June 9, 2010:
Today is the release day of
KING SOLOMON'S TEMPLE?
I could only afford a FIRST PRINTING of 20 copies. I hand glued, hand cut...all the CD artwork together. It was so much work that I signed each CD tray card and numbered them 1 of 20, 2 of 20... and dated them to make them real collector's items.
I changed a couple graphics so the future printings will always be different from this one.
I'm hoping I don't sell all of these before I make another pressing. These will auction for a lot of money someday.
The first five of these went to CDbaby.com
A few more will go to amazon.com
Shaolin Records stopped mail ordering CDs a few years ago, but when you purchase your DOWNLOAD ALBUMS from us, SHAOLIN COMMUNICATIONS, your downloaded albums contain a bunch of souvenirs and webpages and graphics...that aren't included from other distributors who sell our records.
Wow, I've surrendered. I cut my hair.
I cut my hair on April Fool's Day. I wrote a Proclamation of Determination that was establishing my newly developing mercenary ideals.
This Proclamation of Determination, became my Declaration of Defeat, as I realized, no one cared.
I put about 20 unfinished songs from this KUNG FU COWBOY album on the website, HippyCoyote.com I don't know how long I will leave them there. Since I am packing my bags again, and cancelled the record release party scheduled for May 2010, it seemed the one way I could find some satisfaction for all the work I've invested into this album already.
A few days later, I shaved my head. Now I feel better. At least, I can be Buddha Zhen, if not The Hippy Coyote.
I am truy desperate. My life has been tough this past five years. My kids are grown up and the exwife won't support me anymore as a nanny and babysitter. Before I became a Mr. Mom I was working in the Hollywood movie business, the record business, I was a professional photographer, and a Union carpenter. Without any of these careers now, I only make money teaching Kung Fu and Tai Chi, and the records and books I sell on the internet. Currently that's a thousand a month, not quite enough to support myself without a car.
I put in job applications for apartment manager, Pinkerton security guard, and hung flyers for more Kung Fu and Tai Chi students...to no avail.
The same amount of money, is always out there--floating around the planet. Obviously, it is no longer in America. The money of the world is invested in bombs and bullets being used to kill children and domestic animals in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Perhaps when they start bombing us back and shooting us again, the money will return to America.
After the 9/11 incident, there were a lot more jobs and people bought stuff to prepare for war. We created more jobs to ward off our invisible terrorist enemies. The government was able to do a lot of upgrades that would not have been financed in a peaceful world. My income grew by the month.
But, as with all wars, the economy was sucked dry to finance our foreign operations. There is no return on that investment--unless your company is linked to the war overseas...
Did you know that when our President Bush was reelected in 2006, that he purposely didn't tally the votes of any of our soldiers and officers outside of the United States?
I've been without internet for a few months. I've also been without heat...it's been a cold winter sleeping on the floor.
Perhaps I will start editing and mixing some of the songs that don't require any more overdubs or flute on them.
I finished all the tracking, except for the flutes, for both albums, LEVEL 4 = KUNG FU COWBOY PART 1, and LEVEL 4 = KUNG FU COWBOY PART 2.
I finished all this tracking in October of 2009. Unfortunately, I'm broke. Dead broke. My flute hasn't been overhauled or repadded since 2003. The pads that close up the flute holes are worn out and many of the lower notes are impossible to play as air leaks through these worn out pads.
Since October 2009, I've been working, begging, seeking a place to live, without a car, and hoping that some of my Mason buddies might help me get my flute repaired so I could continue performing for Masonic rituals and ceremonies. No luck.
So this LEVEL 4 album has been dormant this year.
I've started the album. Lots of songs have a basic track or reference track to work from now.
Some of my old, and really old bandmates said they'd like to record on my album, KUNG FU COWBOY. Since it doesn't look like the the old band, American Zen is going to pull back together, I was free to record all the instruments myself. Now, it looks like I'm also free to play with anyone else or have anyone play on the American Zen records.
Okay. I'm opening my mind to the possibilties.. I'm just at the beginning of this Kung Fu Cowboy journey.
I wrote the book last month, KUNG FU COWBOY ORIGINAL DRAFT. That's my roadmap for this next album.
So, I'm getting my desktop in order. Paying my bills. Cleaning my room.
Getting ready. Getting ready to--
Updated: January 12, 2010
I've finished the first 36 songs of LEVEL 4 = KUNG FU COWBOY. Too many songs for one album, so I divided the album into PART 1 and PART 2.
Now, as I wrap up the PART 1 album, and prepare for mixing, I realize this album could end up being 4 Parts. hee-hee You'll see.
I lost my Alvarez 12-string guitar last month. I adopted that acoustic guitar into my life in 1973. I felt the most sadness, that after 36 years of playing, performing, recording, and songwriting on that guitar, I could not afford to even replace it. That hurt. Not the unfilled gap, but the realization I had somehow not utilized my Alvarez acoustic guitar well enough to afford it a decent burial. I'm sorry.
Okay. Climbing out of this heavy sadness that I've warded off except for a couple hours the day I lost it and a few periods of meditation on it...Obviously, I loved my guitar. It went everywhere with me. I never even thought of replacing it except for touring or getting a backup...but now I will have a new fondness for all these songs with my Alvarez acoustic on them. I only strung it with six strings starting in 1978. It was too hard to tune in live performances with 12 strings. Plus, as many of you know, I break up to four strings an hour, so all those little extra strings were just sitting ducks for my live performance enthusiasm.
Actually, I don't remember ever breaking strings onstage until after I started my Shaolin Kung Fu training in 1980. From that point on, I would break strings even if they were brand new that very day. Several guitar repairman have tuned up and worked on my guitars...
Back to this album: This PART 1 is awesome. It really features the Alvarez acoustic guitar. It has the sagebrush attitude I was feeling from my childhood and love of the California chapparal. PART 2 will have the second 18 songs and they are wilder, bolder, and reaching farther musically...
PART 3 could be where PART 2 is reaching for. I can feel it within me.
But PART 4 is bubbling within me also. Since I've lost my Alvarez acoustic guitar, I've put my faith into my 1984 Fender Stratocaster electric guitar. I am going to kick the world's ass! I mean it.
I purchased my Strat in 1984, also making it the only NEW GUITAR I've ever owned, besides my Chinese Pipa, purchased in 1994. It's been customized a little, but mostly, its' my friend. We have a relationship. We depend upon each other, and that is a beautiful relationship. I'm back to playing the cassettes I jammed to in the eighties when I became a lead guitarist.
If you check out some of the American Zen LIVE SHOWS, we had two different guitarists, when I was the singing frontman in the early 80s. When John "Jack" Sherman, (we called him, "Dogtar,") left my band, THE RICH, (preAmerican Zen) to join the Red Hot Chili Peppers, we replaced him with Paul Attanasoff, who'd just left the Paul Butterfield Band, as their guitarist. By the way, Jack Sherman used my Marshall amp on that first Red Hot Chili Pepper album.
This is the amp on my current albums:
Vintage 1979 Marshall
Master Lead Mk2
Combo 50watt Amplifier
I tell you this story, because Dogtar and Paul Attansoff, were better lead guitarists than myself. I'd put down lead guitar in 1976 to front my rock opera, UNDERGROUND. I'm still playing the same bass I traded my electric guitar for, the 1959 Rickenbacker 4000 bass on ALL the American Zen albums. Oh yeah, Paul, I asked him to help me. I explained, "I can play all over the place but how do you bend notes and vibrato like that." He wasn't as good a teacher as a player, but he said, "Go get B.B.King's prison album and... and..." I did.
According to Michelle, before we left California to move to Utah, guitar players would flock up in front of me just to watch how I played the guitar close up. Yeah, I was good, really good. LEVEL 4 = KUNG FU COWBOY has a couple songs that were recorded on a cassette player in 1989. I used those 1989 guitar tracks, added bass and drums and captured myself, preUtah.
Fortunately, I've already recorded all the electric guitars of PART 1 and PART 2. I will have a year before I record myself on guitar again. When I do...I'm excited to see and hear it. ONE YEAR>>>I shall emerge>>>Watch!