I woke up in The Recordium, the studio owned and operated by Mer (bass) and Jasco (lead) from The Symbols of Ft. Collins.
There were guitars everywhere, and I found this old Gibson and sat down and wrote and recorded the attached track (see bottom of page) on my phone. It's pretty rough, first time through the new lyrics. I was crying my eyes out the whole time. It was a really emotional, but beautiful experience.
When I went upstairs to see what was going on with my hosts, I found Mer and Jasco sitting side-by-side on their computers in their office, working diligently on music business. It was a snapshot of how they live their life, pulling in the same direction. I love them both, and love what they do and what's behind it. They also both happen to be true badasses. Mer has only been playing bass for four years, but she has inherent virtuosity and kills, and I say this a lot, but Jasco is literally the best and most unique guitar player I've ever known.
I met the symbols when my group project, Tiny Monsters, were on tour in Colorado, at a club called The Speakeasy in Longmont. There was some confusion with the venue, and we ended up having to scramble for a band at the last minute, so through some social media snooping, I searched out Jasco and managed to get them on the lineup with us. I'll never forget watching them walk into the club. They looked like rock stars, and I immediately wanted to know what they sounded like. We had them opening for us, which will never happen again, ever.
We all watched them set up intently. Mer had a well-developed pedal board, and her first notes had us looking at each other like "what is about to happen??" Jasco's hair matched his unclipped guitar strings, untamed and flowing. He and drummer Don Stahl had the air of seasoned pros, and guys that can make you look silly if you back them into a corner. When they were ready, they unleashed a funky beast. I'll never forget that night.
We made fast friends, and it was built on mutual respect and love and music. A few months later, I helped The Symbols book a mini tour through Nebraska over the week of Valentine's day. The timing was a bit rough, as they were here while I was in the middle of a break up and move out, and I was really weak. Tiny Monsters played on two of the shows with them, and in between I was figuring out where to live and trying to get my stuff somewhere. Despite the confusion and heartbreak, we had a lot of fun together, and I really connected on one of the shows. I let it all out at that Duffy's gig in Lincoln. The Symbols turned so many heads, ears and hearts. They are so good.
This morning, Mer and Jas told me about a great website called BandZoogle that makes it really easy for musicians to set up their own site/EPK, so while they worked, I started building this very site. Then they practiced for a while, as they do together every day, and afterwards we went through some of my music and started planning for an album I'm going to record with them at The Recordium later this year. They're going to play on the album and produce it, and I couldn't be more excited. Pre-production will start right away, and my plan is to write half of the songs while I'm out here running around, fresh in these feels.
Later that day, Mer showed me around Ft. Collins. It's a really cool town, with so, so many places to play music. A billionaire put together this great non-profit artist compound where they have cheap office and rehearsal spaces, and the city feels artsy and vibrant. I also got to learn more about Mer and Jas, and met her family and had dinner with them. Really wonderful people, and Mer's mom was a gem. It was all very positive, warm, and healing.
Thank you so much to M & J. They are great people and great friends.
After dinner with Mer's family, I said goodbye for now to Mer, Jas, and Vivian, and headed out to visit my friend Emma. It was late by the time I got there, so we kept it low key with a puzzle and some greens. She is a very kind and peaceful person, and I love her for it. I have so much going on upstairs, and talking and hanging with her was very calming. I spent Tuesday night in Denver.
3.7.17 | Ft. Collins II
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