A Laugh for Rory - Piano Accompaniment

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JS - And that first year, unfortunately, the tour was booked six nights a week sometimes. Sonenberg, his manager, was in this difficult position of trying to break a record but the certain rules you had to play by didn't fit him. I mean, I thought he shouldn't have been doing more than three a week, but there was no way to do that so he just wrecked his voice really quickly and then they didn't give him time to recover.

I remember he wanted time to recover, he would plead for it, but he wasn't given it - it was just "get back out there". JS - The oxygen was on stage. There was this tent where he would go for oxygen, and he would always faint after the show. I don't even know how much of this he could control or not, some of it might have been the character, but the character was real so there's really no distinction.

JS - The horrifying part of him at the end fainting was, for me laugh , I would come off a mass of sweat too, and he'd be usually on the floor completely naked. This is quite a sight, to see Meat Loaf on the floor completely naked. JS - His general act; I'd try to avoid it, but generally, what he'd do is he'd reach up and, it's a sweet thing, but for me it was terrifying, he'd go "Jimmy, Jimmy, I did it again!

And suddenly I'm in the porno movie with this sperm whale, and I'm terrified laugh. I'm laying there doing a love scene with Moby Dick again, and I'm wondering when the spout's going to go off and what's going to come out. He's going "Jimmy, Jimmy" and then, you know it was a sweet gesture, but to him it was this huge athletic ordeal - it was like basic training, every show, for a marine. JS - He wanted it to be that, and that was part of the thrill of it. He was always on the edge himself of basically expiring, so to speak.

I mean, there probably were ways he could've done it without getting in so much trouble if he wanted to spend more time on the technique, exercise and such, but it wouldn't have been the same Meat Loaf. It wouldn't have been the same thrilling sense of danger, and he was really like the character in Bat Out Of Hell. He was always that close to immolation, you did think - especially if you saw the steam coming out of his body - you expected he could spontaneously combust at any point. He seemed like that kind of performer. JS - Again, that spoiled me in that, not to be the old fogy again, but when I see bands today there's very few I can see spontaneously combusting.

They stand up there in their stupid clothes and they go on and on and on and they're, this is unfortunately what VH-1 has to deal with, I know that from speaking to them. JS - They say, what do we do with these bands? So that was the thrilling thing about Meat Loaf and that, I think, was the thing that offended the other camp so to speak which, strangely enough to me personally, was a lot of the people who were associated with Springsteen, who's one of the greatest showmen of all time, but the people around him were pathetic sycophants. They still are, Dave Marsh, I think he's still alive, he was pathetic.

JS - Oh, I wanted to bring down for you to read a great review by Lester Bangs, the great rock critic. It was only sent to me two weeks ago. I'd never read it in And it was really like everything he wrote, really wonderfully bracing, anarchistic kind of rebellious piece. JS - But a lot of these people around Springsteen hated the show. Because it was so much, you know, Bruce on stage was exciting, because it was Bruce. This was Meat, being a character in a created world and that somehow seemed to them a violation of something about rock and roll, which I thought was really stupid.

But it certainly was the only act I could think of at the time doing that, except for things like Kiss and Alice Cooper, which were a little different, much more stylised comic book though, I loved them. Kiss in a tiny room. And I was a huge fan of theirs forever. JS - I bought my apartment from Gene Simmons, their bass player. I remember his attitude to the group wasn't, he didn't seem to show much respect for the group musically, he was more business proposition, he's a brilliant businessman.

I was the one that was always saying no, don't underestimate it, you guys are dealing with mythology; it's brilliant. I thought Kiss was brilliant in that sense, and Alice Cooper was too. I mean, to me, those were all huge steps forward - even to this day. It wouldn't matter if they were doing only Barry Manilow songs.

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I consider them brilliant because I wish there were more groups like that. JS - I'm getting so tired. I was tired in the '60s of it, of people walking out on stage like they are in real life. Coming from a theater background, when you walk out on a stage you have an obligation almost to leave your real life behind and to assume another identity. Visually, emotionally, viscerally, and Meat did that. I think it screwed him up a lot.

I don't think I've ever used it about more than two or three people in pop music. He's certainly the only genius I've ever worked with. He's awesome. He actually takes my breath away, Todd. I wish people knew how brilliant he really is, even though his albums are staggering, they're not even the tip of the iceberg. He was so instrumental in this being done. For one thing, he's the only producer who would do it laugh. JS - So just on that basis alone he was very valuable.

Every other producer rejected it. Forgetting the record companies, we went to every producer and got comments like, it's ridiculous, you can't do this on a record. You can do this on stage, maybe, but you can't do it on a record. You know, 'cause they'd see something like "Paradise By The Dashboard Light" which was 20 minutes when we did it, with all the acted stuff, Meat Loaf making out with Ellen Foley, Phil Rizzuto speech, which at the time I would do live, you know going around the bases like in baseball, and they'd just think this is crazy, it can't be a record.

To me it was like the soundtrack of a movie and you just do it like that. Todd was the only one, I swear to God, the only one. Strangely enough the producer we wanted was a guy named Bob Ezrin who had done Lou Reed, but we couldn't get his phone number. All the others hated it. Todd listened to us audition at the piano and he said, "Okay I don't see the problem, let's go" laugh He was that casual about it, he always was. JS - That's the great thing about Todd; nothing surprises him.

He's too smart. To this day, one of my favorite things about Todd is I don't think he's ever said a complimentary thing to me about the music. But, I love that, I don't, you know, it's trivial. It'd be petty. Todd's basic attitude is, I think, "Well it's a load of inflated junk but at least it's funny and I'll do it, why not" laugh So he did it and his genius in it… I mean, I arranged it with him but his real genius is, I didn't know a thing about record production.

I wanted to use Bruce Springsteen's band a lot. I ended up using the drummer, Max Weinberg, and Roy Bittan, the pianist, who are amazing. I still think - best drummer and the best pianist I've ever worked with; they're geniuses but laugh here I am using 'genius' again, but they deserve it. Todd fought that 'cause he wanted to use his own band, Utopia, but it ended up being a combination on the album. JS - He just brought all the pieces together and he did all the background vocals and let me tell you, watching Todd Rundgren create background vocals has got to be one of the most thrilling experiences you can ever have in music.

I can't even describe it. It's as exciting as if you got to watch, I know this sounds hyperbolic, but if you got to watch Mozart compose or John Lennon compose alone and could be in their head, 'cause you could actually see it visually and hear it being created. He makes it up on the spot. JS - And his background vocals, I always wanted tons of background vocals. I'm a huge fan of background vocals, and I didn't know at the time how brilliant he was at it.

He'd have three people, it'd be just three people around the microphone, him and Kasim Sulton, from his bass player from his band, and Rory Dodd, who was a singer with us, and he'd hand out the parts, and they were astonishing. You know, he didn't do paths, like a lot of background vocals, or aahs, or oohs; he did complex melodies that intertwined, counterpoints and he'd hand them out, and everyone was terrified to admit they couldn't, they didn't have a clue what to do.


JS - He would just, and I think he did it probably for perverse fun, he'd go, "all right now this is what you sing: SINGING ahh, then you go to the diminished, then you come up here and you do an augmented, then I want you to take", and he'd go on for like two minutes. He'd say, that's your part, now remember that. Now you do it, and they'd go, "what? He helped tighten everything up; he was just brilliant.

JS - He was a genius, partly 'cause he didn't question it. He didn't over-think it, like this isn't what happened, this is not what's happening, how do we make this more palatable? He just did it, he accepted the music for what it was, and he did it. I think to this day he probably thinks half the ideas that I made him do on the record were ridiculous and all that, but it didn't matter.

I didn't want someone sucking up, I wanted someone great, and he was just awesome. I can't say enough about Todd. Q - Describe the sessions, physically where were you, what the atmosphere was like. Some of them were there, some of them were at his home studio. They were really hard for Meat Loaf, they were really bad for Meat Loaf, the session, 'cause Todd, they weren't easy for me either, but I spent a lot of time with Roy Bittan, the pianist, and a lot of time with Todd, working on the arrangements and the music, which Meat Loaf really wasn't involved in.

JS - And that was really, looking back, in a sense very unfair to Meat Loaf, but it was the only way to get the record done. Meat is, keep in mind he had spent two years with me rehearsing, working, and all of a sudden he was sort of left out of it, and a lot of that was Todd. Todd's very acerbic and tough, and Meat Loaf would, a lot of the time, be in the corner while we were recording, and he didn't know what to say, it was intimidating to me too.

I was just soaking it in, learning from Todd. JS - I remember once Meat Loaf finally, you could see, got up the nerve to leave the corner and come up to Todd, and I remember Todd going, "yes what do you want? JS - It was weird. I don't think he really was going to kill himself but the way I remember it, it's very detailed because, we hung around. He left but he said he'd meet us later to go to a movie and I remember the movie was The Outlaw Josie Wales with Clint Eastwood laugh that's the details I remember.

We left him detailed instructions on a pad of paper how to meet us at the theater 'cause he wasn't around when we were there at the house, and he didn't show up at the theater. JS - As it turned out he didn't follow the instructions right, he made some wrong turn and he thought we were tricking him.

He didn't, it was total paranoia, he thought Todd didn't want him involved, I didn't want him involved, he was being treated like, you know, completely unnecessary, irrelevant and we tricked him not to come to the movies with us, to miss Clint Eastwood laugh. So we come back to the house, we're staying at a house in Bearsville the whole time, which is a wild story too. He was living with Ellen Foley at the time, who's this tiny waif of a girl, Ellen's like… [holds up hand to demonstrate] and whenever we'd describe it to people we'd say, yeah, you know, Meat's living with Ellen.

They'd say, "I'm just trying to picture it physically, how does that work? And meanwhile I'm thinking "maybe a crane is involved, I don't know…", but he was living with Ellen and I was in the room across the hall from them. It was really a very sweet time, living all together.

Sheet music cover image of the song 'Rory O'Moore, or, Tis all for Stock Photo: - Alamy

JS - They also, Meat believed in ghosts and he was convinced that the room was haunted by a ghost. I remember very sweetly him telling me about that constantly, and one night there's a knock on my door around am. So I came in the room, and he's there with Ellen in bed and Ellen says he's terrified, he says "The ghost is here, he's a bad ghost, you gotta do something". JS - I said, "okay well I'll just sit and talk to him". So I sat down like a nanny on the chair next to him in bed and I talked to the ghost and I said, "Oh the ghost is not a bad ghost, Meat, it's a musician, a musician from the '50s.

It's a bass player who really loves your songs, who just wishes he could be on your record. Ellen, he's a nice ghost. You look over and there's Meat asleep and then I tiptoe out and it's this very sweet domestic scene in the middle of all this anarchy. JS - But that night we came home and the door's opened by Rory, who's the singer, and Rory's in complete hysterics and going, "Oh God I don't know where you've been! He goes, "I… I haven't been able to reach you. Meat tried to kill himself and I don't know what to do, what are we going to do, he's trying to kill himself!

JS - I said, "Calm down, calm down, let's go see what happened". You know, I'm trying to act like I'm in charge. I don't know what the hell I'm going to do. I was taking this pain medication because of the broken bones in my nose - Darvon - which I really needed 'cause I was in pain all the time. I go upstairs and Rory takes me to the shower and there's Meat nude in the shower curled up in the corner, almost fetal, and with the water dripping down on him.

Rory says he hasn't uttered a word in like, three hours, he took an overdose of pills. JS - I'm going, "Meat, what - what's going on? I said, "well that's not a good idea, Meat, you can't die. I mean, if you die… what's going to happen? I might have to get another singer! Rory, can we change the keys? The first time I was a paramedic so I was sort of not sure what to do, but that was my strategy. JS - Then the only screw-up of the whole thing was I said to Rory, what pills did he take. He said, "he took your Darvon. Meat, you animal, you stupid animal, I need that stuff!

I was so furious he took my Darvon but we had to get him to the hospital and it was a riot 'cause Rory really couldn't drive, he was Canadian, didn't have a license I don't think. But he got into the car and we're driving terribly to the hospital, I didn't have a license. And Meat's in the back seat, covered in a blanket - completely out of it - and… it worked, my strategy though, I convinced him. I had this bizarre thing where I got into great detail I said, you know what Darvon does, Meat, now that I know you took Darvon, it's not going to kill you, all it does is it paralyses the mucous membranes which means your vocal cords are going to dry up, which means you won't even be able to talk, you'll have to wear one of those little amplification things in your throat.

He goes, "huh? I don't wanna, no! I said, "well then we'll have to get you to a hospital". He said, "no! JS - Yeah, shot put! It escaped my mind. He was hit by a shot put, at real close range, which is really dangerous. He had a skull fracture, he had a total psychotic fear of his brain being tampered with and people going, doctors going near his head. So he really, when you mentioned a hospital, he'd freak and he'd go "no! I'm not going". But when I convinced him that he had to go there and that he's going to never talk again he decided he'd go to the hospital.

We get him to the hospital and these idiot doctors wouldn't come out to the car 'cause I couldn't get him from the car to the hospital. JS - They said no, we're not allowed to, you have to bring him here, and we finally got one who was off duty to come help us. We got him in the hospital and I had to fill out the forms like the daddy. I filled out all the forms while he was in the other room. I remember it was really sad, it was really poignant. Then the doctor came to talk to me like I was the parent. The doctor said, okay it's going to be all right and we had to pump his stomach but we got everything out, it wasn't going to be fatal, but it's good that we pumped his stomach.

JS - Mainly he's feeling nauseous and sick, that'll last for about a day and he's feeling, psychological is the biggest problem, he's feeling a great deal of shame and embarrassment. I'm thinking about this and I'm thinking "well - what do I do?

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He was an amazing mixture of a colossus and a really delicate, fragile flower. I mean, in a strange combination, but I guess that's not so strange, since a flower could grow up through concrete, can't it? He was both. JS - And Todd didn't include him much at all, if any. Todd was brutally efficient at making the record, you know, but he was brilliant and he was inspired.

The only thing Todd didn't do was mix it. Todd mixed the whole record in one day and I didn't know about mixing at that time. I've come to realise it's the key to making a record in many ways and it takes a long time sometimes. The mix is, Todd did the whole album from pm to am and it was one of the wildest things I've ever seen. JS - We ended up re-mixing, it took about two months at least and the amazing thing is two of his mixes are on there, Heaven Can Wait and Hot Summer Night.

You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth he mixed it at his home studios, he had a great little home studio behind his house in Woodstock and all the EQ stuff was on top, it was usually, you know, it's a console. This was all on top so he'd lean up to work it and I remember he said to me, "okay let's mix the first song, what do you want here, do you want Phil Spector? All right, I thought that's what you'd want - Phil Spector, the usual. Okay let's try this, this, this, okay let's see what happens.

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JS - Then he played the whole song he didn't touch a thing. The whole song just played from beginning to end and that's the mix that's on the record. We tried it four or five times to see if we could top it, couldn't even come close. I thought, "this guy's a genius, it sounds perfect! He took a nap at around am for about an hour and a half, which is amazing 'cause we only worked on it 12 hours. He woke up from the nap; he says, okay let's finish.

We'll do a ballad first, and he did the mix of Heaven Can Wait, which is also on the record, and it's gorgeous. But when it came to the longer songs he had a short attention span. He got tired of them and they weren't good mixes, so we had to go and re-mix the whole album and laugh that's when I really learned a lot about producing a record, how much was in the mix. JS - We simply did what I think Todd would've done, had he spent the time. It was just like when he took the record to be mastered. I remember he just handed it, and it was like a drive-thru master place, like Burger King, and it was at this place called Stone and he handed it in, like drive-thru, he handed it through the window of the receptionist and she said, "well what do I do with this?

JS - So after Todd had mixed and mastered the record, it was horrifying for me and Meat Loaf, and again this doesn't happen with CDs really. Everything changed with digital. But in those days if you went over 19 minutes, with every extra minute you'd lose maybe 10, 20 per cent of the record. It was logarithmic with the losses. You, just the laws of physics, 'cause you were dealing with vinyl.

And so the record, I realise that the whole process of recording is basically step by step, a terrible sense of loss. JS - Then, you know, it's a lot like life and marriage in that sense. It starts off so spectacular. You've got 48 tracks, everything's really loud, you can make things louder. Then you have to get 48 tracks down to two tracks for a mix, which is very depressing really. Then from those two tracks you have to make it fit onto the vinyl. And you think, you're already depressed, 'cause what started out like the opening chords of Bat Out Of Hell sounded originally on the console when you're in the studio like [BA-DAM!

They're huge. It can't be changed? Oh damn", and you get used to that.

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Then you find out, when it gets to mastering, that it's a 29 minute side; it's impossible. It was so depressing when we got it home. JS - Meat Loaf and I remember, it was in my apartment, putting on the record and saying, oh my God, it this what it's ended up? It was like you had this beautiful child and it had been turned into a little mutant, awful creature, hunchback creature. We didn't know what to do. I remember we were just crying basically about it. Then we decided we had to do it all again.

You know, we couldn't ask Todd. Just Todd didn't have that kind of attention span for it, even though he, the one, two mixes he did great, and we knew were great. JS - But the rest of it, we didn't know who to go to, to re-mix it. I feel, well I've gotta learn more now. I've gotta learn about mixing. So the first person we went to was Jimmy Iovine. And Jimmy Iovine, he's a big deal now. He runs Interscope Records and he may be one of the biggest guys in the record business, but to me he'll always be Jimmy. He was always, I knew him when he was basically the assistant recording engineer at the Record Plant.

JS - He was kind of the janitor. He swept up but he also assisted. He was around when Springsteen did Born To Run. I think he was like a tape operator who basically went on, off, on, off. But Jimmy's an amazing person and he absorbed like a sponge. He's always been one of my favorite people. He's very charming partly 'cause he's so direct. JS - Jimmy, from the day I first knew him, and this is like '76 or '77, he always had one goal. He always would say, "you know, Steinman, I just, I wanna, I wanna make a hundred million dollars.

I figured it out. You know, I knew I was fucked up and I had to revise my estimation. He goes, "a hundred million, that's an exact amount". He never changed that amount all the years I knew and worked with him. He always was looking for the thing that would get him that hundred million. He had another great comment. JS - He says, "you know, the problem with you is you worry about art and creating art.

I worry about buying art. That's what I want to do". He was very pithy and this guy's really bright and yet, amazing sense of music. I remember re-mixing everything with Jimmy, and Jimmy had an easy solution which was totally cheating, but that's Jimmy. He basically took all the stuff out, you know, because he knew what we were saying.

There's too many things. You've gotta take stuff out. JS - So he took out all the background vocals, he took out almost everything except the piano, bass and drums. Even the guitar he took out about half of. Which made it sound a lot like Because The Night, Patti Smith, that record which is a great sounding record, but that's what Jimmy was great at.

You know, he says, "yeah now you've just got piano and a voice and the drums and they can all be loud. You know, that's what I want to hear when I hear a song. I want to hear the voice and the melody and the piano and the drums. You know, I'll listen to some guitar, but even those guitars, you know, I think of all those skinny, English faggy guys in their satin pants, I don't know about that. I like the other stuff. JS - His father worked on the docks in Brooklyn.

He had that kind of mentality. He had a great mixture of vision and also very down to earth, so his mixes were kind of great 'cause they were loud but they had nothing in them. They were like really empty. In fact it doesn't sound like anything else on the record, I think, 'cause it was a Jimmy mix that I did with Jimmy.

You could tell when you listen to it, a lot's been taken out. The background vocals were put back in but it's very stark compared to the others. So that's the way he mixed. He also is funny.

I mean, if you listen really closely to Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad you'll hear when it starts there's a low hum, a low buzz there before the music starts. You hear "Mmmmmmmmmmm". JS - I remember mentioning this to him saying, Jimmy what about this low hum? You never hear that on the radio. It doesn't pick it up.

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No one's gonna mention that. Just you're much too fanatic. Forget about it. And you have to jump cut again to a year later when the song is on the top 40 station in New York, a top top 40 station, which is called 99X - at the time. We get a call from the program director saying, you know, we like the song, Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad but there's this horrible hum at the beginning that really comes across on the radio.

Never got rid of it. But also I should mention Jimmy gave me the most profound advice anyone ever gave me in the music business, which I think should be passed along to anyone wanting to be in this business, in that once he did all his mixes, and we only kept one of them, I re-mixed the rest of the album again with a guy named John Jansen, and those are the ones that are the majority of the record. JS - He was brilliant, but I brought them all to Jimmy to listen to 'cause Jimmy didn't have any ego about it. He was just starting out.

I mean, I think he had just gotten the job to do Born To Run, which was an accident. No one knew how to mix it and Jimmy had been there working the tape machine. They said, why don't you take a crack at it? So one weekend he tried to, he mixed it, and I love Born To Run, it's my favorite record of all time, one of them. JS - One of the things I love about it is the way it sounds, which is totally insane and accidental in a way. Jimmy, he'll explain it to you.

He goes, "I didn't know about echo. I just pushed it all up" and that's why it has all this tunnel-like echo. As someone said, it sounds like it was recorded in the Holland Tunnel, but that's great for Born To Run. He left things out, there are really funny stories, I'm getting into your show over Springsteen. Thursday 7 — Saturday 9 November, 2. Book your tickets today! Show time 8pm. Who's going?! I'm lucky in that respect. I never expected or took anything for granted, I keep my feet on the ground and I work hard.

Belfast and Cork, we're coming to see you! Tickets on sale this Friday, 4th October, at 9AM. Kelli-Ann performed the role of Edith in The Pirates of Penzance and Rory, in his second year as company artist will sing the role of Angelotti in Tosca on November 3rd. Jump to. Sections of this page. Accessibility Help. Facebook Signup. See more of Cork Opera House on Facebook. Log In. Forgot account? Not Now. Visitor Posts. Caroline Keegan.

A Laugh for Rory - Piano Accompaniment A Laugh for Rory - Piano Accompaniment
A Laugh for Rory - Piano Accompaniment A Laugh for Rory - Piano Accompaniment
A Laugh for Rory - Piano Accompaniment A Laugh for Rory - Piano Accompaniment
A Laugh for Rory - Piano Accompaniment A Laugh for Rory - Piano Accompaniment
A Laugh for Rory - Piano Accompaniment A Laugh for Rory - Piano Accompaniment
A Laugh for Rory - Piano Accompaniment A Laugh for Rory - Piano Accompaniment

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