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» The Letterville BullBoard » Old Archives » OT... Latigo and the auditions.

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Author Topic: OT... Latigo and the auditions.
Pierre St.Marie
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Member # 1462

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At age 9 Lat expressed an interest in the guitar, so having a few of my own, I began his trek with a dozen or so chords. *Compressing the story* He quickly progressed beyond my "bluegrass" techniques and so I sought a competent teacher.

A local music store was a hangout for a number of musicians so I talked to a few of the guys and got a name. There happened to be a guy who had fled to Montana to hide out from the IRS. They eventually found him but he liked it so much here that he stayed.

A fabulous rock guitarist, George McGuire was the lead guitarist for the Righteous Brothers through the 70's. His gigs in Vegas had propelled him to the top as a demand guitarist in recording sessions there and in LA. He wrote and performed the score to the movie "Fire in the Streets". Fortunately for us, the IRS had propelled him to our doorstep.

He auditioned the 9 year old Latigo, was impressed and took him on. Within 3 years it became apparent that Lat needed something George could not give. Theory.

The Flathead valley is a strange place. Name musicians, movie stars and money moguls all seem to have homes in the area toward Big Mountain Resort. I won't bore you with a list, but one of them is Bob Bain, the Jazz guitarist for Johnny Carson's tonight show for 30 years. He's a session player who DOES read music and he had a number of friends in the business. One of them is a name Bassist/session player, Pete Hand. Bob was impressed with Lat's abilities at such a young age so Pete became Lat's theory teacher. Now began the real guitar work. *skip ahead*

After 2 years Pete decided it was time for practical application to the 6 string guitar so he reccommended a Jazz teacher in Missoula, some 120 miles to the south. Since there wasn't an accredited Jazz Theory teacher any closer we made the trek to Missoula to audition with James Wallace.

Jim Wallace had semi-retired to Missoula after burning out as a session player at the The Plant, The Record Facory and Ocean Way Studios in LA. 3 of the very best. Jim was on a truly amazing number of name albums from the 70s right up through 1996 when he left for Montana. He auditioned Latigo and took him on. Lat soon became Jim's "fair haired child" as he aced his lessons every week and was hungry for more.

By this time the Latigo Band had made its mark in Flathead County and had a rather large following, mostly folks in their 30s and older. Lat and Rosemary (Bass guitar/vocals) had an adult drummer and an adult rythm guitarist/vocalist in the band. Lat sings as well. Their following was a bit older as their music was a very wide repetoir of classic rock. Dad did sound.

Every week we drove Lat to Missoula for his Jazz theory lesson, usually two to three hour sessions. This went on for a number of years and he was rapidly approaching solid competence, knowing his fretboard and way off into the world of jazz progressions. During the last year he dissolved the band as his lessons became extremely intense. At this point, in preparation for auditions, we recorded him by himself in the studio playing both acoustic and electric, demonstarting his virtuosity in a number of music styles and, of course, jazz.

We secured the proper contact names and mailed the demo CDs off to Rocktron in Chicago, Si Mayall Productions, The Factory, The Record Plant and Bad Animals in Seattle. After a number of weeks I got the responses. "If the boy plays at his audition the way he played on his demo CD, we have a place for him". 20 years old and a foot in the door at 5 of the best! He was on his way.......... so we thought.

Two months before his first scheduled audition we received a call from my Mother. My stepfather was dying and he wanted to see us at their summer home in North Carolina. A sad reason for Latigo to make his first trip on an airplane, but we all left for the east coast to say out goodbyes to Grandpa.

Going to and coming from the coast, Lat appeared to have caught a virus or something. He didn't want to talk about it but he was visibly ill. Stepping off the plane in Kalispell he said, "Ill never get on another one of those as long as I live"! He has a deathly fear of flying!! In the ensuing weeks nothing we could say was going to change that. We're very aware of the courses available for those who fear flying, but....... no dice. He wasn't going to do it. Never again, and he was so intense about it that Lyn and I decided to never mention it again.

A session player MUST be ready, willing and able to travel to wherever his studio sends him. Not by train, not by car, not hitchhiking...... but flying! 11 years of intense schooling, hundreds of thousands of dollars dedicated to his career and it all comes to a halt over something we'd never imagined. A deeply rooted fear of flying.

Fortunately for me Lat turned out to be one hellacious wood carver. He still works in the recording studio here locally and has performed on a number of albums that went national and hundreds of demos for Nashville and rock hopefuls. He's very happy working in both studios, but we'll never know how far he may have gone. How many youngsters at age 21 have the opportunity to become a real session player for some of the best studios in the country? Not many, but he did have his shot. Are we disappointed? Not at all. We've got him here at home, he's an excellent worker, he's engaged to a lovely girl whom we all adore, he still plays in the Recording Studio and is extremely happy with his life.

Life is good in Lost Prairie.

*If I could learn to spell!!*

[ December 27, 2003, 10:06 AM: Message edited by: pierre ]

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Pierre St.Marie
Stmariegraphics
Kalispell,Mt
www.stmariegraphics.com
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Plan on knowing everything before I die and time's running out!

Posts: 4223 | From: Kalispell,Mt 59903 | Registered: Mar 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pierre St.Marie
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Now a short follow-up for my Friend John.
Before the audition applications I was given the requirements.
For an "In-House Player" he must be able to read music fluently and quickly. He must be well versed in ALL styles of music. He must be able to sit down, read, analyze and perform the required music in very short order.
High paying customers ahve NO time to mess with an "ear" player who takes up valuable studio time screwing around with a pre-written piece.

Friends of friends of friends who are incredible players, know somebody, road trip with so and so......blahblahblahblah. NONE of that means anything to a studio producer who has a budget and limited time to make a successful sesion happen for the paying customer.

At the best studios, if you don't read, you won't be an In-House player, so you'd better know someone who is willing to take on an "ear-player" for their session, because the studio producer won't. Private parties may take you on for a project, but you won't be doing it as an employee of the studio. They don't have time for you to learn every piece "by ear". If the customer has paid to have a piece written for them......... that's how they want it performed.

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Pierre St.Marie
Stmariegraphics
Kalispell,Mt
www.stmariegraphics.com
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Plan on knowing everything before I die and time's running out!

Posts: 4223 | From: Kalispell,Mt 59903 | Registered: Mar 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rick Sacks
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Pierre, I'd sure lik to see that movie!

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The SignShop
Mendocino, California

http://www.mendosign.com

Making the simple complicated is commonplace;
making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity. Charles Mingus

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Pam Eddy
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Pierre,

Thanks for sharing with us. I enjoyed reading the post. It sounds like you have so much talent in your family.

You know how far Lat could go with his music, but if he did take it that far, the joy might be lost. The problems with flying might be a Godsend. I was very involved with racing at one time. Not the big leagues, but far enough along that the fun was removed from the picture with the stress of pleasing promoters (and thank goodness we didn't get to the point of needing to please sponsors, we raced on our own money). We had a Keith Black Hemi blower motor in a '64 Corvette body. It was a winner and a crowd pleaser. So much fun at first until it got serious. We raced in the Silverdome, Astrodome, Hoosierdome etc., but the traveling starts to wear on you like the Bob Seager song, "On the Road Again". The pressures of keeping up and dealing with the image and watching what ya do in front of the TV cameras (ESPN and TNN). The constant traveling wears you down and you have no kind of personal life. We started reminiscing of the old days when racing was fun and not so much work. The days when we could blow up a motor and laugh about it because we could go buy parts at the junk yard. Then it turned into, "How are we going to pay for that hole in the side of the aluminum block, or pay $70 each for titanium valves?" "We are committed to another appearance the next weekend."

Lat is probably in the best place right now. Surrounded with people who appreciate his talent and don't push him to the point of burn out like so many on the money making side of the business would do to him. Traveling is fun for a while, but you get tired of hotel rooms and restaurant food.

Just my opinion.

Lat was blessed with more than one talent and a good family. He may pursue the music later and the fans come to see him instead of him hopping a plane to go to them.

Have a Merry Christmas.

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Pam Eddy
Niles, MI
ple@qtm.net

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John Deaton
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Sorry Pierre. Youre right and Im wrong. I never meant to disrespect your son or you. Thats just the way I saw it.

--------------------
Maker of fine signs and
other creative stuff.
Located at 109 N. Cumberland ave.
Harlan, Ky. 40831
606-837-0242

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Pierre St.Marie
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Member # 1462

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Actualy, you're not wrong. It was just the application. I was talking about an In-House session player employee. You were talking about a free lance session player that works with specific persons.

I REPEAT!!! Merry Christmas, John!

heh..........

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Pierre St.Marie
Stmariegraphics
Kalispell,Mt
www.stmariegraphics.com
------------------
Plan on knowing everything before I die and time's running out!

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Del Badry
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All i could think of when read this pierre is of John Madden, he doesnt fly either and has to move around the country with his football broadcasting.. I really enjoyed seeing his guitar collection, very impressive.. have a great season and maybe catch ya next year on one of my trips back east..

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Del Badry
philmdesign
Sylvan Lake, Alberta

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Jean Shimp
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Member # 198

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A great story - it's good to know there are people who have enough self respect and inner security to follow their own God - given path and not succumb to worldly pressures. Keep up the good work!

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Jean Shimp
Shimp Sign & Design Co.
Jacksonville Beach, Fl

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Santo
Visitor
Member # 411

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Thanks for sharing this story. I have so many musical friends that have thrown their away lives and talents chasing drugs, wild sex or other vices. Their talents were lost in their bad choices. Latigo on the otherhand maintains his skills and has them to use and build on. He still has a career in music, and he has made his own choices. That's important.

[ December 29, 2003, 03:04 PM: Message edited by: Santo ]

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Santo Brocato
Promotion Graphics & Letters
Spring, TX

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