Original release was 1971. Here is a live cut from 2017 which has Skip Prokop’s son Jamie on the drums.
Skip Prokop spent a lot of time in my Toronto studio. We worked on a couple of projects together for his son Jamie. I had known Skip for many years, way back in the late 70s and early 80s when I was a session player. We lost touch and reconnected after many years and then started working together on Mercy Train.
Skip died yesterday. I loved the man and it really hurts to see him gone. He was strong in his faith and I know that he is home in heaven now. He lived an incredible life.
A few shots to share from the time we had together.
Skip cared deeply for his son Jamie. And Jamie is an exceptional talent. Much like his father.
This was the kit that Skip used most of the time when playing live. Skip also played Monolith drums. For many of the sessions, we used the Monolith kit. Bill Hibbs provided Skip with a lot of support. Monolith drums was co-founded by April Wine drummer Jerry Mercer and Bill Hibbs.
Skip had a rare musical talent as well as terrific production skills. He knew how to draw the very best out of a musician.
I did live sound for one of Mercy Train’s concert events and my wife, Lorraine, caught this shot of Jamie playing on stage with his dad. This was the first public performance for Mercy Train at an outdoor concert in Ontario. They were on the same card as Casting Crowns. The band was outstanding and it was really impressive to see just how amazing Skip and Jamie were as live players. Skip was in his early sixties at the time. He was still very much a monster player.
Very sad to learn of Skip’s passing. I’ll treasure the time we spent together.
Goodbye, old friend.
There are somewhere north of 700 rigs in my Kemper.
So many amp tones. So little time.
I went searching on the web to focus the search for tones down to a more manageable list. Most of the time, I am playing in a church situation which calls for a certain type of sound similar to what you might hear from the Edge (guitarist for U2).
I seem to be settling on a few rigs:
- Matchless SC30 BC6 from Michael Britt’s Profile Pack 1
- Princeton from Michael Britt’s Profile Pack 1
- Morgan CM50 Brt Klon 1 from Michael Britt’s Profile Pack 2
- /13 JRT915 84 (1/2/3) from Michael Britt’s Profile Pack 2
- Vox AC30 B3 Red 2 from Michael Britt’s Profile Pack 2
I have been building up my performances on a song by song basis using the internal effects of the Kemper for things like compression, boost, overdrive, delays, reverbs. I noticed that some players take some different approaches to build their performances.
The Simple Approach
One size fits all. One performance patch only for the Kemper with a set of basic sounds. Could look like this:
- Clean: dotted 8th delay, Tubescreamer, Rotary, compression
- Dirty: dotted 8th delay, boost, tremolo, compression
- Swells: delay, autoswell
- Shimmer: delay
- Solo: boost, distortion
With this approach, the effects are switchable in and out. The Kemper Remote tap tempo with its built-in beat detector is quite impressive so no need to program in tempos for the delays.
Every song gets its own performance. Each performance patch is divided up into as many as five tones, or rigs (intro, verse, chorus, bridge, solo). I have built up about 40 songs so far. I’ll definitely have another 40 or so added to the list of performances by the end of the year. For the upcoming Celebrate Christmas event, I will have about 25 songs.
I like the simple approach. One and done.
I use my approach because I like to craft the tones for each song. Discovering how the amp profiles might work for a song and going through the effects capabilities, particularly the new delay engine, does take time. It also forces me to learn a lot about the Kemper unit which is a surprisingly deep system.
And a surprisingly good sounding system.
The I Can’t Get Over Analog Approach
Pick one amp tone for the Kemper and only one. After all, you can only play one amp in the real world. And drag that big pedalboard along because everyone will hear how much better the digital profile will sound with all of that analog goodness coming from the pedals.
In a way, I do like this approach because it is much easier to stomp on pedals than to program the effects in the Kemper. I find that I have to scroll through dozens and dozens of effects to get to certain sounds, like the delay sounds, and then audition each one until I find one that works. Counterintuitive to just reaching out to a pedal, turning it on and rotating a few knobs.
I’m also working with Kemper’s Rig Manager on a computer and although it might be fine for setting up rigs, it lacks functionality big time to assign effects for a performance. Right now I am spending a lot of time setting up the effects chain through the Kemper whereas a pedalboard would be all set and ready to go.
With time, I should get faster with the effects chain.
I worked for this company for about 10 years. The company had achieved a remarkable marketing objective: they branded financial freedom. Known as Freedom 55, London Life successfully brought to market a new way of thinking about financial security planning. Although James MacKinnon, Professor of Econometrics at Queen’s University here in Kingston, had this blunt assessment of Freedom 55:
Freedom 55 is just not going to be feasible, and I’m not convinced it ever was.
Well, some people do get there.
I follow Financial Freedom is a Journey, a blog that highlights the approach that the author had taken to become financially free.
I retired in May 2016 at the age of 56 after a 34 year career in banking. My wife beat me. She retired in 2015 at the age of 52. Who said life is fair?
I have been a relatively conservative investor for over 30 years. While our passive income pales in comparison to that of Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger at Berkshire Hathaway, our annual dividend income and rental income far exceeds that reported in any other “investing” blog I have read to date; as at February 2017 we generate six figures in passive income.
My observations lead me to believe the lack of money creates unnecessary problems. I have, therefore, created this blog in the hopes of being able to impart some of my experiences over the course of my investment career.
What I love about his blog is that he posts his portfolio and provides a summary of his dividend income as well as his overall portfolio. You can find his current portfolio here.
His reported holdings total about 1 million which is a great outcome for someone who retired at 56. Although he claims to generate six figures in passive income, I only get to about $30k or so from his reported portfolio so he must have other holdings contributing the balance. Producing six figures in passive income requires a portfolio in the 2-3 million dollar range.
He shares some great investing ideas and really does some post some helpful research. His post on Enbridge is an example.
As always, I read these types of blogs to gain perspective. I do not use them to make my own investment decisions for me. That said, there is a lot of really good insight on this particular blog. I hope he continues to post!
We had a wonderful day yesterday doing something we had never done before despite living in the area for almost ten years. We took a boat over to tour Boldt Castle.
Here are a few pictures from our day.
First up is a shot of the Power House. Quite the structure for a power generator.
The grounds surrounding the castle are wonderfully maintained.
Here is a shot of Lorraine in front of Alster Tower.
One of many restored rooms in the castle.
And so many boats. Packed with tourists. We got lucky and managed to enter the island during a bit of a lull. I was surprised by the volume of people that came out to visit the castle that day.
Lovely views of the St. Lawrence River from our coach. We are here for the week.
What’s this? A new custom shop guitar from Fender?
From its humble beginnings as a makeshift stage to its now-legendary status as one of the best concert venues in Southern California, the Hollywood Bowl is part of the rich tapestry of Hollywood history. This natural outdoor amphitheater has hosted performances by some of the most well-known and respected artists of every musical genre; from Frank Sinatra to Jimi Hendrix and everyone in-between, the Hollywood Bowl has been bathed in pure musical magic for decades. Fender Custom Shop Master Builder Yuriy Shishkov captured and distilled that mojo, adding a healthy infusion of Fender’s timeless style and history with the incredible Front Row Legend Esquire. This guitar is crafted from 100-year-old Alaskan yellow cedar reclaimed from the original bench boards that have been resonating with the sounds emanating from “The Bowl” since 1919.
Launched last month, only two have been built so far. Available for a mere $12,000 USD.
Gator has added something useful to their guitar cases.
It turns on when the case is opened. It turns off when the case is closed.
Funny how something like this seems so obvious in a certain context, like opening a car door, and seems so utterly out of context for a guitar case. And yet, it makes perfect sense. There are many times I have opened a guitar case in a dark room wishing I had a light source to find an accessory. In my case, if you can pardon the pun, I have Strats where the tremolo bar is tucked away each time the guitar is returned to its case. Finding them can be a bit of a nuisance in a dark room.
Having a light source is a useful improvement. I like that. Particularly in my old age.