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Introduction:


A series of essays wherein I explore the numerous musical identities of my favorite musician: from child prodigy to teen idol to guitar hero to singer/songwriter to award-winning in-demand film composer.

Comments are disabled but please feel free to contact me at rabinesque.blog@gmail.com.



Thursday, May 25, 2017

Media Watch: another look at the Induction Ceremony

With thanks to YouTube user Cal Vid - for those of us who don't have this footage saved to DVR and the like - here's their fan edit of segments from the HBO broadcast of the Hall of Fame induction ceremony featuring the introductory tribute film along with the performance of "Owner of a Lonely Heart," though it is of course the edited version without Rick and Trevor's walkabout.  The tribute film draws heavily from the footage used for the YesYears documentary.

Friday, May 19, 2017

More European dates for ARW?

Spotted on Twitter: there's an article claiming that Our Boys will be playing some Italian dates in July, which is of course the same timeframe they're playing festivals in Germany and Poland so this news might be true, although there's no official confirmation as of yet.  According to the article they'll be playing Rome on July 17th, Vincenza on July 19th and Nuoro on July 22nd.  Apparently the Nuoro date will be part of the Rocce Rosse Blues festival.

Here's a link to the article for anyone interested in additional information:
http://www.rockon.it/concerti/tour-concerti/yes-a-luglio-in-concerto-a-roma-schio-vicenza-e-arbatax-nuoro/

Monday, May 15, 2017

The Man of a Thousand Credits: the best classical guitar album you've never heard

One of a continuing series in regards to the myriad variety of Trevor’s discography.

As long-time fans are aware, Trevor has been involved in many projects/sessions/appearances over the years and some of them are rare - relegated to whomever might have witnessed the proceedings - and some of them yet remain unknown.  For example, all we truly know of Trevor's guest spot with Bob Dylan is what he's related in interviews.  As I noted in my essay "Trev & Zimmy" there's no actual credit for Trevor playing on any of Dylan's albums.  It's possible he just wasn't credited on a particular release, but there's no way to know for certain unless someone who was directly involved in the production comes forward with actual verification.

Another such appearance - which I made note of in that same entry - involves Trevor's participation on an album put together by his friend and fellow guitar legend Steve Morse.  I had read vague hints of this project, then in 2009 Trevor made mention of it during an interview with Movie Geeks United.  In response to a fan query regarding his recording of Mussorgsky's "Promenade" (the introduction of the suite Pictures at an Exhibition), Trevor elaborated on transposing classical compositions to guitar:
I do that sometimes, so, you know, that one I put on an album and it's there.  But I've also, which, I think it was released actually, I did Beethoven's Fifth Symphony with just guitars.
He went on to state that it was for a "Steve Morse and Friends" compilation of classical pieces on guitar.  Trevor had already recorded his selection on his own, but when invited to participate gave it to Morse for inclusion on the album.  He concluded by saying, "It is on an album somewhere."  But in light of this reference I had a very difficult time finding any evidence of the purported release.  However, I did eventually come across two mentions...for an album which doesn't appear to actually exist.

According to an entry on the Deep Purple fansite The Highway Star, Steve did in fact curate a collection which featured "many of the world's best guitar players[...]to record favorite classical bits" and listed Trevor among the participants.  The other reference was on an Albert Lee fansite (dated 1998) and what was known of the tracklist at that time was pretty fantastic.

Albert Lee - Handel's "Largo" from Serse
Steve Morse - Handel's The Water Music
Peter Frampton - Concerto No. 5 in F Minor by Bach
John Petrucci - "Flight of the Bumblebee" by Rimsky-Korsakov
Marty Freedman - "Meditation" from Thais by Jules Massenet
Steve Howe - Bach's Cantana 140
Trevor Rabin - Beethoven's Symphony No. 9
Dweezil Zappa - Suites from Carmen by Bizet
Al DiMeola - "Tango" by Astor Piazzolla
Jorma Kaukonen - Pachelbel's Canon
Mike Stern - GymnopĂ©die No.1 by Erik Satie
Patty Larkin - T.B.A.

Supposedly the album was slated for release by Windham Hill Records in 1999.  So Trevor's citation in the MGU interview - if it was incorrect - might explain why it took me so long to find any mention of it, if it was indeed from the Ninth Symphony as opposed to the Fifth.  I think the only way we could definitely find out which piece it was is if Trevor retained a copy in his archives and perhaps would be kind enough to share it with us via his Soundcloud account since there's no evidence that it was released.  The lack of official information leads me to believe the album was shelved, which is a shame because it seems like it would have been a really great collection to hear, especially since we do have evidence of Trevor's classical-on-guitar mindset on "Promenade." 

As an interesting sidenote, Movement 10 of Pictures at an Exhibition ("The Great Gate of Kiev") was Trevor's personally-curated selection for the 1996 orchestral compilation Exile on Classical Street.

Trevor has noted in other interviews that he would like to record an all-guitar classical album, which would truly be a wonderful thing, in my opinion...perhaps if he seriously commits to it in a few years we might finally get to hear the Fifth - or Ninth - in all its' glory as well.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Plenty of love to go around...maybe

Spotted on Twitter: the other day Trevor had a mini-posting binge on his Facebook page, one of which had no text at all, and another of the posts was a nice message regarding the Japanese tour, but apparently one of his bandmates was feeling a little left out...

Friday, May 5, 2017

A tale of two inductions: one fan's perspective

Cee watches her favorite musician onstage at Barclays Center.

Good friend of the blog Cee - who possesses a rather unique fandom experience as regards those of us who became fans of Trevor in the 1980s - kindly consented to compose an account of what it was like to attend the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and watch the HBO broadcast a few weeks later, as she was fortunate enough to experience both perspectives.  For those of us watching the ceremony live-streamed on Periscope or via audience-filmed videos on YouTube later on, our experience was rather more limited.  But did the HBO broadcast truly honor all those inducted?  Read on to get her take on this historic event.

My deepest gratitude and affection to Cee for her authorial efforts (and for her email updates to me during the ceremony itself).  And as a final note, in this entry I am including images sourced from social media and provided to me by the author.

~*~*~*~

I'm a Northeast US-based "Rabid Rabinite."  In 1979, I began a pen friendship with a lovely girl in a far-away land called South Africa.  Her letters spoke frequently of her favorite musician - some guy named Trevor Rabin.  She encouraged me to give him a listen. By mid-1980 I’d come across his first two solo albums and was completely hooked before the first side of his self-titled album finished playing. I am forever indebted to my (still) very dear friend for introducing me to the work of this brilliant artist.  The rest, as they say, is history – and a long one!

When I learned late last year that Trevor would be inducted into the R&RHoF Class of 2017 for his work with Yes, I was thrilled for him.  I was also thrilled for me upon learning that the Induction Ceremony would be held in New York City because I live in a suburb, and that it was open to the public.  Whether Trevor was present or not, it was a great opportunity for me to support and to celebrate my all-time favorite artist.

The other evening HBO ran an edited version (3 hours as opposed to a 4.5 – 5 hour show) of the induction ceremony that I couldn’t wait to see.  In the actual moment, there are way too many things happening around you and you find yourself thinking: “Wait, what just happened?”  I knew it would be edited down, of course, but I wasn't expecting to be angry when it was over.  Instead of feeling happy to have seen it, I felt heartbroken and insulted. I can only hope that Trevor, Shelley and Ryan don’t feel the same.  Since I had the unique opportunity to experience it first-hand, I wanted to share some things in relation to Trevor that you didn't get to see if you watched the HBO version. 

My ticket package included a really decent seat – 11 rows off the floor and just to the side of the stage - access to several rehearsals (including Yes), a pre-ceremony cocktail party, and a commemorative gift bag.  When all was said and done I met great people, had a great time, have great memories and it was well worth my investment.  Many people sitting near me for the ceremony were there for Pearl Jam, but no matter who we appreciated, we were all there for essentially the same reason.  Like I said before, it was a celebration and celebrate we did!

Some people opted to dress up - myself included.  I'd recently seen photos of Trevor in a red suit from when he first joined Yes, so in homage I decided to forego my usual black and try something different.  I found a gorgeous red Christian Dior pantsuit that was perfect.  Great decision personally because I literally got STOPPED by people from the moment I left my hotel room.  Combined with my choice of libation and witnessing several stopped-in-their-tracks compliments, the two lovely couples I'd spend the cocktail hour with decided to name me "Fireball."  My theme song: "Girl on Fire" by Alicia Keys.  Quite fitting since Alicia worked with Trevor on Glory Road and she also attended the ceremony.  I represented, my friends!

My favorite "Fireball" moment, though, came later on from a woman (Pearl Jam fan) sitting in the row behind me during the ceremony.  I was standing up cheering Trevor on during the Yes induction when I felt a tap on my shoulder.  I was waiting for someone to tell me to sit down (but they'd use the NY expletive that typically accompanies it) so I cautiously turned, ready to plead my case.  I braced.  She leaned in closer and said, "I just want to tell you, you're ROCKING that red suit!"  She made my evening!


I had a great landscape view of the "room," so there was a lot happening around me and that made it difficult to see everything.  I could easily see the table that the Rabins were sitting at from my seat.  It was no surprise to find the Maestro was wearing his “lucky” shirt.  I was surprised to find that I could locate him in the sea of people even when I wasn’t looking for him.  I actually started making a game out of it much like Where’s Waldo? (some parts of the ceremony were less interesting than others!).  I’ve only recently learned how tall Trevor is so that may have given me some advantage (I’m very likely in a party of one, especially among females, but I can honestly say it really was about the music for me.  It was either that or face certain repercussions from my friend!).  Shelley looked as beautiful as she did proud.  Ryan wore a dress suit and next to his adorable wife Kyly they made a gorgeous young couple.

Yes was the third of the inductees of the evening.  I did my very best to be loud and proud of Trevor – for ALL of us.  During Alex Lifeson's introduction, he spoke about the "glorious guitar work in 'Owner of a Lonely Heart.'"  In several videos, including what was shown on HBO, I can clearly hear myself "agreeing" with him.  I know there was at least one other RR in attendance - I could hear her as well, but she wasn’t nearby.  We were few in number, but mighty in spirit!  I won't go into the mess and politics of the Yes entities, but it wasn’t very organized as a whole.  HBO cut Trevor’s speech out completely.  It was only 36 SECONDS long!  I was SO angry they did that, especially for Shelley and Ryan.  To add insult to injury, I was STUNNED to see that they used the clip of Shelley when Trevor acknowledged her during his speech - during Joan Baez’s performance! As I saw it, it was used COMPLETELY out of context and if it were me I’d be livid.  Even worse, unless you knew who Shelley is, there was nothing to identify her – or Trevor – or anyone else for that matter.  Subtitles would have been REALLY helpful!  I will say that he had decent coverage during "Owner" and I noted a table shot of Shelley, Ryan and Kyly – at least there was that.

Ready for his close-up: Trevor on the big screen at Barclays Center.

I can’t tell you how many times I noted table shots of the members of Pearl Jam and their families during other inductions.  It didn’t take long to see that the HBO airing favored Pearl Jam and it was extremely disturbing to me.  Not because I don’t like them – quite the contrary --  but they were NOT the only inductees!   

A post shared by Robert Schindler (@robeone1) on

When I walked out of the Barclays Center that evening, I left feeling SO proud of Trevor and my good sense to recognize his massive talent when I was 17.  One of my personal frustrations as a long-time follower is that most people, especially in the US, only identify Trevor based on one or two things he's done and that's mostly been his work with Yes – "Owner of a Lonely Heart" in particular. It's not at all a bad thing, it's certainly where he's been most globally visible and what ultimately got him inducted, but as most of us know, he's SO much more.  Somewhere deep down, I was certain this would finally open some eyes to everything else he’s done and what he’s still capable of doing.  I thought this ceremony - especially during the final jam where he performed Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World" with several of his peers - would certainly change things.  In my opinion, his guitar solo during that jam was EPIC and HBO...CUT IT!! 

I’ve included a link to what I’ve found to be the best view of it on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivURhBWHmGw.  His part begins at 5:50. I can almost guarantee that the person heard “appreciating” here was me until the end.  He was standing at the edge of the stage playing masterfully in what I like to call that “mad scientist” way.  I was proud as anything telling the people around me “just watch this,” and I missed something critical. As much as I’m ashamed to admit it, I didn’t see him purposely drop his beloved Sharkfin plectrum – I only saw him bend down to pick it up again - and I thought the worst.  My heart sank and I was sick about it until I was able to view a video later on. I feel the need to publicly apologize to the Maestro for doubting - because SHAME ON ME! 

I encourage you to search YouTube for video, because some of that footage is much better than what HBO chose to show and it’s a truer representation.

Finally, a side note:  I mentioned that my package also included access to band rehearsals.  If you happen to be a Yes fan also, it was incredibly historic to witness a version of the band come together for the first time in many years and to see Geddy Lee fill in on bass during "Roundabout." They rehearsed that and "Owner" twice, so it was like a semi private mini concert.  I also found an unexpected opportunity to personally congratulate Trevor afterward which was a nice way to kick off my incredibly special weekend.


Thursday, May 4, 2017

Media Watch: new article on ARW tour production

Published today is an short article regarding UK-based stage lighting company Illuminate Lighting Ltd. and their role in the filming of the ARW performance at Manchester Apollo for DVD release, which according to the article was produced (and will be distributed, one assumes) by Eagle Rock Entertainment.  It also appears to indicate that Illuminate's Jonathan Pask served as the lighting director for both the UK and Japan tours this year which is yet another production change for the show.  The article primarily focuses on the use of Avolites products in the show, for the tech-minded among us who enjoy reading about that sort of thing.

http://www.etnow.com/news/2017/5/avolites-ensures-perfect-film-lighting-for-yes-featuring-anderson-rabin-and-wakeman

Friday, April 28, 2017

spot the Poms

A friend of the blog checked in with me today...
Why wasn't Lee in Japan?  Did they forget to pack him?!

Seeing as Mr. P is quite well-traveled I don't believe he'd allow himself to be left behind. but we do know he is currently supporting UK superstars Take That and here's a sighting from their March 31st appearance on BBC programme The One Show, providing that "elusive fourth harmony" as Lee refers to it (it used to be "fifth" but now there's only three guys).