RENE LABRE

Masterpiece Revisited,1966 to 2013

It's the same old song yet sung to a much different world with a much different meaning. The original "Poor Side Of Town" co-written By Johnny Rivers and Lou Alder almost did not see the light of day as the record label,Imperial,did not want to release it.Johnny Rivers success was based on him being a simple straight ahead rocker,this love ballad thing was to big of a change,"they won't buy it Johnny," Yet Mr.Rivers and Alder stuck to their guns and it went to Billboard #1 with a bullet in the midst of "The British Invasion." The production was a huge full monty with a full orchestra,back round chorus and the top LA session men of the day.All designed to fit into the tiny speakers of a transistor radio that blasted the tune on am to the summer beach people.A huge winner straight up from the opening sweet R&B guitar lick. So I am working with one hell of a great tune! Forward to the future-2012,I am sitting at Colorama Studio way out in the woods with a Rickenbacker 330 in my hands and a vocal mic leaning down on me.The engineer Les,says "Play something Frenchy" and I hit that lick.Just that,the same one you hear on the record.I sat there with my phones on waiting for a playback while Les And Kevin Knoll were talking and then in came the playback buzz 'Frenchy do you know that whole tune?Can you play and sing an acoustic track to it?""Yes." "ok lets go man!"Next thing I know I have a Gibson Hummingbird in my hand doing the rest of the tune,based upon that first lick,singing the lead vocal."Cool Frenchy,let's get some bass on that!Two parts went down,an electric five string and an acoustic upright double bass."We are really cooking Frenchy,go back to the Ric and do one more electric guitar."That's all that is happening is two guitar parts.Sometimes on my previous records there are 20 to 30 guitar parts.The bass is just super thick and that is what I brought to my producer Kenny @ progressive music to work with.There I laid the piano track and chorus vocals,Kenny did the Hammond organ and I blew the oboe solo.We had a very hard time with the live drums,the session guys just could not put the right feel on the tune.David Hughes took time out from his grinding schedule an set all straight.What a relief!And then Kenny,very quietly said,"We need to make a film of this, the shit state that the world is in today." So much different than 1966, and the world of security,2013 is a world of uncertainty.The survival of our free system is based upon a strong middle class and a strong labor force doing the work.A strong family structure.Family picnics.Not to just slide by,to enjoy the fruits of your hard work.You can take the handout that ain't going to get you anyplace but perm poor or you can take the step out and do something.I personally feel that it is the artists who have to step up.Maybe for a minute forget about the money.And just do it man!