Saturday, March 22, 2008

Roadie Report 36 - Sundazed, Astronauts and a Garden

An Eclipse (Photo by Camilla)

We have been home for six weeks, so when I sat down at my desk this Saturday morning, I didn’t have a clue what to write but to write I must. We happily go on the road again on Wednesday and the April Blog must be uploaded to

I could write about all the things we try to catch up on when we’re home from touring, but those details might get too mundane. I will tell you that we did get the taxes done, at the cost of a couple of trees (Roadie Report 35). And some important tape archives had a touch of organization applied to them with the help of Bob Irwin from Sundazed Music. I know! I can write about Bob and Mary. They are mentioned in a former Blog but their love of music and the way Bob seeks it out of mysterious places in order to save it deserves attention.

Roger met Bob during the compiling of the first BYRDS Box Set. He was on staff at SONY music as a producer/engineer while also creating and growing his own unique record label, SUNDAZED, with his wife Mary.

Bob diligently combs the world for lost or forgotten tapes and recordings. Once he finds the music, he artfully re-packages it in the style of a fine sculpturer who works with a rare piece of marble.

For years Roger and I have moved boxes of reel-to-reel tapes from one home to another. During each move, I would ask Roger as we were stacking the heavy boxes into another closet, “What are on these tapes?” The reply was always, “I’m not sure, but I know there might be some important recordings in these boxes.”

During a forced re-modeling project – a leaking pipe – we decided to move all those boxes one more time. We gathered every tape in the house out of all the closets and cubbyholes and put them all together in one place. We found a 1971 live recording at the Royal Albert Hall and figured that if anyone could do something with it, Bob Irwin could and would. That record will be released soon. Keep checking the SUNDAZED web page for updates.

Bob and Mary decided to escape the New York winter and spend a few weeks in Florida. They chose a town that is about an hour from our house. I realized that their close proximity created a wonderful opportunity to add some order to those boxes of tapes. A quick email to Bob inviting them over for a meal and to peruse our tape vault netted an even quicker response from Bob.

They arrived early in the day and after hugs, laughter and catch-up conversation, we couldn’t wait to see Bob investigate the mysterious tapes. Roger even filmed the moment. It was very exciting. With each new rare tape Bob’s face lit up and he had a story to tell about it. He is a musical historian.

I’m not going to tell you what he found and he doesn’t want to be inundated with phone calls, but collectors and fans can rest assured that some wonderful recordings are now in the hands of a true artist. What and when? Keep an eye on SUNDAZED, they don’t do anything in a shoddy way, so they won’t rush it.

Roger and I felt very blessed when we loaded boxes of tapes into the Irwin’s car. We were no longer being negligent with a musical history. Not all the tapes are keepers. Bob couldn’t listen to them here because we no longer have the equipment to play the tapes, but he is so meticulous that he didn’t want to leave some rare recording left sitting in the vault.

My "science experiment" (Photo by Camilla)

Today I didn't know what was going to be the subject of this blog but now the words and pictures are compiled for the April up-load. I still have time to prepare for an Easter lunch for friends, pack my equipment for the upcoming tour which will also include the celebration of our 30th wedding anniversary on April First and putter in the garden - my “science experiment.” What might sound mundane, now sounds like fun!

One more thing, May 3rd is the U.S Astronaut Hall of Fame Induction at the Kennedy Space Center. Roger has been invited to sing a few songs with a couple of the musical Astronauts during the evening of the Induction Gala. It is always an honor for him to be surrounded by real spacemen! This is open to the public and if you want to explore and meet living history get your tickets early.

Part of my "science experiment" (Photo by Camilla)

The pics of Bob Irwin are frames from the video filmed by Roger.
All other photos by Camilla.

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