Friday, 8 June 2012

When Should a Musician Retire?..A Speculation

I recently saw, like many of you, the Queens Diamond Jubilee a couple of days ago, and was struck by some of the so-called celebrities and legends that were performing for the concert.

I’m sorry to say but, Sir Paul McCartney, your time has come. You can’t hit those high notes anymore, and hearing you take a shot at them, had me cringing in my seat.
And don’t even get me started on your bass playing! You never could play that!

Seriously man, you don’t need the money, so why subject us to this endless attempt at reliving your past glories.  There are many extremely capable musicians around that could benefit from the exposure that you are still taking up,  like a rusty old pick-up in a redneck's front yard.

I don’t just feel strongly about Sir Paul, I also get really upset, at some of the so-called “talent” out there, whose only claim to fame is having a tight arse, or being surrounded by out of sync dancers, to take your concentration away from realising that the artist is nothing  but a “hack”,  who the record companies think will be the new thing.  The trouble with that is…the next thing they are looking for, is essentially a  copy of whatever is hot at the moment. That’s what you get when you apply a business model to the music industry. Music is not a business, it is an art form, and should be handled as such.

 So in conclusion..Paul..if you read this…please for the sake of art….go play some golf or something!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Does Humour belong in music?

About three and a half thousand years ago, high above a bluff
over looking the most forward thinking city in the world at that time, that of Ancient Athens,
sat a young man called Socrates, or "Socks" to his friends.

That would be his English friends of course, I don't know what his Greek friends would have called him... "Hosen"  perhaps...
no that would be his German friends..
Anyway I digress..

One afternoon while Socks was pondering one of life's inponderables, some of his friends....his English ones, came up to the mountain-side to ask Socrates, the question that had been burning the lips of the citizenry of Athens for weeks now.

They bent low to his ear, as he appeared to be in some self-induced trance, and they didn't want to disturb him out of such a state, but they just had  to know..

Standiupkus, the most gentle of all the party so assembed, finally said, "SOCKS" man we gotta know!  
Does Humour belong in music? 

After much soul searching, and contemplation, Socks turned to his legion and said
"Of course.....He's a great singer,  how could you play any music without such sweet sounds"

His followers scratched their heads, puzzled at the apparent ineptitude of one of the greatest thinkers of all time, until Harmonyonus the most impatient one finally clicked.

NOT Omar you idiot.......HUmour..........Does Humour Belong in Music?

So ends today's lesson.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

a new baby !

yep, and it's mine!

Just a little over a year ago I Googled "music collaboration" and found a website that has revolutionized my writing abilities. Since that fateful day, I have had great pleasure in working with some of the best musicians I have ever had the pleasure to work with.
Some from the USA, from Australia, France, Sweden, Italy and England so far.

In recognition of their fine performances, I present you my new album :

My most ambitious project to date, until the next one anyway and available HERE

A little bit of Zappa, a pinch of Chicago, a drizzle of John Mayer with a layer or Pino Palladino.

A Zappa-esque song about Rednecks, and all their foibles. A humourous ditty which includes a bass solo of impressive magnitude. Jazz-rock , with a little bit of country music near the end, inserted for statistical density purposes.

Ian Pellow: guitar, lead vocals, keyboard, bass | Andrew: guitar solo | Kevin: drums

A heavy jazz-rock song written, with yours truly on all instruments, except for the drums. Pink was one of the first songs written for this album, penned at a time of great excitement in my life. We had just gotten a new type of cheese to try. I don’t get out much.

Ian Pellow: guitar, vocals, bass | Kevin: drums

A truly collaborative song, with five other musicians involved in the final cut. Some great horn work, with exciting organ parts thrown in, as well as amazing guitar solos from friends from all over the world. Solos abound here. Please open your ears to some wonderful musicians.

Ian Pellow: rhythm guitar, bass | Neil Schmidt: 1st guitar solo | Kevin: drums | Josh Miller: last guitar solo | Reggie Bouffard: organ | Marty D. Keil: all sax & horn arrangements | Frank Kennedy: mix & engineering
Full length clip -  1min video clip

A very moody dark piece I wrote, based on a Zappa tune “The Torture Never Stops”, with a swingy bridge section. One of my ubiquitous bass solo finds itself into this song once again. Hope you don’t mind bass oriented music. Well I like it! 

Ian Pellow: lyrics, keyboard, guitar, bass | Ryan Lucas: vocals | Joe Bartoldus: Flute | Rickard Langnesund: drums

A bright poppy little ditty, that my friend Andrew, took by the scruff of the neck creating a pallet of musical deliciousness, around a not often told tale of a washed-up porn actress. Unusual subject matter you say? You bet! The best kind. Remember…humour DOES belong in music.

Ian Pellow: keyboard, bass | Andrew: guitars, vocals, lyrics, mix & engineering | Ludovic Le Squer: drums
Full length clip -  1min video clip 

A song strongly reminiscent of early Chicago, with intricate horn arrangements. This is one of the longer songs on this album. It goes from a 6/8 snappy main section to a slow dark section featuring guitar work, in which I humbly try to emulate the late great Terry Kath, then back to the 6/8 section featuring the great horn section I was fortunate enough to work with. Listen for the bass solo work near the end of the tune.
Ian Pellow: lead guitar, rhythm guitar, bass | Chuck Mac: trumpet | Marty D. Keil: all sax & horn arrangements | Kevin: drums
Full length clip -  1min video clip 

A straight out Rock tune, with the wonderful vocalizations of the great Andrew from Australia. This song is about the difference of opinion between two musicians. And you thought the “porn” song was, way you there! Once more an elegant bass solo provides contrast to the ethereal guitar work of the aforementioned Andrew.
Ian Pellow: bass | Raul Rodriguez: organ | Kevin: drums | Andrew: guitars, vocals, mix & engineering
Full length clip -  1min video clip

The only song on this album with no other musicians on the track, except myself.
It is about the greed surrounding all of us in this world. Specifically the Corporatocracy we now find ourselves subjected to. My bass playing in this song, has been compared to the great Jack Bruce. Have a listen and see if you agree.
Full length clip -  1min video clip

A bluesy little number with the added value of a wee history lesson about Henry VIII.
The third verse is contemporized for lessons to be taken about this figure, in our own time. Brilliant lyrics, vocalizations, and guitar work provided by the multi-talented Andrew once again. Of course a bass solo invades his space on occasion, but I am a bassist after all!
Ian Pellow: bass | Andrew: lyrics, vocals, guitars, drums, mix & engineering
Full length clip -  1min video clip

SO LONG BILLY BOY (an attempted tribute to Billy Barty)
A bright sparkly shiny piece about the legend that was Billy Barty.
Time changes galore in this piece. The song itself is about political correctness, or
In this case…INcorrectness. Some spectacular drum work by the adept, yet bald Kevin. He is a wonder….like I wonder what planet he is from. Somewhere they don’t need hair obviously. One of the few songs on the album, that does not have a bass solo on it. Sorry.
Ian Pellow: lyrics, vocals, rhythm & lead guitar, bass | Kevin: drums
Full length clip -  1min video clip

GENGHIS KHAN (but his sister Khan’t):
An instrumental piece that I wrote based only on my idea of the culture of the music in that part of the world. Snappy, at the beginning, giving way to a half time moody section in the middle before returning to the main vamp. Think camels and oases, when listening to this piece. It may help explain the mood I was in when writing it. 
Or not.
Ian Pellow: keyboard, rhythm & lead guitars, bass | Nelson Araujo: guitar
Full length clip -  1min video clip

The first piece I wrote for the album. Who’d have thought it would end up last on the album? A slow building work. It starts off with two guitars, before the bass comes in.
Bass work abounds in this number, with a solo about half way through.
Red is gentle, intelligent, intuitive, and great fun… in a nutshell. Oh I forgot humble.
Ian Pellow: keyboard, rhythm & lead guitars, bass | Kevin: drums
Full length clip -  1min video clip 

Andrew (the Bull) - Chuck Mac (the Horn-man) - Frank Kennedy (the Paranormal) - Joe Bartoldus (Phoephus) - Josh Miller (Edge Man) - Kevin (the Astronut) -
Ludovic Le Squer (the Drum-head) - Marty D. Keil (the Doc) - Neil Schmidt (the Mud Man) - Nelson Araujo (the Wolfman) - Raul Rodriguez (FigSounds) - Reggie Bouffard (Bouffy) - Rickard Langnesund (JohnRick) - Ryan Lucas (the Fog)


Sunday, 11 March 2012

My first official RANT of the year (many more to come)!

Every morning I read the newspapers, watch the news and start my day frustrated, upset and angry at the injustice done in the world.

I watch with growing disbelief, the ignorance of certain people, the greed and hunger for more power, more money, more of everything.

If only I could write lyrics to express my feelings about all this, but I don't. 
Hence my venting corner on here.

Here are my thoughts in a "nut"shell:


I don't know about you, but I am sick and tired of the constant lying in this world.
Politicians lie and twist their explanations without ever taken responsibility for their actions.

A lot of people around us do exactly the same, big shot managers, greedy money grabbers, corporate companies...  all lie to keep their shareholders happy.



  • I do believe in TRUE democracy but I really need to see the first country where you can find it. If you live there let me know.
  • I don't believe in preaching freedom for people when you lack every respect for their native culture.
  • I do believe in peaceful communications and understanding reasons for miscontent.
  • I don't believe in violence to settle a disagreement.
  • I do believe in creative minds and free spirits. 
  • Far too many people lose their spirit when society forces them into the sheep stream, the rat race, the socially acceptable box..
  • I admire all of you who do not want to be part of a community who blindly follows the leader.
  • I admire all of you who strive for a goal the hard way, sticking to convictions, struggling uphill but keeping true to yourselves.
  • I do believe that rich people help rich people and mostly themselves to get richer.
  • And therefore I would like to start a new movement where non-money-having people help one another to make a living, without having to sell their souls and free spirit.
  • It's called TRUE democracy!


I believe that most of the wars in history have been caused by religion.
As a result I do not believe in organised religion. (does that make me a bad person?)

But I do respect the people who do.  If it is something that you need in your life, by all means, have it in your life, belief in it, get strength from it, ... BUT do not force your beliefs onto me.  

I do strongly believe in moral values such as respect, loyalty and above all honesty.  I help others in need whenever I can regardless of their sex, orientation, race, culture or beliefs. (am I still a bad person ?)


The current corporate crap is slowly killing us all in one way or another. There is no need for statistics to prove that most people are stressed out, unhappy and unhealthy as a result of it. 
The cause : globalisation, the hunt for ever expanding businesses and profits demanded by shareholders.

24/7, bottom line, at the end of the day... there is the night and we should all be able to put down our heads and sleep.

Businesses will not cease to exist when they are not open around the clock. Customers will still be there...

Try being to a perfect stranger, just a smile will do.
Bring some warmth back into this cold greedy world.
 - small efforts go a long way :)


I am against the corporate world who does everything to gain more profit regardless of the consequences 
for nature or humanity.

I sincerely believe that our energy problem can be reduced if people can open their minds to energy efficient alternatives to build houses/cars/buses and trains rather then using energy greedy materials and having to look for more energy producing resources.

Energy savings and reduction of waste should start at the source, with the manufacturers... not leaving it up to the consumers to clean up a mess THEY have originated.  


Hey, and yes I do believe humour belongs in music, in politics, in love, in every aspect of life. Don't take yourself too serious, there is no time for that!

Have fun, have a laugh, enjoy life!
Remember, there is always someone worse off than yourself.

There... that's off my chest !

And you know what... you are absolutely free to like or dislike it.