As soon as Sheryl Crow had completed her latest album, Detours, due to hit the stores and download sites February 5, 2008, we immediately began preparation for promoting the
As soon as Sheryl Crow had completed her latest album, Detours, due to hit the stores and download sites February 5, 2008, we immediately began preparation for promoting the major release, spreading our time between press, TV, radio and live internet performances. In early December 2007 we set out for two weeks of all of the above, so thought I’d share a bit of our calendar with you.
Friday, November 30 -
I flew from my home in Atlanta, Georgia to New York City.
Saturday, December 1 - Tuesday, December 4, 12:00-9:00 p.m.
Full band rehearsals begin at S.I.R. Studios in Manhattan. Our main focus is to prepare Sheryl’s new song, “Shine Over Babylon” for a December 6 performance on the special CNN Heroes. We also practice our “acoustic” set for live radio and internet performances. The latter is a scaled down band of Sheryl, Tim Smith and me on guitars, and our drummer Jeremy Stacey.
Wednesday, December 4, 6:15 a.m.
Lobby call, arrrghh! Sheryl, Tim, Jeremy and I hop into a van bound for Philadelphia to perform for NPR’s Fresh Air and World Café. Both hosts will interview Sheryl and feature a handful of songs live. Quite a bumpy ride between NYC and Philly – , fix the roads!
Our augmented crew travels separately, arriving earlier to set up our gear. Acoustic guitars are sometimes mic’ed, but usually run direct along with bass and electric guitars. Jeremy uses a scaled down kit – a floor tom for a kick and brushes on a tambourine with a head for a makeshift snare. We all sing back-ups behind Sheryl.
2:30 p.m. –
We head back to NYC for an evening rehearsal at S.I.R. as final preparation for the CNN special. We work in two back-up singers, Stephanie Alexander and Lisa Fischer, who will be joining us for the show’s performance. This evening we’re using a rented backline since our gear had to be packed and trucked to the West coast for the TV show we will be taping in L.A. the following weekend.
After rehearsal, Sheryl takes the entire band and crew out for a celebratory dinner at a cool restaurant around the corner from S.I.R., something she does quite graciously and quite often, and it’s always a blast.
We’re back at the hotel by midnight. Remember, our day started at 6:15 a.m.
Wednesday, December 5, 3:00 p.m.
Rehearsal and camera blocking for CNN Heroes. The event is being held at the LeFrak Theater at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. We walk in the stage door to witness the controlled chaos inherent in making a two-hour live broadcast happen. Multi-million dollar audio and visual equipment trucks line the streets around the museum. There is a staff and crew of hundreds and a temporary production office taking up half of an entire floor.
Dressing rooms are cordoned off by hanging curtains. Workers are passing at a fast clip in all directions and celebrities are being ushered to their dressing rooms, the “green room” where they’re held for impending performances, or onstage to finally perform. These events are typically characterized by a lot of “hurry up and wait.” We spend much of the time hearing, “You’ll be on in five minutes,” only to have the crew come get us two hours later!
Once on stage, we run through “Shine Over Babylon” a few times while lighting and sound is adjusted. The show’s director sits out front taking notes for camera queues and the camera men are directed accordingly. Our monitor engineer runs between us all asking what we need in our wedges or in-ear monitors. We answer, “More drums.” “More of Tim’s guitar!” “More vocal!” It’s always, “More!” We must be deaf.
Thursday, December 6 2:30 p.m. –
Depart the hotel for CNN show.
3:00-6:00 p.m. –
Dress rehearsal– it goes well from our point of view
9:00 p.m. –
It’s time; the show is on the air! Live TV is always an adrenaline rush for everyone. 36 minutes into the broadcast, they call us to take the stage. The crew rolls out our backline on moving pallets. My amps and pedalboard are completely pre-wired and placed into position. The entire band has to be set and ready to go within a twominute “scene change” commercial break. We take our places. The director gives us the countdown, “10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3 – on air!” Now our hearts are pumping into our necks. CNN’s Anderson Cooper introduces us, “Please welcome Sheryl Crow.” The director points to Jeremy who yells the count and we launch into “Shine Over Babylon.”
To see the performance you can dial it up on YouTube – search for “Sheryl Crow CNN Shine Over Babylon.”
To be continued...
is co-founder of 65amps
Looking for more great gear for the guitar player in your life (yourself included!)? Check out this year's Holiday Gear Finds!
D'Addario XPND Pedalboard
DR-05X Stereo Handheld Recorder
Wampler Pedals Ratsbane
Created in collaboration with legendary guitarist George Lynch of Dokken and Lynch Mob fame, the Mr.Scary Mod adds an adjustable tube gain stage and an onboard Deep control, which together are designed to enable an amp to have increased sustain while still retaining note definition and dynamics.
LegendaryTones, LLC today announced production availability of its new Mr. Scary Mod, a 100% pure tube module designed to instantly and easily expand the capabilities of many classic amplifiers with additional gain and tone shaping. Created in collaboration with legendary guitarist George Lynch of Dokken and Lynch Mob fame, the Mr.Scary Mod adds an adjustable tube gain stage and an onboard Deep control, which together are designed to enable an amp to have increased sustain while still retaining note definition and dynamics.
Originally released as the Lynch Mod in February 2021, the updated Mr. Scary Mod features the same core circuit as the Lynch Mod but is now equipped with a revised tube mix combo per George’s preference as well as a facelift in a newly redesigned electro-galvanized steel enclosure. As with the Lynch Mod, each run will be limited and the first run in Pumpkin Orange with Black hardware is limited to just 150 pieces worldwide.
The Mr. Scary Mod adds an adjustable tube gain stage on top of the cathode follower position, keeping note definition and articulation while further increasing sustain. Each Mr. Scary mod is meticulously built by hand in the USA, one at a time, and tuned using high-grade components. Equipped with a single ECC81 (12AT7) in the first position and ECC83 (12AX7) in the second, the Mr. Scary Mod can clean up beautifully when rolling down your guitar’s volume, and still adds scorching gain when you roll it back up. This is a gain stage that’s been tuned and approved by the ears of the maestro George Lynch himself.
“The Mr. Scary Mod excels with dynamics and is incredibly touch-responsive, allowing me to shift from playing clear, lightly compressed cleans to full-out aggressive sustain and distortion –and control it all simply by varying my guitar’s volume control and picking,” said GeorgeLynch. “In many ways, it’s an old-school approach, but it’s also so much more natural and expressive in addition to being musically fulfilling when you can play both the guitar and amp dynamically together this way.”
The Mr. Scary Mod installs in minutes, is safe and effective to use, and requires no special tools or re-biasing of the amplifier. Simply insert the module into the cathode follower preamp position of compatible amplifiers (includes Marshall 2203/2204/1959/1987 circuits) and
immediately get the benefit of enjoying a hot-rodded amp that delivers all the pure harmonic character that comes with an added pure tube gain stage. The handmade in the USA Mr. Scary Mod is now available to order for $319.
For more information, please visit legendarytones.com.
October Audio has miniaturized their NVMBR Gain pedal to create two mini versions of this beautifully organic-sounding circuit – including an always-on gain device.
The NVMBR Gain is a nonlinear amp that transitions gracefully from clean boost to overdriven tones. Volume increases from just over unity to about 10db before soft-clipping drive appears for another 5db of boost. Its extraordinary ease of use is matched by outstanding versatility: you can use it as a clean boost, push a stubborn amp into overdrive or create a just-breaking-up sound at any amp volume.
October Audio’s new family of mini NVMBR Gain pedals includes a switchable version that allows you to bypass the effect: one option features brand logo pedal graphics, while the other sports a fun “Witch Finger” graphic with a Davies knob as the“fingernail”.
The second version in the new lineup is an always-on device featuring the Witch Finger graphic and Davies knob, with the same NVMBR Gain circuit that lies at the core of the switchable version.
- Knob controls gain and clipping simultaneously
- Stunning silver hammertone finish
- Switchable versions are true-bypass, available with classic or witch finger graphics
- Authentic Davies knobs, including the “fingernail”
- 9V center negative power supply required
- Dimensions: 3.63 x 1.50 x 1.88 in
Witch Finger (always on NVMBR Gain) demo
All October Audio pedals are assembled in Richmond, VA, and available for purchase directly through the online shop. Street price is $109 for NVMBR Gain footswitch versions and $89 for the always-on device.
For more information, please visit octoberaudio.com.