Monday, November 13, 2006

Roadie Report 20 - Aug & Sept and the New Martin D7-string - by Camilla McGuinn

The new Martin D7-string. Photo by Camilla

August is a good month to leave Florida. It does get hot, but this year, it was hot everywhere. We had three concerts scheduled for the month and we were hoping for a respite from the heat. The first show was in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania for the annual Musikfest. Roger had played the theater before, so once again it was like coming home. Unfortunately it was hotter there than it was at home in Florida.

A few weeks before the Musikfest concert, I received an email from Chris at Martin Guitar. He said the prototype for Roger’s new D-7 seven string was ready (Roadie Report 13). I told him to keep it a secret because I suddenly cooked up one of those “I Love Lucy” schemes.

Roger is not a fan of surprises unless they come in a brightly covered box with a bow, but I thought that maybe this time he wouldn’t mind. My plan was to get Dick Boak from Martin to surprise Roger with the D-7 during his concert in Bethlehem. The Martin guitar factory was really close, just around the corner in Nazareth. This is beginning to sound like a Christmas story.

I just needed to figure out a way to get Dick on stage without Roger being surprised to see someone walking toward him from the audience. One day after prayer, I brought up the subject of the 7-string and how wonderful Dick has been in supporting the project. Roger readily agreed. That’s when I suggested that maybe it would be nice to give Dick a well deserved thank you during the Bethlehem concert. To my delight, Roger liked the idea so we immediately began planning the best time to ask Dick to stand up and take a bow.

Later that day, I called Dick and asked if he would mind presenting the new 7-string prototype to Roger on stage. He thought it would be fun. Then I told him the rest of my plot. I really didn’t want to spoil Roger's surprise for Dick of asking him to take a bow, but I felt someone on the surprise list needed to be in the know. I could tell Dick liked the idea and on the day of the concert, he arrived, smiling with the guitar in hand.

Roger doesn’t like to see anyone prior to a show, but I did confirm to him that Dick was in the audience. During the concert, Roger began explaining the intricacies of the 7-string and told the story of how he and Dick designed the guitar on a paper napkin during lunch one day. At that point Roger sprung his surprise and asked Dick to stand up, then Dick not only stood up, he started walking toward the stage with a guitar case.

For one quick moment, Roger had a look of shock on his face, but then he saw the case and it all became evident…Dick was bringing him the new D-7!

Dick told a funny story about carrying it on the shuttle bus to the concert and being asked for his autograph, then he handed the beautiful hand crafted 7-string to Roger to play. It was a great surprise!

If you are ever near Nazareth, Pennsylvania - tour the Martin factory. It has a wonderful museum and the luscious smell of fine wood being hand tooled into instruments for making music will linger in your sense memory for a long time. When you give a guitar player a Martin guitar, one of the first things he will do is put the guitar to his face and take a deep breath, and then smile.

Our next show was a week and a half later at Chastain Park, Atlanta: co-billed with THE JAMES GANG. Chastain Park is an unusual amphitheater. The ground level has tables and chairs for people to bring their candelabras and gourmet picnics. The first time an artist plays in front of this candle-lit Champagne sipping, caviar eating audience they are usually a bit puzzled. Some artists demand the eating to stop, but Roger has played the venue so many times that he finds it amusing; I find it whets my appetite and I stay hungry throughout the whole show.

Roger's guitars and banjo after sound check at Chastain Park

From Atlanta, we drove to the South Side of Chicago. Even though Roger was born in Chicago, he seldom got to that part of the city. We were both enchanted with the small town feel of the community. The Beverly Arts Center, where he was performing, could be a model for all community arts centers.

The Beverly Arts Center stage set for Roger. Photo by Camilla

Mike, the executive director, took me on a tour of the facility. It is a non-credit School of the Arts with rooms for dance, music, theater, pottery, painting, photo workshops and new plans for every spare space. The center also offers performing arts, independent film series and art exhibits. The stage is intimate and when there aren’t live performances; feature movies are shown in the auditorium. I drove away from the center thinking about how blessed that south side of Chicago neighborhood was to have a place to gather, to learn and to experience the visual arts.

During the drive back to Orlando, I used my time off from driving to begin the task of putting the pieces of the puzzle together for Roger’s up-coming tour of Denmark and the United Kingdom.

Touring in the states is a walk in the park for us, but Europe has a few interesting logistical points to overcome. Here, we wing almost every hotel – when it is time to stop, there always seems to be a good place to stay at the next exit. Most hotels here have free high speed Internet, breakfast and some even have great pillows.

We have toured the UK and Europe many times, but I wanted this time to be extra special. I felt it was time to smell the roses, so it was necessary to orchestrate the travel carefully.

The Internet was the key to putting the pieces of the puzzle together. We needed to fly across the Atlantic, take a train to Belgium, rent a car to drive through Germany and up to Denmark, perform concerts in 4 cities in Denmark, return to Belgium, catch the Eurostar to London, catch a train to Cardiff, start the 14 city concert tour of the UK, find a pillow every night and still smell the roses. It was a challenge!
Take time to smell the roses. Photo by Camilla

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Roadie Report 19 - May , June, July - by Camilla McGuinn

Photo by Camilla

People often ask me if the constant packing and unpacking gets tiring. Most of the time while they are asking the question they throw looks of consolation in my direction. I smile, no I giggle, because this life of ours is summed up in Roger’s adapted words of the folk song “Wandering” – “This is what God made me for.”

We drove up to Oaklyn, New Jersey for one show at the Ritz Theater. The stage was set for a running play, but with moving just a few of the props, we set the scene for Roger’s show.

The next morning, we hit the road early for home. Our basic rule is that if we can spend two days at home, it is worth the trip. This time we were going to spend four days touching home base before a three-week tour.

The tour had concerts in some new places for us. The first concert was in Madison, Indiana for the first Ohio River Valley Folk Festival. The river front setting was a beautiful place to listen to music, but it did rain and even though it was May, I spent the evening shivering under the soundboard tent. I marveled at the fans who sat under their umbrellas and sang along with Roger for the whole concert.
The Ohio River (photo by Camilla)

On May 20, we drove 246 miles to Jorma Kaukone’s Fur Peace Ranch in Pomeroy, Ohio. Roger had co-billed with Jorma years ago and it was fascinating to see the guitar teaching ranch he and his wife had developed. People come for miles to learn guitar techniques from masters. That night Jorma and Roger co-billed again. Some fans came from as far away as Washington DC to see the show. Jorma had posters printed to promote the concert, but it sold out before the posters could be distributed. A mood of excitement and anticipation filled the air as the audience walked into the theater.

Ohio has some beautiful rolling terrain and the drive to Lexington Kentucky the next day was very relaxing. Lexington is the home of Michael Johnathon’s “The Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour.” The show is a labor of love, produced by dedicated volunteers. They always arrange lodging for us at the charming historical hotel, The Gratz Park Inn, which has a gourmet restaurant. I had sent Michael a copy of “The Folk Den Project.’ When he listened to it, he contacted me and invited Roger to appear on his show as the featured guest. Lexington was on the way to the next concert, so the routing and timing were perfect for recording of the radio show and exploring the streets of the “Horse Capital of the World.” A copy of the show can be seen on Or just right click here and save target as woodsongs-398.wmv.

After a few days in Lexington, it was over the mountain and through the woods to my grandma’s home state, North Carolina. Now every Carolina descendant knows that you can’t drive through the Tar Heel State without finding some Carolina Bar-B-Que. We found it in Winston-Salem on our way to Oriental, NC.

All my relatives live in North Carolina and I did for awhile, but I had never heard of Oriental. It is another one of those places that the people must keep secret because it is beautifully untouched by the urban expansion of the masses.

The promoters of the concert, Dave and Marsha, have a fascinating history. He retired from the business he inspired and moved to Oriental to spend his days sailing. The couple enjoys good meals so being entrepreneurs, they decided to open a restaurant. The restaurant was a success but too time consuming for people who had retired, so they sold it. Then they wanted to hear good music. The town of Oriental has The Old Theater that was sitting dark, so Dave and Marsha jumped in feet first into another new venture, concert promotion.

Oriental, North Carolina (photo by Camilla)

Dave arranged for us to stay for three nights at the Oriental Marina & Inn, located on the harbor in the heart of the small fishing town. I didn’t know it was a condo-hotel until I looked at the pots and pans in the small kitchenette. There was a huge pot for boiling a feast from the sea that the fishing boats brought to shore everyday.

The hotel had wi-fi but it wasn’t working. The editor/owner of the local newspaper, Frieda, was helping with the promotion of the show, so during a telephone conversation I mentioned my need to communicate with the world. She told me to go on down to her office and she would leave the door unlocked for me. Small towns with big hearts – still is a way life in some places.

Roger performed two nights in The Old Theater and each night after the show we would sit and talk with Dave, Marsha and Frieda. Dave has his roots in technology, so he and Roger are in contact via the Internet about important matters such as the best GPS for the job, secrets of the UNIX operating system, or will the hurricane hit Forida and North Carolina?

The next concert was in Natick, Massachusetts, but we had time to stop in New York to work with SONY on the “ THE BYRDS- There is a Season” box set. While we were there, we went to the Town Hall Theater to see Roger’s old “Rolling Thunder Review” friend, T Bone Burnett.

Photo by Camilla

New York reunions are so much fun. When we got to the theater Willie Nile was standing by the door. While catching up with each other’s life adventures, a young girl approached us with a pamphlet about T Bone’s new CD. We each took one and then she asked if she could take a picture because her boss wanted to be sure she wasn’t just throwing them away. I realized that she didn’t recognize Willie or Roger, so I suggested that she just take a picture of the two of them holding the pamphlet. I wonder if her boss recognized the two guys in the picture.

The opening act for T Bone was Jacob Dylan in a solo performance. Roger had not seen Jacob since he was a little boy and he was blown away by the high quality of his solo show. Being a female, I was blown away by his good looks. I love being a secure, happily married five and fifty-year-old woman – I can make remarks like that about young men!

After the concert at The Center for the Arts in Natick, Massachusetts we hurried back to Florida for a Vero Beach concert, a week of telephone interviews, then on to Kent, Ohio for a show at the Kent Stage theater.

Even though we love touring, there is a detriment - the toll it takes on relationships with our friends. We are blessed with friends all over the world and our travels often take us to their doorsteps but when there is time to bring them all together, it is a time of childlike rejoicing. We finished off the month of June with a party at our home for the group of friends who usually celebrate Thanksgiving with us. Our touring will put us in New York in November, so we took the opportunity to gather everyone together on this 4th of July weekend.

July is the month of Roger’s birthday and his favorite way to celebrate is to be on the road. We celebrated all month with a Festival in Pleasantville, NY; a concert in the quaint town of Francestown, NH and at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington, Massachusettes.

At the Old Meeting House in Francestown, the announcer asked people to be sure to turn off their cell phones. Then she paused and commented that it didn’t really matter since there was no cell phone service available anyway. The drive to Francestown was over small roads wide enough for two wagons to pass. We felt like we were in another era and time had slowed down. We barely missed the cell phone service or the Internet. At our hotel after the show, we listened to the sound of the crickets.

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Monday, September 11, 2006

Roadie Report 18 -The Chad Mitchell Trio - by Camilla McGuinn

The morning sky (photo by Camilla)

We arrived safely home in just four days after an overnight stop in Tucson. Our long Interstate hauls always begin very early in the morning. The moments just before the dawn are enchantingly serene and dark. Trucks are few and only occasionally do I see the low beams of a car in my rear view mirror. I love driving in the quietness of daybreak as the sun’s splendor inflames the morning sky.

Once we settled into our house, we had just four days - to open the mail, wash the clothes and take our morning walks - before we packed the van again for a concert in Oaklyn, New Jersey.

The Morning Walk (photo by Camilla)

Morning walks always put us back on our home schedule. In the summertime, walks in Florida should be done early because the temperature rises as the sun does. Walking is good for couples. There are no distractions and a lot of ground can be covered in 30 minutes. Even though Roger and I are together all the time, the process of a walk opens our conversations to a myriad of topics. It also helps us to remember the stories of our lives. This is the story of Roger and The Chad Mitchell Trio.

Fall of 1960 (Roger is called Jim)

Chad Mitchell was waiting at the arrival gate at Idlewild Airport when Jim disembarked from the American Airlines 707. After gathering Jim’s guitar, banjo, and luggage, Chad hailed a taxi for the ride to the Schyler Hotel in New York City.

Jim knew little about the Chad Mitchell Trio and wasn't familiar with their history. Chad enthusiastically told him the group's story on the ride into town.

Chad, Mike Kobluk and Mike Pugh were members of the Glee Club at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. Catholic priest, Father Beaver felt they had the potential for a career in music. He convinced them to join him in his station wagon for a cross-country adventure to seek out the fabled folk music scene of New York City's Greenwich Village. On the way to the City, Father Beaver was on the lookout for places where the trio could perform, sometimes for food and sometimes for money. By the time they reached New York, they had not only survived the trip, but had made enough money to live on for while.

Father Beaver was energized by the cross county success and continued to knock on doors for the group. He managed an audition with Bertha Case, a literary agent who also represented the singer Nina Simone. Miss Case was so enamored by their sound that she took them under her wing, loaned them money and knocked on more doors for them.

They were signed to Coplix Records and Milt Okun, an arranger and conductor with Harry Belafonte Enterprises, was hired to guide the Trio musically as their director and arranger.

Father Beaver returned by himself to Spokane and Milt Okun became the new fatherly mentor of the group. By Thanksgiving, 1959, the Chad Mitchell Trio had their first booking on a major television show, The Pat Boone Show. Milt also introduced them to Harry Belafonte who arranged for them to appear with him, Odetta and Miriam Makeba at Carnegie Hall on May 2, 1960.

That summer, Mike Pugh decided he wanted to return to school; the search began for another member to take his place in the trio.

Chicago promoter, Frank Fried, later a manager of the Trio, suggested to Chad that they hire Jim McGuinn as their accompanist and to help Chad look for the new singer.

The auditions started the day after Chad picked Jim up at the airport. Chad wasn’t hearing the "voice" he wanted, so he and Jim went to Boston to explore the folk scene of Cambridge.

The October air was crisp when Jim walked into Club 47. He was fascinated by the lilting voice he heard from the stage. Standing there was a beautiful young lady with long black hair, playing the guitar and singing Miriam Makeba and Bob Gibson songs. She was an unusual folk guitar player; she actually used the guitar picking styles that Jim had learned at the Old Town School of Folk Music. He was mesmerized that fall in New England by the brilliant colors of the turning leaves and the intriguing beauty of Joan Baez. Chad even mentioned that she might be a good third voice for his trio, but ultimately they left town without their third member.

Back in New York, auditions continued and finally Broadway chorus singer, Joe Frazier, was tapped as the replacement for Mike Pugh, just in time for rehearsals for the Trio's engagement in Las Vegas at the Rivieria Hotel. During those rehearsals, Milt Okun was a gentle but exacting coach. Jim found himself often bored during the vocal lessons strumming the same three chords for hours. Every once in awhile he would break the monotony with a Flamenco guitar run. Milt would look over his glasses at the distracted guitar player, slowly put his finger to his mouth and say, “Jim, shhh.”

The Las Vegas engagement was for two weeks, opening up for Bob Crosby and the Bobcats. It was Jim's first Christmas away from home and it was an exciting city for the eighteen-year-old. The excitement was greatly enhanced because he somehow managed to get an "exaggerated" identification card.

The group toured the college circuit with Bob Newhart and Miriam Mekba. On long road trips, Jim sat next to Miriam in their rented station wagon and she would tell him stories about her homeland, South Africa. She told him that even though it was a sad land, it was a beautiful land and that he should definitely go there and see it for himself if he ever had the opportunity. She also influenced him musically with songs from her country. He would use the lessons she'd taught him years later while writing "So You Want To Be A Rock 'N' Roll Star" with Chris Hillman.

The Chad Mitchell Trio’s fame was growing. The Brooklyn College concert in New York was recorded live on their new label Kapp Records, and the sounds of the enthusiastic audience spilled into that recording. Jim was particularly pleased about this record because unlike his experience with "The Limelighters,” he was not only given a musician’s credit; he was noticeably on the cover of the album with the trio even though that created a point of confusion - a trio with four members. “Mighty Day on Campus” was released January 1, 1961.

“Mighty Day On Campus” was greeted with great critical acclaim. The success inspired Kapp Records to have the Trio record another live album in March of 1962. This time, they chose the more intimate Greenwich Village setting - the Bitter End, a favorite venue of the nationally known folk artists of the time. Jim was on the cover of “At the Bitter End,” standing in background playing his long neck 5-string banjo.

In the spring of 1962, under the sponsorship of the State Department's USIS, the Chad Mitchell Trio toured Central and South Americas to perform in eleven countries in fourteen weeks for what was called a “Goodwill Tour.”

Two federal agents greeted them in Rio De Janeiro. As one of the agents shook Jim’s hand, he commented to the other one, “He looks like Bobby Kennedy.” His partner grunted and told the group to stay away from the women, the beaches, the bars and the drugs. Their interested piqued.

The smells of the exotic food, the beauty of the beaches and the gunfire of the rebels enveloped Jim’s senses. There were times when the State department drivers would quickly turn down side streets when the sounds of machine guns would break the silence. The drivers would say "just firecrackers," then they'd drive faster. South America was a peculiar amalgamation of lethargy and danger; the sultry air percolated with sweet smelling jasmine mixed with fear and Jim found it all exhilarating.

In Recife, Brazil, Jim and Joe decided it was time to find some marijuana. They asked a guy on the street, “Permisso..Tine marijuana?” He told them to stay where they were and he would come back with some in a half-hour. They sat on a bench outside of their hotel and started wondering if the cops were the ones coming back. The guy returned with a large brown shopping bag full of some powerful smelling grass and demanded American cash. Jim didn’t have enough US Dollars, but the seller was more than happy to accept his American Express Travelers Checks. Joe handed Jim a pen to sign the checks while shaking his head saying, “No one is going to believe this.”

The pace of the tour and the length of time traveling through strange lands with government officials started taking a toll on the group members. No one was friendly anymore. The Trio sarcastically kept reminding Jim that he was just the very young, overpaid accompanist. Chad even punched him in the mouth after a show saying he didn’t like his attitude. Finally with a day off in Santo Domingo, Jim took advantage of the time to get away by himself. He took his guitar and found a cliff overlooking the ocean. The sound of the crashing waves in that beautiful place of solitude inspired him with a melody. He wasn’t intent on writing songs, he just filed the improvisation way in the recesses of his memory. The tune finally emerged years later while writing “Chestnut Mare” with Jacques levy.

The Trio returned to California with a three-week respite before a concert at the Crescendo Club in Hollywood opening up for comedian Lenny Bruce. Jim and Chad checked into the Tropicana Hotel on Santa Monica Boulevard and Jim immediately headed for the Troubadour.

Doug Weston, the owner of the Troubadour, remembered Jim and invited him to make himself at home in the Folk Den, the front room. A new group scheduled to perform the next night was just finishing their rehearsals in the main room. They called themselves The New Christie Minstrels. As Jim was playing his banjo, a member of the Christie Minstrels introduced himself. He was meeting his friend Bob Hippard for dinner and invited Jim to join them. Over the evening meal, friendships developed. Art Podel was looking for a roommate and Jim jumped at the chance to get out of a hotel room.

It was refreshing for Jim to have some new friendly faces in his life. Art wanted Roger to join The New Christie Minstrels as their banjo player, but Jim wasn’t sure if this group would be any more satisfying than the Chad Mitchell Trio though he did pose with The New Christie Minstrels for the cover of TV Guide.

Art and Jim found a two-bedroom ranch house on Wonderland Avenue in hills of Laurel Canyon. It quickly became the headquarters for the marijuana enthusiasts in the folk scene. Barry McGuire, one of The New Christie Minstrels, and Bob Hippard were regular overnight guests ... too stoned to drive home.

The situation with Chad Mitchell had deteriorated ever since the night in South America when Chad had punched Jim. The night of the Crescendo concert, Jim walked into the dressing room with a sense of dread. Not only were the personalities clashing, he was no longer happy being just the accompanist and the trio had no intention of letting him sing. Jim's future with the Trio didn't seem promising.

During the show, Jim’s position on stage was standing behind the group and to one side. He had heard the same jokes continually for the past three months, so to amuse himself, he would make mimicking faces while the group recited their stage chatter. Just before the punch line of their jokes, Jim's face would spring into a comical mug and the audience's laughter began before the jokes were over. Bobby Darin was in the audience that night and a change was a-comin'.

The morning walk by the pond (photo by Camilla)

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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Roadie Report 17 - The Rock Bottom Remainders- by Camilla McGuinn

The sun was shining and the cars were speeding as we traveled south on interstate 5 to join The Rock Bottom Remainders in Los Angeles for a fund raiser concert to benefit 826LA, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping students explore their creative writing skills.

Roger, Dave and Greg at sound check.

The members of "The Rock Bottom Remainders” are probably some of the most affluent band members in the world; of course that’s not too hard to do since the majority of musicians live hand to mouth. Their prosperity isn’t because of the group’s guitar techniques, platinum discs, or wonderful voices; it’s their talent for making the public hunger for words that transport their readers to a different dimension, intrigue them with a mystery, give insights into a cultural life style or make a person laugh out loud. These folks are writers. Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson, Mitch Albom, Amy Tan, Greg Iles, Scott Turow and Kathy Goldmark make up the core of the band with Stephen King joining in whenever his schedule allows. Every city stage where the band performs is graced with guest authors who, like all the others, had always wanted to be a rock ‘n’ roll star.

The odyssey of the group began when Kathi Goldmark worked with various authors during their promotional book tours. She began to notice an interesting common thread; there were a lot of writers who played in bands before their careers as authors took hold of their destinies. Kathy played in a band herself and thought that putting these talented people together to live out their musical fantasies would be a lot of fun.

They wrote a book about the early days, so I won’t go into their whole story. The book is called, “Mid-life Confidential: The Rock Bottom Remainders Tour America with Three Chords and an Attitude”

I will tell the story of how Roger became a guest musician with the “Rock Bottom Remainders.”


Early in March 2001, within a week, we received two copies of the same book from different friends. The book was “Sick Puppy” by Carl Hiaasen. We weren’t exactly sure why our friends thought it was important that we have a copy of this book with a strange title, but we trusted them and settled down to explore the pages for a clue as to why we'd received these gifts.

The story takes place in Florida. That was a clue. We have lived in Florida since 1984, so maybe that was why our friends sent the books. But on page 50, I was victorious! I quickly ran into Roger’s office and excitedly demanded, ”Listen to this!”

“The dog settled in at his feet. Twilly patted its glossy rump and said, 'Everything’s going to be all right buddy.' He couldn’t bring himself to address the animal by the name on its tag---Boodle. It was a quaint synonym for bribe, Palmer Stoat at his wittiest.
'From now on,' Twilly said to the dog, 'you’re McGuinn.'
The Lab raised its head, which seemed as wide as an anvil. 'After a great guitar player,' Twilly explained.”

We were both pleasantly bewildered. We still weren’t sure if the author actually meant Roger, so we kept reading. On page 54, we had confirmation, “After a musician I’m fond of, Roger McGuinn.”

We had never met Carl Hiaasen and I’m embarrassed to admit had never read any of his books. It didn’t take long for us to finish this novel about an eccentric environmentalist’s personal capers against the greedy developers who were plundering Florida’s environment.

A few days later, as I was perusing the Orlando Sentinel, I noticed an advertisement for the book “Sick Puppy” which had a notice that the author, Carl Hiassen, would be signing autographs of the book that evening in Winter Park. That’s when I hatched what I thought would be a fun caper of our own.

I suggested to Roger that we go to the bookstore with a copy of the book and ask him to autograph it to “Roger.” Then we would see if Carl would recognize who was asking for the autograph. My enthusiasm was infectious so Roger went along with the plot.

We arrived at the bookstore by 7pm and as we walked into the store my brilliant idea started to look a little less clever. There were about 100 people standing in line for an autograph. The drive to Winter Park had taken over 45 minutes, so we were committed. We took our place in line and waited.

I tried to avoid looking up at Roger because every time I did he had the same look that Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnez) used to give Lucy (Lucille Ball) whenever she got him involved in a feathered-brained scheme. I could imagined hearing Roger imitating Ricky’s Cuban accent saying, “LU..CY” but with “CA..MILL..A” being the name called to give an explanation.

Well, we were in a bookstore, so I smiled bravely and said I needed to find a book and left Roger stoically standing in line.

As I studied the books on the shelves, I would occasionally look in his direction. All of a sudden, he was talking to a lady and I could tell he was looking around for me. I immediately went to his side.

The lady was from the Orlando Sentinel and she had recognized Roger. Evidently she had actually read the book and wanted to get a picture of Roger and Carl together, but her photographer had to leave for another assignment. She asked if Roger would mind going to the front of the line. I was saved!

She introduced Roger to Carl, so my plot didn’t come off exactly as I had envisioned it, but the signs of a Cuban accent were disappearing from Roger’s countenance. Carl seemed a little embarrassed when he shook Roger’s hand. They talked for a few minutes, but the line was long, so Carl suggested that we get together the next night at a dinner where he was a guest speaker. He did sign our copy of the book before we left,
“For Roger and Camilla - With admiration from a real sick puppy! Carl Hiassen.”

The next evening, we drove to the Disney hotel where Carl was speaking. He had arranged for us to join his publisher’s table for the dinner and after Carl gave his humorous speech, the three of us were able to get away by ourselves. We were like old friends at a reunion. During the conversation Carl told us about “The Rock Bottom Remainders.” Roger loved the concept of the band. Carl said he would call Dave Barry and ask him if Roger could play with the group during one of their concerts.

Well the rest is history. Roger has played with the “Remainders" for over five years now, whenever their schedules connect.

Dave and the members of the group often make disparaging remarks about their musicianship, but actually they're not bad. In fact Roger asked them to record “The John B’s Sails” with him on the Folk Den. They recorded it at the beginning of a 2004 “Remainders” tour.


We were all gathering in St. Louis and the day before the rehearsals were to start, Ridley Pearson invited all who had gotten into town early to have dinner at his home. Roger immediately drafted the dinner guests, Dave, Ridley and Greg Iles, to sing into his laptop computer. They rehearsed the songs a few times, and then Roger turned on his computer. After the song, Dave started talking and Roger informed him, that he was being recorded. Roger left Dave's remarks on the final mix of the recording.

Dave, Roger and Ridley listening to "The John B's Sails" (photo by Marcelle Pearson)

You can hear this recording and Dave’s surprise reaction on THE FOLK DEN. This recording is also on The Folk Den Project.


We arrived in Los Angeles, a few days before the Remainders in time for Roger to be a guest on two radio shows. Marc Cohen, KABC Computers and Technology Show, was excited that Roger was recording on computers and asked him to join him and Mark Olleesky for the full Saturday show from 9am-11am. Technology and music – two joys of Roger’s work.

Roger also joined guest “Remainder,” Frank McCourt at the radio station KPCC. Frank had not planned to sing during the interview, but when Roger started playing “Finnegan’s Wake” Frank’s weariness from his airplane ride disappeared and the sounds of a joyous leprechaun sprang from his lips.

A dear friend invited us to stay at his house while we were in Los Angeles. Roger and I had spent many nights there and referred to it as “Camp Beverly Hills,” since we used to camp in our VW Vanagan parked on his driveway. Two other friends were visiting at the same time. The lady, Sonnet, is a singer, and since it was time for the monthly Folk Den song, Roger drafted Sonnet. They talked for awhile about which song to do and she mentioned that her mother used to sing her the old Irish song, “Molly Malone.” Another friend had emailed Roger a month earlier and suggested the same song. All the signs suggested that "Molly Malone" would be the song of the month.

Roger used gaffer’s tape to mount his Samson CL-8 Condenser microphone to an upright lamp stand. He then turned on his computer, plugged in his Rickenbacker and began the recording. After recording the electric and acoustic guitars, he sang the song. Then Sonnet became the voice of Molly Malone singing “Cockles and Muscles, alive alive O!”

It doesn’t matter where a tour ends, the day the last concert is over; we become like horses running back to the stall. And so it was after The Rock Bottom Remainders concert, we arose early in the morning and began the 2523-mile trip from Benedict Canyon, CA to Orlando, FL with a stop in Tucson to hug the “Special Lady."

Desert Sunset (photo by Camilla)

Next month, I will continue the story of McGuinn and The Chad Mitchell Trio.

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Monday, July 31, 2006

Roadie Report 16-Jim McGuinn's First San Francisco Visit- by Camilla McGuinn

The Ritz Carlton (Photo by Camilla)

San Francisco is one of our favorite cities but it’s a difficult city to drive and park in. Finding a hotel that can accommodate our van is a priority when we have business in that rolling city. After a few years of trial and error, we found that the Ritz Carlton not only would park our Ford van, they did so with as much aplomb as they do with the luxury cars that grace their portal. The doormen recognize our van now. When one of them said, “Welcome back.” I asked if he really recognized us or was he just being polite. He said, ”Indeed I do. You have a lot of equipment to unload.” It wasn’t my smiling face, or a renowned 12-string guitar player that made an impression – it was two luggage carts filled to the top with stuff!

We had several appointments during the next few days and the first one, was a visit with Steve Wozniak.

Roger and Woz began communicating after Steve read about Roger’s Senate testimony in defense of That statement can be read at . Roger was thrilled to be emailing the inventor of the Apple computer and a fast friendship developed between the two techies. A few years ago, we were delighted to be invited to join Woz on one of his jaunts to Japan to comb the shops for new inventions.

Steve made a special trip into town to join us for an evening of new gadgets and toys. The two Steves (Wozniak and Jobs) enjoyed a youth of pranks and gadgets. Woz still follows those pursuits. He brought a bag of toys and we spent hours trying to figure them out in the lounge of the Ritz Carlton.

The Glaucoma Research Foundation was holding their annual Board of Directors meeting and asked Roger to perform. Before the performance we were encouraged to hear the updates about the ongoing research for a cure for Glaucoma. This is a good time to remind you to have your eyes checked yearly. Glaucoma can cause blindness before you know you have the disease and there is no cure after the damage has been done.

We had one day off to do what we love to do in San Francisco – walk. I always lose weight as we walk up and down those amazing hills, but then I put it back on when we feast on the wonderful food available all over the city. We walked to North Beach, had lunch in an Italian restaurant, and while waiting for the fried Calamari, Roger told me about the night in 1960 when the bus pulled into San Francisco.

1960: (Roger is called Jim)

The night before Jim was to catch the bus to San Francisco, the fraternity boys insisted they have an all night party. In the morning they drove Jim to the bus stop and a groggy 18-year old climbed aboard the bus. The bus broke down half way up the coast and it took hours for a replacement to be dispatched to take the travelers to their destination. At midnight, the second bus finally arrived in San Francisco. Jim was slightly hung over, slightly sick from the smell of the diesel fumes and he had no idea where to go.

He reached in his pocket for the matchbook cover that Lou Gottleib had given him with a telephone number scribble on the inside. Lou had said to call if he was ever was in San Francisco and maybe there would be some more work. Jim dialed the number and heard a disconnect recording. His spirit was disheartened and his stomach queasy. All he wanted was a bed.

McGuinn was a city boy, so taxis were the logical way to get anywhere. He got into a cab and told the driver his friend’s telephone number was disconnected and he didn’t know where to go. The cab driver said he would take him to a good hotel. After driving a few blocks, the driver stopped and pointed at a door. Jim paid the fare, gathered his belongings and stood looking at the hotel. He turned to look across the street and noticed the bus station. The city boy had been taken for a ride.

There was a room available at the old hotel. When he walked into the room, he fell onto the security of the lumpy mattress without even undressing. His eyes finally opened at noon and as he squinted at the unfamiliar surroundings, he asked himself a question that would become a familiar morning inquiry for the rest of his life, “Where am I?” Then the memory of the horrendous bus trip, the disconnected telephone and the flaky cab ride came rushing back, but in the morning light, it didn’t seem so bad. He was in San Francisco and he was going to find the "Hungry i."

The "Hungry i" was the San Francisco equivalent to The Gate of Horn in Chicago. Jim had heard of it from the folk singers that played at The Gate of Horn. The folk community was small and the players all knew each other and played the same venues. He expected the "Hungry i" would be the place to find the next door on the pathway of his life. After a quick shower, he once again caught a taxi. This time he asked to be driven to "The Hungry i."

The "Hungry i" was a club where folk singers hung out and played guitar during the day and watched real performers at night. Jim walked in, surveyed the situation and decided to come back the next day with his guitar.

San Francisco was a city to explore, so he left the club in search of some food and to get a sense of what the city was all about. After a quick bite and blocks of walking the steep inclines of the San Francisco streets, he saw a theater advertising, “Psycho.” Alfred Hitchcock’s new movie was showing and it was time to rest his weary legs. Hitchcock’s suspenseful story filled Jim’s mind as he walked back to the hotel after the viewing. The strangeness of this new city and the uncertainly of things to come was creating his own suspense movie and one that he hoped had a happier ending.

The next few days were spent at the "Hungry i" playing guitar and meeting the locals. Adam Yagodka, a song writing partner of The Kingston Trio's Nick Reynolds, became aware that Jim was living in a hotel room and invited him to stay with him at his uncle’s house in San Rafael, while his uncle was in Europe.

Adam took Jim under his wing, introduced him to Nick Reynolds and suggested that Jim audition for the position being vacated by Dave Guard, the founder of The Kingston Trio. Nick drove him to the audition in his new red Ferrari. Bob Shane, Nick's partner, thought that even though Jim’s guitar playing was good, his voice wasn’t as strong as they wanted for their trio.

Another milestone that Adam brought into Jim’s life, was his first taste of marijuana. “You’re starting on the good stuff kid. Gunja.” The few weeks living in San Rafael was a laid back time. Adam’s uncle returned from Europe, so Adam, his girlfriend and Jim moved to her apartment in Sausalito.

Living in Sausalito was fun, but the commute to the "Hungry i" and the music scene was difficult. Jim met a musician named Don who invited him to crash at his house in South San Francisco. He and Don formed a group and played at places on Fisherman’s Wharf for a few weeks.

Afternoons before their shows, Jim was hanging out at the "Hungry i." One day the bartender gave him a message. Frank Fried, a Chicago promoter, was looking for him. Frank knew Jim’s parents, but they weren’t sure how to contact him except that he was in San Francisco. Frank called the "Hungry i." In the folk community at that time, word of mouth was an effective way to find people.

Jim placed a collect call to Chicago and Frank told him that Chad Mitchell wanted to hire him. Jim told Frank that he was forming a group in San Francisco, but Frank convinced him that working with Chad Mitchell was the next step he should pursue in his career. Frank sent Jim an airplane ticket and within the month, Jim walked off the airplane at Idlewild Airport and shook hands with Chad Mitchell.

We had an early call in the morning for a live radio interview with KFRC-FM, The Cammy and Dean Morning Show. While I was working on promotion for THE FOLK DEN PROJECT and the concert scheduled in Montalvo, I came across Cammy’s name and thought, ‘Hey that’s my name!’ Or at least it was the name I used from the ages of thirteen to nineteen. Since we obviously had something in common, I emailed her. Fortunately, she had heard of Roger McGuinn and said they would love to have Roger as a guest on their show. This is a fine example of how scientific I am at promotion

We walked out of the door of the Ritz Carlton and asked the doorman to call us a taxi, a McGuinn San Francisco tradition. He said that there was no need because their car would drive us to the radio station. Those full luggage carts at check-in had made a big impression.

"Cammy and Dean Show" (Photo by Camilla)

The Montalvo Carriage House Theater show was already sold out, so this radio interview was more about music and fun. Roger played Cammy and Dean’s favorite songs live, showed them his 7-string guitar and signed Dean’s Rickenbacker. (Photo by Camilla)

We returned to the hotel, checked out and joined the Friday traffic moving south out of the city. In all the years we both lived in California, we had never been to the Silicon Valley town of Los Gatos. I think the citizens keep the town a secret because it is an oasis beautifully situated by a mountain. The streets have the feel of another era but lined with all the trendy shops of our day. And yes, they do have a great sushi bar! Our senses were quieted by the serenity of the small town after the three days of San Francisco excitement.

The concert in the Montalvo Carriage House Theater was performed to a wonderful appreciative audience. We even got one more chance to see Woz. He had a Segway polo tournament during the day, but he made it to the concert in time with the Segways in the back of the Hummer.

We enjoyed Los Gatos, so before we headed south to Los Angeles to join the world famous "Rock Bottom Remainders",we spent an extra day walking the small town and enjoying lunch in the shelter of a tree.

(Photo by Camilla)

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Roadie Report 15 - Jim McGuinn Meets David Crosby - by Camilla McGuinn

Moonstone Beach, Cambria (Photo by Camilla)

We left Aspen and headed to San Francisco via Morro Bay, Ca.

Morro Bay had been our home from 1980 to 1984 and we always enjoyed a chance to stop, soak in the sights and sounds of that small fishing town, while saying hi to the people who made our sojourn there a beautiful chapter in our lives.

Our first glimpse of the California coastline was shrouded by the fog rolling in over Moonstone Beach in Cambria. It was nearly sunset, so we found a quaint seaside motel on Moonstone Beach Drive right next to a restaurant that we used to frequent, the Sea Chest.

We appreciated the sounds of the beach the next morning, then made our way to Morro Bay just as the lunch hour was winding down. It was wonderful to walk into Harada’s Sushi bar and to see Harada alone, busily preparing for the evening rush.

Harada had opened his first restaurant in a small building at the end of the embarcadero around 1982. Dinner there was our first priority whenever we came off the road. After one tour, before we even went home, we stopped in for our favorite food. We surprised ourselves by ordering a sushi boat, which was an awesome order for just two people, but we were excited about our recent trip to Florida and wanted to talk about the possibility of moving there.

We were the only people dining at 5pm and as we waited for Harada to prepare the sushi boat, a motorcyle rider walked into the tiny restaurant and sat down at the bar. Roger’s back was toward the door and he quietly asked me why I was looking so intently at the new patron. I felt like I knew the motorcyclist and asked Roger to turn around and see if he did. Yep, he did. It was Kurt Russell. Roger had a curious connection with Kurt - Kurt had married Roger’s ex-fiancee. So Roger walked over to Kurt, introduced himself and invited him to join us. Then we knew why we had ordered that big sushi boat!

After dinner, Kurt came to our home and played banjo with Roger. His enthusiasm was so delightful; I forgot that he was a famous movie star. The night was getting late and we tried to talk him into spending the evening. I was concerned about him driving back to Los Angeles in the dark on his motorcycle, but he wanted to be home in time to pick up his son in the morning. I suggested that maybe his girlfriend that he had mentioned earlier, could pick up Boston, his son. He smiled and asked, “Do you know who my girlfriend is?” We both shook our heads - we very seldom read the magazines that kept people abreast of famous relationships - and when he said, “Goldie Hawn,” I replied, “Well she seems nice, can’t she pick him up?” He laughed, picked up his helmet and rode into the night. We started laughing too. Imagining Goldie Hawn standing at the door of her boyfriend's ex-wife was funny.

The Rock at Morro Bay (Photo by Camilla)

The neighbors in Morro Bay who cared for us as surrogate parents were Susie and Stan. Their zest for living was an inspiration and they were the ones who fed the cat that had adopted us, paid our bills, picked up our mail and kept the home fires burning for us while we were on the road, all those Morro Bay years. Stan passed away last year, so there was a moment of sadness as we knocked on Susie’s door, knowing it would just be her. Susie’s sense of humor was beautifully intact and we had a wonderful evening with her.

The next day we headed up Highway 101 to San Francisco. We had thought about taking Highway 1, but it was closed due to washed out roads from the recent storms. On the way to San Francisco, Roger told me about his first trip to the City by the Bay:

While Jim (Roger) McGuinn was accompanying the Limeliters at the Ash Grove, a 19-year-old hopeful actor introduced himself. His name was David Crosby and he had just finished acting in a play at the Ashgrove the week before the Limeliters’ appearance.

David suggested that he and Jim hang out together and offered to pick him up at the Park Sunset hotel. David had a convertible in which he had installed aircraft seat-belts. Very few cars had seat belts then and David was very proud of the addition he had made to his car. Over the next week, Jim taught David a few guitar chords and David taught Jim how to drive.

Jim was a Chicago city boy where cars weren’t really necessary. Learning to drive David’s chevy with a manual transmission was the first clue Jim had of David’s sense of humor. After a few times around Santa Monica Blvd, David had Jim drive up the steep hill of La Cienaga Blvd. For a novice at the clutch, it was a baptism by fire.

The Limeliters finished their Los Angeles gigs and told Jim to look them up if he was ever in San Francisco. David suggested that Jim go home with him to Santa Barbara. When they arrived at David’s mother’s house, she made them the most exotic sandwiches Jim had ever tasted, lamb and avocado. Southern California was indeed different from Chicago.

Jim stayed at the Crosby’s for a few days, then David found him
a room at a nearby house filled with fraternity boys from Cornell University. Mornings started with the frat boys "breakfast of champions" -Coors beer. After breakfast they would crash the private beach of the Miramar Hotel. Their nights were spent drinking gin and tonics with the Santa Barbara society scene. Jim lost his wallet at the Miramar beach and was shocked to find it at the front desk with all his money still in it. Southern California was indeed different from Chicago.

The beach and the parties were fun, but Jim came to California to work, so he caught a bus to San Francisco. While Jim was seeking his destiny, Chris Hillman was in high school and practicing his mandolin when he wasn't tending to chores on the family ranch in Northern San Diego County. Jim Dickson was working on feature films, working for Benny Shapiro at the Club Renaissance and keeping his hand on the beat of the music of the times.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Roadie Report 14 - Jim McGuinn With Eartha Kitt and Jim Dickson's Early Days -by Camilla McGuinn

Cedar Falls, Iowa (photo by Camilla)
On April 3, 2006 we hit the road for Cedar Falls, Iowa. On the trek northward we played dodgeball with tornadic storm systems that were wrecking havoc throughout the country.

Lunch by the River (photo by Camilla)

The Oyster Theater, the concert venue for that evening, is located on Main Street in Cedar Falls. We arrived the day of the show just in time for a river-view lunch at the Broom Factory restaurant. After lunch I meandered down Main Street, stopping at the antique stores and finding myself impressed with the charm of the small Iowa town.

The next day we headed west, keeping an eye on the weather. We had already crossed the Donner Pass in California during a snowstorm and didn’t relish repeating that experience, so we decided at the split between Interstates 76 and 80 that we would take a southern route to San Francisco.

Since the weather took us on I-70 past the Aspen, Colorado exit, we decided to detour there and see if The Limelite Inn, the club where The Limeliters began their career was still standing.

On July 13, 1960, Jim McGuinn celebrated his 18th birthday at the Ash Grove folk club in Los Angeles in the dressing room he shared with his bosses, The Limeliters. The waitresses bought him a cupcake with a candle and sang him an off key version of “Happy Birthday.”

After the birthday celebration, he took the stage with the Limeliters and finished recording “TONIGHT IN PERSON,” a live album and the first for the Limeliters on RCA.
A week later The Limeliters were the opening act for Eartha Kitt at the Hollywood Bowl. Jim had to use his paycheck to rent a tuxedo to wear for the prestigious concert. The night of the concert, as he nervously stood on the wings of the stage tuning his guitar, he felt a slap on his bottom and a sultry voice saying, “Go get ‘em kid!” That swat and that voice were encouragements from Miss Eartha Kitt. Jim was thrilled with his initiation into the world of show business. He still remembers thinking, “This is what I want to do forever!”

While Jim McGuinn was making his entrance into the professional world of music, Jim Dickson was busy recording at World Pacific Studios.

The middle child of James and Ruth Ferne Mullinix Dickson, Jim Dickson was born in 1931 in Los Angeles, California. The Dicksons were an unusal and adventurous family. James designed cars, diesel engines for the Navy and sailboats. Ruth Dickson was an executive for the financial firm Witter & CO , which was later renamed Dean Witter . Her position with the firm was an anomaly for a woman in 1925.

Young Jim Dickson quit school and with his parents permission joined the Army in 1946. The army made him a member of the Military Police and sent him to Japan. From there he traveled from adventure to adventure, exploring New York City then back to his native California. The direction of his life changed when he and his sailing partner, Peter Grant, met the comedian, Lord Buckley.

Lord Buckley had a reputation as a charmer and convinced Peter to finance and produce a recording of Buckley’s comedic act. When Peter realized how easily he was manipulated, he sailed away to Acapulco and left Dickson to produce the album.

Dickson opened the telephone book’s Yellow Pages to “recording,” and found a studio called CP McGregor. The yellow page advertisement said they had 25 years experience, which was mostly in religious transcriptions for radio broadcast. At the studio he met, George Jones, a gentleman who later became head of the custom department at Capitol Records. George spent several hours explaining the record business to Jim. Dickson remembers Mr. Jones as “the honest man” he met in the record biz.


Armed with advice, a studio and Lord Buckley, Dickson began his career as a record producer and a recording label owner. Lord Buckley suggested he call the label “VAYA,” after the then popular saying, “Vaya Con Dios.” The Lord Buckly experience not only set him on the pathway of his life long career, it opened the door to the Hollywood bohemian artist scene where he fell in love with and married the beautiful folk singer turned actress Diane Varsi.

Our timing for stopping in Aspen was perfect. There was still snow on the mountains, the restaurants were still open, the hotel room rates were lowered and the streets were empty. It was a good thing that we stopped by the old Limelite Inn because we found out from a gentleman who had been coming to the Inn since 1959 that it is slated for demolition. A new hotel will be built in its place.

Aspen in April (photos by Camilla)

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Eddie Tickner ( Oct 18,1927 - May 2, 2006)

A May Sunset in Tucson (Photo by Camilla)

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;…” Ecclesiastes 3:1,2

Early in May 2006, Eddie Tickner, a manager and mentor of the BYRDS died quietly in Tucson Arizona. Our prayers and tears are with his family.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Roadie Report 13- The Launch Of THE FOLK DEN PROJECT and the Designing of the new RM D7- 7 String Guitar- by Camilla McGuinn

We quietly launched THE FOLK DEN PROJECT in November. Roger had a concert in Erie, Pa and the first person to buy the box set was a fan who had traveled over 100 miles to see Roger perform. He walked into the lobby of the Mercyhurst College Theater while I was still in the process of arranging my “lemonade stand.” He had read about THE FOLK DEN PROJECT on and was thrilled that we had autographed copies available. I usually don’t pose for pictures, but he was the first person to buy the new 4 CD set from me, so I was just as excited as he was and happily smiled for his camera.

Presque Isle State Park Photo by Camilla

The day after the concert, we drove around Erie and visited the Presque Isle State Park. Then we drove to Ohio to spend Thanksgiving Day with a reunion of dear friends at Farm Niente. For years we had a hosted a three-day Thanksgiving celebration at our home in Orlando, but a few years ago, we stopped for awhile. I found myself spending most of the year thinking about the details of the celebration and realized that I needed to take a break. Our friends, Linda and Bill, decided it was time to bring us all back together again and opened their wonderful log cabin to the gathering of the friends. The three days with these folks filled our hearts and renewed our spirits with the special feeling that only dear ones can bring.

After Thanksgiving, Roger and I headed to Chicago for what we were calling the official release of THE FOLK DEN PROJECT. We had already released it to the fans of, the concert in Erie, Pa and to all our friends at Farm Niente. We didn’t even do the publicity thing that traditional record labels do, we just said, “Here it is.” We did feel that to be able to say this special project was officially released at the alma mater of Roger’s education in the folk tradition sounded a tolling of the bells that justified pursuing the concert date in Chicago.

I spent the rest of the holiday season sending out THE PROJECT to press and radio. We realized that 100 folk songs might not sound too interesting to people, so we were very selective as to whom the copies were sent. One of the recipients was a DJ and long time friend, Pete Fornatelle.

Pete had been a DJ on WNEW at the time when DJs, not computers and corporations, spoke to the hearts of radio listeners. His show “Mixed Bag” was started when Roger came to his studio with a guitar and played songs live on the air. Every year when Roger would have a concert within radio range of New York City, Pete would invite Roger to his show for “The Annual Roger McGuinn Update” and all the concerts would sell out within the hour.
Those days of radio have changed, but Pete is still doing what he loves. He now has Mixed Bag, his show on XM Radio (The Loft - Channel 50) and a show on WFUV FM radio in New York.

When Pete listened to THE FOLK DEN PROJECT, he called me and said that he wanted the world to hear it and would get back to me. A few days later he called and told me about a group of people who were desperately trying to keep a platform for performing musicians available to people. They weren’t professional promoters, just lovers of music. Pete asked if we would help them pursue their dreams with a benefit concert that would promote them and THE FOLK DEN PROJECT. The concert was scheduled in a beautiful church in Montclair, NJ and quickly sold out. The night of the concert, after Roger finished singing “So You Want to Be A Rock and Roll Star”, Pete joined him on stage for the taping of “The Annual Roger McGuinn Update,” which was later played on Pete’s radio shows. The warmth and encouragement of the audience was a major part of that lovely evening.

On our way home from New Jersey, we stopped at Martin guitar in Nazareth, Pa for a meeting with Dick Boak. The Roger McGuinn 7-String guitar was a delight to guitar players, but the dealers were begging for one that everyone could afford. We sat down with Dick and designed a guitar that had all the wonderful attributes of the HD 7 but not all the delicate craftsmanship that raised the cost. We were very excited about the design specs that the three of us worked on and are anxiously awaiting the new D7. The beautiful HD 7 with inlaid mother of pearl will still be available, but now there will be a Roger McGuinn D7 that will fit the wallets of those wonderful musicians who want the joy of playing that double “G” string, without the high cost.

As we were leaving the Martin guitar factory, we met a couple in the lobby who had been at the concert the night before in Montclair. They said the whole town was buzzing about the concert and they had a hard time grasping that they were now talking to Roger face to face. We were all blessed by the serendipity of that chance encounter.

The next few months were spent promoting THE FOLK DEN PROJECT and planning for the tour we are now on. The Wall Street Journal, Rolling Stone, some wonderful local newspapers and magazines from Europe all gave THE PROJECT favorable reviews. It was a labor of love and to have a folk collection to even be honored with reviews in major publications has been very humbling and exciting.

GARDEN SUNSET Photo by Camilla

I’m sitting in a hotel in San Francisco listening to jazz. People have emailed and asked when I was going to post another “Roadie Report.” When I am at home I wear a different hat. There is a roof to fix, a courtyard to remodel, taxes to do, roses to plant and garden sunsets to contemplate. I’m not a roadie until the wheels start turning. Since we’re now on the road, I will be writing more about Roger’s memories of his life on the road and some memories from Jim Dickson, the man who guided 4 earnest musicians and a good looking conga player to the top of the pop charts.