New Pete diary from NY...

Kevin O'Neal kevinandt at
Mon May 24 09:47:07 CDT 2004

 23 May 2004

 It is Sunday. Humid, the Israel Parade passes down 5th Avenue as me and and
my partner the singer-songwriter Rachel Fuller try to shop for the last few
things for folks back home. Father's Day is coming up and she still has a
living father.
The trip has been a good one. We played for the CBS presentation of their
forthcoming season and introduced the song they are going to use for their
CSI New York series - 'Baba O Riley'
Coincidentally Hewlett Packard have just started to use an original version
of the backing music for the same song for their great new TV commercial. My
brother Simon produced it from my original home demo recording.
In a very real way the use of Who music in this manner keeps it alive, and
brings it to a new audience in an era when our music would otherwise never
be heard on the radio or TV. Except on Miami Steve's radio shows of course.
Without his show there would be no White Stripes, no Strokes and probably
very little new guitar music.
I am listening to Joni Mitchells' CD called TRAVELOGUE. It is a revisit to
her career with full orchestra. It is, quite simply, a quantum masterpiece.
Joni is at the peak of her powers. Even her paintings seem to me to be
especially revelatory gathered as they are in the sleeve. Someone told me
last night, after The Who's show at Madison Square Garden, that she plans no
more recording. If she never made another record, this one will stand as a
testament not only to her work, but to the greatness of American Orchestral
music. I hear Oliver Nelson, Aaron Copland, Edgar Meyer and even Thomas
Newman in this work. But her arranger, under the guidance of her ex- husband
Larry Klein - who could do nothing more to express his ongoing love and
respect - is Vince Mendoza. This guy knows how to score, and someone
certainly knows how to fix the right musicians.
After our CBS thing at Carnegie Hall we went to Boston to play at the
Tweeter Center at Great Woods. Last time there, I shouted that we would be
back. I am so grateful that circumstances allowed this to be our first
proper show to the public on American soil. It was a little rusty, but what
a welcome we received.
I spent some time in the rest of the week joining Rachel to write some songs
(we wrote three together on my birthday). She had a few meetings with her
record label too. Things are looking clearer now for her with a likely
release date at the end of August.
Then, finally, Madison Square Garden. This was just the best thing that's
happened to me in two years. So many beautiful, friendly faces, and at a
show that sold out in just 20 minutes. Roger connected with the crowd just
as he had on the last dates in 2002. I was just happy to be up there,
grateful to be alive, and lucky to have such a great team around me.
Home now. I'm spending a holiday with my son. I'll get to see the four dogs
at home. And hopefully hook up with old friends who will be anxious to know
how things went on this first Who trip to the USA since 2002.
I can tell them, it was a joy.

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