Archive for June, 2012


It was 1983.  Star Wars peaked and my mind never came back from space travel.  Duran Duran’s “Hungry Like the Wolf” music video changed the chemistry of my brain the instant I watched it.  Michael Jackson was becoming legendary as “Beat It” tore up the charts with a little riff his buddy Eddie Van Halen supplied, making me realize just how cool Michael Jackson really was.  The A-team and G.I. Joe we’re my TV/cartoon heros and recreating those scenes with fake guns in the country was a daily ritual.  This led to my favorite toys of all time…..the 3 3/4″ GI Joe and Star Wars action figures started an obsession that hasn’t stopped after almost 30 years!

Somehow all these youthful and naive memories remind of a good time.  A simple time.  A time never to be had again but to be cherished.  I’m lucky to have these good memories.  Recently I found myself in writing mode,  and decided I wanted to write a new musical piece that had a great energy to it.  I needed a theme, but lacked an idea until it hit me.  Go big.  Go for a great feeling.  What’s a good feeling?  Well think back to a good year, a great year, no the best year.  Where did I land…at 1983.

So here I am, brewing up something really cool when my good friend Jamie Ray Wright gives me a call. Its perfect timing.  Poetic and incredibly fanciful this connection is.   It always seems to be that way with Jamie, and thats truly what working with someone professional is like.  Someone dedicated to their craft and willing to sacrifice almost everything to see it to the end.  Jamie is a choreographer in SF and we’ve worked together on three great projects and this will be our fourth in five years.  As creator and Artistic Director for the Dance Wright Project in San Francisco, Jamie has built up a strong group of dancers that share that same passion for dance that he does.  I started working with Jamie in 2008 for his piece “Sacred Femme” out of chance.  Selected by a company that puts dancers and musicians together, I was to collaborate with other choreographers.  And I did.  And it sucked.  They were horrible communicators, and honestly I believe they didn’t have it together and sure enough, they dropped out of the event.  As fate would have it, Jamie was given a bad connection as well.  As alternates we were connected and it couldn’t have worked out better.  As a musician and fellow rocker, I was able to connect nicely with Jamie and him with me.   When you have an idea where someone is coming from, its much easier to get to the same solution I’ve found.  “Point of Parity” was selected as the music for “Sacred Femme” and my introduction to ballet began.

So what does this mean for the song “1983”?  Well after talking to Jamie, I knew just what type of song I needed to create.  It has to have that great epic feel with a good vibe, AND just be a more dramatic in parts.  I thought what would be a cool song and a cool theme for Jamie and the dance he creates around it?  It was a very easy process.  Before I could even think I spoke “Heavy Metal ballet”!  And the rest came quick.  The “chuck-chunk-chunk-chunk-chunk” parts.  A cool rhythm guitar.  Cool little leads.  A very cool tapped solo.  A nice bass underneath it all with a little synth here and there.  Then I change it totally up and go into something really pretty and beautiful just to mess with you.  Jamie has been very happy with the song and has set the choreography already, and the piece already looks amazing in this early process I must say.  We’re all going big.  And different.  And oh yeah, I’m busting out my new white alpine Flying V on this performance.   My song “1983” is already one of my best songs and I can’t wait to debut it Sept 14th and 15th in SF@Dance Mission Center with the beautiful choreography and story by Jamie Ray Wright performed by the talented DanceWright Project!

“Burning the ground, I break from the crowd , I’m on the hunt I’m after you”

For more information about Jamie and his dancers you can go to his website at:

http://www.dancewright.com/

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Loneliness Creeps…..

Maybe its because it was my first guitar,  but I’ve loved Squier products since day one.  Back in 1994 it was the perfect way to get into guitar playing with a decent instrument that didn’t cost too much.  I was able to play a guitar that looked and sounded like my favorite guitar heros Jimi Hendrix and David Gilmour,  and that was simply good enough for me.  I could even upgrade my pickguard easily and customize the look for just a few bucks.  But after some time, I craved more out of my guitar.  I wanted to be able to use my whammy bar and have the guitar stay in tune.  I wanted a different tone.  I wanted a fat humbucker sound.  The “cheap” Squier had served its purpose and as a guitar player that had put in a few years, I was deserving of a upgrade I told myself.  If your a “real” musician, you play a “real” Fender, or Ibanez, or Gibson, etc..  And so I moved on.  To the other side.  The better side.  At least I told myself that.

After 10+ years of experience in SF band rehearsals at Lennon Studios,  live gigs with numerous different bands around the city and state, scoring /performing/collaborating with other local and foreign artists, scoring PBS documentaries, and even staring in my own PBS documentary I was so lucky to be apart of,  I’ve came to the conclusion there is no other side.  Everyone is just caught up in the label hype.  Being a “I’m a cooler home musician/forum guy then you cause I have the best gear and or I’m a wanna-be rock school student with the coolest model guitar” is a sad but true trend thats actually been around for quite awhile.  Thats partly what inspired this post.  I’m here to dispel those bad rumors and let “new” and “experienced” musicians know they can get everything they want from the new Squire models.  And with a little study, the older Squier models can be easily modified into quality musical instruments as well.

Which leads me to my bass story.  A quality bass has always eluded me.  My first and only bass was a Ibanez SB 305.  At the time I had just started getting into home recording and needed a bass to record with.  I had to trade in a cheaper used Joe Satriani Ibanez model which killed me back then, but I did it and had a bass at least!  At the same time, I was offered a chance to tour with my good friends in Damage the Dream and played bass for them for about a year.  The bass did a good job, but I thought is was always missing something…..I used the bass on a few demo songs,  but knew I needed something better to record with.  Thats where having good friends with good taste comes in handy.

On my debut instrumental album Olympus Rising(coming out this Summer/Fall 2012) I was very fortunate to borrow and record with a 90’s G+L Bass from my friend and fellow musician Mark Savoy.  It sounded truly amazing, and was a terrific bass.  That strong Fender P Bass sound came out of that beast nicely! !  As I recently started working on my new album, I realized I needed that sound again.  WIth little money and short on time, getting something of quality at a good price was a priority.  Being a guitar player, I much rather spend my money on a new guitar anyways!  But then I saw reviews popping up more and more about the new Squier’s and it got me interested.  I thought, lets give it a shot.  I’m so glad I did because I ended up falling back in love with Squier.

Almost 20 years later I just purchased my 2nd Squier and I’m so glad I did, because I ended up falling back in love with Squier.  Its a Vintage Modified Jaguar Bass Special in 3-color sunburst, and as you can see its beautiful.   Made in Indonesia, it has a silky smooth neck which feels terrific in your hands and was set-up well right out of the box.  It has an incredible sound plugged in the stack and honestly, is simply a joy to play acoustically because it has such a cool sound.   WIth both P and J Bass pickups, its got a great variety of tones that sound strong and rumble nicely.  Simply put, this Jag sounds and plays like an American Fender P Bass that’s 5x its price.  Its a incredible value.  And its not just the basses,  as the guitars have come up in quality and selection as well with the Classic Vibe and Vintage Modified Series.  Go play one and knock yourself out in the sound!   I look forward to updating my collection of  new Squiers and actually have a used red Squier 94′ in my “shop” that  I’m working on which I’ll unveil here soon.  Tozzi personally endorses Fender Squire guitars and basses and you should too!  As always, peace & love-CT

“All you touch and all you see, is all your life will ever be”

http://www.fender.com/squier

 

My name is Christopher Tozzi and I’m a musician who absolutely loves music.  I love listening to music.  I love making music.  This is a blog about the music I make,  the gear I use to shape my sound,  my influences and the artists I listen to,  and updates to keep you informed about future performances and collaborations.  Please join me as Olympus Rises…..                                                                                                    “Excuse me, while I kiss the sky”