PERFORMER / TEACHER / PRODUCEREven at his young age Bobby has years of experience professionally performing and producing at the highest levels in multiple styles of music. For years he played with the world famous DJ Skee’s Skeetox band, currently plays organ for the San Diego Padres, and has performed with Ice Cube, Jesse McCartney, Xzibit, Lil’ John, Snoop Dogg, Warren G, Bobby Brown, The Glenn Miller big band and the Tom Kubis Big Band at Goldenwest. Bobby plays in San Diego's premier corporate top 40 band, The Mighty Untouchables, in addition to several original projects including Tiffy Jane and the Kicks as well as his own jazz piano and organ combos. He's also a founding member of 'Western Standard Time', an 18 piece ensemble that plays the traditional ska of the Skatalites with big band arrangements.
Bobby is also an accomplished composer and producer. His music can be heard through multiple outlets including television, movies, terrestrial, streaming and satellite radio, and video games. He also maintains an active roster of students, teaching a wide range of styles to students of all ages and walks of life.
Since 2010 he has lived in the University Heights area of San Diego, although he continues to work extensively in Hollywood and all of Southern California. He has a passion for moving others through his music, whether it be through performing, teaching or composing.
Earlier today I was sitting with Debbie at her house in San Diego watching ‘Gran Torino’ when I got a missed call from Dru Decaro. Dru is someone I know from L.A. originally from playing in Ladyfox together. Not only is he a great guitar player, performer and front man, he’s a street smart yet ethical cat who can socialize with the best of them and hustle all day. He’s also in a band called DNA that’s worth checking out.
So he’s been doing some work at the studio of a heavy hitting young DJ named DJ Skee who apparently has big ties to KIIS FM. KIIS FM is a huge local radio station that plays pop, RnB and hip hop in a teeny bopping mix. It’s the home of Ryan Seacrist and Rick Dees. (or at least it USED to be Rick Dees home. Don’t know if he’s still doing his thing). KIIS has a huge holiday concert every year called the Jingle Ball. This year it’s at the Nokia Theater downtown and DJ Skee will be playing the afterparty.
So after seeing Dru’s missed call, but before calling him back, I get an E-mail on my Blackberry subject line: ‘SKTX Live’. I open it and it’s a 52 minute setlist of 36 or so songs ranging from Lady Gaga, to Michael Jackson to Jay-Z to Bon Jovi to Daft Punk to Pitbull back to Daft Punk back to Lady Gaga with many other stops in between. With only this crazy set list to go on, I call Dru back and get filled in: He tells me that DJ Skee needs a live band to play with him as he merges live performers with a DJ in this fresh live concept he has, which will be debuting at the KIIS FM Jingle Ball at Club Nokia next Saturday. It would be Dru, our friend Carter Wallace on bass, an unknown drummer and me on keys. We’d have to learn this entire crazy set list for a Tuesday rehearsal (ie in 3 days) at some amazing studio on the Miracle Mile. We’ll probably have to have about 3 rehearsals if not more.
But….it pays absolutely nothing. What the heck? KIIS FM is making money OBVIOUSLY. This is KIIS FM we’re talking about. Is all that $ going to Taylor Swift (who’s headlining)? Can’t somebody chip us off at least a bill or two?
It’s a super valid question, but I’m not going to let that be a real point of contention. I am not in a position to negotiate here, and if I wanted I could just turn it down. The gig should be so frikin cool that it won’t matter. But it’s a drag to burn a week of evenings and MANY hours programming and practicing for zero $. We shall see how this turns out, but in my opinion this time the coolness outweighs the monetary burden. Sometimes as a musician if you really love your craft and performing and cool opportunities, you have to take it in the wallet. Great connections could be formed; future gigs could have the groundwork laid, and great music will be made.
I’ll post more about rehearsals and developments as they happen, but suffice to say, for now, I have my work cut out for me!
And I’m not really feeling it. I’d rather stay home after a long day of work or drive down to SD and be with my girlfriend. Having to lug all my stuff into a club, sit around and do nothing for an hour or so, hustle up, get on, play, get off, load back into the car, and drive back across that bridge isn’t sounding very appealing right now.
The band is good and it has little to do with them. It’s just the hassle of a late night all by myself the night before a holiday that has me scowling.
But you know what’s going to happen? Once I take a shower, get dressed for the gig and get loaded in, I’ll be pretty psyched. So often the key to having a good time on these things is staying positive, and even though it sounds like I’m anything but that right now, it’s not hard to do, at least with my homies Glen and Sean in the band. Glen is a creative and solid drummer with an urban sensibility informed by reggae and tempered with L.A. studio restraint. That sounds like a mouthful, but it’s an accurate description. It’s also a great combo. Seriously, it’s Jeff Porcaro meets Sublime, Marley and hip hop. So tonight will actually be fun, and that crew knows how to kind of explore a little bit and switch things up. With them you know that even if the main artist messes up or isn’t happening, there is 0 chance of a train wreck because it’s not in this crew’s DNA to make that happen.
You know what? I’m already feeling better about it!
And it didn’t post, and there is no sign of it anywhere. Dang. It’s too late to rewrite it. Maybe I’ll rewrite it in the morning but I’m tired and I can barely keep my eyes open right now, so I’m headed to bed.
I wrote this cue this afternoon. It’s in a style called ‘Dramedy’, and this isn’t the final mix. With a good amount of luck, I might be able to get some of this in a big show. Can’t say more at the moment. Anyway this cue is probably 80% finished. The percussion needs groovifying, some stuff needs gentle quantization, and there’s just more work to be done. But you get the idea.
For this song I had to launch a couple instances of Kontakt for the violins and cellos, and as the project stands, it’s pretty much maxing out my processing power.
If I wanted to and anything else to this project, I really wouldn’t be able to without freezing some tracks or bouncing some down, which is possible but then makes editing the frozen tracks a big pain.
Captain, we need more power!