Saturday, February 21, 2009

my AMAZING day backstage with BLONDIE~

Wow, Wow, Wow, Wow, Wow,......oh yeah.............WOW~

Guess what happened on Thursday night folks?

I was playing with my band at Lulu's lounge in the the River Rock Casino, and it was just one of those great nights where everything was feeling groovy, I was singing well, and my band was in top form. I was so glad to be there and I was just having a great time doing my job.

After the first set, on my break, a fellow named Jim came up to me to tell me that he and the group of guys and girls he was sitting with, were really enjoying the band as well as my vocals and performance, and he said that after hearing just a few songs, a bunch of them had decided they were going stay for the night to watch the band. He complimented me and all my guys so highly, I was very touched.

We chatted a while longer and then Jim let me know that he was in fact, the production manager for Blondie, who were in town for a concert at the River Rock show theatre the next night. Jim said he was there with the crew ( as well as a number of band members who floated in and out of the venue throughout the night). I was invited over to meet them and join them all for a beverage.

Once again I was complimented on my vocals and I was so very, very humbled by the warmth and sincerity they all showed. I visited with them on my breaks after that, and a few of us closed down the bar after the gig (which I rarely ever do). What a fun, warm group of people.

I was invited to come see the show the next night, but I had a gig out in Mission (darn), so instead I was told I would be welcome to come to the rehearsal the next day, which was an even COOOLER experience, because I was able to actually go onstage before the rehearsal to take pictures of the set, chat with the crew, and witness all the activity backstage, as they prepared for the band to arrive.

When the band members did arrive, most of them recognized me and told me that I did a great job the night before. It impressed me a great deal that they took the time to acknowledge a little minnow such as myself, because really, the way it was all set up there on that big stage, those guys could have easily never crossed my path or spoken to me at all (and it wouldn't have been rude in any way, its just so busy back there), so the fact that any of them took a minute to say hello, was really very special to me.

So, anyhow, without further adieu, here are some pics from the day!

This is myself and the very charming Jim Roese.

Not only is Jim is the road production manager for Blondie, he also plays bass in an amazing band called Redlock, who are currently in studio recording.

Of course, I had to shoot a pic of this.............

See the cool backdrop? ( yep, that is me standing there....)

Blondie are hitting the road to sold-out performances across the U.S. and Europe, for the band's "Parallel Lines 30th Anniversary Tour." (click link for tour dates and venue info)

Just a note of interest to add,...... Blondie's album, 'PARALLEL LINES' was reissued by Capitol/EMI, in an expanded 30TH anniversary edition. For more info, you can find a link to purchase the CD here.

Backstage was filled to capacity with dozens road cases FULL of gear and music equipment.

Rick, the uber-cool drum tech for the band, tells me that he writes the set lists on the snare drum skin before every show. I thought that was a pretty neat idea, and I had to take a pic. This is the set list from the last show, before he changed it out for a new skin.

The guitar tech Grady was a super nice guy with a great sense of humor. Grady has a very busy job taking care of these gorgeous instruments for Chris Stein (guitar), Leigh Foxx (bass), and Paul Carbonara (guitar)~! All of these guys are just so excellent at what they do, I am a big fan of guitar players in general, and there were no dissappointments while watching these talented players do their thing. I had a chance to talk to Leigh for a quick moment backstage, and I really got a good vibe from him, he seemed like a really nice guy, and man, what a solid bass player. I really thought he was great.

This was perhaps the neatest thing I have ever seen. Debbie has a computer monitor set up which displays lyrics if she wants to see them, she can scroll around and find any song she wants at the click of a button. Jim was the one who set Debbie up with this handy rig and I think its pure genius, it looks far cleaner and classier than pieces of paper taped to the floor (which is how we minnows do it)!

A shot of the backstage monitor sound board. I had to take this pic, both because the board is impressive, but also, if you look there on the laptop, it is logged into a page on my website (we were listening/watching a couple of my vids and songs).

Once the band started rehearsals, I went up to the main soundboard to watch. I was so touched and humbled to be there that I actually got teary on a number of occassions. The band were going over songs and tightening everything up and I just loved watching the process, loved seeing exactly how a monster band worked it all out together with such incredible professionalism and camaraderie. I wished I was up there doing BGs, but they had it covered.....LOL. Speaking of background vocals, some were provided by the keyboard player Matt Katz-Bohen , who is truly a phenomenal player, and I really enjoyed watching him play.
Everyone on that stage was just amazing, and Deborah Harry had me utterly mesmerised. Her voice is as gorgeous as ever, so rich and textured in the low range, and spot on when she was hitting the big notes. I absorbed every second of it, and found it to be so very inspiring to think that I was hearing in person, the voice that was a big part of the musical tapestry of my youth.
( Yes I sure did have the Parallel lines CD's and I practically wore out the grooves on the record)
I was able to meet Debbie briefly afterwards, and I told her how inspired I was by her. She graciously shook my hand and gave me a lovely smile, and I couldn't help but notice how beautiful she is. Her skin is like porcelain, and her features, well you know what she looks like, she is gorgeous. Even wearing no make up, dressed in her comfy clothes, she was stunning, and there is just something about her energy that is very, very special and impossible not to pick up on.
I swear it was a day and moment that I will never forget.

After the rehearsal I was saying good-byes, and while I was supposed to just take picture of gear and the venue, Jim suggested we try for one last photo op!

I was wildly impressed with Clem Burke drummer and one of the co-founding members of Blondie. Clem is one of those guys that is not only a wicked drummer but a great showman, and he does all those nifty tricks that audiences love to see like throwing his sticks up into the stratosphere and catching it without missing a beat. There is never a dull moment when you are watching Clem play drums.
By the way, if you click on any of the band members names that are underlined in this post, you will find more bio and info for all them.
On Clems page I found this.......
"Blondie drummer Clem Burke is teaming up with British researchers to investigate the potential health benefits of playing drumming-based interactive computer games." Full story here:

Nice eh?
There is a lot more to be found at the official Blondie website so do check it all out~

Special thanks go to Rick who not only gave me the old drum skin that he changed out of Clem's snare drum, but he asked the band to sign it for me. I was also given this drumstick which was made specifically for Clem ( with his signature on it ), and the nifty official Paul Carbonara guitar pick (pictured in the photo at the top) with his name and BLONDIE, printed on it.

And of course thanks to Jim who came to chat with me in the first place, and who was my host for the day at the rehearsal. I had such a fun time, and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart!
Finally to all of you reading, no matter where you are in the world, I encourage you to grab the new CD and watch for this 30th Anniversary tour to come to your town. The band is smoking hot, and Debbie Harry, well what can I say, if you get the chance to see her perform live, she is going to blow you away!


Anonymous said...

Amazing experience! Blondie was such a part of my growing-up time, I'm envious that you had a chance to hang with them. If folks like that made the effort to seek you out that says volumes about your sound and potential. Keep after it, girl!

Maggie May said...

A.Mazzzing!!!! I'm so happy for you :)

Michelle said...

We looked incredibly cool back in the day too. In 15-20 years these kids will think they had funky hair and ugly clothes too!!

Steve said...

So cool as to be beyond cool. I still play Blondie on my MP3 gizmo... Union City Blues, Atomic... Am very jealous!

Anonymous said...

What a great experience for you. In my youth, many of us were entralled with Blondie & I still enjoy the music.

I'd be very encouraged about all the good things that were said about you musically also :-).

rachael chatoor said...

Thanks everyone, it was indeed a wonderful experience, I am delighted to be able to share it with you! :)

Anonymous said...

What a great story Rachael! Thanks indeed for sharing it. I think your stuff on You Tube is really great, fantastic voice and I wish you so much good luck in your musical career!!

bernthis said...

oh my God, Rachael. HOw amazing. That is like a dream. It's amazing how fate works. I'm just so inspired b/c it tells me just keep putting your work out there, put out your best effort and leave the rest to the universe.

Brother Tobias said...

I am deeply envious; Debbie Harry and Blondie are still iconic. keep up the good work, girl.

Anonymous said...

I came, I read, I listened, I was inspired (esp. by your last post, below, about gangs, drugs & Vancouver. Many things to consider in there) Thank you for raising your lovely voice!
~ EarnestGirl from Twitter

rachael chatoor said...

Thanks, it is a GREAT pleasure to you all, I am a big fan of many of you, and those I don't know yet, I plan to go meet.

Hey Jessica, fate is funny, I was not actually booked for that night, I was supposed to play the week prior, but I was asked to change my week around to accomodate someone else. I did it, quite happily, and I feel like it was all a nice little Karmic reward! :)

Jeremy said...

That is awesome! Wow... what a cool experience.

Anonymous said...

That's awesome.

I'm so happy for you!

Irish Gumbo said...

WOW! No other way to describe it. Lucky girl, that was amazing, as you so wonderfully described it. Brought back some memories for me, like the tremendous crush I had on Deborah Harry back in the day. Mmm, mmmm...good stuff!

Good on ya, mate!

bryn said...

SHUT UP!!!! this is so awesome! I am thrilled for you!!!!
you deserve this kinda stuff!

Jac said...

Lucky girl. It's wonderful that you make the most of these opportunities.

Albert Giesbrecht said...

I was at the concert row g seat 18. This is the only review I've seen for the concert. Thanks for posting, and your life and music career is going to change after this. Good for you.

Anonymous said...

Wow Rachael. Wow.

rachael chatoor said...

Albert!, I also found an official Blondie approved Fan based website, There is a great review from the Vancouver show, and also a forum where people discuss and share thier review of the show!

Unknown said...

Finally got to read this - great blog, what an awesome opportunity, thanks for sharing it with us!

Anonymous said...

What I thought was so cool was that the River Rock let people huddle the stage and nobody bugged anyone about cameras. The shots I got are lifetime memories. Rachel your description of Debbie Harry was spot-on, she was mesmerizing and to stand at the stage and sing my favourite Blondie song with Debbie standing not 10 feet away was unforgettable!

umaneo said...

So wonderful!!

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