24 October. M and M.
This Thursday letter finds me at the beach in my favorite coffee shop, in short pants and a T shirt because although it is near the end of October, it is 30 C today. The past few weeks have been great for weather. The Santa Ana winds blow by and whatever meteorological reason that might explain why, the practical reality is that its cloudless sky with beautiful dry weather. For me it is ideal. Not too hot and not too humid.
This picture is from last night. Celebrating the release of my last record. Because I m on a bit of a roll with music, I have already started another album. This one is themed around Africa. I always need some theme to make a record, because getting an hour of interesting music all in one specific mood requires a little direction. Because Chris is releasing all my music in South Africa, I thought I would get out my old work guitar, and use that to play the basic parts for all the songs, before adding the production values over a live guitar part. I had the guitar set up by guitar tech in Newport Beach, because it had been in storage for like 15 years. So he cleaned it up, adjusted the neck to be perfect for the type of string I use on that guitar, and cleaned up the pickups. It has three really nice pick ups – the little electronic boxes that sit under the strings on the body of the guitar and translate the vibration of the strings in the wood into a amplified sound. I did that work myself about a million years ago, and I used that guitar for many years when I was performing. Its a working guitar. Made in Japan by Casio. A solid body Stratocaster shape. Finished in black.
I started the album last week, and I am up to track 5 now. I do 7 tracks all around 9 minutes each – so that I end up with a 1 hour long recording that works in a mood that is consistent from beginning to end. I am trying to remember and play sequences that I learned when I was growing up in South Africa, so it will give the feel an African flavor. Its nice to be playing that guitar again. I must have done a thousand gigs with it when I was a performing musician. It has a most pleasing sound and stays in tune well.
In the mornings I walk and do writing sessions. I am already halfway through another book. Then on Friday we are going to the desert.
Marge and Martha are having a joint 80th party. Marge and Martha have been friends since they were 3 years old, in Vallejo, California. That’s in San Fransisco area. They both moved to Palm Springs in later life, and last year, decided to share a house as they are both widows and enjoy each others company. Imagine being friends with someone for 77 years?
We are planning to help with the party arrangements. About 30 people coming from all over the place. I will sort out the music and the bar. The desert is nice at this time of year. Warm dry weather, just the way I like it. I am taking my racquet with and hope to play some tennis while I am there. Nearby is a famous tennis stadium called Indian Wells tennis resort. They have a tournament there every year and many famous players compete in a Masters 500 tournament. But the rest of the time anyone can show up and get a court. They also have some professional players you can pay to play you. I like that. Although I am still not back to my best since the accident last year and the damage it did to my back. Because of that I haven’t played competitive tennis for 18 months, but soon I think I will be able to start my come-back. Which involves getting fitter. And playing three or four times a week. I am targeting the new year for this.
Well, that’s my news this week. I have no word of any visit prospects for you in December. I have written to the Solicitors Regulation Authority about it, but so far I have heard nothing. I will keep December free in case you manage to get some action on the ‘I want to see my father‘ front. And if not we will then aim for next summer. I wont give up trying even though so much time is passing and Michele O’Leary, Tom Amlot and Charlotte Adler have made sure you cant see me or Mason, in this picture from 2014. Its 5 years since the last time you were with me. That’s British family law for you.
The first LETTER TO BYRON, The PILOT is HERE
The second about GRAHAM COY is HERE
The third about TOM AMLOT – HERE
The fourth – Thanksgiving day is HERE
The fifth: Michele O’Leary. The switch Judge
The sixth: Raining is HERE
Seventh – MUSIC is HERE