Randy Gun – The Blog

Randy Gun - New York City based Guitarist, Bassist, Singer, SongwriterWelcome.

My blog will highlight things happening in my life right now while my website will provide you with information and background about me and my music.

I hope you enjoy reading and please share this with your friends!

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Arthur Russell Kisses the Girl From Outer Space

There seems to be so much interest in Arthur Russell in the past few years. Arthur’s music has garnered richly deserved attention since his death almost 20 years ago. As with so many artists, this attention (such as books being written, movies produced and recordings released) when he can no longer follow them up with fresh material, is a shame.

Arthur always had something cooking. It’s just that the recipe was always evolving. He was never satisfied with the taste he concocted and was always in search of a new flavor. I would see him with his pair of ever present headphones listening to a new mix, a new tape splice, concentrating, as he stepped lively through the East Village, to his next appointment.

Arthur would sometimes call out of the blue and ask me to show up to a recording session. More than likely a session, where he wanted me to sing what would become either a lead or a backing vocal, depending on a number of variables. The backing vocal could very well become the lead vocal, if at some point Arthur’s lead vocal dropped out, as it did in a Habit of You on the album “Love is Overtaking Me”. Since I also played Guitar, on some of Arthur’s recordings, I was sometimes given an incorrect “Guitar” credit on an album, instead of the correct vocal credit. Unfortunately, that is exactly what happened on this release. I should have received credit for vocals, but all I received credit for was “Guitar”.

For one such session, Arthur called me to meet him at Sire Studios, somewhere on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, in the afternoon. Arthur had free reign in the studio that day. There was no pressure about how much time he was taking or what he was experimenting on. He had called upon me to sing a song he was working on called I Kissed the Girl from Outer Space.

Arthur had a set of free floating words that were repeated for a chorus. He had an actress also come in to sing. I was to sing this song in a duet with her. Much to my amazement, the actress was singing her parts a bit flat. This did not faze Arthur one iota. In fact, I have the feeling he enjoyed the flat parts. We sang this song through many passes and the flat parts, that my partner in the duet was singing, seemed to be getting flatter. Arthur kept having us do repeated passes.

I was wondering what the hell was he thinking?

Then it dawned on me. When you worked with Arthur you really didn’t have to have a sparkling performance from start to finish. He was going to splice that tape, bit by bit, to create a flawless performance. That was his thought at this session. He finally called it a day when both singers had used their “best” voices up for the day.

I have heard from Ernie Brooks (Arthur’s musical curator) that there are still plans, 32 years after this particular Arthur session, to mix this track and release it.

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Basement Tapes – Lost Necessaries and Randy Gun Tapes Found!

I was induced to look into where some old masters of The Necessaries, Randy Gun and The New DeLoreans might be found. Ah, after a bit of rummaging through piles of autographed baseballs, loose Harley Davidson parts, and a few antique amplifiers, I found the gold.

There they were…numerous Master tapes from sessions with The Necessaries from 1978 through 1980. I know that the original recording of I Do, I Feel Tension and an instrumental called Sharkskin, recorded with The Necessaries, with Mike Young as the producer of the sessions, was in the pile. I recall these tapes were a very clear, crisp and rocking representation of the band at that period in The Necessaries history.

I also found a pile of tapes from sessions with tracks listed as Kingdoms, which was a song I wrote with Phil and Don Everly in mind. They were just putting together an album and I was hoping to have the Everly Brothers record that track for inclusion on the disc. Also recorded was Leaders of the World and Girls in Water, an ode to Summer and and co-ed water sports. Man, I’d like to release that number while the streets are as hot as they are now! (NYC was 103 degrees today.) Those sessions were recorded with Mike Young returning at the production helm. Ernie Brooks supplied the bass and some acoustic guitar. Chris Spedding played some incredible slide parts on Kingdoms and Girls in Water, and damn if he didn’t add a baritone guitar part to Kingdoms, to pin it for the country charts.

Also included in the find was some stuff I did with Pat Irwin as the New DeLoreans. I believe we had 3 or 4 tracks in the can there. The tracks include “Nightlight”, “The Rules of Love” and “I Got a Life” as the track charts on the box that stores that tape states.

I have all the tapes in a pile here. I am debating what to do with them.

I really want to get the Spedding sessions out on iTunes faster than a locomotive.

I want to make mp3 and CD dubs of the tapes but I hear that some of the material was done in Dolby (an ancient art form) and must be dealt with. I also hear that the tapes have to be baked and played with a bit in order get the best sound out of antiquity.

If anyone has a great suggestion about where I should take these tapes, to get this done, or if you want to get involved in the process, I’d love to hear from you! Please Contact Me with any info.

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Fidel declares no embargo for George and Ringo!

George Harrison & Ringo Starr of The Beatles, smoking cigarsI know the feeling gentlemen, two pals kicking back, in a brotherhood of momentary leisure. Those were the good old days before cigar smoking became a criminal offense.

I attended a TuNe-yArDs rock show last night at Pier 56 in Manhattan. In the audience there were fans with signs offering “Free Drugs”. Judging from the reefer fuel in the air there must have been a cannabis give away at some point.

I on the other hand had to wait until I was far away and no one was around to light up my highly verboten Dominican cigar.

Don’t tread on me.

Just wait until they take away your sugarless gum Mr. and Mrs. ThatSmells, I won’t sign your petition. Your last freedoms will be gone by then. An embargo on your freedom of choice given over lollipop by lollipop.

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Cuban Fan Mail

George Harrison smoking a stogie and answering fan mailNothing beats a fine smoke and a big pile of fan mail!

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