I will try to check in more often.
The 32nd note intro to Potato is basically this.
It starts on beat 3.
The capitol letters are accents...pretty easy.
I was never an official drummer for the band. I did a 5 week tour subbing for Toss Panos.
I never really got the music under my belt either (a ton of hard sh*t) so I was reading from charts Toss had made for himself.
We played an outdoor college gig in Farmingham? Maine arranged by Mike Gaito who I believe was a student at the time.
Anyway the tune "Day of the Cow 2" (yep that is the title) was a one page chart with unison figures and the time signatures changing almost every measure (true).
Just as Mike counted DOC2 off this big wind blew in and took my book right off my music stand. there was no way to fake this tune so I sat it out in embarrassment.
Mike wrote "Potato" that night in his hotel (actually I think it was a "motel")
and Keneally history was made.
The lyrics in the bridge are..
"We went to Maine cause we're friends with Mike Gaito and Briggs' charts blew away in a tornado"
When Mike started recording the album "Sluggo" he said "You have to play on this tune"
I actually have notes from the session...here they are.
Potato Session Notes
or How I Whipped Potato
...(first Published in 1998 Art of Boogaloo, Mel Bay)
is the opening track on Mike Keneally's CD "Sluggo". Mike has been the stunt musician for Frank Zappa, Steve Vai and others. I thought that maybe you would appreciate some information on how this session went down, what I used and how I prepared for it.
Drums: Noble & Cooley Horizon series: 22x18 kick, 8", 10", 14" toms
Cymbals: Paiste: 20" medium ride and 14' hi hats (traditional), 16" & 20" full crashes (signature)
Heads: Attack: single ply coated ridge /snare, no overtone /bass drum,
thin skin 2 /top toms, clear thin skin 1 ply /bottom toms.
Sticks: Regal Tip 5A wood tip
1. I got a call from Mike asking me to play on this tune and we set up a morning to go over the arrangement. We went over the song at my house just the two of us and I took notes and made a ruff chart. I also made a tape which would be invaluable later because I lost my original notes. Mike had a few suggestions (like the 32nd note intro fill) but mostly he let me do what I wanted.
2. Next we set up a day to record. I picked out a couple cymbals I thought would sound good and I brought one extra snare, a Noble & Cooley Classic anniversary edition, some extra heads (just in case) and that was it...oh yeah and my chart. The chart wasn't detailed at all it just had the important hits and the structure of the tune. I did not work out any parts before hand. I allowed myself the freedom to improvise within the bounderies of the song.
3. I set up, tuned the drums and we decided on a tempo for the click track. I thought the original tempo Mike wanted was too slow and I am thankful he had an open mind. We found a tempo that felt good for both of us...meaning it flowed for me and I knew I would have no trouble getting a decent feeling take at this tempo. and Mike felt it was proper for the vocal and groove as well.
4. Time to play... we ran the song down just guitar and drums and there were no big problems with it and Mike says "thats it". I didn't want to believe that I got it on the first take, I knew there was nothing terribly wrong with it but I figured I could do it better (and I did drive 2 hours to get here and I wanted to play some more)..so we took a listen. I thought it sounded ok and Mike said "I'm not going to let you do it again" ...that was it.
Mike finished the overdubs later, made a special mix for me without the drums and a dub of the drum track and was kind enough to let me use it for the Art of Boogaloo book. I hope you enjoy it. I had the drum track run off without any music so that you could easily hear the use of ghost notes and the slight swing the groove has...I hope you find it helpful...FB
Potato was recorded at Double Time studios in San Diego, CA
Engineered by Jeff Forrest
Produced by Mike Keneally
"Sluggo" and "Art of Boogaloo" are out of print.
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Also..keep the questions coming. I am happy to answer them.