On my first trip I was introduced to Abby Dees, an LA radio presenter on IMRU KPFK through a mutual friend of ours, Viv Thomas. Viv had thought it'd be a great idea if Abby interviewed me for her radio show when I got to LA. Abby and I started messaging, she offered me her vintage Martin for the session, we bonded over the Beatles, and soon we were like long lost friends. Only we'd never met. When we finally did, outside the Chinese Theatre just before taking me to the Hollywood Bowl as welcome gift, it was like we were family. As I was leaving LA she offered me a place to stay if I ever returned, so when Hutch suggested we should record some of the road songs, it all kind of into place.
I planned it for the week of both Abby and my birthday. We celebrated Abby’s watching Linda Ronstadt's ‘The Sound of My Voice’, then spent the next two days in the studio with Hutch’s musical family: Tony Braunagel, Diego ‘El Twanguero’ Garcia and Johnny Lee Schell. It was possibly the best birthday I could have wished for.
The following day I turned 50. Abby, her wife and I hiked to the Hollywood sign in the morning, watched the sun set at the Griffith Observatory, drank apéritifs at Château Marmont and finished with dinner at Lemmy’s old hangout. It was pretty epic.
The next day I hit the road for a second solo trip, this time driving 1300 miles in Abby’s Audi through deserts and up the scenic 395 to Independence. Driving into Yucca Valley that first day, a song started to brew. By the end of my adventure, I had a completed song cycle – ten glorious road songs.
When I got home, I promised myself I’d pay all the kindness I'd received forward by making it into an album and book about the experience. A kind of ‘How to Fight Loneliness and Get Over a Broken Heart - With a Little Help From My Friends.'