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I'm Dan Baird. If you're here...you know who I am and what I've done. Thanks for giving a damn. So, let's bypass the past and let me tell you a bit about my latest project, The Chefs.
The Making of Heated & Treated
So this record’s life started about a year ago. I really like workin’ in my basement and love writing new songs, so I’m always down there tryin’ shit out. Is it a song or crap? Can I write the lyric or do I need Joe (Blanton) or (David) Newbould to get something going? Well, I wrote what I think is a pretty good melody line that eventually became Hippie Surf Party. I tried to write lyric, Joe tried, David tried. Each time I liked it better with no vocal messin' it up. So, I just left it as a guitar melody. Noticed I had a couple more with nice melodies that were in the same shape and started thinkin'; Dan, you know damn good and well you are as far from Carl Wilson as any singer ever. You just can’t sing a big moving melody worth a crap, but you can manage one on guitar, why not make an instrumental record?
I had a big meeting with myself and told me to go for it. I did. Flashback! Stan and I got to be friends when the Sats opened for TP and the Heartbreakers. Runnin’ buddies. We’d grab our runnin’ shoes, meet up and run 4 or 5 miles. Yack and laugh about any and everything. Great hang and guy. Fast forward to last year. Stan gave me a ring when he heard about my CLL (no Facebook guy, late to the party) and we got 2 hours deep into catching up and I worked up the nerve to ask if I could send him Hippie Surf Party, see if he thought it would be fun to drum to. Now, backing in drums to a track is not for the faint of heart, this I already know. But he said, “send it along”. I sent him a rough with robot drums.“Ok, I’m in, send it on down”. db over the moon happy.
So I sent the files and waited. He emails, I’m gonna put in a section for some whacked out bridge you need to come up with. Ok Mr. Lynch, game on! He sent over his tracks, I cobbled together a fine mess for a bridge, got something close to a mix of it and sent it to him. He thinks doing this is really fun. I asked if he’d like to hear another. “Sure”. Same reaction and program. I go with one more, “Absolutely”. I tell him “Stan, we’re gonna fuck around and make a record, you know that dontcha?” He says “Cool, bring it”. Over the course of the rest of the year I’m writing and sending, getting back insane good performances and sounds from him, as well as advice. We have a wonderful running inside joke about Chefs that wouldn’t stand up in the light of day, but I knew it’d be a good band name and it was about us. He laughs and agrees. We’re off. Takes about a year, but it’s all in place and here for y’all to listen to. Most of the time here I’m just trying to sing the song with my hands. I do a little steppin' out here and there, but I’m never gonna be a make your jaw drop guitarslinger. Not that I would mind if it happened, but it hasn’t. Don’t think it will either. Yeah, there’s a couple of clams in there, but I just couldn’t find a way to lose the offenders and keep it real. The trade was worth it for me. I do love a good melody, hope y’all think they are good too, and I hope I pulled it off. DB
The Birthing of the Chefs
In a long-ago time, Stan Lynch and myself were not Chefs, no, merely Rock and Roll guys, just doing what we did. Through a long shot, happenstance and good fortune, we found ourselves together on tour in 1987 as part of The Rock and Roll Caravan, where he was the drummer in the Heartbreakers and I was singing for the Satellites.
It took us quite a while to really become buds, like maybe 3 seconds. There are folks you meet that you are insta-friends with. This was the case here.
While going through catering and dining at the first night’s show together, I blurted out a reference to an old friend’s mowing service he’d named “the lawn chefs”. I have zero idea what prompted me to blurt it out, but the whole table thought it was funny as hell, except for Stan, who was hysterically crying laughing. I knew I’d found my kindred spirit.
Daily hangs between soundcheck and show, running partners whenever we could work one in. It was on one of those runs that one of us, not sure who, pulled off a pretty good impersonation of Sammy Davis Jr. “Let it cook man, let it cook!”, “Yeah, swing it cat!” “Who can take the sunshine?” “I knew a cat, Bojangles”. All Sammy, all the time. He’d bring up the lawn chefs and crack himself and me up. I’d say it was about the best 2 months of my public life.
So, time passes, and tours end. But on the last night, it used to be customary to have some fun at/with each other, and that fun was best done on stage for whoever and all to see. Unbeknownst to me, Stan had acquired a “Sammy-like” medallion and a proper poofy chef’s hat that I was to wear onstage. Oh hell yes I did. Tucked all my hair up inside the hat, pulled it down low to the eyebrows and donned my medallion then took the stage. Stan wasn’t immediately visible and I knew he wanted to see the fashion ensemble he helped create. I went to my vocal mic, and there, hiding in the photographer's pit, I spied Lynch chortling with an Instamatic, snapping away. I waited for the turn in the song, walked forward towards the pit, did a quick headbang, and for an endless 5 seconds, the chefs hat slowly floated down, landing directly in Stan’s face. He was overjoyed. I mean Christmas morning to a 5 year old happy.
We did a decent job of staying in touch through the years, lo and behold we screwed around and made a record together. Of course, we named ourselves The Chefs. Of course, I had the hat and medallion. It’s there on the backside of the CD. During the prep for the recordings we morphed into The Golden Chef (SL) and The Master Chef (DB). And that’s all the law and GC will let me divulge.
Your obedient Chef, db, MC