Welcome to Tree of Knowledge

I've spent many years in and out of the music business (as well as working in the computer biz), having done almost every job there is, from roadie, to sound engineer, lighting director, public relations, promotions, backup singer and percussionist. Nowadays, I mostly just go to enjoy the music, though I starting mixing music again at Kulak's Woodshed from 2001-2005 (see below). But over the years, especially the years I worked for Don Law in Boston, I took a lot of photographs of many bands, some of which I will be profiling here. So stay tuned. More being added all the time. I'll also be listing some of my favorite artists.

Live Performance Photographs
Edgar Winter, at Boston's Orpheum Theater, 1976 (17K)
Hot Tuna - Jorma Kaukonnen, in Washington, D.C., 1975 (30K)
Hot Tuna - Jack Cassidy, in Washington, D.C., 1975 (31K)
The Tubes - Fee Waybill as Quay Lude, doing "White Punks on Dope", in Boston, Orpheum Theater, May 5th, 1979 (39K)
The Tubes - Fee Waybill, doing "TV is King", in Boston, Orpheum Theater, May 5th, 1979 (14K)
The Tubes - Fee Waybill and Re Styles, doing "Don't Touch Me There", in Boston, Orpheum Theater, May 5th, 1979 (27K)
The Tubes - Fee Waybill as Game Show Host in "What Do You Want From Life", in Boston, Orpheum Theater, May 5th, 1979 (29K)

Other Music Links
WBCN, Boston's Original FM Rock 'n Roll Station
Kulak's Woodshed, Kulak's is one of LA's best local clubs serving up live singer-songwriters every night on the Internet
Fais Do Do, One of LA's premier music clubs, presenting everything from rock to blues to spoken word to world music
Vaud and The Villains, More than a cajun/New Orleans boodie band, these folks do a show that'll blow your mind with great standards from rock, blues and jazz
Jimmy Thackery & the Drivers, Original guitar player for the Nighthawks, Jimmy Thackery sets the Blues on fire
The Nighthawks, One of the best blues bands in existence today
Freebo, Bass player for Bonnie Raitt for many years, now out on his own making his own music. Acknowledged by many both inside and outside the msucial community as someone who makes a difference in people's (and especially kid's) lives. Thank you for performing at a Music for Veterans show at the West Los Angeles Veterans Hospital.
Shannon Hurley is an amazingly talented, beautiful woman who (I know it's a cliche) sings like an angel and writes both moving and catchy tunes. Thanks for performing at a Music for Veterans show at the West Los Angeles Veterans Hospital.
Libbie Schrader is another amazingly talented, beautiful woman who writes tunes you instantly identify with. I fell instantly in love with her music.
The Malibooz, my long-time friends and one of the original surf bands from the 60's (and the only east coast surf band) is still riding the waves and waxing poetic
Marina V is my favorite import from Russia. Having come here at age 16, she's made America her new home and rock 'n roll her art form, with a touch of Russian folk for good measure.
Music Heals, a group of talented, beautiful and caring women who perform the most amazing original and inspirational music for many worthy causes. I want to especially acknowledge them for performing at multiple Music for Veterans concerts at the West Los Angeles Veterans Hospital.
Drum Paradise, for all your Drum cartage, rental and repair needs, now including DrumSmith Custom Creations, the best in custom drums

Editorial: Peer-to-Peer Music Sharing (ie. the Napster controversy)

      I would like to weigh in with my own 2 cents regarding Napster and it's siblings and offspring. Now I've heard all of the pro and con arguments from both sides of the aisle. In a nutshell, the RIAA want its clients (musicians and record companies) to get paid for the music it produces. And who would not agree that they do deserve to be paid for their efforts. On the other side are the listeners, who argue that CD's, though cheap to produce, are expensive to buy, and frequently there's only one good song on a CD, plus very little of the money actually gets from the record company to the musicians. Also very legitimate beefs. I believe that some compromises will eventually work their way though the system, and some sorts of subscription services will become a new, additional model for music purchase.

      Statistics have also shown that music sales have gone up since the advent of the Napster revolution, and I would agree with that wholeheartedly. (For example, the Grateful Dead has always had a Share-the-Music attitude, which increased their following and fans and never seemed to hurt their record sales.) Anything that gets music in front of people to buy should be a good thing. Hey, what if there was some way that music could be sent through the air so that anyone could hear it? If they liked it, they might actually even buy some of it, or go to a show and see the artist. But with the demise of almost all of the great LA radio stations, most of the new music I've listened to in the past two years was directly the result of hearing something that came from Napster/Gnutella/Bearshare/Torrents. And in many cases, I did like it so much I went out and bought their CD's. (I now own the complete Enigma collection because of a chance download.) And if I didn't like it, I don't resent having payed for crap. And then there are all the people I've turned on to this new music who have gone out and bought it too.

      But that's not even close to the real reason I like these services. As anyone who knows me knows, I've always loved live music. I mean LOVE. I worked for Don Law, the major promoter in Boston and New England, for almost 8 years, shows of every size from club-size, theaters, music halls, outdoor shows and festivals, including Boston Gardens and Foxboro Stadium. In Washington, DC, I also occasionally worked concerts at Independence Hall. Plus 16 years of working with local Boston, Washington, DC and Los Angeles bands as roadie, sound engineer and promoter. In the 70's, I never, ever bought an album unless I liked the band in concert. In the 38 years since my first concert at age 16 (The Yardbirds with Jeff Beck on guitar), I've probably attended over 5000 live shows.

      In all these years, I've also amassed a large number of concert recordings, from tapes made at the sound board, in the studio, tapes of radio broadcasts, and bootleg sources. I traded a number of tapes with an old friend of mine from Boston in the Grateful Dead circuit, and got some terrific tapes in return. And one of my friends from LA gave me a whole bunch of music from old recordings, including some early Pink Floyd I'd never heard. And many of these are more dear to me than the albums those songs came from. And as I move them from tape and vinyl to MP3, I'm willing to make them available to you, my music aficionado friends, who would otherwise never hear any of this truly amazing music.

      And this is where peer-to-peer has the possibility to shine. There is a lot of really great live recordings available on the net. I'm sure that "someone" owns the rights to most of this music (a lot of it was broadcast over the radio), but 99% of it would never be heard by more than a few people if it wasn't distributed over the net. And this treasure trove can lead people to find out more about the artists and purchase their CD's and attend their shows and BUY THEIR PRODUCTS.

Bob Mutascio                                

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Last updated on February 10, 2009
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