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COOLER, DRY WEATHER is expected to persist through Thursday. Daily smoke coverage will ebb and flow with terrain controlled diurnal winds. A gradual warm up to above average temperatures is expected Friday through the weekend. (NWS)
48 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.
AUGUST 2021 was Mendocino County's worst month for Covid cases and deaths:
229 / 9 (Jul)
392 / 8 (Aug)
260 / 2 (Sep)
210 / 2 (Oct)
420 / 2 (Nov)
964 / 4 (Dec)
876 / 11 (Jan)
382 / 5 (Feb)
131 / 3 (Mar)
82 / 2 (Apr)
194 / 1 (May)
164 / 1 (Jun)
323 / 2 (Jul)
1365 / 12 (Aug)
MENDO WATER HAULERS ‘NOT INTERESTED’ (and neither are the Supervisors)
by Mark Scaramella
The Supervisors made it quite clear Tuesday that they care more about water financing than they do about actually delivering water to the Coast, many areas of which have gone dry, and have no viable reliable source from which to buy it in bulk.
After a long discussion of how much to subsidize the as-yet undelivered water, Mendo’s newly promoted and highly paid General Services Director Janelle Rau, tried to warn the Board that there are some major problems in getting water to Fort Bragg — this leg of the trip is called “long haul” — where, it is hoped, it could be processed through Fort Bragg’s water treatment system and then sold to private haulers for delivery to water-deprived residences and businesses.
Rau: “Since the declaration of the drought emergency, the [County’s] logistics team has been actively looking for haulers for potable water. We have had one qualified hauler that has been responsive. we have used phone calls, public service announcements, press releases, and we will do a formal press release once we get through the emergency process. The one hauler that was qualified and did respond was from out of the area. So the costs that we are talking about I think they were preliminary. But the reality is that you are going to see that a lot of these haulers that are local are either not qualified, not certified or simply not interested. We will continue to do our best. We will continue to go through this. But I just want to make sure that we are being as realistic as we can in how we are going to address this. I don't know what the costs are but with an outside hauler such as the one we heard from, we must assume that there will be a per diem cost for the drivers as well. And with the gallons that we are talking about, we only have one hauler right now and only a certain amount of trucks that are available and how many gallons they will be able to transport.”
In the only Board response, Supervisor Ted Williams asked, “What would it look like if we were to lease a couple of potable water trucks and use our Department of Transportation crew for hauling?”
(“A couple” is a lot lower than the estimated ten trucks a day that was previously planned.)
Transportation Director Howard Dashiell replied: “I will see if such trucks are available for lease. I know some of the larger tankers require a tank endorsement [on a commercial driver's license]. I'm not sure our drivers would immediately be able to drive them.” Then, in a typical Mendo non-response, he added, “But I can start looking at that.”
Quite a commitment there, especially since this is an “emergency.”
And that was the end of the delivery discussion as the board went back to discussing subsidies, percentages, grants, funding categories, the use of the transient occupancy tax and other subjects which will be irrelevant if they can't find any haulers.
Our sources tell us that finding haulers is even more difficult than Ms. Rau and Mr. Dashiell suspect. Right now, with the fires raging in Northern California, CalFire is hiring every legitimate hauler (truck and driver) they can get, and they pay top dollar. (CalFire does not have very many water tenders, relying mostly on private contractors.) In addition, the wine industry, which might have some suitable tanker trucks, is in the middle of harvest season. And this area's innumerable pot growers are presently paying top dollar for water delivery as well, if they can get it, legal or not.
If the County can’t find haulers to deliver the water, the water hauling program is DOA and the leadership should admit it up front and not keep giving Coast people the false hope that water is on the way. Short of something like a County takeover of the wine industry’s trucks, or the Governor ordering in the National Guard to deliver water, we don’t see much chance of the County delivering on its liquid promises this year.
Instead of discussing the problem of actual delivery, as Ms. Rau had suggested, the Board ended up voting to subsidize the still problematic water deliveries to the tune of 100% of the shipping cost to Fort Bragg for domestic shipments and 80% of the commercial costs. (End users would still have to pay for delivery from Fort Bragg to their tanks.)
We were joking the other day when we suggested that visitors be required to haul their own water in their combat-size SUVs on their weekends in Coast spas and B&Bs. But now, after listening to Tuesday’s Board discussion and lack of focus on the actual delivery, we think it’s time for Visit Mendocino and the rest of the coast tourism industry to make a formal declaration: “Come to Mendocino — But Bring Your Own Water Cooler, We’re Out!” (Then in the fine print add: “Also be prepared for ocean bathing in between ice cream cones and lattes.”)
REDBEARD ELUDES COPS. AGAIN.
On Sunday, August 30, 2021 at approximately 7:30 PM the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office was contacted by a concerned person who had contacted an adult male in their vegetable garden (at residence) located in the 31000 block of Middle Ridge Road in Albion.
The adult male left the property on foot after the conclusion of the contact and his physical description matched that of William Evers.
Deputies responded to the area and were checking a neighboring property at approximately 10:30 PM, which contained what appeared to be an unoccupied residence.
While the Deputies were checking the rear outside area of the residence, they heard what sounded like a person running out the front door. A check of their patrol vehicle dash camera system developed the attached photograph which is believed to be William Evers.
Additional Deputies and personnel from the Mendocino County Multi-Agency SWAT Team responded to the property. The personnel conducted a search of the area overnight which ended unsuccessfully in locating Williams Evers.
The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office wants to remind the public that William Evers should be considered armed and dangerous.
Anyone who observes suspicious activity or possible sightings of William Evers, especially those persons who live/visit Middle Ridge Road in Albion, are asked to immediately notify the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office by calling 707-961-2421 for non-emergencies or 9-1-1 if it is an emergency.
WILLIAM ALLAN EVERS, 40 year-old white male adult, 6 feet 1 inch tall, weighing 180 pounds with brown eyes, brown hair and reddish facial hair.
Skull or skulls tattoo on his right upper arm, “Demon face” tattoo on his upper left arm and unknown prominent tattoo on his chest.
Currently wanted for an active No Bail arrest warrant by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for Criminal Threats and should be considered ARMED AND DANGEROUS.
DEAR READERS: What is Evers clutching in his left hand? maple syrup?
ONE PERP STILL AT LARGE AFTER GANG-RELATED STABBING INCIDENT
On August 22, 2021, at approximately 6:53 p.m., Officers of the Fort Bragg Police Department received multiple calls related to a stabbing and a vehicle collision which occurred on N. Harbor Drive. During the initial course of the investigation, Officers contacted the adult victim at the Adventist Health Mendocino Coast Emergency Room. Officers learned that the victim had been stabbed multiple times in the hands and arms but was expected to survive.
During the initial interviews with the victim and the driver of the victim’s vehicle, both parties provided multiple false statements to law enforcement officers and claimed that they had been randomly attacked by a stranger while stopped in their vehicle and “boxed in.”
While investigating the above call, Officers also contacted Mayra Ahumada, 28, of Fort Bragg, and Alfredo Chi, 26, of Fort Bragg, near N. Harbor Drive after they called law enforcement to report a hit-and-run collision.
While interviewing those parties, they also provided multiple false statements to law enforcement to include claiming that they had been rear ended by an unknown vehicle who fled the scene.
After approximately a week of investigation, including interviewing multiple witnesses and four independent eyewitnesses to the stabbing, reviewing multiple hours of surveillance video, and processing physical evidence, Officers determined the following:
Approximately one hour prior to the stabbing, the victim and the driver of their vehicle, encountered Chi and Ahumada in the area of N. Harbor Drive. Both vehicles/parties engaged each other, following each other around the harbor before leaving heading towards S. Franklin Street with the victim’s vehicle pursuing Chi and Ahumada’s vehicle.
After leaving the harbor, both vehicles pulled off of the roadway and Chi exited the vehicle. Chi approached the victim in the passenger seat of their vehicle and stabbed him multiple times before fleeing back to his vehicle. While attempting to escape, the driver of the victim vehicle accelerated their vehicle in a possible attempt to pin Chi between the suspect and victim vehicle. The victim vehicle struck the suspect vehicle causing moderate to major damage to both vehicles. Both vehicles then left the area. The suspect vehicle driven by Ahumada and Chi later stopped at a different location to report a false hit-and-run collision to law enforcement.
The above investigation would show that Myra Ahumada took actions during this incident which allowed the assault to occur, while assisting in concealing evidence, and purposely misleading police.
From past investigations, this Department knows the suspect to be associated with the Norteños criminal street gang and the victim to be associated with the Sureños criminal street gang.
On 08/27/2021, Officers served search warrants at both the suspect and victim residences in search of additional evidence. During the searches, Ahumada was placed under arrest for her role in this incident on charges of Assault with a Deadly Weapon Causing Great Bodily Injury, Attempted Murder, Mayhem, and Conspiracy) and transported to County Jail. Alfredo Chi is still at large and being sought by law enforcement. Chi is described as being approximately 5’08 and 190 pounds.
Any information about Chi’s whereabouts may be forwarded to the Fort Bragg Police Department at (707) 964-0200. Chi is considered armed and dangerous at this point and he is aware that law enforcement is looking for him.
Questions regarding this press release may be forwarded to Captain Thomas O’Neal at 707-961- 2800 ext. 120 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have information related to this incident you may contact Officer Frank at (707) 961-2800 ext. 139 or at email@example.com. Anonymous information about this incident can be left on the Crime Tip Hotline at (707) 961-3049.
(Fort Bragg Police Presser)
VACCINATED VERSUS UNVACCINATED CASE RATES: THE FACTS
by William Miller, MD; Chief of Staff at Adventist Health – Mendocino Coast Hospital
I was going to address the monoclonal antibody treatment Regeneron this week, which is an exciting new preventative that we are offering to people who qualify based on symptoms and risk factors. However, I feel that will have to wait until next week. There has been a recent rise in conspiracy theories locally that I feel needs to be addressed head on. Namely, that we in public health and hospital health care are somehow hiding evidence, the word “cover up” has been used, about the “truth” regarding admission rates of vaccinated persons to our hospitals. There is no such cover up... here are the facts as of today:
We are now a little over 6 weeks into the recent surge of cases in Mendocino County which began around July 20th, 2021, and really took off about 2 weeks ago. As of today, our county public health officer, Dr. Andy Coren, confirms that of the 1,060 new cases since July 20th, 2021, the start of the current surge, 945 (89%) were in unvaccinated persons and 115 (11%) were vaccinated. This is very consistent with what we are seeing reported in the medical literature for COVID vaccination effectiveness against the Delta variant, namely about 88% effective with 12% still getting infected. Since roughly 2/3 of the population in the county is now fully vaccinated, this is clear evidence that the vaccinations are effective in reducing infection... otherwise, the percentage of new cases would more closely match the vaccination rate and we would see 64% of new cases in vaccinated persons instead of only 11%.
Mendocino County has three hospitals, all three are part of the Adventist Health system which has been hugely beneficial in allowing us to coordinate resources to respond to this situation. Ukiah Valley Medical Center (AHUV) has 50 beds, Howard Memorial in Willits (AHHM) has 25 beds and Mendocino Coast in Ft. Bragg (AHMC) has 25. Since the current surge escalated about 2 weeks ago, we have been holding steady at our capacity with 100 patients in our three facilities along with a small back log of patients awaiting admission to the hospital in our emergency rooms.
COVID cases have been running consistently between 30-33 of those 100 patients. Please note that the Mendocino County stats on COVID admissions posted on the county website includes ONLY those COVID patients actually admitted into the hospital. It does NOT include patients who were seen in ERs and then sent home. So, when we say we have 33 patients admitted with COVID, we mean in a hospital bed. About 1/3 of those are in an ICU and about 1/4 are intubated.
Of the 30-33 COVID patients admitted at any one time, the number who are fully vaccinated has run consistently around 3 to 4 or about 10%. The range has been 8% to 12%. This compares with the state average in California where 9% of all COVID admissions to a hospital are in vaccinated persons while 91% are in unvaccinated persons. Once again, since the percentage of vaccinated persons in Mendocino County is roughly 64% (age 12 years and up) and statewide is 66%, this is incontrovertible evidence that the vaccines are working to reduce the risk of more serious illness and hospitalization.
To look at it another way, we have 49,600 persons vaccinated in Mendocino County. Yet since July 20th, 2021, there have been only 210 vaccinated persons test positive for COVID. That is an efficacy of over 99%! Grab a calculator and do the math yourself.
There have been 17 COVID related deaths in our county since July 20th, 2021. Three were in vaccinated persons, each of whom had advanced age (one was 99 years old) and/or serious co-morbidities. Meanwhile, 14 deaths were in unvaccinated people which included several under the age of 50 who had no comorbidities.
I understand that some folks may not believe in vaccination and may decide not to get vaccinated themselves. While I do not agree with the reasoning behind this, as I strongly believe that the vaccines are both safe and effective, I respect that personal decision. However, it is not helpful to any of us to have people spread false information or fuel false conspiracy theories that we in health care are all somehow in cahoots with... what.. big pharma? the Russians? the Chinese? a secret underground? Honestly, I just worked a very long and difficult night shift because of this pandemic. I desire nothing more than seeing this thing come to an end. There is no benefit to any of us, especially front-line workers like myself, to covering up the facts. If we have not been more forth coming with the numbers, and I think we have been transparent, then I apologize. It is because we are busy trying to put out the fires and perhaps haven't had the time to rebuttal every conspiracy theory that pops up on social media.
My ask to all of us is, continue to treat each other with respect and understand that this is a real challenge and that we will prevail, I am certain of that. How many lives are lost in the process, however, depends on whether we stick to the facts or get sidetracked in self-indulgent conspiracy theories that only serve to undermine the sincere efforts of public health officials and health care workers.
You can access previous Miller Reports by visiting www.WMillerMD.com.
(The views shared in this weekly column are those of the author, Dr. William Miller, and do not necessarily represent those of the publisher or of Adventist Health.)
REMEMBERING RICH PADULA
Third District Supervisor John Haschak, in his letter connecting Rich Padula to himself and one of his two brothers, has overlooked or been unaware of Rich’s friendship of many years with my grandfather, Edward Newmyer (1900-1980).
I first met Rich in an elective class at Willits High School almost 50 years ago, in 1972, and bonded with him over ideas for his Wolverine column, “Rich’s Pitches.” When my Grandpa moved to Willits, I was delighted to introduce them. “Ed,” as Rich called him, was a great friend of Rich’s in Willits after Rich’s freshman year at U of W. During those last years of Grandpa’s life, I, as his granddaughter, and Rich’s fiancee, were present for innumerable conversations about fire safety, real estate, backpacking, and chess (they’d play for hours, often leaving the chess board to continue the same darn game for another day). My grandpa was a real estate broker, and a veteran of the Los Angeles Fire Department; during that time he survived the horrible Griffith Park Fire, the deadliest fire in California history until the Camp Fire in 2018. He was all about fire safety; he even asked for hair from my brush to show me how fast hair can burn, especially with hair spray on it.
While the Haschak brothers were at school at UCD, Cabrillo College, UCSC & UCLA, or living in Oregon, Rich was being mentored by Ed Newmyer, and hearing about how Ed and his friend Dominic Cimino, with several other men, went to Vientiane, Laos, in 1971, to trade themselves in for American POWs, so our boys in uniform could come home. While they didn’t succeed in the man for man trade, they did put a lot of pressure on the men in power from Hanoi – and Washington!
My grandpa, like Rich, was a risk taker, and not afraid of many or much. I’ll miss forever the days of Christmas tree hunting, snow tubing, and waffle stomping through the hills, trees, streams and mud with Rich (Rich loved the rope pulls and mud pit at WHS) and stopping by Grandpa’s for peppermint candy and long talks at the end of the day (when Grandpa wasn’t dancing at a social at St. Anthony’s) and especially going to The Creamery (the Colli sisters were very good-natured!). Although Grandpa might not have approved of ventures like the 10,000 acre vineyard project in Sonoma County, Rich tried to do (I didn’t!) it gives me a great deal of comfort to see that lessons learned almost 50 years ago, with new technology, can help save lives today.
I hope Willits, Brooktrails, or Mendocino County never have a Griffith Park type fire, and I hope Rich and Grandpa have gone to that big chess game (or dance hall) in the sky, to be in eternal light, and comfortable seats, to talk together forever, and reunite with long passed loved ones. I’ll miss both of them dearly, until the end of my days. Stay safe, everyone, and please remember those two great men.
POSITIVE COVID-19 CASE AT THE FOLLOWING LOCATION:
Perfect Union, 2601 N State St, Ukiah, CA 95482
Members of the public who visited this facilities between the dates of Tuesday August 17th and Sunday August 29th, 2021 may have been exposed to COVID-19, and are advised to seek COVID-19 testing if unvaccinated, or seek testing if exhibiting symptoms while vaccinated. Covid-19 Testing
The Facilities management is responding quickly to the positive case. We appreciate their cooperation to find those who could be exposed, and Public Health only publishes the businesses names and locations because it is impossible to identify everyone in the public who could have been exposed.
Public Health is prepared for the possibility of outbreaks due to the transmissibility of the Delta variant and the increased close contact during the summer months. Public Health still urges members of the public to exercise their best judgment when making decisions that might affect their own health and the health of the community.
Public Health Officer Dr. Andy Coren would like to emphasize the importance of staying home from work when exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19. Common symptoms are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Other symptoms may include chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, fatigue, congestion, runny nose, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or new loss of taste or smell.
We ask that the community stay vigilant and follow the guidance outlined by the California Department of Public Health and Mendocino County Public Health. For more information about COVID-19 vaccines, testing, and masking, contact the Mendocino County Public Health COVID19 Call Center at (707) 472-2759 or visit our website at: www.mendocinocounty.org/covid19
STATE PROTOCOLS DICTATE COVID SAFETY IN LOCAL SCHOOLS
Mendocino County, CA — With the return of students to the classroom, families of school-aged children must comply with COVID safety protocols, many of which are dictated by the California Department of Public Health in collaboration with the California Department of Education.
Mendocino County Superintendent of Schools Michelle Hutchins said, “Depending on where your child attends school in Mendocino County, the requirements around COVID testing, vaccines, safety practices, and quarantines may differ slightly; however, all California public schools must adhere to minimum standards set by the State.”
The goal of the California Department of Education (CDE) is to assure that students have access to safe, full in-person instruction. After more than a year of distance learning, educators are concerned about learning loss and the mental health impacts on students who have been isolated by the pandemic. Therefore, protocols favor keeping students in the classroom when possible. Based on the current protocols, when students are vaccinated, their education is less likely to be disrupted by exposure to COVID. Although individual schools can opt to be more restrictive, they cannot be less restrictive than State mandates.
All schools must screen students for COVID-19. Students who exhibit symptoms are sent home and symptomatic individuals are encouraged to contact a healthcare provider for an assessment. Students can return to campus once they are symptom-free for 24 hours *and* either cleared by their physician or cleared by a negative BinaxNOW antigen test.
*Positive COVID Test*
If a student tests positive for COVID-19, the individual is expected to report it to their school administrator. They then begin a 10-day isolation-at-home period. Anytime students are sent home for isolation or quarantine, they can continue their studies through short-term independent study. When a student tests positive, Mendocino County Public Health is notified, and it is Public Health that guides schools in their contact tracing. Ultimately, it is Public Health that determines when the COVID-positive student can return to school after the isolation period.
Those identified as close contacts with COVID-positive student are notified so they can take appropriate safety measures. Close contact is a defined as being within less than six feet masked or unmasked with a COVID-19-positive person for 15 minutes or more cumulatively during a 24-hour period.
In an effort to keep students in seats, the State is enforcing a mask mandate. Because exposure between students at school is likely to be mask-on-mask, it reduces the risk. Based on data from schools doing in-person instruction last year, it is clear that masking reduces the risk of transmission, even among unvaccinated individuals.
Although protocols for screening and COVID-positive students are the same across the board, the treatment of close contacts among vaccinate and unvaccinated students is different. If an unvaccinated student is in close contact with a COVID-positive person in a school setting, mask-on-mask, and is asymptomatic, the student is put on a 10-day modified quarantine, which means the student continues to attend school in person. During this time, the student is tested twice a week at school with BinaxNOW. If the student tests positive, they are moved into isolation and transferred to independent study for 10 days from the day they tested positive. During the modified quarantine, the student is not allowed to participate in any extracurricular activities regardless of BinaxNOW results. If the close contact occurs with either party being unmasked, the exposed student is sent home to quarantine.
If an unvaccinated student is in close contact with a COVID-positive person out in the community, they should report it to their school administrator. The student would then be sent home for a 10-day quarantine and allowed to return to school after that.
On the other hand, if a vaccinated student is in close contact with a COVID-positive person in a school setting and they are asymptomatic, no quarantine period is necessary and the student may continue in extracurricular activities.
In collaboration with the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDPH is trying to balance the risks and benefits of students returning to in-person instruction.
Hutchins said, “We remain in uncharted territory, and local schools are doing their best to adhere to constantly changing guidelines. Each family has to decide what is best for them. For those with medically vulnerable individuals, it might make sense for students to opt for full-time independent study. But for most students, based on the efficacy of vaccines and the safety procedures in place, it is best for students to be with peers learning from teachers in-person.”
To keep up with the most recent safety guidelines, visit the California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH’s) K-12 guidance online.
PLUNGING THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS: Biden said Tuesday that the evacuation from Kabul was an “extraordinary success” as he blamed Trump for the fiasco. “My predecessor, the former president, signed an agreement with the Taliban to remove U.S. troops by May 1, just months after I was inaugurated.” Biden said Trump's deal with the Taliban got 5,000 Taliban prisoners released last year, “including some of the Taliban's top war commanders among those that just took control of Afghanistan. By the time I came to office, the Taliban was in its strongest military position since 2001,” Biden said, going on to say he was left with no viable options but to pull out over the weekend.
COL SCHELLER, USMC, had blasted his command structure for their handling of the Afghan exit, for which he was relieved of his duties. He has now resigned his commission, effective September 11th, after the Marines ordered him to undergo a psych exam. “Guy's gotta be nuts,” was the Pentagon's reasoning, “to criticize us.” Scheller, rightly insulted, promptly resigned.
THEN THE MARINES, aware of the colonel's popular support, announced, “The Marine Corps is taking appropriate action to ensure the safety and well-being of Lt. Col. Scheller and his family. As this is a developing situation, we cannot comment further at this time.”
BUT SCHELLER commented in a way that has me wondering how many junior military officers are thinking coup. The Magas would then have the leadership they need, and, and, and, … Well, here's what Scheller said as he exited the Corps: “We the people seek change. We the people seek leadership. We the people seek accountability. We the people WILL take it. Every generation needs a revolution.”
I'D READ that youth sports had become heavily professionalized, that kids as young as 8 were organized as little all star teams and on the road most weekends to compete against other midget stars. Adult coaches apparently comb the elementary schools for likely prospects. Here on the Northcoast I'm aware that precocious junior soccer players travel around the state to compete against teams of other elementary-age selects.
MY TWO GRANDCHILDREN are among thousands of children in the Northbay now competing in organized sports un-associated with their primary school. Have they been compelled into premature competition by their sports-loving families? Frustrated old jocks who demand the kids take the fields of glory at a young age? The kind of yobbos you see yelling abuse at Little League umpires, typically teenagers picking up a few bucks?
NOT IN OUR CASE. My granddaughter was beguiled by watching high school girls play softball. My grandson was throwing a mini-basketball at the tiny hoop attached to the front door. Soon after he began walking he was attempting the impossible Steph-moves he avidly consumed on television. He's now on a traveling Marin hoops team that recently held its own in an LA tournament of 8 and 9-year-olds. Granddaughter is playing age-group softball most weekends and practicing week nights. They enjoy the heck out of devoting hours to their sports. Most of the coaches are from Marin County high schools, meaning they are scouting little kids with a view to their high school years. Parents, not-so-incidentally, are not permitted into tryouts for these junior teams, another major plus in keeping psycho-mums and pops out of the process.
AND THE COACHES are very good, technically good and emotionally sensitive to the obvious fact that they're working with children, small children. My two heirs and assignees are already good at the fundamentals of their sports which, you old jocks will certainly recall, you didn't get instruction in until you got to high school.
I HOPE they go on to play sports at the high school level given the minefield-like realities for young people who must now elude daily bombardments of depraved invitations and destruction. (In my day we could only yearn for depravity.) Continuing in full Teddy Roosevelt mode, nothing like an exhausting regimen of daily exertion to keep the young, young as they prepare to step into the chaos.
THE ABOVE PHOTO is of the Tremors, granddaughter's team of 8 and 9-year-olds. The Tremors are fully accoutered; they've got home and away uniforms, practice uniforms and, as the gear gets more and more hilarious, rolling equipment suitcases embossed with the team name!
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
I am not in the business so maybe someone can enlighten me about why so many are constantly lamenting marijuana prices.
$500-$700 PER POUND seems pretty lucrative.
A ton of Mendo grapes – 2000 lbs – brings anywhere from $800-2500.
Tomatoes, $5 lb
Almonds $10 lb
Peaches, $15 lb
Ground Beef $7 lb
Wheat to make whiskey is like $7 per bushel – how much in a bushel? 40 lbs?
When you look up most lucrative crops, cannabis tops opium and cocaine. It dwarfs grapes and wheat and everything else you can think of.
REGULAR MEETING of the Water Projects Committee
Anderson Valley Community Services District
To be held via teleconference Phone # 669 900 6833 Zoom Meeting ID 845 5084 3330 Password 048078
Public comments must be submitted by 10:00am on September 2nd, 2021 electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday September 2nd, 2021 at 10:30am
Call To Order And Roll Call:
Recognition Of Guests And Hearing Of Public:
Approval Of August 5th, 2021 Regular Meeting Minutes
Changes Or Modification To This Agenda:
Report On Drinking Water Project
Report On Wastewater Project
Concerns Of Members.
CATCH OF THE DAY, August 31, 2021
JUAN CARRERA, Ukiah. DUI
NATHAN DEGURSE, Willits. Concealed dirk-dagger, parapherenalia, probation revocation.
KACY GRUEY, Willits. Domestic battery.
TREVOR GUNBY, Ukiah. Domestic battery, controlled substance.
RICHARD MINEAU, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
DIEGO PULIDO, Ukiah. Killing, maiming or abusing animals.
VAN SLAGLE, Willits. Criminal threats, failure to appear.
NPR TRASHES FREE SPEECH: A BRIEF RESPONSE
by Matt Taibbi
In an irony only public radio could miss, "On the Media" hosts an hour on the perils of "free speech absolutism" without interviewing a defender of free speech.
The guests for NPR’s just-released On The Media episode about the dangers of free speech included Andrew Marantz, author of an article called, “Free Speech is Killing Us”; P.E. Moskowitz, author of “The Case Against Free Speech”; Susan Benesch, director of the “Dangerous Speech Project”; and Berkeley professor John Powell, whose contribution was to rip John Stuart Mill’s defense of free speech in On Liberty as “wrong.”
That’s about right for NPR, which for years now has regularly congratulated itself for being a beacon of diversity while expunging every conceivable alternative point of view.
I always liked Brooke Gladstone, but this episode of On The Media was shockingly dishonest. The show was a compendium of every neo-authoritarian argument for speech control one finds on Twitter, beginning with the blanket labeling of censorship critics as “speech absolutists” (most are not) and continuing with shameless revisions of the history of episodes like the ACLU’s mid-seventies defense of Nazi marchers at Skokie, Illinois.
The essence of arguments made by all of NPR’s guests is that the modern conception of speech rights is based upon John Stuart Mill’s outdated conception of harm, which they summarized as saying, “My freedom to swing my fist ends at the tip of your nose.”
Because, they say, we now know that people can be harmed by something other than physical violence, Mill (whose thoughts NPR overlaid with harpsichord music, so we could be reminded how antiquated they are) was wrong, and we have to recalibrate our understanding of speech rights accordingly.
This was already an absurd and bizarre take, but what came next was worse. I was stunned by Marantz and Powell’s take on Brandenburg v. Ohio, our current legal standard for speech, which prevents the government from intervening except in cases of incitement to “imminent lawless action”:
MARANTZ: Neo-Nazi rhetoric about gassing Jews, that might inflict psychological harm on a Holocaust survivor, but as long as there’s no immediate incitement to physical violence, the government considers that protected… The village of Skokie tried to stop the Nazis from marching, but the ACLU took the case to the Supreme Court, and the court upheld the Nazis’ right to march.
POWELL: The speech absolutists try to say, “You can’t regulate speech…” Why? “Well, because it would harm the speaker. It would somehow truncate their expression and their self-determination.” And you say, okay, what’s the harm? “Well, the harm is, a psychological harm.” Wait a minute, I thought you said psychological harms did not count?
This is not remotely accurate as a description of what happened in Skokie. People like eventual ACLU chief Ira Glasser and lawyer David Goldberger had spent much of the sixties fighting the civil rights movement. The entire justification of these activists and lawyers — Jewish activists and lawyers, incidentally, who despised what neo-Nazi plaintiff Frank Collin stood for — was based not upon a vague notion of preventing “psychological harm,” but on a desire to protect minority rights.
In fighting the battles of the civil rights movement, Glasser, Goldberger and others had repeatedly seen in the South tactics like the ones used by localities in and around Chicago with regard to those neo-Nazis, including such ostensibly “constitutional” ploys like requiring massive insurance bonds of would-be marchers and protesters.
Years later, Glasser would point to the efforts of Forsyth County, Georgia to prevent Atlanta city councilman and civil rights advocate Hosea Williams from marching there in 1987. “Do you want every little town to decide which speech is permitted?” Glasser asked. Anyone interested in hearing more should watch the documentary about the episode called Mighty Ira.
This was the essence of the ACLU’s argument, and it’s the same one made by people like Hugo Black and Benjamin Hooks and congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, who said, “It is technically impossible to write an anti-speech code that cannot be twisted against speech nobody means to bar. It has been tried and tried and tried.”
The most important problem of speech regulation, as far as speech advocates have been concerned, has always been the identity of the people setting the rules. If there are going to be limits on speech, someone has to set those limits, which means some group is inherently going to wield extraordinary power over another. Speech rights are a political bulwark against such imbalances, defending the minority not only against government repression but against what Mill called “the tyranny of prevailing opinion.”
It’s unsurprising that NPR — whose tone these days is so precious and exclusive that five minutes of listening to any segment makes you feel like you’re wearing a cucumber mask at a Plaza spa — papers over this part of the equation, since it must seem a given to them that the intellectual vanguard setting limits would come from their audience. Who else is qualified?
By the end of the segment, Marantz and Gladstone seemed in cheerful agreement they’d demolished any arguments against “getting away from individual rights and the John Stuart Mill stuff.” They felt it more appropriate to embrace the thinking of a modern philosopher like Marantz favorite Richard Rorty, who believes in “replacing the whole framework” of society, which includes “not doing the individual rights thing anymore.”
It was all a near-perfect distillation of the pretensions of NPR’s current target audience, which clearly feels we’ve reached the blue-state version of the End of History, where all important truths are agreed upon, and there’s no longer need to indulge empty gestures to pluralism like the “marketplace of ideas.”
Mill ironically pointed out that “princes, or others who are accustomed to unlimited deference, usually feel this complete confidence in their own opinions on nearly all subjects.” Sound familiar? Yes, speech can be harmful, which is why journalists like me have always welcomed libel and incitement laws and myriad other restrictions, and why new rules will probably have to be concocted for some of the unique problems of the Internet age. But the most dangerous creatures in the speech landscape are always aristocrat know-it-alls who can’t wait to start scissoring out sections of the Bill of Rights. It’d be nice if public radio could find space for at least one voice willing to point that out.
NYTIMES: $2 MILLION HOMES IN CALIFORNIA
A 1932 house in Berkeley, a midcentury-modern home in the Hollywood Hills, and a two-cabin compound in Boonville.
SINCE THE PANDEMIC BEGAN, Covid has often followed a regular — if mysterious — cycle. In one country after another, the number of new cases has often surged for roughly two months before starting to fall. The Delta variant, despite its intense contagiousness, has followed this pattern.
After Delta took hold last winter in India, caseloads there rose sharply for slightly more than two months before plummeting at a nearly identical rate. In Britain, caseloads rose for almost exactly two months before peaking in July. In Indonesia, Thailand, France, Spain and several other countries, the Delta surge also lasted somewhere between 1.5 and 2.5 months.
(The New York Times)
FROM A YOUNG WOMAN IN MEDFORD, OREGON whose husband died last week
"I would just like to make another plea. Please get vaccinated. Wear a mask. Social distance. My wonderful husband is gone. Gone. He is gone because people were not worried about this virus. Because masks are uncomfortable. Because of not trusting the vaccine. I had to go to a funeral home yesterday and stroke and kiss his face for the last time because nobody was taking this virus seriously anymore. It went on too long. It was too hard. “It won’t happen to me” is a popular belief.
I was terrified of COVID. Absolutely TERRIFIED. Mostly for Jamie. Because he is my person, my #1, my whole world. But even when I got sick and he got sick, I still expected him to recover. I still didn’t really believe it would happen to us. Jamie was young, healthy, active. But it did. I lost him. Something that probably wouldn’t have happened if he had been vaccinated. If I had been vaccinated. This is something I am going to have to live with for the rest of my life. This overwhelming, all encompassing guilt. The funeral home said they have had ZERO COVID positive people sent there who had been vaccinated. ZERO! There are sooooooo many people dying every single day from COVID. Or being hospitalized, and let me tell you, even the hospitalization was soul crushing to watch. You do not want to experience it.
I understand being scared of adverse reactions. That was why I didn’t pressure Jamie. I worried that if I pressured him and he had an adverse reaction that it would be my fault. I figured he’d come around on his own, at the very least when I got my shot once I reached the 3rd trimester. We did everything together, after all. And even if you refuse to believe this could ever, ever happen to you. Please consider your loved ones. Consider getting this and passing it on to the people you love most in the world and having to experience anything like what I and the rest of Jamie’s family have had to experience over the last month. You don’t want this. Consider that even if you get sick with a mild case of COVID, you could pass it on to someone else, anyone else who could end up like my Jamie.
Wearing a mask and social distancing is NOTHING compared to the potential loss of life. Adverse reactions to the vaccine may happen, but they are nothing compared to the adverse reactions you could have from COVID. And also consider your news sources and their legitimacy when you’re doing your research. Remember that there are millions of people out there who have adverse reactions to milk, or soy, or nuts. There are people who have reactions to ibuprofen or literally every other substance that goes into your body. You are way, way more likely to get very very sick, or even die from COVID than you are from the vaccine. Please, for Jamie. Please get the vaccine.”
— Libby McDowell
FOX NEWS GUESTS like Star Wars ‘freaks’, says ex-analyst on network
Mr. Peters worked at Fox News for years as a military analyst, until 2018 when he accused the network of “assaulting our constitutional order and the rule of law”. In the room where talking heads would wait to speak to pundits on the show, it became “like the bar scene in the first Star Wars film,” said the colonel. “These people are freaks. Ah, and then you realize, you’re one of the freaks!”
TRUMPETER CHUCK FINDLEY
Interviewed by Bassam Habal
Chuck Findley has been a top trumpet player for over 50 years in the music biz. The musicians he has worked with reads like a who's who in the industry. He was playing with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra when he was 14 and Buddy Rich as a late teenager. His most well known session was with The Carpenters on their hit "Close to You." That's Chuck playing the flugelhorn solo. He was at the famous Concert For Bangladesh with George Harrison and Ringo star playing alongside such classic sideman as saxophonist Jim Horn. He was with both iterations of The Tonight Show, the Johnny Carson years and Jay Leno years. Turn on any radio station playing the classics and you are bound to hear Chuck in the section whether it's with Steely Dan, The Rolling Stones, Christopher Cross etc. We caught up with Chuck at a great Indian Restaurant in Southern California. He is as sweet, warm and soulful as the music that comes out of his horn.
So we're here with the great Chuck Finley after a great Indian meal. Chuck, thanks again for being here. Thanks for your gracious hospitality and how the hell are you?
I'm fine. Thank you very much. It was a nice meal.
So tell me what got you interested in this thing called music?
Well, I grew up in a musical family in Cleveland. My dad played violin, and saxophone and my brother played trumpet. It was just records that my dad had of Artie Shaw, some Benny Goodman. They were the big vinyls. And my brother had, who's eight years older than me, he had a lot of records, with JJ Johnson on trombones and he had the big band records and he had small groups like Clifford Brown, and with Oh, there was just so many. So I would listen to these LPs and play along with them. And it went from there. It was more jazz. I wasn't in classical music. But big bands, a lot and some small group things since my brother started buying more. It was great. I would be up in the room, playing along with them and trying to emulate them. And that's how I did it. That's how I started playing and learnin, you know. Then I took the lessons when I was eight years old, with a trumpet player who was a burlesque trumpet player there in Cleveland, played this burlesque show. And he wasn't much of a teacher. He played real good but being a good player doesn't mean you're a good teacher. And a good teacher doesn't have to be a good player at all. He wasn't a good teacher. He would give me stuff that I could sight read. So he would give me something to do for the following week, I'd come in, and I didn't even have to practice it. I was just playing around with records, like I said, and I go, and I just play it. And then next week, he give me another one the same way. It wasn't anything demanding, something I had to really practice and shed with. So that was my first teacher. Later on, when I was 16, there was a place down in downtown Louisville called Short Vincent, that was the area. And that's where they had the strip clubs, and you're in a pit. And they have, oh, it's great. I remember I was 16 years old, I'm playing in the pit there. And they were all falling asleep there. You know, because they were bus drivers and all kinds of things they did during the day. And then they did a burlesque show at night. And so they knew all the lines and whenever they'd hear on line, they would wake up and go,"Dah daaaah!" There was one bit I'll never forget, it was great. It was a comedy show, a burlesque.They said, "What is your favorite overture?" This is in the show. Somebody asked, one comedians to the other one. He said, "The William Tell Overture". The other said "Really, why?" He said, "Well, let me show you how the overture goes." So he had the topless strippers, they wore tassels. And have one chick face with her ass facing you and then one facing you with a frontal view. And then another one backwards, so her ass is facing you. So it's ass, frontal view, then ass and then another one facing you and then three backwards- bump, bump, bump. And then he says "Rump, titty, rump, titty, rump, rump, rump." And I'm 16 years old and I'm cracking up. Looking at the tits and all of the tassles and the asses. And you know what? It was great, you know, back then, I'm a 16 year old kid. I mean, they took care of you. They were like your mother's when you're 16 You know? And but it was a funny show. Burlesque was funny. And it wasn't just like these strip clubs now, you know, where it's all nude and this and that. It was an actual show. Of course I turn around and see guys sitting there with the hats on their lap. You know why the hat was in their lap. But anyhow, you know, so that was my first stage gig and he played that particular show. And everybody did it, you know, and I was having to do it. I was driving then.I was 16 when I did that. That was my first teacher. Then I studied with a guy named Harry Herforth who played, who's a really wonderful classical trumpet player and my brother but my brother was on the road now. My brother never took private lessons at all he learned it all by ear and never really had a chance to you know, but he wanted me to study. He knew I could sight read and so he wanted me to study with somebody that would be making me shed on my horn. So Harry Herforth did play principal with the Cleveland orchestra for a short period of time. At 16, I think he was the principal player from Pittsburgh, he was the principal player for the Minnesota Symphony, Minneapolis specifically. He was living in Cleveland and I tried to study with him. Well, I didn't care for him because I'd go out to his house. And he made me really, really work hard. Harry Herforth was a phenomenal soloist, not a good lead principal trumpet player with an orchestra, because they need to be more like a lead trumpet player in a big band, big sound. He didn't have that. But he can play. Oh, he can play incredible stuff, you know, on the trumpet, lip trills, like I've never heard before, just incredible things. So I go into study with him. And the first thing he wanted me to do was change my mouthpiece, to a 1 1/4 C. And I was playing a 7 C at that time, you know, and he wanted me to change, so I had this 1 1/4 C that I would play only for the lessons, and play my other 7 C the rest of the time. I was working in clubs, you know, making money, because I needed to make money for my mom after my dad passed away, too. So I had all these things I had to do. I have, I probably still have the book at home, an etude book that says February 7, February 14, February 21, February 28, the same etude 'cause if you made three little mistakes at all and I'm talking about maybe if you take a breath in the wrong place, that was a mark against you. And it was something I was never used to before, that kind of dedication and professionalism as far as like, playing it perfect, you know, the way he wanted to hear it of course, you know. And so I, like I said, I really didn't, I didn't dig it, you know, I really didn't. I studied with him but what's wild is like later on in life, I mean, what he taught me, put me on the right freeway, for my life, 'cause everything after that I did that way where no matter what it was, it was, it was perfect. And I didn't get it back then when I was 16. I just didn't understand it. So I studied with him until I went on the road then and then I got off the road with the Jimmy Dorsey band in 1965, and went in September to the Cleveland School of Music, where I studied with Bernard Adelstein, who the principal with the Cleveland Orchestra then. And like I said, I worked with him doing jingles and commercials and I play first, and he'd play second or third, so we knew each other well. He knew me. Then I'd go back on the road and get off because I had a full scholarship to the Institute of Music and I really wanted to pick his brain and study with Bernard Adelstein.
And you were still with Jimmy Dorsey?
Well, I went on for the summer, in September, I just did a three month stint with them for three months and then I left the band to go to college and study with Bernie and I go in and Bernie says, "What are you doing here?" "I'm here to study with you." "No you're not, go back on the road." I said, "But Bernie I want to study with you." "No, I can't do that. What you need to do is go back on the road" because he knew me. He knew what I was gonna do. But I wanted to study from him. I wanted to really learn his brilliant, classical trumpet playing and I just needed to pick his brain. I wanted to learn as much as I could from him and use that in my playing. And finally, he gave in and said, "Okay, only if you come to my house on Saturdays, and study with me there, not at the school." He wouldn't teach me at the school. So I did that and well, I learned so much from him, other things as far as playing. He taught me how to how to approach classical. It's really approach, it's also sound, tone, your attack, but the approach to it. Prior to when I studied with Bernie, it was more like the Berlin, with Bernie who was the Cleveland orchestra, massive sound, brass like Germany and Eastern Europe, they had that sound. Prior to that it, it was more Maurice Andre' in the French style which was more delicate. and not as gusto robust, like (demonstrates)"Baaah Duh Duh Duh duh!!!". I mean, they played that music, but it was like the Berlin Philharmonic(emphasizes lighter attack) and those orchestras in Eastern Europe, they're like that. So it changed from the French style to when I studied with Bernie, which was great. They changed to that sound. They're all like that now. They're all with the more of a lead trumpet player, principal player of an orchestra. And so it was perfect for me, because that's what I did when I played in a big band on the road, you know, played with that kind of sound. You didn't play soft and delicate. Put some air through the horn. So that's what I learned from Bernie. So for those two teachers from, from Harry Herforth, who taught me to really perfect something and just do it over and over and over until you get it. It was Bernie, who taught me how to approach being a classical principle trumpet player, or any any trumpet player in the section. Not just principal, but the approach to it. So I knew after learning from him, when I was sitting, doing a movie call or film call here, how I had to go "Tah, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah," you know, just the phrasing itself and also the attack, "Dah da ta ta dah dah dah". If you haven't studied classical accents, the whole approach to how you play the phrase. Because that's the way it has to be, you know, that's the difference between the classical stuff, but learning to do that, that's part of being a versatile player. So now you have that. You can use that which I learned from him. And from Harry Herforth. I learned about, like I said, the perfection of that. So the two together combined, was perfect for me. That's why I could sit in a symphony, and I could play a symphony part. I wouldn't want to play the principal part right now. But I could sit in the section, no problem and play it and I know exactly how to perform it which I wouldn't have had if I didn't study classical. Now, I could hear somebody over the phone and I could tell you instantly, if they ever studied classical or not. I could tell you, immediately I can tell just by how they play, their approach to the horn. You can tell. It's a big difference.
When and how did you hook up with Buddy Rich?
My brother Bobby is eight years older than me. So he was on the road with the Glenn Miller band when I was in high school. And on that band was Bobby Shew, who came out of the NORAD band from Albuquerque. He was in the service and then he came out and he was in the Glenn Miller band and my brother in that band. So when they came to Cleveland, you know, I would go and stand in front of the, I was probably 14 then, standing in front of the band and listening to the band. It's my brother and Bobby was in the band. So I met Bobby and I knew Bobby and my brother would say, "Hey, you got to hear my kid play." So I actually sat in. When I was 14, I got to sit in with Glenn Miller band. And it was just, what a thrill for me. Like I said, I knew what I wanted to do for a living then, exactly knew what I wanted to do. So anyhow, so that's how that happened. I met Bobby then. And then I was playing on a gig in an r&b band. We were playing in a r&b band with Hammond B3 in Cleveland as the opening act for Woody Herman's band. And it was a real fun gig, you know, really a ball. And Bobby Shew was on Woody Herman's band and they were there. And I saw Bobby, "Hey kid, how are you?". You know, he knew me through my brother. So he's on Woody's band, swinging band, one of the herds. It was great. and on their break, we had a soundcheck and Bobby told Sal Nestico, the tenor player, he says, "You got to listen to this kid play." So they didn't split from the venue. They went up to the very top. I don't know if they got high or whatever they did, but they set up the very top up there to hear us on a soundcheck, to hear me play. So Bobby heard me and then that was 1966. That was after Cleveland School of Music, I was doing gigs in Cleveland, this great band. And he heard me play. And next thing you know, I get a call to fly to New York to Basin Street East to audition for Buddy's band. They needed a trumpet player. And I flew in, and I auditioned. And after the first set, Well, before that, I only knew Bobby on the panel, and I go up to his room and he and his wife, Lisa had a big fat joint and we smoked this joint. And I wasn't used to smoking. I was used to smoking shit but nothing like that. It was really some strong shit he had. So now I have to go and audition and sight read this music for Buddy's band. I'm sitting up there, and I'm right next to Buddy, he's right next to me. And Bobby Shew is right on the left of me playing lead. My book was the split lead book. I played half of the lead and half the jazz and Bobby played haft the lead and half the jazz too. It was really great. We split everything real nice. So I finished the first set and Buddy wants to see me in his dressing room. So I go in the dressing room, Buddy is sitting there in a smoking jacket. And he says, "Kid, sit down.", so I sat down. He says, "Kid. Listen, you got the gig." I say,"Great Buddy." He says "But when you play your solos, I want you to play like Sweets Edison." And I said, "Buddy, I can't do that. If you want to get Sweets Edison, then get Sweets Edison." He said, "Kid, you got the gig." And it was cause I stood up to him. I said, "I'm not gonna do that. You want to get Sweets, you get Sweets." And there were maybe five or six of us in the band and had that rapport with Buddy. The rest of them were like a wuss, they wouldn't stand up to him. He'd say, "What do you guys want to play?" You know, and I could say, "Well, let's play 'West Side Story', Let's play 'Norwegian Wood'" or whatever and we'd play it. But if somebody else that didn't stand up to him like that, they'd say, "You know, let's play this", and he'd say, "I wasn't talking to you" and he took a drumstick and threw it at them as hard as he could. You know, that was Buddy. Once again, getting back to perfection, that's what Buddy wanted. And that's what I learned from my first teacher. It started then. I still didn't get it yet until later on in life. I finally looked at and said, "Oh, Wow! It's been there the whole time." What I needed was what he taught me.
He already planted the seed.
Yeah. It grew into a big tree, a forest. So that's what happened with that. Buddy was great. He was great. You know, I gotta tell you, you know, the things that you hear about Buddy, they pushed buttons. They had a Walkman that they put. I heard about all this that they did on the bus, and they would go up and they put the walkman up there. And then they go up there and push his buttons and bug the shit out of him so he'd say "Fuck you, you son of a bitches. You're all fired." And they were taping it. So that's the tape that was put out. Everybody hears Buddy Rich, this is what Buddy Rich is like and he wasn't. I mean, he was a stickler. I mean, "You're fired. You're hired, You're fired." He was like that, but not like what you heard in the tape. You know, I mean, he what he said, he had the right to say that to them because they were fucking pissing him off and bugging him. So anyhow, that's about it there.
You telling me the story where Buddy said, "You'll never work again."
Oh, that's when I left the band. So anyhow, what had happened is we're in Vegas and I wanted to leave the band. I joined the band november of 1966 in New York, and January 68, we came out here and worked and did the whole summer '67. We did the "Away we go show" with Buddy Rich, Buddy Greco, Carmen McRae and George Carlin was the comedian. We did 13 weeks out here and I'm out here from Cleveland and I'm like, "Man. Is this heaven or what? California!" I'm swimming every day, playing golf every day, doing that gig at night at the Shea where we recorded live at the Shea and it was just beautiful and then doing the TV show, which was on the weekends Friday, and then Saturday was a taping. So I was like, I couldn't believe it. What a life? You know, sweating in that humidity and the summers in Cleveland and then freezing your ass off in the winter to like California beauty. It was just great. So anyhow, so I get to Vegas, and Shew was now working Minisky's Follies, in Vegas, and they needed a trumpet player now. And my brother was living there too. So there's an opening in the trumpet section for this show, the Minsky Follies. And the music they played was the music that we played in Buddy's band, man, same thing, except a little different orchestration, it was a smaller band, but the music was the same. And so I was perfect for the gig. And back, then you had to live in the van of six months before you can get your card and work. Unless they really needed you for the gig, then you didn't have to wait six months to work in Vegas, and Nevada. And that was a case for me, everything fell right in place that they needed me. And so I immediately went right to work. And I worked there from January 68 to May of 69 when I moved here because I wanted to be here. And I moved here and the rest is history. I just went, "I'm here" and I did the solo on "Close to you" with The Carpenters. When I did that. It just put me on the map that everybody wanted me to do solos on thier albums from Christopher Cross, you name it. I mean, you name it. I did so many things on Joni Mitchell and I was at Motown every day and I was at Universal every day. Recordings at nine in the morning and then in the afternoons and evenings I was in the studios, recording studios, doing, you name it, Motown to Rod Stewart and Joni Mitchell. I mean, the list goes on and on. You'll have to look at my discogrpahy.
What was the first session that you remember doing?
Oh, the first session was Lassie. I did a Lassie show with Tom Scott and his dad, Nathan was the composer for it and I went in there. I knew Tommy because the year prior I flew down from Vegas to do a Grove Holmes album. And I flew down and Joe Sample wrote the horns parts. It was the first horn parts he ever wrote and we did that. It was myself, Tom Scott and I can't think of the other player right now. And we did that. So I met Tom then and flew back to Vegas. And then that was in '68 and in May of '69 I move here and the first session I do is the Lassie show, and there's Tom Scott because his dad was there. And it was just really beautiful. We got to play Lassie that I grew up watching as a kid. So that was that was the first session and then there's so many than I did.
Do you remember the James Brown "Soul on top" record with a Louie Bellson orchestra?.
Oh, yes, I do. Oh, yeah, I do very much so. The first time I ever saw Louie Bellson get mad.
Was the music recorded and then James laid his vocal on top?
So you never saw James?
Yeah, he was there. But wasn't in the band. But the producer in the booth. Louie was not a rock'n'roll drummer. And he couldn't play the backbeat like Clyde Stubblefield, like Keltner. He was a swing drummer and he couldn't get it. And the producer says "No, no. That ain't right Louie". And Louie is the sweetest man that you I've ever met in your life. This sweetest, the kindest, in fact the first time I met him, and he made me a compliment, I thought he was kidding me. I seriously thought he was fucking joking. But he wasn't, he was real. And so it's the first time I ever saw him get mad. And he really got mad. He got up and he was about ready to walk out. We said, "Really Louie, it's okay." So we ended up finishing the album and it was done. Like I said it was not his bag. Louie wasn't a versatile drummer when it came to that.
Do you remember the very first time you heard you're heard a session you did on the radio?
Do I remember that? Well yeah, "Close to you". Back then it was like, I mean, you'd do a session and by the time you'd go home you could hear it on the radio or the next day for sure. I remember some Sinatra things, where we did something with Frank, and it would be on the radio later on that evening as you were driving home. I did a trilogy album with with Frank. And it was great, it was just wonderful. It was 1979 it was, and it was the trilogy album which was wonderful. And Frank, everything was live. I mean, we'd do one take and he did it live with us. He was in the booth singing and we'd be recording. And he would say, "Okay, that's fine. Next tune." I was with Billy May and Nelson Riddle. Billy May was so incredible that a lot of the times, you know, we would fix the notes, without even asking because they were wrong. And most of that was a copyist mistake and have an A flat instead of an A natural and it wasn't a minor chord. It was a major chord. And so we would just fix it. And when Billy, Billy wrote such beautiful voicings and inner voicings and things, moving lines and stuff, and I'm new in town, and I'm saying, "Billy, in bar 35, I have an A flat should that be an A natural?" "No, that's an A flat." The only way there could be anything wrong on his score was if a copyist made a mistake, the only way, because he was always correct. There were only a few writers, Billy Byers was like that, as well. Because there were a lot of writers that that, you know, definitely wrote wrong notes and stuff. I mean these days, they'll love to go over time, you know, purposely make a mistake to go into overtime and get more money. We want to get out there and get it right, of course, recorded, right. Don't get me wrong, and had to be right. And then when it was right, and done, we could go to the next session. And back then we get anywhere in 10 minutes from one studio to the other and you could park right by the soundstage. Now, it's like you have to park in the North 40. Like at Fox you'd park in this parking structure way out. And, and then you have to walk quite a ways, you know, to get to the soundstage. And they want you there an hour before an hour before. Give me a fucking break. You know, takes me 10 minutes at the most get my horn out and get ready to play and I'm ready to perform. That's the way it used to be, we used to come in like one minute before the downbeat, you know, the horns out of the case, sit down and go, bam. But you could also park right by the soundstage.
So what do you what do you remember about the famous Carpenter's session?
Well, you know a producer, his name is Jack Daughterty. And Jack was a piano player on trumpet player, played with Woody Herman's band, played fourth trumpet on one of the Herds. But he played piano as well. He wasn't a great trumpet player and he wasn't a great piano player. He was down in Palm Springs. He was working at Northrop at one of the big aviation places. And he was working there. And then on weekends he was playing down in Palm Springs, solo piano down there. Well, A&M, before the Carpenters, was going straight down after the Tijuana brass and all that. It was definitely going under. And they were looking for acts and they needed something. After Herb, I mean, Jackson Brown, I did, I didn't many things. Actually, maybe that was after the Carpenters, kind of during the same period but they were still like hanging in there. And Herb has this mentality, for instance, like he thought he would keep studio B at a real cold temperature, that you would keep fine wines at because he thought if you keep fine wines at this temperature you'd make fine music with this temperature. But he also talked in colors like that's a little to blue, add a little more green in there. I mean, he's a fantastic. sculptor. I mean, he's artistic. Herb is fantastic but he thinks that way and there's a lot to that. Thinking and colors. I mean, he thinks, which is sound and the waves and the colors. It's a little too green. And that makes a little sense if you start thinking about it. He wants it a little more red or something which would mean to me a little more fire. So he goes down, and he hears Jack and he's down the springs and hears Jack play. He checks into Jack and found out that ever since he had been at the aviation place that he worked at, they just thrived because of him being there, and so he thought, "Hey" and Jack was up for a promotion at one of the aviation places which really pissed off the people that were there that had much more seniority than him. And it really pissed them off that he was up for this position, which is a lot more money and all that. And so Herb heard this group with Joe Osborn, they were down from Downie, he heard him down there and he brought in this cassette tape of them and nobody wanted to have anything to do with it at A&M. I mean they were, like I said, they were into Jackson Browne, they were into rock and rolll, into the music like that, you know not bubblegum music. It was completely different than anything was on a radio, completely different. wonderful voice wonderful orchestra, you know, voices and stuff, just beautiful. Nobody thought it would ever make it for anybody that was working at A&R, all the people there. They didn't want anything to do with this fresh producer. So he asked Jack. He said, "What do you think? Would you be interested in producing this group?" and Jack said, "Well, look, I'm up for a promotion here." He said, "Look, I'll double that, whatever they're gonna pay you for that, I'll double that money for you." And Jack, being a musician, wanted to do that period, anyhow. But you know, he couldn't do it for a living because he wasn't that great at playing piano or the trumpet, the trumpet he threw in the closet many years prior. But anyhow, so Jack says, "Sure". Jack comes in. and he loved Ravel. So he was really into Ravel and with The Carpenters as far as orchestrating and voicing out their vocals and all this stuff and Richard too though. Richard was definitely involved in that. Jack was like a father to both of them, very generous, was there as kind of more of a mentor and all that and so we are in there, there were four trumpets- there's myself, Ollie Mitchell, Buddy Childers and Conte Candoli, the four of us and we play this thing and then there's a solo on "Close to you" and Buddy Childers played it on flugelhorn. And then we finished the session and as I'm walking out the door Jack Daugherty stopped me and said, "Listen Chuck, can you stay and would you put it on?" and I said, "Well", I said, "Buddy already did it". He said, "No we'd like you to do it." That was in 1970. I said, "Okay, I'll do it." I waited till they all left and went out there and I put it on. I double tracked my flugelhorn solo, and that's the one they used. Buddy thought he did. And I wasn't the kind of person who's gonna say, "Buddy, by the way I replaced you." No, I didn't say a word. And also people thought Herb did it, since it was A&M. So everybody thought it was either Herb and Buddy said it was him. It was me. And of course, everybody found out about that later on, as well. So anyhow, that was like I said, it really opened the doors for me after that, as far as doing everything. I was at A&M all the time, all the time. And overnight, 24 hours later, A&M was now at the very top of all the record labels. And now they were really pissed at A&M, all these A&R people. Oh, they were so pissed off. "Who the fuck is this guy, Jack Daugherty? Who the fuck is he? And who is this group 'The Carpenters'?" They were happy for the fact that they still had a gig. I mean, you know, man, they were set with a gig but they didn't like the fact that here is this nobody that comes in here and a nobody band puts them on the map and way up there in the map, you know. And so that's how it all started there with Jack. Then later on, Richard, here's what happened. So now The Carpenters go out and tour and it was always Richard. Richard was considered like the Oscar Peterson on the piano. I mean, wonderful piano player and wonderful musician, wonderful guy. Karen was playing drums and soon to be but Richard was playing the piano. In other words, he was the star. And Karen was also the star but not like Richard. And then after that their hits, it was all Karen. And so after, after the gigs, everybody was storming up to Karen for an autograph and not Richard. It reversed. So now Richard goes to her and says, "Look, I see that you, me and Jack. We don't need him. And I want a position in this and I want to be the producer." And so Herb had to tell Jack, "Well, you're gone." So that's what happened there. That's a kind of a touchy subject, because Richard always to this day says that he was the one that did all the stuff, he did a lot. He really did a lot. But Jack, like I said, was also, he was kind of like the the mentor, he was the one that oversaw everything. But he was there for enough years and really after that, they went right down into the dumps, The Carpenters. They didn't really have much after that when Richard produced them. But then Jack went his own way and did a couple of long albums. We did Class of '71 in 1971. I don't know if you have you ever heard the album but it's fantastic. I mean, it had everyone- Ray brown on bass, Jim Keltner and Jeff Porcaro on drums. Max Bennett on bass. I mean, it's an all star, huge, beautiful orchestra. And then he did another one. And then here's the thing. Here's an album and all these people, the A&R people at A&M, all you have to do is just get it out there in the shelves, and it would have sold beautifully. But they were so against him, that they just put it on the shelf and left it there. And never put it out. You know, like, "Fuck you, man."
So it's not out now?
Oh, you can get it. Called "Jack Daugherty Class of '71". And then he did one a few years later called "Carmel By The Sea", because he had a place up in Carmel. And we went up to Carmel and recorded it up there, which was also beautiful. They're both lovely. And like I said, it's very good. You'll really dig it. And I got the feature pretty much throughout both of the albums. And then Jack died of cancer and he passed away. But those were wonderful, wonderful times.
Tell me about the playing the Concert for Bangladesh?
Oh, well, that was really something.
How'd you get the call?
Well, it was me and Jim Horn. Now, we're at A&M all the time and George Harrison was there rehearsing and we needed some horns. And so I played trumpet, trombone and flute on it, and Jim played tenor sax and flute and baritone I think when I played trombone. So he was playing tenor, baritone, flute, and I was playing trumpet, trombone and flute. And so we did all the things like, you name it like "Guitar Gently Weeps." Anything that. we'd have flutes, lot of flutes things together and tenor and trumpet and tenor and trombone. I mean, it was really, really nice. So we rehearsed with them and we went on a tour with Robbie Shankar and George. And it was absolutely beautiful. He was the last one of the Beatles to tour. Everybody did before. It was John and Paul, and even Ringo did a tour but George. George was beautiful. He was always in the background. He didn't like, if you ever see all the old videos, George was always in the back. He was never out front. But in my opinion, the best and I'm not being prejudiced about this but by far the best songwriter of all of them. I mean, more intricate, and just better. melodic lines were better. Everything is better. And like I said, I loved George, he was a dear friend. And so we do that Concert for Bangladesh, and it was insane. We did the concert. And we had to do another one because it was sold out. We had to do two nights and leaving, we heard that they were trying to bust in. We had to get it off stage. We got off stage, go in the limos to go out through Madison Square Garden. As we're kind of winding around through the things, there were people, fans out there, banging on the windows thinking it was George. They were all blacked out. We could see, geez they were on the roof of the car. It was insane. And then we came back and did a second concert because these people couldn't get in. That's why they were pissed off. So then we did another one, a second concert and all that money went to UNICEF for Bangladesh, and then after that then, that was in '71 and then in '73, we did George's tour.
Was that The Dark Horse tour?
Yeah, The Dark Horse Tour. At that time they added Tom Scott. Tom Scott had a record deal with the LA Express at A&M then. It was Tommy and me at the rehearsal. I was wondering where Jim was, coming to join us. "Where's Jim?" Jim moved up to Washington State and build a house up there by Bellingham, Washington. And I said, "He should be here." So I went and I got on the phone and said,"Jim, where are you?" He said, "Well, I'm at the house." I said, "You should be down here rehearsing for the tour." So I cost George a lot of money to fly Jim down for the six week tour. Anyhow, but it was better with a few horns. And now, Tommy got in and Tommy's real good, a wonderful, dear friend, one of my oldest friends here more so than Jim. Like I said, I met him and when I flew down to do the Groove Holmes album in 1968. And then Lassie, when I did the session with his dad so we go way way back, dear friends. Tommy was wonderful and he had the LA Express and he was into into Indian music too. He was really into that 'cause he was with the Don Ellis Orchetsra and Don Ellis had, his band was all odd meters. So he got into studying time signatures and all these kind of things. And George found out about it and George was really into it. So George had him come in and then once again, he was signed to A&M with his band. So he was the one to do the tour. But I thought Jim should be there too, 'cause he was the original one. So I called him and Jim came down and we did the tour. The first gig was Vancouver. We rehearsal hard that George lost his voice. And we go up to Vancouver for the first concert. He didn't want to do it in the States and Bill Graham was the promoter of the whole thing. So we go up to Vancouver and we do the concert. And next day in the paper, the reviews were fantastic for the band, but they put George down 'cause he didn't have a voice. And he was so pissed. So now I'm in his room and he was saying things like, "Uh, that's it, we're canceling the tour" and everybody's saying "George, you can't do that, we all took like six weeks off. All the work that we've lost in six weeks to do this tour with you but It is all about the music for you George." He says,"I don't give a shit is gonna. I'm going to get some black shots to turn black." He was serious about it. And so I'm the last one in this room after everybody left, and I'm in there with him, some blow and having a few drinks. I said, "George", he was really pissed, I said, "George. It's wonderful. It's gonna be just fine, man. Come on. You know, we're all here with you. We're all for you. We all go to back. We're here. We love you. And we concert was wonderful. So you had a problem with your voice no big deal. You'll get it back. It'll be fine." So he punched me in the arm. He wanted to get some frustration out. And I said, "Come on George, hit me again. Come on." And hit me about five or six times and then he finally got tears in his eyes and I said, "Okay, you got it out of you now?" And it was great. I got him to release all that anger and frustration. And we finished the tour. We went and did the tour. Now we're in New York, finishing the tour and it's Christmas and everybody had to draw a name out of a hat to buy a Christmas present for. So everybody is drawing names out of the hat and whose name did I draw? George. What the fuck do you buy George Harrison? A Rolls Royce? I mean, whatever it was just what's going through your mind. Okay, I could buy him a Rolls Royce but does that mean anything? And then I decided to get what I thought was wonderful. He loved it. His name when he checked into the hotel because wherever we went, his alias was Jack Lumber because he always wanted to be a lumberjack.
Interesting, because I know the names pseudonyms he used like Harry Georgeson and L'Angelo Mysterioso when he worked with Cream.
Jack Lumber. So he'd check in hotel as Jack Lumber. So all these fans would come and try to figure out well, it wasn't George Harrison that's for damn sure. You know, they were rolling all over the place but didn't know who he was, what he was registered under. But we're in Kansas City on his tour, and I'll never forget it. And he put on a hat and disguise and we went to this magic store in Kansas City. We went in there, myself, Emil Richards and George, maybe Jim Horn too I think. We went in and I couldn't believe it. I mean, magic does nothing to us. He was in there for about an hour, he's in there picking up every little thing to play with it. Because he never had a childhood. Never had a childhood. And it almost brough tears to my eyes to watch this happen. That's why George was always so, he didn't want to, you know, you had to know George. I mean, to be around George, you had to be his friend, his real good friend. He just wasn't out in public. You know, he never wanted to be known or seen. That's what I love about my life, everything I've done. They know who I am on. They've heard me play, but they don't know what I look like. If I go into place where they're musicians, people come and say ,"Hey Chuck", but in general, I can go any place. I can sit down and have a meal, like they know me because I've been coming for years, but go into a restaurant and I can sit there or wherever and they don't know who I am.
So what did you end up buying George?
Oh, I went to every bookstore in Manhattan looking for a lumberjack book. And I found this beautiful, hardcover lumberjack book. It was just wonderful. And I bought that for him had that wrapped up and they gave it to him. He loved it. He loved it because it was personal to George.
Tell me, you didn't work with Frank Zappa but you knew Frank?
He called when he formed the band but I was wasn't interested. Zappa, to me, was a genius, but it wasn't for me.
So it was just a phone call?
Yeah. Our son went to the same preschool as his, his daughter. His wife would bring her every morning. It was in studio city here. And she never combed her hair, and it was all matted and long and it was like, they looked like they lived on the street. She looks like, it was prior to to reggae.
So you knew you knew Sal Marquez and said, "Frank, relax, I know a guy"?
I didn't recommend anybody.
Sal said that you were the one that recommend him.
I probably did. I'm sure I did recommend Sal. But anyhow, Sal was perfect. But you know what? Sal's so talented. so fantastic. Sal was writing templates on piano and writing, singing and was overdoing it. I mean, he just wanted to be Sa which hel is, so wonderful. And I think it was too much for Zappa, for Frank. He wanted everybody to have the freedom but Sal went a little overboard with it because of his talent. He's really is a brilliant person, man. He really is great.
What what were what kind of guys were Becker and Fagan(Steely Dan) to work with?
Oh, very interesting. I met Walter at one of the dealer's places that I you know, that I would score at. And I met Walter there and he was telling me and I remember hearing in Vegas when I lived in Vegas. They were just right out and they did "Reelin in the years" and I was in a lounge at the hotel that I was working at in the main showroom and I'd go to the lounge and hear them every night and I'd say, "Man, what a fucking great group." They were new and that's when I met them. But I really didn't get to know them because I I didn't hang out there all the time. So I'm at my friend's house and Walter's there. I meet Walter and were reminiscing about Vegas and all that. I said, "Why don't you ever have horns on your albums?" He said, "Well, we tried that once." And that's what happened because I didn't know what they had done. And he said, "Well, we got this guy by the name of Sid Sharp, a violin player." I said, "Oh my goodness, no wonder." You know, Sid couldn't play the violin. He owned one, but he really couldn't play it and he's contracting and hiring horn players? And the horns and arrangements wasn't working. I said, "Hey, listen, I can get you the right guys. You wanna do it?" That's what we did "The Royal Scam." I went in and wrote all the horn parts for "The Royal Scam." And it was great. It was their first experience with really using horns. And I used a much bigger horn section I had two trumpets, me and my brother, I had Slyde Hyde, my brother-in-law on trombone. I had PlasJohnson, I had Jim Horn. And they wanted John Clemmer. I had Bill green and John Clemmer. He played the solos, and I don't know if you're familiar with John's playing, but kind of, was almost like smooth jazz. And then after that album, then we did "Aja" with Tom Scott and it was a smaller group. It was me and Tom and Slyde Hyde, my brother-in-law, three horns.
All the horns on tunes like "Peg" and all that stuff?
Yeah, we did it all. But Jim Horn and I started doing that stuff. We were the first ones that were doing double tracking even triple tracking. We'd go into a session because I played trombone and flute as well. So I'd play the trumpet part, play the trombone, Jim would play alto, tenor, baritone. I play even bass trombone and we would stack them. of course, you know, every time we tracked we got another scale. So it'd be like three or four times scale but it was no different. But what was beautiful about us our pitch was the same, phrasing was the same. It was beautiful, beautifully stacked. All the things we did, and then when and see what came in Jerry. We did it for all so many things. And Tom Scott. We did an album with Pat Williams. We did it was called. Oh, I can't even think of the name of it. It was beautiful. It's just me and Tom and Bill Watrous. Tommy all the sexes, five saxes. I did four trumpets and Bill Watrous did three trombones. And it's great. It was Vinnie Colauita on drums, Neil Subenhaus on bass So anyhow, there were many things that we did like that. A lot of things were stacked and they were beautiful. We had with no reverb at all because when you double track yourself, you get natural reverb, because you're playing the exact same way with vibrato so now you got the reverb. But if you use reverb, it was too swimmy, just record it dry and we double track it and then you had the natural reverb. That's the way all things were done.
Now I heard a story about something called studio 8H.
Oh, that was interesting. That was 1983. It was my wife's 30th birthday back in New York. Anyhow, we could have recorded it out here but there was an orchestra put together by Jack Elliot and Alan Ferguson. It was really Alan Ferguson's baby. He always wanted to have an orchestra like a pops which we didn't have here in LA. Now they have the Hollywood Bowl, so it was like that, 100 piece orchestra. And Allen and Jack, were partners, writers, they were a team. They had a great partnership. But Jack was the the business man part of it. Alan was more the creative, artistic person and Jack was orchestrating and all and like a machine. Great. They had a wonderful partnership, marriage. So Jack got into more of the business end of it where Jack kind of squeezed himself in to this dream of Alan Ferguson's and kinda ended up kind of taking over a little bit more than, I mean, Alan was so sweet. It was cool. It was the way it worked. So they're gonna do this live with Studio 8H with The Orchestra. So, like I said, everybody's from out here, why should we fly back to New York and record it New York at Studio 8H. Well the thought was,"Well, this is great. This is where they do so and so's show and live at Studio 8H - The Orchestra."
Was that an NBC studio?
Yeah. So we so here's what they do. We're all bugged, because we don't want to go back to New York and do it and we'd rather be here we could do other things and we'd be home. We don't want to go to New York to do it. And so anyhow, so they buy us all tickets, coach tickets to New York. And I had a real dear friend by the name of Doc Lawless. I knew doc from Buddy's band. He was Buddy's valet and road management So I knew Doc from there. He's the uncle of Gregory Hines and Hines and Hines. I got to meet the Hines brothers and Hines, Hines and Dad, you know. So anyhow he loved Buddy. I knew this. And I had been back, when I was back with George Harrison. He had a limousine service, he had a couple cars, and I called Doc and I would go around with Doc. They would drive me around in a limo. So I knew that, so I'm telling the guys I said, I looked at the the trumpets, I said, "I'll get us a limo." I said, "I don't wanna be driving aroudn in cabs. We'll have a limo while we're back there. Why not? You know, take us wherever we want, whenever we want. And make New York the way it should be, you know?" So I called Doc and I said, "We need a limo." He said, "Great." Well, the french horns, Vince DeRosa and the French horn players heard me on the phone and they said, "Hey, Chuck, can you give us one too?" I said, "Sure." I called Doc, I said, "Hey, Doc, I need another one for the French horn players. Can you get a limo for them?" "Sure. Absolutely. No problem." And then the saxophone players heard it. And they heard it and they said, "We need one too." Okay, I called Doc. So I got three limos for us, for the trumpets, one for the saxes, and one for the French horns. So now, you gota picture this, this is beautiful. We get to New York and we land. There was 100 piece orchestra. The buses aren't there yet. The coaches aren't there for the orchestra at JFK. But our limos are. So we go and we get off the plane. We got our horns, our suitcase and everybody in this orchestra 100 piece they see us all go get into limos and split. Even Jack Elliott and Alan Ferguson and they didn't have limos. They were waiting for the bus too. So we split. We had time so we wanted to go to the village. So we stopped. I wanted to see the Brecker brothers' club and there was a few places in the village I wanted to go but by the time we got that they were all closing. One was still open but they had just finished their set so they were done. But the bar was still open. So we go in, myself, Malcolm McNab, Vince DeRosa, Henry Sigismonti, another French horn player, so the French horns, the trumpets, not all the trumpets, just me and Malcolm. We go in there and we sit down. And they had to go to the bathroom, which was downstairs. So they got up to go the bathroom, I ordered a drink. They ordered a drink, too. And I'm just sitting there by myself at the bar. And all of a sudden, somebody's sitting next to me, just like you are and says, "I'll have a whatever". I can't remember what he ordered. And the bartender says, "Hey Miles, how ya doing?" I look and it's Miles sitting next to me. Now the interesting thing about this, of course is, I love Miles, but I knew Miles was doing a new album, because Doc Lawless, my friend with the limo service was driving Miles around New York. So he knew and he told me that on the drive to the village from the airport that he was driving Miles around, enjoying the new album. So Miles is sitting next to me, I said, "Miles, Hi I am Chuck Finley I'm a trumpet player." And I said, "By the way," I said, "I love your new album." He says, "How could you, it's not out yet?" Anyhow, there wasn't much conversation after that at all except the female bartender. He's went with her and I guess she gave him the junk or whatever he needed. And now he's going downstairs to the bathroom probably to shoot up. And who's walking up the stairs but Malcolm and three French horns players. So they come up and they say, "Who was that fucking asshole?" They didn't know. "Who was that fucking asshole that just walked downstairs that we was just passed." I said, "Oh, that was Miles Davis." They said, "Oh, fuck him." I'm serious. I said, "Okay". So anyhow that was what happened then. Of course later on, I did the "Dingo" album with Miles. And I recorded with miles. So it was a connection all the way, you know. And so many things. There was a connection with Doc Severinsen like that. I met him when I was 17. I was on the road with Jimmy Dorsey band. We were playing Long Island at a country club, a golf course. And we were there hours before we had to play to perform. And so I'm warming up. I studied with Carmine Caruso who was the guru teacher for brass instruments. And I was warming up and I went up and I'm 17. And the guys in the band we always calling me the kid and they were always ribbing me. "Oh, there's trombone players like you all over. You're dime a dozen in New York." I was from Cleveland. So I'm playing and I went up to high F and out of the woods, was a trumpet sound, playing a high F. And they said, "See. See what I told you. I told you that your diamond a dozen". So I went up to high F sharp, out of the woods comes a high F sharp. And now they star ribbing me more. So I go up to high G, out of the woods, a high G. Oh, now I'm starting to get a little pissed. Oh man, they're really fucking with me. So I go up to a double Ab, out of the woods, a double Ab. Oh man. So now I go up, go up to a double A , out of the woods, a double A and now I've had it. I'm like, "That's it. Fuck it" and I went up all the way up to a Double D and I played a Double D really loud in the woods outside. It was beautiful, dead silence. Meanwhile, I was saying I bet that's Doc Severinsen out there. "Nah, Nah, it's probably some kid from New York." Out of the woods I hear, "Da da da dig a a dah"(mimics fast trumpet passage). I said, "I told you that was Doc" and we still had over an hour at least before we had to play. So I went in and one of the other guys in the band went with me through the woods, into the woods into this cabin in the woods and and it was Doc rehearsing a small band. And I gave Doc a lesson. He asked me how I did that. And I said I studied with Carmine Caruso crew and I told him how, the studies and I gave him the three exercises that I do to warm up with and I gave it to him because he was good to an A, maybe B flat but he couldn't play any higher than that. And it's not really necessary to do but anyhow he wanted to know. Doc's always, to this day, wants to know more and more and more. He's so dedicated. I've never met anybody as dedicated as Doc Severinsen. So that was our first meeting. Now, he is of course and was then from 1965 the band leader for The Tonight Show with Johnny. So now Johnny was a drummer and love Buddy Rich. That was his idol. So every time we played anywhere, Johnny would be there and so would Ed and Doc. So we're in Chicago, and I'm playing in a band in Chicago and they're there they happen to be in Chicago doing a show or something or Johnny had a gig there and Doc, of course had a band with him and all that kind of stuff. So they're there. This was 67, two years later. So now we're together there, then. So that happened quite a bit wherever we were, Johnny would be there to hear Buddy and so was Doc. The show moves out here and they asked me if I want to do the show. And I didn't want to do it. I was too busy. I was doing so many records. That's what I wanted to do. I didn't want to go to one steady job. I didn't want that. I wanted to be in the studio, that studio, playing with this artist, and this artist. That was my life and loved it. So that's what I was doing. So I didn't accept the gig. In 1974 they moved out here. John was coming out testing the waters and he dug it so he made the move. And that was '74 so I like I said, I was so busy. I didn't want to do it. Anyhow, I'm doing a tour in Europe and I get a call. They knock on the door after the gig. We had been downstairs having cognac or beer or something. And all the guys, half a dozen guys from the band come to my room. And I'm like, "What the fuck are they coming in my room for?" Johnny had passed away. John Audino, trumpet player. And they knew how close we were. We were dear, dear friends, and how it would hurt me, you know, to find out, you know, like that. And Doc wanted me to do the gig. So my wife called and talk to Peter and the guys to come to my room when I get the phone call so that I wouldn't be alone. So the phone rings and it was Doc and tells me that Johnny passed. And he said, "Listen, I would love you to play lead for me on the band. He said, "Johnny would want you to do this." "Absolutely. absolutely", I said but I I can't do until I finish this tour. I have another couple of weeks to, you know, before I can get started. He said, "No problem." Well, you know, I won't name names, but there were trumpet players before his body was even cold. They were in there, doing their damnedest to get the fucking gig. Oh, like, rats. I know the names. I'm not gonna tell you who they are. But the people that know, know. So anyhow, I come back there and did the gig with Doc.
And what were the years that you were on?
'89 to '92. And then that's when Johnny retired. And after Johnny retired, Jay came in and that's when Sal Marquez came in and did the show for 2 years with Branford Marsalis. And then he wasn't working out there because of some conflicts with a few people. And so then Brandord calls me and tells Sal in a real nice way. They want to expand the band because it went from a big band to a small group and they wanted to add some more horns. Well, that wasn't the case, but it was presented to Sal like that. So it wasn't in the like, "Boom, you're fired." So we went to New York and that was when we're going to add the horns. And I was one that was added. So Sal and I are back in New York. He found out that that was it. And then I, I was offered the gig and I was hesitant to accept it because I didn't want to hurt Sal. I really didn't. Our neighbor that we were living next to at the time, I was talking to them, we were close, and I was telling them about it. They said, "You know, if you don't accept it, somebody else will." Great gig, great opportunity to do it. So I said, "You're right", so I accepted it. Sal was a little bugged for a while but we were so close and such dear friends that if anybody, he wanted to replace him, it was me. So anyhow, that's how that happened. Then of course, after, when Johnny quit and retired, we had the ex-Tonight Show band with Doc again. We went out, we did tours with the big band so Doc and I have a real close relationship. Doc called me a month ago and we talked for about an hour.
He's living in Mexico, right?
No, he's in Tennessee. And his lady, her name's Kathy and she's a real doctor of the trumpet. And he was telling me, he said, "Chuck, you're not gonna believe that. I can practice my horn at four in the morning, two in the morning, nine in the morning, whenever I want to and that's okay. She's wonderful because she's a trumpet player, she doesn't care." Now his other wives, it didn't work. I introduced him to my mom once. I said, "This is my mom, Priscilla." And he's sitting there with his mouthpiece, if he didn't have his horn, he had his mouth piece. He says, "Pleasure to meet you Priscilla. I love your son. He's fantastic, my favorite lead trumpet player." And after that, he takes his mouthpiece and goes "Bvvvvvvvvv", right in my Mom's face. I said, "Mom, Come on, let's go". He just doesn't think, that's way he is. I tried to call him on his birthday. I couldn't get him. But I'm sure there must have been 1000 calls or something. He just turned 94.
Is there anyone you wish you had worked with but never got the opportunity to?
Yeah, Conrad gozzo. He passed away before I got a chance to play. He was the lead player that did all the Sinatra stuff and everything. You name it, Conrad Gozzo was the lead player. And then John Audino took his place. And then I worked with Johnny. Let's see. Clifford Brown, I wish he would have been alive when I came around but he died too young at 26 years old. Booker little is another one. So many wonderful players. Trombone players, I got to play with the best. Got to play with Carl Fontana, Frank Rossellini. I got to play with JJ Johnson. I got to play with Kai Winding. I got to play with all of them. And I grew up, when I learned to play trombone, those are the two guys that listen to JJ Johnson and Kai Winding and then Carl Fontana, Frank Rosellini, those four and a little Tommy Dorsey when I first started to play, "I get sentimental over you." So I learned to play all that with the vibrato and the whole thing. And then it went from there to like playing Bebop, playing jazz, and these other trombone players. I wish I would have had a chance to play with Bird. Another trumpet player was Red Rodney who I actually gave lessons to and Red played with Bird. Red Rodney was wonderful. That's another story. He came out of prison. I was in Vegas, living in Vegas. And he came and stayed. Oh, that's gonna be my book but I'll take you anyway. He came out of prison and they put teeth in for him in prison because it was free. And of course he couldn't afford it when he got out so he had all new teeth put in. They were so big they were like horse teeth, he couldn't play. So he came to my house I was living at in Vegas to take lessons. Well, in my house at the time I was the only one working. The other two trumpet players was Richie Cooper and Jon Murakami. They were in Buddy's band with me. And they quit when I did. That was a reason Buddy also got pissed off. Not only did I quit, the whole trumpet section quit. That's when he said, "Kid, I'll make sure you'll never work the rest of your life." They left because I did, so he was really pissed at me for that. And so Red Rodney comes over to the house, and I got this house and I'm working, I'm playing golf every day. I'm playing an 8 o'clock showroom show, a 10 o'clock lounge show. Midnight show room, two in the morning lounge act then we'd play till four in the morning and jam every night. Beautiful, every day, every night. And then Bill Chase cut his chops and he had a show called "Chase" and he played for this girlie show at the Tropicana where they were all the big. implanted plastic tits. They went to soft ones now, then they were real hard as a rock. And I know that because I actually had one one night and couldn't believe it was like literally like grabbing a rock. They were so incredible with the makeup. You go to the store, to the market and you'd be in the market and they'd say, "Hi Chuck" and I'd have no idea who they were because they didn't look anything like they did on stage, makeup and everything. And the big things that they wore on their head. They were huge, giant women. Anyhow, so Red Rodney comes over to study with me. Now at my house, there was a trumpet player named Dick Forrest that was staying there. Now I knew Dick from here. He did the "Operation Entertainment" show with Bob Hope but he was a junkie and he was strung out. And I didn't know this. I was young kid. I didn't know this. I was 20. And I turned 21 in '68 in Vegas, and anyhow, so he's staying at the house. I don't know this 'cause I'm playing golf every day and working to the wee hours of the morning, I come home, get some sleep and get up play golf every day, with Carl Saunders and Carl Fontana and all them. It was beautiful. And so I'm teaching Red and he wanted to pay me to sit and I said, "Red, I can't take a dime. You're one of my idols" And so after a month or so he said, "Chuck, I gotta talk to you." I said, "Fine. What about?" He said, "You're harboring a fugitive." I said, "What are you talking about?". He said, "Dick Forrest is running. He left California. He didn't finish his there's time that he had to do because he was on probation and he didn't finish it all and he split. He told me, he had this big sore on his foot and he told me he fell in the jungle and Vietnam when he was over there which I believed. Like I said, I'm young kid, and it was open and look like a volcano. That's where he was shooting the needle in his foot, to find the vein. God. So he says "Listen you are harboring a fugitive, I have to tell you that you can go to jail for this." And I said, "Thank you Red, I'll take care of it." So I called his mom here in LA and I said, "Look, your son's here at my house and I think you need to come and bring him back so he can finish." He didn't have much time to finish. And they came and picked him up. And he came down and he finished his time and ended up getting into real estate and I saved his life. And he really thanked me for it. And after he cleaned himself up. But with Red, he told me stories what happened with Red, the reason he was in prison. He got busted for phony checks. He had a half a dozen different identifications in different ways. Red was a little guy with red hair, that's why they called him Red. He would get these these checks and back then with a different identification, take it to a hotel, and he would cash it there with the phony ID and they'd cash the checks. So that's what he was doing. It was easy. Back then you could also get phony airline tickets. All this stuff was easy to get real easy. Hotels in Vegas were different and artists had their run of the mill. I mean you had all sorts of credit. So Red tells me the final straw was he was living with his girlfriend. And he knew that they were after him, the feds were for coming for him. So he borrowed a wig, put a wig, high heels and put a dress on and went to the airport to fly to San Francisco. So he goes to McCarran airport in Vegas to fly to San Francisco. He gets on the plane and he's sitting down and he said, "I looked pretty good." So he's sitting there, there's a guy sitting next to him. He said the whole way, the hour flight the guy's talking to him the entire time and Red didn't say a word, not one word. He couldn't so he didn't. So he gets to San Francisco, gets off the plane and gets in the cab. He says(mimics a gruff voice), "Take me to third and Broadway" or something like that. And he said the cab driver turned around and looked at him. Anyhow, that was the last straw. He got got busted and ended up going to prison and then he got out and that's when he told me about harboring a fugitive. So you know, so many wonderful stories. I can go on and on and on and on, it would be weeks.
Is there anything musically at this your point in you're on playing that you feel you're still striving for?
Oh, you always strive for something new. To touch people more, to be able to touch them with your playing. Because when I play the horn, like I said a piece of brass. I sing through the horn and I'm singing whatever (mimics trumpet line) "Dee da da deedle a dee dah dah dee dah da". I have pitch so I can, I can sing the notes without fingering it. My brother has it as well. It's very rare that two siblings have it. My dad had very, very, very good relative pitch not perfect pitch but my brother and I both had perfect pitch. My sister doesn't. My mom didn't. I don't know how that happens or how it works, but it's great.
I feel when I hear you, you definitely have a real direct sound that I feel comes from sort of the heart and soul and goes directly in.
Many people have told me about the sound. You know what it is, it's fingerprints. We all have different fingerprints. And when people hear me play, they know it's me. When you hear Miles, you know it's Miles. When you hear Carl Fontana you know, it's Carl Fontana, we hear Bird you know it's Bird. We all have different fingerprints. And that's a thing to try to, to, you know, when you grow up, you idolize all these people and you try to play the solos, you play like them. You'll learn their licks and all the things that they do. And then hopefully, you become yourself. And that's what you do. And I did that after Buddy's band, but now all of a sudden I became me. And my solos on "Love for sale" and all the things that I did with Buddy and then from then on until now. The Gino Vannelli album I did. I don't know if you ever heard "Yonder tree" that I did. It's just me and Gino through the whole thing. And it's beautiful. I mean, you hear that and you know it's me. Everybody knows it's me.
Chuck, thanks for talking with us. We'll see when the future gets here. Thanks again.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai