June 1, 2011
Well finally I was able to sit down and start writing my blog, and on my birthday no less hopefully a weekly affair. I was not sure how to go about it, an online diary? A peek into my creative process? Scoops on projects to launch and tawdry tales of rock stars, or just the ramblings of a middle aged Greek artist who always dreamed of working with his music idols. Then I decided as is my true Gemini nature what the hell why not everything!
This week work wise I finished the URIAH HEEP live CD/DVD LIVE IN ARMENIA Its coming out on Frontiers later this summer as the band heads back to Europe after a US tour. I am coming off totally exhausted from LIVE IN KAWASAKI JAPAN and then the studio album INTO THE WILD where I had to work late into the night for several weekends, and a score of concepts until we settled on the final cover, I was by then mentally and physically exhausted. I had a rough idea of what I wanted to do for the project but could not make it all come together on my digital canvas, I also was instructed that it had to be nothing like INTO THE WILD, and have similarities to CELEBRATION as it was about that tour.
Finally I started to make sense of it all, and am very pleased with the look as it has a strong Byzantine style to it harkening back to the Middle Ages and the rich history of the area, yet with a modern twist. As I write this I got an email about the next in the bootleg series that follows LIVE IN KAWASAKI, I think it may be Australia although I am not sure. I will know soon enough, I also am close to doing a deal with management to produce signed prints for INTO THE WILD for the band to sell on tour.
This week I also started on my illustrations for LED ZEPPELIN it is for the ultimate book and it will be out early next year, I will get more into detail about that in later blogs as the project starts coming together. I am doing the cover, centerfold and around fifteen illustrations. Hopefully it will work out as I anticipated. In the heals of that I was invited to exhibit at what was to be LED ZEP FEST 2011 in Washington DC, Over this Memorial Day weekend (a holiday for you non US fans) and a lovely way to spend my birthday. Well all systems were go, I was to be joined by rock historian and friend Denny Somach and even guests like the YARDBIRDS were going to stop by,14 thousand fans, a dozen bands, a real party! then the word got out last Monday that the whole festival 8 months in the making was cancelled, possible fraud suspected, as no one had gotten their deposits or had been paid, yikes!
Over the weekend as always I get out as long as the weather allows and explore the New England countryside, Saturday I had spent it with my wife and daughter we had a lovely dinner in the town of Milford, so Sunday while they went shopping and such I drove off. Now I am a major foodie and try to find unusual and interesting places to go to and check out. On my CD player I picked the music for the trip, Steve Hackett “Voyage of the Acolyte” Anthony Philips “ The Geese and the Ghost” Genesis “ Wind and Wuthering” and “ Then there were Three” Chris Squire “ Fish out of Water” and finally Vangelis “ Opera Savauge.” I quickly left the coast of where I live, and within twenty minutes I was lost in the green fields and valleys of north west Connecticut, fields of stone fences, sheep, cows, and farms, gorgeous waterfalls, lakes and forests, they don’t call it New England for nothing. Its has a number of small quaint little towns that you breeze through, Cornwall, Sharon, Northfolk, Kent and so on.
I came upon an authentic English pub in Marbledale called the White Horse. Now we have our share of both English and Irish pubs but this place was amazing. The owner is originally from England and has spared no expense to making this as authentic as possible from the décor complete with a signed guitar from the Rolling Stones, to the actual artifacts from the original pub brought over from the homeland. The food was incredible, I had bangers and mash as the main course beef Wellington, and a few pints of course, I sat outside on the patio which is next to a running brook looking like a scene from the Shire in Lord of the Rings, how cool is that? In a small amount a time all my worries seem to have floated away, I took out my dairy (yes I keep one, that is how I stay sane) and wrote down, ideas, plans for future projects, did a quick sketch and the weeks thoughts and introspections. As the sun started to set I started the journey home.
A lot happening this week so I will be checking back soonk with all the latest, until then stay happy. Cheers Ioannis