Las Vegas – Say I Did!
After the big release show and all the work that went into recording, packaging and putting out the album, we booked it out of Vancouver for a well-earned vacation to everyone’s favorite celebration spot, Vegas. A big reason I wanted to go back here is to revisit the location for the Say I Do video shoot earlier this year. I brought Brandy with me to meet Elvis and see the best wedding chapel in the city famed for them: The Little Vegas Chapel. They still have the guitar I gave them after wrapping our shoot, which I signed then and added a little more to on this trip. Thanks again to Mike and all his great staff.
There it is, in the shadow of Stratosphere, the Best Little Wedding Chapel in Nevada! You can’t miss the Little Vegas Chapel with its Elvis-approved pink Cadillac out front. Until I met this one… I tell ya, I guy couldn’t be more lucky. Here I am giving a copy of the finished CD to Chapel owner Mike, errr, I mean Elvis, of course! I shelled out $200 for this guitar not far up Main street at Cowtown Guitars just to film the video. So I had to play it again, for old times … ahh the memories of a few months before, the whirlwind video shoot for Say I Do. At the end of the shoot, rather than fly another guitar home at more expense, I just gave it to them, as a memento. Though I signed it back then, I had to come back to add “SAY I DO!” so the connection would be clear. Now it is properly signed up and good to display to many future newlyweds. A little jamming with the King If only the guitar sounded as good as it looks! That’s OK, makes for great photos. Brandy’s in on the guitar fun… …posing with me and Elvis. Now, what else can we do while we’re here… Oh yeah! It’s a wedding chapel! Brandy and I took the plunge! Well, to tell the truth, we’ve been “happily unmarried” for a decade now, so, this is just a celebration of what already is If I really popped the question at this point, I might get a look like this Thanks to the Little Vegas Chapel for showing us a little of what they do! Every common law marriage should have some high quality destination fake wedding photos! No matter the legal status, I love this person with all I have. CD Release Show – Sep 8, 2017
One of the best nights of my life, it went by in a flash after so much build up. It was my birthday, almost by coincidence, as I planned months ahead to release the album, and it became clear it should come out right in that timeframe. Booking the show on that date definitely pushed us to finish (nothing like a fixed deadline!) We had an amazing time, sold nearly 30 CDs (and three books!), caught up with old friends and made some new. If you missed this show, we’re going to do it all again when the 12″ vinyl old-school record is ready to release, likely December.
Signing CDs before the show begins – that’s the back cover of my book you can see in the box. Ben Mills introducing the band, who will close out the set with a song all about him! A perfect circle of comedy and music! We take the stage after Ben’s generous introduction – I’m grateful to have such friends around; not every comedian can Emcee a rock show, but Ben’s got it down! Now we’re playing music! Finally! The whole night’s a bit of a blur for me, but I know I had an amazing time. You’d never tell from these shots! ha ha Derek is a serious addition to any band, great playing, singing and goofball antics that have to be seen live to appreciate. Lucky to have him! I know this was during Say I Do, pointing straight at Brandy while singing “I want to grow old … with YOU” As the song comes to an end, preparing for our big finish. Great shot by Wendy D (they all are!), this one really captures my beloved Gibson Hummingbird, which is all over Songs of Serenity. Soaking in the love and applause, how grateful I am to be among such people and playing with my closest friends. What a night! Looking out at the, uhh, can I say “crowd” here? Probably not, but these two are the best support any band’s ever seen! Jeff and Brandy hold down the dance floor. Just another beautiful shot from Wendy, the lighting so cool – completely untouched too. Stompin’ our way to another big finish! Mid-set tequila shots in celebration, courtesy of Shawn Major – thanks Shawn! Eric really holds down the groove – one of my favorite bass players around! – and he adds so much vocally too! Lucky, lucky me. Yet another great shot of the band in action. Like the famous photo inside my CD, Eric does seem to spend a lot of time admiring my voluminous hair, for some reason. Singing our hearts out while Adrian holds it all together. A killer drummer who makes every song better, he also mixed the album! Great job! Another moment frozen in time just before a big song finish. Music is nothing without listeners; a show without an audience is just practice – so thank you to all these wonderful folks who made it out! And uh, it was my birthday too! Almost forgot! The first giant piece went to one of my oldest friends Sam Chow, who gamely ate it all! History
My origin story. I was raised on music; though my father was not a seriously accomplished guitarist, music always seemed to be around. I was fascinated by it from the start, though I didn’t get serious about guitar myself till I was 18, and then it was all over. These shots show some of my family heritage (my Dad’s older brothers were singing cowboys), on up to the days of busking on Granville Street (and in LA and New York!), plus a few early bands.
My father in the fifties as a very young man, strumming an old-school arch-top guitar Here’s my dad with a nice-looking Gibson parlor guitar, jamming with his older brother Calvin, or Uncle Cal to me! The ingredients were all there: guitar, long hair, holding a beer. No surprise who I turned out to be! Jamming with my Pa in the early days. Might not have sounded very good, but clearly showing some stage presence already! Self-portrait as singing cowboy my Dad took at his photo studio. He was a better photographer than guitarist, but that Yamaha FG300 was the first guitar I played and learned on. In my heyday playing out on Granville Street; for a while Dad let me have that precious guitar, which I put to great use! I love that guitar! It plays way better than a Japanese copy of a Gibson has any right to. Jon Dawes leans by the case, the singer who first talked me into going down to play on the street. I spent a couple weeks in LA and played the Venice Beach boardwalk every day. Here advertising a show I booked at the Rainbow on the Sunset Strip. Great way to spend your days in LA, earning a little money to blow in the clubs on Sunset later! My first time in New York, at the Lennon memorial I asked this random guy for his guitar and blasted out Beatles songs to the gathered crowd. What a moment! We surprised Dad for his 75th birthday, and I wrote a song for the occasion, which I am playing for him here. And he was surprised. My first real band, Orbit in Bloom, playing 86 Street in the 90s. Todd Fancey with my blue Takamine, me with the trusty 72 Les Paul and a whack of hair! Played some shows for good coin with a cover band I called the Fugitives, Eduardo Ottoni on drums, Elijah Bak guitar, and Jeremy Shee bass – Eli and Jer met on this project, and went on to form Japanese Cowboy. I reunited with Todd to play bass in his solo band Fancey for a few US shows, here at CMJ in New York with Sara Lapsley (Vancouver Nights) on keys and Kurt Dahl (Limblifter, New Pornographers) on drums. On the NY trip with Fancey, after a show we all went to Winnie’s in Chinatown and crooned our hearts out. Played Mark Spencer’s Halloween party with a one-time band of Lexi Vail and me on guitars/vox, Shane Hayes on bass, and punk legend Zippy Pinhead drumming! Bands
Once I joined The Orchid Highway things got a little more serious. We signed with Brooklyn’s Rainbow Quartz label in 2008 releasing a pretty successful album that got airplay all over the US and Canada with a couple of well-received singles & videos. Some standout shows were the Knitting Factory in LA and a memorable SXSW in Austin playing 4 venues in 4 days. The Top Drawers invited me to replace guitarist Phil Bell and we became known for our energetic live shows, recording an as-yet unreleased album (still hope!). And Steven Drake of Odds (who produced the Orchids’ album) brought me in to play for his band The Winlaws, which had a brief glorious run of local shows in 2014-15.
The Orchid Highway relaunched my career, an amazing band live and on record. Here in all our live glory opening for punk icons Teenage Head are, L-R: Jamie, Rory, and Derek Macdonald, and the brothers from two other mothers, me on guitar left and Adrian Buckley on drums. One of my favorite shots ever, taken by the incomparable Wendy D in conjunction with our video shoot for Sofa Surfer Girl. Playing with The Orchid Highway made me better in every way, and gave me plenty of chances to strike the perfect rock pose onstage. In my Jimmy Page phase, you could say! Another great onstage shot by Wendy D, with Rory the front man doing what he does best while I do the sideman thing. Onstage at BD Riley’s on 6th Street in Austin – I had broken my strap so you can see I’m bracing the guitar on my leg to keep playing. TOH played 4 shows at 4 different venues during that South By Southwest, an amazing experience to be there for that. During recording sessions at Vancouver’s legendary Mushroom Studios, working with producer Howard Redekopp. We had three full days there and a crapload of instruments. Yes, that is a sitar behind me, above the Hohner bass. The live room at Mushroom was to die for. Heart recorded their first few albums here; Jimmy Page laid a few things down here while Zeppelin was on tour. Nuff said. I miss this place. But it’s all about the live show, isn’t it? The blur of rock n’ roll. On set for our first video with Robert Riendeau, for the song “Next World” We piled up two walls with gear like you’ve never seen before, and like few other bands could do. So many guitars to play, easy to kill the long hours! Behind the scenes on that video shoot, well, I pretty much do the same thing, keep playing guitar and smiling at how much I love this. Another shot from the Mushroom sessions, Wendy D capturing some pensive moment (or maybe I was just tired, hard to say). When I joined the Top Drawers, I was happy to dress up to their standard, kind of a classic band look harking back to the earlier sixties. It wasn’t a dress code exactly, but I liked keeping to that look and trotting out the fine clothes to rock out in. From a show the Top Drawers played at short-lived venue Fanclub. They had a cool balcony where somebody obviously took a camera to get this sweet shot. A colorful shot of the Top Drawers playing one of many shows at the Rail. This must be the only show I got to use that SG, featured in my video “Making Awareness Grow,” as I gave it to director Robert Riendeau at the end of the shoot to pay for his time! It’s in good hands now. Onstage with the talented Phil Bell (now with Rolling Trainwreck and The New Shackletons) at some jam I stepped into. Not a Top Drawers show, but since Phil was their original guitarist who I replaced, it’s all part of the story. I’m even playing his guitar here! The Top Drawers front line, Scott Perry, Eric Lefebvre and Patrick Jacobson. Goofing around with Brandy and Eric backstage between sets at Guilt and Co in Gastown. OK, it’s mostly them goofing, I look tolerantly amused. Recording my song “Took my Blues Away” with The Top Drawers at Scott Fletcher’s place. Eric and I (with Patrick behind the camera) were working out a juicy middle part to add life to this fairly droning low-fi song. Steven Drake of Odds fame started a new band named after a little town in the BC interior where he’d lived and asked a bunch of local musicians in. L-R, Kevin Gau (of The Left, Raised on DJs), Steven, Shane Wilson, Pete Werner, Patrick and me. That’s right, a 4-guitar band. Another Winlaws show, at 2014’s IPO (Int’l Pop Overthrow). I’m playing the big Eko 12-string acoustic to lend more color to all that guitar sound. Scott Solo and Jammin’
Before my new project I had dabbled with being a solo artist, most notably recording and releasing the album
Road to Freedom in 2006. Right after it came out I joined the Orchids, and then a few years later I was playing in three bands with little time to pursue my own music. These are shots from some of the Scott Perry shows I did play over the past decade, including one in 2015 played at the Fairview as Sunshowers (a band name I really like and plan to use again in the future). Also a small selection of random shots of onstage shenanigans and fun times jamming with friends — who all know I love jumping up on stage to add harmonies to someone else’s show. In studio recording my first album, Road to Freedom, tracked by Eduardo Ottoni. I know this was the second song, “In The Sun” because of that stretched out chord! This is the first solo record I released back in 2006, Road to Freedom, signed with a really cool pen that gives a tubular 3D effect. My biggest fan, #1 on the pre-order list for this one! Tiny picture taken with a Razr – remember those? From a solo show opening for Winnipeg’s Sean Brown, with Kurt Comer on drums and Jeff Gontovnick on bass. A solo show at Vancouver’s legendary Railway club from ’07 or ’08. This was probably on one of the nights put on by Ferdy Belland (The Feminists, Gentle Infidels, among other bands). Another Scott Perry show, with Patrick Jacobson on bass, maybe Eric Lefebvre on drums? My adoring public consists mainly of my awesome gf Brandy. The Les Paul looks great in this shot by Travis Skjolde. Another shot from this solo show at the Backstage Lounge, from 2008 sometime. Joining good friends onstage at Sorry Babushka, L-R: me, Patrick Jacobson, Danny Echo, Eric Lefebvre At the Fairview, singing on one of Patrick Jacobson’s old Rock Soft Wednesday nights. Playing O2E’s annual summer BBQ with Jeff Gontovnick and Graham Myrfield, probably Jordie Zylstra back there on drums? One of Diva and Derek Macdonald’s fabulous Christmas shows at Lanalou’s. Some of my fellow drunken elves, Steve Monteith (and maybe Shane Hayes?) of Star Collector, Eric and Patrick to my left, and hidden in the back, Paul Austin Gould of Hard Rock Miners. There were others, but you know, elves get really drunk. We’re tiny! My buddies Kurt Comer, Jeff Gontovnick and I recorded a couple of charity singles for Movember before they went off and formed their funk-rock outfit, Bad PR. This is from the video shoot for the second one, “Making Awareness Grow” (or “Mo By Mo”). The debut (and to date only!) show of Sunshowers in 2015, a solo project I started before realizing I have a perfectly good name. I still expect to do something with this bandname though (lots of songs to get to). It was still my pal Eric Lefebvre playing bass, and Jordie Zylstra (Spring Breaks) on drums. Derek filled in on an all-female night of IPO once with an nearly-all-male band in drag, and it became a tradition. This show I was just a spectator till Brandy said, “Hey, wanna switch?” so we did and I popped out of the men’s room wearing her dress and jumped right on stage to pitch in on vocals. Citizen A from Pepper Sands was fronting this night (a real female, no drag). Backstage at Toronto’s John Bassett Theatre filming a TV show called Canada Sings. Weird but very fun experience I got to share with all these fine people. That’s Jeff Gonto back left and Graham Myrfield back right, Tim Payne of The Sheets (Blarney Stone’s Friday night band) right behind my head. We’re dressed in fake professional garb (I’m not a doctor, but I can say I played one on TV) except for the super-stylin’ Christian Vincent who is a very real professional dancer (and now, fittingly, professor of dance at USC). Serenity Now!
Current photos of my new venture, call it The Scott Perry Project if you will (no, don’t, that’s too close to Joe Perry! – no relation). Here are some shots documenting the process of recording my new solo album,
Songs of Serenity. Also some shots from filming the video for “ Say I Do” in Las Vegas earlier this year (the perfect town for a wedding song – getting married there is the one thing that DOESN’T stay in Vegas). This is me now, a work in progress – much more to come! Stay tuned… This is the studio where everything has been recorded for the new album, Echoplant B (formerly Vogville). Peek through the tall echo chamber room into the live room where you can see the drums set up for bedtracks – completed in one long day. Hanging out in the control room between takes on our big bedtracks day, when we recorded all the drums, bass, and keys (plus a few guitar tracks kept). Adrian, Eric and Derek make a long day in the studio fun. I wanted the first single, Say I Do, to be something special so I got Steven Drake to mix it (which we did at Hipposonic, on their big SSL board). He’s one of the best mixers around, plus he played some wicked steel guitar on the track, including an awesome solo. Back at Echoplant for a full day of laying down all vocals, including harmonies. Here our crack engineer Matt Di Pomponio gets right in there to make sure the placement is perfect. Derek tracking harmonies for the title song “Serenity”. Note the beer at his feet; whatever it takes to keep the talent happy! Back in the control room with Matt while Derek sings. The day we did vocals I was lucky enough to get Graham Myrfield out to add parts. Plus provide a little beard support! This is me laying down the lead vocal for the song “Todays”. There is video of this too, but who wants to hear a naked vocal devoid of all the backing music? Not this cowboy! This is the most fun you can have in a studio, singing around one mic with your friends, getting your Beach Boys on! Singing ahhh’s for “Trigger” here, then on to a similar four-part harmony backing on the choruses of “Above”. My father left behind this poem, which I came across recently and knew I had to write a song around it. I changed his title because it’s more about Willie’s famous old guitar, which is of course named Trigger. My Dad was about the same age as Willie too, so this song really means a lot to me. When I went to Maui earlier this year, right after writing “Trigger” I had to go to Paia to check out Charley’s, where this giant replica of the famous guitar stands proud. I was hoping to run into Mr. Nelson while I was there, but that’ll have to wait till next time! On our trip to Maui I missed Willie Nelson, but did get to hang out with DJ Michael McCartney, who we got to know when he put The Orchid Highway’s “Sofa Surfer Girl” into heavy rotation on KEAO. He lives for great music and the best quality shave ices in Hawai’i, which he is delighted to share with visitors. Brandy and I spent the day with Michael McCartney as he showed us all around his hometown of Lahaina. Watching the sun set is a daily ritual there and you can see why as it’s always stunning. I love this shot because I’m thinking of the future, and there’s a glint in my eye that’s halfway hopeful. When I told my director Robert Riendeau I was going to Vegas earlier this year, he said “Perfect! What a location for your video!” That hadn’t actually occurred to me, but he was right! So we got him down there too, and set out to shoot anything we could in that legendary city (with more than a few wedding chapels). Here I’m tuning up the cheap guitar I bought at local Cowtown Guitars just for the shoot. When we were done shooting, about to head to the airport, I realized I couldn’t bring back the guitar and offered to give it to The Little Vegas Chapel as a memento. They loved the idea and insisted I sign it too! That’s chapel owner Mike holding it. With our last shots behind us, it was a great feeling of triumph as we piled into our rented Mustang convertible to drive back to McCann and fly home.