oh, he’s going to get made up for his birthday,” but it was pretty obvious, the reason, because his hair had some issues. The night before, he was at a hookah bar, like that big smoking pipe thing, and I guess it was one of those places where there’s big candles on fire. I mean, you know, flames, and he fell asleep in the chair and his hair caught fire. So he had this big melted clump of hair that needed to be chopped out, and so that’s what the stylist was going to do.
CK: You also interviewed George Lynch of Dokken fame, and I heard you have a pretty crazy story about this one.
DT: George Lynch, another one of my all-time favorite pickers ever. Twice, I did interviews with him and they were both lessons. The first one was insane because I went to his house in Arizona where he lived at the time. Imagine this. There is a Ratt concert that night in Arizona, so I get to go see the band Ratt with George Lynch, which was obviusly kickass. As we’re driving to the concert, though, that’s when I’m interviewing him. I’ve got my recorder, I’m talking at him, going through all this totally awesome stuff about that moment in time with what he was currently doing, but a bunch of historical stuff, one of which, up to that point, I’m positive had not been discussed, and it’s how many times he tried to get into Ozzy.
So, George Lynch auditioned for Ozzy before Randy Rhoads was in the band. That’s common knowledge, but what wasn’t common knowledge was after Randy passed away and they had Brad Gillis briefly and all that stuff ensued, George Lynch was in Ozzy briefly. He had quit Dokken to do this. I might be paraphrasing, obviously. So he’s rehearsing at SIR with the full band, however, and I don’t remember if this detail was put in the interview or not, but I still remember it pretty clearly, he was not getting paid by Dokken because he’d quit, so he had to take an extra job to make ends meet at that point. So he’d taken a side job as a truck driver and they made him cut his hair. So he had to cut his hair to keep the job as a truck driver, and he goes into rehearsal after cutting his hair, and I can’t remember if it was Ozzy or Sharon, instant cold shoulder, “Why’d you cut your hair?” The next thing you know, Jake E. Lee is standing there. And that was that.
CK: What was it like being in the home of Slash from Guns N’ Roses?
DT: Slash was a kickass dude I’d interviewed also four times. Easily the most normal, down-to-earth, cool rock star person I’d ever had the privilege of getting to hang with. First time interviewing him at his home, which was where Snakepit Studios originally was, right off the kitchen was a giant glass … terrarium? Huge, floor to ceiling filled with snakes, so that’s why … and underneath that, underground, was the studio, which is why they called it Snakepit Studios, the name that he later gave to his first solo band, Snakepit. So one thing I’ll share that was a trip is we’re listening … Oh, this is another one where I did not have an advance of the album. So I got to listen to the … I think this was relating to his Snakepit release. Listened to the album on Slash’s couch and as he’s playing his album, he leaves and he explained why he was leaving, and you’ll dig this. He was leaving because he can’t listen to his own shit without constantly feeling like, “Oh, I wish I did this different. I wish this was louder. Oh, this sounds like crap.” Constant harping on his own internal what-ifs crap he … and he knew that about himself, and he didn’t want to let that poison the well, I guess, which I know you and I can fully relate to. So he knew to just hit the road, so that was pretty humanizing, I thought.
CK: Why don’t you tell me about your chat with Dave Navarro?
DT: So Dave Navarro, of course everybody knows from Jane’s Addiction and then I guess Porno for Pyros and Chili Peppers for that one record. This was on the Capitol Records studio right there on Vine. In the middle of our interview … I should back up and say several people that I’ve gotten to interview, they brought their famous girlfriend, so I got to meet some of these people, and some other people did bizarre people in front of me. Not him, but like drugs and all sorts of weird crap, totally, totally strange that people would think that was cool. None of the people we’re talking about today, obviously anything like that. Anyway, so Dave Navarro’s phone goes off. He answered it, of course, starts talking and then he hangs up and he’s like, “Yeah, that’s my girlfriend. I had to explain to her where Capitol Records is.” Obviously a giant landmark.
So, in the middle of our interview there’s a knock at the door. Door opens. There’s this gal with giant Elton John mirrored glasses and a huge sunhat. “Dale, this is Carmen.” She takes off her glasses and hat. Like, “Holy shit.” Actually Carmen Electra. This is before anybody knew. It was not known that they were a thing. It’s like 1999, or 2001, I guess. Super early. So, getting to hang out with Carmen Electra, have her on my goofy little recorder, pretty funny. Random thing I will say that was cool is at some point, and you will appreciate this, I believe, he started to talk about this book that he made, or had been working on. When he was recovering from his whole addictive, addiction hell, he was kind of holed up in his own home for a couple of years, he would either sneak out or have somebody else go out and bring an oddball back to his home, and he would take a picture of them in his photobooth that would be like one of those amusement park photobooths, and then he would interview them. He got enough of this to where eventually he somehow got to put out a coffee table book of this stuff. Awesome book. It wasn’t out at the time, but the moment it came out, I, of course, bought it. It’s got Iggy Pop, it’s got Angeline, if you can imagine. So somebody went back and brought Angeline to his house.
CK: And how about Frank Gambale from Chick Corea Band?
DT: Frank Gambale, just the thing that would not translate from the interview itself, interviewed him a couple times. This is his house in Hollywood, pinball machines everywhere, super cool. What people wouldn’t realize is the ass-kicking, wicked, doomsday economy picking, sweet picking, multi-octave fistful of brutality crap that he was playing all on a steel string acoustic, not plugged in, and flawless. I couldn’t freaking believe it. Unlike anybody else that was into that type of picking, there’s always a percentage of palm muting they’re doing because they can’t separate the notes with their fret hand, stuff that keeps compromising the tone downstream from however their hands are operating, perfectly beautiful tone, perfectly synchronized. One of the sickest things I’ve ever seen up close.
CK: And last, what do you remember about meeting John Frusciante of Red Hot Chili Peppers?
DT: John Frusciante probably is one of my all-time favorite interviews ever, along with Brian Wilson, who I interviewed, but that wasn’t really a guitar interview. But as far as that I have a deep, personal, I don’t know, some kind of weird connection with in my own head, always meant a lot to me, and I got to interview him right after he got back in the band after he almost died, which most people know about if you’re a Chili Peppers fan. And this ended up being a revelatory interview, apparently, because of the stuff that he said in there. I used to print out the guitar lesson interview and give it to my first-year music theory students at Musician’s Institute because it became obvious from talking to him that he actually did have a legit theory thing in his brain, but actually used it to control his creativity. It wasn’t theory first, it’d be stuff that he knew was in his head. It was allowing him to get out stuff in an error-free, flawless way, as he’s basically jamming with Flea, that type of stuff, coming up with alternate parts on the spot. At some point I got him talking about the myth, “learning theory kills creativity,” and in his own words, he freaking shot that down in the most genius way imaginable. So, because of that, I made sure that my first quarter theory kiddos that might have that same kind of disease of, “I don’t really want to learn theory, because my cousin said it’s just going to make me crappy and it’s going to ruin my songs,” or whatever garbage people have in their head.
So yeah, I used to, like I said, print that out and give it to my first quarter theory students so they would not have the hangup that most people have when the theory topic gets thrust upon them. He would call me while he was on tour. So he would care so much about trying to help people learn and get deeper as an artist or whatever that he would think about crap we’d talked about and then he would call and either try to rephrase something or add something. Nobody would’ve expected that of somebody that’s a high-level, touring beast like that. I will say a thing that was obvious from getting to hang with him. He didn’t ever drive. Doesn’t have a car. I mean, maybe he had a car but he was never driving, didn’t have a driver’s license. He cared about literally nothing except trying to be in the most creative frame of mind at all times and removed everything from his life that would fuck with that. It was very obvious that he went out of his way to delete anything that would suck him out of that constant, creative being, feeling. So that was a trip to behold because it was obvious that he was making that possible, which obviously we know is not easy to do, but kudos to him for dialing it in.
CK: Well, thank you for sharing that stuff, Dale. Listeners, I’m talking to you now. Find out more about Dale Turner at intimateaudio.com. That’s intimateaudio.com. And be sure you park backwards.
Thanks for sharing that stuff, Dale. Listeners, I’m talking to you now: find out more about Dale Turner at IntimateAudio.com. And be sure you park backwards.
ROBOT CROSSING THE STREET BY ITSELF
Sunday, July 24, 2022 was a historical day for me. I saw a ROBOT. At a crosswalk. Going across the street. By itself.
This is new to me, but it’s been going on for a few years now. I guess it was delivering something. But what I wonder is… do we really need this?
Neil Postman famously said, what is the problem to which this technology is the solution? What is the problem, to which this technology is the solution? In the case of these delivery robots, there isn’t one. It’s not like, man, if we only had a robot. We already have delivery people. So there’s really no problem. It’s not helping customers. It’s entirely a gimmick. A marketing novelty. We don’t need robots riding down the sidewalk to deliver food , because we already have humans to do it.
I like robots in movies. I’ve even named a bunch of my creations after robots. I’ve always felt like maybe I’m a robot myself. But in real life they creep me out. I was in my neighborhood a while back and up ahead of me there was a Tesla that seemed to be having difficulty doing a 3 point turn. As I approached, I realized there was no one in it. The car was on its way to pick up its driver. It almost crashed into me. Stupid.
And we’ve also got this self checkout thing. Grocery stores have tricked us into working for them for free. Are they going to ask us to come in and stock the shelves too? Unload the trucks at 4am? It’s a trick. We wanna go use these stupid things because hey that’s neat. But ultimately it’s just another way for a corporation to cut costs and increase profits. They don’t are about us. Now I’m sure there’s someone out there who prefers it. But I can’t imagine most people do. I think it’s a hassle.
Maybe I’m wrong.
Maybe delivery robots don’t benefit us right now. But maybe they’re just a step in developing an actual useful technology. Or, It’s a sign that I’m getting old, that I’m skeptical about any of this fancy new stuff. But just to prove I’m not always an old man screaming at robots, there ARE a few inventions that I AM thankful for. For instance, my Apple Watch that tracks my heart rate and blood oxygen level. And the app called WAZE. These actually benefit me. Maybe in the development of all useful technologies, we have to work our way through some version of seemingly stupid delivery robots and self-checkout. I have no idea.
OK, that’s it for this episode, Carl King listeners. Remember, to support this show head over to Patreon.com/carlking, and subscribe for $1 a month, or $5 a month, or if you’re a Very Good Friend of Carl King, like Chewbode and Hank Howard III, you can go for the Arch Mage level of $50 a month or more, and get your name listed here, right along with them. Thank you for listening, and don’t snore too hard, because it’s bad for you. Good. Night.