Showing posts with label Bruce Nazarian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bruce Nazarian. Show all posts



 Brownsville Station

The world lost one of the sweetest men I have had the pleasure to meet....I just met Bruce recently via the phone...he graciously wrote 2 Brownsville Station stories for  Detroit Rock n Roll Magazine. I am just shocked...What a charming and wonderful man...My love and prayers to his family and many my friend.....xoxoK


I had been a session musician in Detroit for years, but also had a thing for rock and rolL.somewhere along the way I met Al Nalli, the band's manager, and the rest was history... 

I joined the band in 1975 - just as they were finishing the Motor City Connection album - that was the first one I played on...

After the band split-up in 1979 I went back to playing sessions for a while, and started a new band call The Automatix, with some session buddies of mine, and Shaun Murphy, a killer singer from Detroit who was our secret weapon. Shaun left just before the band got signed to MCA. in 1980-ish. "Bruce Nazarian"

Bruce was a musician, author, Apple certified computer engineer "digital guy", audio/sound expert, book author and a list of other accomplishment that you can read on his huge WIKI page

Bruce Nazarian (born in Detroit, MI)

In 1975, a chance meeting with band manager Al Nalli would lead to his joining Brownsville Station (of "Smokin' in the Boys' Room" fame).[4] During the next few years, he participated in countless live shows and recorded several albums with Brownsville, including "Brownsville Station" aka 'The Red Album'  which included "Martian Boogie"  and "Air Special" for Epic.  This  was to be Brownsville's last recorded work. He remained a member of Brownsville Station until May, 1979.

In 1988, he recorded vocals and produced some demos for Anita Baker's "Giving You The Best That I've Got" album, and provided Anita with her first experience with recording on a Direct-to-Disc digital recording system.

Anita would later call again on Bruce to record her vocals digitally. This would be one of the last projects recorded at the W. 30th Street NYC studio location.

Bruce also had a long involvement with the written word. From 1985 to 1986, he was a contributing editor to MIX magazine, where he created "In Sync", a monthly column devoted to computerized music production, sequencing and MIDI.

In 1988, the textbook he had written for his university class "Recording and Electronic Techniques for Musicians" was published as "Recording Production Techniques for Musicians" by AMSCO Press. The book and all artwork were created on an early Macintosh 128K using MacWrite and MacPaint, making it one of the first books printed from an electronic manuscript. Many of the topics in the book are still relevant to today's digital recording process.

In 2004, he wrote "DVD Studio Pro 2 - The Complete Guide to Authoring with Macintosh", published by McGraw-Hill. In 2006, he wrote "DVD Studio Pro 4 - The Complete Guide to Authoring with Macintosh", published by McGraw-Hill. Both books covered DVD authoring with Apple DVD Studio Pro in great depth.

In 2009, he wrote "Fast Path to Blu-ray for Mac", published by The Digital Guy Press.

The industry truly lost one of it's brightest stars....



 Eddie Kramer (R) and myself in Los Angeles, July 2015 

By Bruce Nazarian

It seems funny how certain people in your life pop up every now and again...

It’s been that way with me and Eddie Kramer ever since we first met while I was part of Brownsville station recording the “Red Album” in Mount Kisco New York

Eddie and I forged a fast friendship during the weeks we spent recording. There's something about that Producer/Artist relationship that is magical (IF you don't wind up hating each other).

I developed a tremendous amount of respect for his abilities as a music producer and recording engineer, and learned many lessons from him during that time that I have used to this very day!

But after we packed up our guitars and the Record Plant mobile truck drove away, and we all went our separate ways after those sessions, it seemed like every now and again Eddie and I were destined to run across each other!

The first time was on a transcontinental American Airlines flight from New York to LA a number of years back

Years later I ran across him at the 2011 Winter NAMM show in Anaheim, CA – Eddie was at the Waves booth, talking about his signature signal processing plug-ins

And last night it happened again!

One of the things I love about living in Los Angeles is that it is still arguably one of the main hubs of the music industry on the face of the planet; and because of that, you never know who’s going to be in town when and where you’re likely to cross their path - and that was the case last night – at a local pro audio watering hole that I like to frequent (RSPE), Eddie Kramer was the featured speaker in a seminar regarding some new digital audio technology from Waves.

Imagine my surprise as I get off the elevator to sign in and look to my left and there in all of his glory, and I do mean glory, was none other than my dear friend and former producer…

I looked at Eddie, Eddie looked at me and we both had a huge embrace as befits the fact that we hadn’t seen each other for probably about four years now and were genuinely enthusiastic to see each other again

But the best part about this particular encounter was that we had an opportunity to chat for a while before Eddie did his presentation, and during that chat we had the chance to revisit many of the wonderful things about the crazy wild days when Brownsville Station invaded Mount Kisco New York to record The Red Album at The Cenacle.

 The Legendary "Red Album" from Brownsville Station

Eddie introduced me to his assistant engineer Scott, and to his “F-Pedals” business partner Francesco and asked that I regale them with stories about the Cenacle sessions – apparently because no one can believe this place exists unless you’ve actually been there!

Well we chatted for a while about this and that and I did my very best to explain the inexplicable to Eddie's friends – namely, that the Cenacle was this amazing countryside mansion surrounded by wonderfully lush green acres and situated in an idyllic little piece of paradise just north of Manhattan.

And then we got to telling stories about the recording sessions for Brownsville!

Eddie was kind enough to offer, completely unsolicited, that he thought the guitar playing on that album was sensational. And I kind of blush I guess cause that's pretty high praise coming from someone who has worked with many of the greatest rock 'n' roll guitar gods in the pantheon (Hendrix, Page, you name it) .

I returned the favor and told him that (Lady) Put the Light On was probably one of the finest vocal performances I had ever recorded, and it was entirely his producing chops that coaxed it out of me…

And then we got to talking about The Martian Boogie…

I could tell by the smile on his face that he had exactly the same wonderful recollection of those recording sessions that we in the band had from back in the day!

Martian Boogie was an inspired piece of musical lunacy (I wrote about this in an earlier post here), but apparently that musical lunacy had not only infected the band,  but I guess the extraterrestrial nature of it all also seeped through the microphone cables and up into the control room of the Record Plant remote truck parked outside, and into the ears of Eddie Kramer

Like I said, I could tell from the smile on his face and he had the same fond recollection that I did.  I think we both have realized that all those years ago, we were part of the creation of a little pice of rock history! When I told him that the 1977 Brownsville Station album on Private Stock Records had unfortunately been lost to time and the Masters could not be found or properly licensed for reissue on CD, he was crestfallen (so was I, BTW).

I suspect that in the midst of all of the top shelf projects that Eddie’s done (Zeppelin Hendrix, Kiss, Beatles, you name it) he may be harboring one small little hidden spot of laughter and satisfaction that somewhere along the line in 1977 Eddie Kramer and the boys from Ann Arbor (Brownsville Station) crossed paths in Mount Kisco, New York and helped the Martians invade America!

Hope you enjoy reading this reminiscence much as I did writing it – it was really great seeing Eddie after all these years!  I wonder when the next time will be that our paths will cross?

I’ll bet it will be next year at the NAMM show in Anaheim, CA - perhaps I’ll see some of you there!




So, there was this band from Ann Arbor - you know where that is, right? 
Just head west out of the D, on either I-94 or US23 about half an hour, you'll be there.

by Bruce "Beezer" Nazarian - former member of Brownsville Station

From May 1975 to May 1979 I was proud to be a part of this group of musical asylum escapees, called Brownsville Station, and especially proud and honored to have known and been befriended by one Michael "Cub" Koda, the talented lead singer guitarist with the wacky glasses and referee shirts.

Brownsville Station - on Private Stock records - audio masters lost for all time ;-( 
Along the way, we hit some extraordinary highs and lows, and ONE of those high points was the recording of the legendary "Red Album" (in official album review speak, the "eponymous" LP called Brownsville Station).

You can look this up on and it will say:    
"Recorded at the Cenacle-Mt. Kisco, NY by Record Plant Mobile Studio..."
What is DOESN'T say is how we TOOK OVER the Cenacle during our time there, and how this was nirvana for a bunch of delinquents from A-square - just give 'em a big mansion in New Yawk, the Record Plant Mobile recording truck parked outside in the driveway, and wires and snakes going into literally EVERY room within 200 feet of the truck - this was Recording Paradise!

Anyway, back to "The Martian Boogie" - the subject of our little story herein; this was actually a jam tune and sometime set-closer, the culmination of way too many road shows where we would artfully mix the entire history of American blues into a sexy cocktail of a strong 4/4 backbeat (thanks to H-Bomb). screamin' guitars, and whatever song we did for an encore that night!

Yours truly in the studio at Cenacle, 1977
As Cub said on 
"The Martian Boogie" was a seven-minutes-barn-burning set-closer recorded live in one take, spaceship noises and all. The tune started out as a pastiche of various John Lee Hooker-Junior Parker boogie riffs, then was promptly corrupted into a whole different ball of wax when the band was stuck in a hotel room in Canada watching a lousy sci-fi movie called Not Of This Earth. By the time we recorded the version, It was  road-tested classic that we were sure was going to be our next hit, even bigger than “Smokin”
Well, Cubmaster, that might have been JUST a little bit of an exaggeration, but all is forgiven. As I recall today, "Martian" was recorded with the entire band tracking - Michael on Bass, Cub & I on guitars, H-Bomb on Drums. I forget now what exact notion got into our heads about WHY we though this would be a perfectly amazing addition to an otherwise rockin set of originals and loving remakes -  oh yeah - I remember now - it was a SMASH live tune - and we wanted to record it for posterity. So we decided to do it, and the rest, as they say, is history. 

The Brownsville boys doing their famous line dance during "Martian"

A little inside info - the actual track we recorded (all in one live take, as I recall) starts when Henry hits the intro drum fill on the record (this is actually about 54 seconds into the full 7 minute track). The entire 54 seconds leading up to the explosion and drum fill was carefully crafted by little ole me, on my trusty ARP 2600 synthesizer... and, boy howdy - THAT took a lot of time! 

When you listen to the track,  the LEFT rhythm guitar is me, the RIGHT rhythm guitar is Cub. First solo is me on slide - LIVE, second solo is Cub - LIVE. 

After the solos, we did the track just like we would do it live - Cub was doing the spoken bit while I kept the guitar rhythm comp going.   Cub did the guitar solo after "Boogiein' Capital of the USA", Michael and I joined on vocals when we hit the harmony parts, and from 6:20 on the track becomes pure SONIC MAYHEM. 

One thing about this tune - it NEVER failed to kick ass live - just like it was supposed to ;-) 

I have many wonderful recollections from the years spent with BrownSta - but perhaps none is better than the time the Martians landed in Mt. Kisco, New York - at Cenacle - with Martian cigarettes - and we captured it LIVE (pretty much) in the studio - in all of its kickass glory ;-) 

By the way - big credit to our crew - Lurch, Philly Joe Lower, and Donn Nelson, for keeping us all out of jail, and special thanks to the "unexpected assistant engineer" Rod O'Brien, who I met again ten years later, and continues as a close friend to this day. Rod knows the story about Eddie Kramer and my switchblade, but we're not tellin' ;-)  Hats off to Eddie Kramer, who managed to get one of my best vocal performances EVER, when he recorded "Lady Put The Light On". You rock, KranMar.

and finally - here's to you Cub - 
a great musician, a great musicologist, and a great friend until his dying day. 
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