Sunday, May 25, 2008

the story of pancho and lefty (part 3)

at the end of finishing polaroid
right before gavin's birth
in the summer of 2003
i happened to call rip up one day
to tell him i'd decided to tack a control room onto the garage studio
and try to start recording bands for a living
he instantly said
"well, if you want me to bring all my recording gear over - i need a place to store it..."
at the time
i had some amps and guitars
but not much in the recording department
so rip's involvement was major
he brought all his stuff over
and we combined forces
with his help we were up and flying in a matter of days
in fact
within the first week
rhett miller was doing demos
while G money was only 7 days old
we dumped a few of my 16 track recordings from polaroid
into the new computer system
and rip helped me finish "a way to your heart"
"the skepticians"
both off of the A.W.T.Y.H. ep
and "a family disease"
as well as "one foot stuck in the past" "polaroid" (the song) and "1978"
then he mastered and help me sequence both
a way to your heart and polaroid
we were now kind of unofficial partners in running a studio
he still had a "real" job
and still wasn't totally sure about whether or not he wanted to rely
on the flakiest demographic in america to earn a living
he was wise
but still i kept pulling pancho deeper into the quicksand
when i landed my first big recording project
the deathray davies
at the beginning of 2004
rip helped me learn the ropes of computer recording
he taught me everything
patiently and graciously
never once getting edgy with me for being slow
i learned sonar while tracking that record
and rip put in countless hours tracking and mixing it
while he was also working 70 plus hours a week
at his regular job

since then we've gone on to work together on countless recording
everything from my last solo record snowing in my heart
to the old 97's blame it on gravity
he has been my best friend
and recording comrade for over 11 years now
without his support
i don't know where i'd be
when i toodled off to europe this past fall
rip is the one who stayed behind and oversaw
the studio rennovation
it couldn't have been done without him
he worked 12+ hour days for 5 weeks to keep costs down
while we walked paris
rip cleaned the wreckage from 2 storms that flooded the studio
while we went to the opera in vienna
rip wired
while people cheered and threw rose colored schnitzels at my feet
rip consulted
babysat our designer
supervised contractors
and sweated even more
this went even beyond being a labour of love
the stress was also immense
as we had the old 97s scheduled to come in and start
their record only 10 days after i returned from abroad
when i got back from europe rip had miraculously moved the whole thing
along right on schedule
a studio that should've been built in 3 months
was built in 5 weeks
the old 97s showed up while the paint had just barely dried
without rip it absolutely couldn't have happened
that's a fact

i'm writing this because rip rowan has never sought out the spotlight
he's lived a private and un-frivolous lifestyle ever since i've known him
that's why you might not have even heard of him yet
though if you've paid attention to the liner notes on all my records
i'm sure you're more than well aware of his presence
so while i've been the poster boy of pleasantry lane
johnny on the scene
sean cassidy with a polka dotted suit
rip has quietly and solidly amassed a body
of excellent recording work
we've done it together
a pretty good team we've made - pancho and lefty
i owe him so much...
along with jayme he's help me find this idyllic life i always dreamt of having

thank you for being such a dear friend rip
the best one i've ever had
i love you so much

here's to the next 100 records we make together!
here's to a lasting friendship that's endured even the lean years!
here's to the future of our pleasantry lane!

with love



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, Rip. As someone who cares deeply about Salim, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

8:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

gratitude fosters love.
generosity is an expression of love.
you're surrounded!
with love, ce

11:08 AM  

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