MP3 Richard Gillis - Blow the Gates to Heaven
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10 MP3 Songs in this album (33:23) !
Related styles: FOLK: Folk-Rock, FOLK: Folk Pop
People who are interested in Bob Dylan Bruce Springsteen Paul Simon should consider this download.
Welcome to RICHARD GILLIS and Blow The Gates To Heaven
Toluca Lake, CA. is a tiny part of the San Fernando Valley, only a few miles from Hollywood Boulevard. It is to Musso & Frank Grill what the Moulin Rouge is to the Champs Elysse. They are almost within sight of each other, barely a quarter of an inch apart on their respective area maps. Most couples donât even dance this close anymore. An elevator ride to the top of the Sears Towers would take longer.
Back in the late Sixties, Toluca Lake innocently welcomed a new restaurant named Jasonâs to its tax roles. The bill of fare was mostly meat, but there was also a nifty salad bar, most likely designed for that element dead set on living forever. The space was adequate enough, with plenty of wood and brass. The idea here being that you were supposed to feel like you were in an Old World ship. Or was it a Swiss chalet? Anyway, what brought the people into Jasonâs was the music. Ah, the music!
Which brings us to a gentleman by the name of Richard Gillis.
To see him now, Richard Gillis still looks like he belongs in the backfield of a Big Ten football team, not in a some roadhouse, picking strings on a Martin guitar, singing original compositions. You wouldnât think heâd have any business near a recording studio, sound stage, or movie location. What next? Carnegie Hall? The London Symphony? A seat in the House of Commons? None of it made any sense. After all, the University of Denver assumed it had graduated a chemist. UCLA actually thought it had hired one. This wasnât in the game plan.
Strangely enough, Gillisâ daring transformation from scholar/athlete to musician/songwriter never really received the attention it deserved. The Japanese failed to name a camera after him, and the Italians passed up a chance to call a national strike in his honor. The heavens were even less complementary to Gillis during this courageous and unexpected metamorphosis. Meteor swarms and UFO sightings were down dramatically. Tornadoes were even sparing trailer parks, for Godâs sake.
It wasnât long before Gillis would hit his stride, the lab coat and football jersey retired smothered in cobwebs somewhere. A guitar had replaced the bunson burner and round bottom beakers. With the aid of a small, worn piano at home, he was cooking up songs now, performing them at various clubs in the greater Los Angeles area. He also worked a few suspicious venues in Baja, but thatâs for another time. Gillis was doing well, and he had established a following. It was inevitable that he and Jasonâs would strike a bargain, albeit a fickle one. Gillis would headline there, off and on, for years.
By this time, Jasonâs was thriving. It had become what seemed like a backdoor to the music business in Los Angeles. Juice Newton, for one, got her start there, and that was before she had a Silver Bullitt Band behind her. There were also those who passed through this turnstile that had already seen the top of the mountain, veterans like Dewey Martin and Bruce Palmer of Buffalo Springfield. On a typical Sunday night at Jasonâs, you might find yourself sitting next to Ricky Nelson, or across from Stephen Bishop, listening to Bonnie Bramlet doing an impromptu number. And then there was the Hollywood coterie. Actors, directors, screenwriters, cinematographers, stuntmen and grips regularly used Jasonâs as their sandbox. Given the right evening, and there were a Panavision camera handy, youâd never have to leave the building to shoot a motion picture.
So it didnât strike anyone as unusual that Richard Gillis and director Sam Peckinpah should cross paths. In fact, after seeing Gillis perform, Peckinpah signed the musician to a contract. The movie maker asked him to provide the music and vocals for an upcoming movie project, The Ballad of Cable Hogue, starring Jason Robards. After the dust had settled, the lionâs share of critics considered Gillisâ contributions the most noteworthy aspect of the film. He would later work for Peckinpah on the movie, Convoy, again in a musical capacity.
Well, the glove certainly must have fit. Over the years, Gillisâ imprint would show up on a number of film vehicles. He provided songs, music, lyrics and vocals for A Boy and His Dog, Never Look Back, and Free As The Wind. He was responsible for the entire scores of Experiment in Love, The Bees and Demonoid. There was also a bit of his thespian ability at work here. Gillis limped his way across screen as the crippled balladeer in âA Boy and His Dogâ, was featured as the drifter in Convoy, and portrayed Officer Clancy in the John Landis production Schlock.
It would be senseless to attach a label to Richard Gillis. The proper sobriquet doesnât exist. Heâs a round peg in a square world. Nouns and adjectives simply donât work here. Shakespeare would have better luck describing the color of wind. For our purposes today, suffice it to say Richard Gillis is an occasional genius, appropriately flawed, who just happens to be the best at what he does. One could argue that half of the cuts on this CD deal with the human spirit, while the remaining five tunes concern themselves with, well, the human spirit. Itâs not that Gillis is in a rut, this is just the stuff of his music. Gandhi had that peace thing going on. And Columbus had a travel bug.
âBlow the Gatesâ sneaks up on you. It pundits a life spent following dreams, in a world without golden rules. Not recommended for prison exercise yards. âThe Touristâ makes for an irresistible song fest. It should be Los Angelesâ answer to âNew York, New Yorkâ. âThe Magicianâ is a wonderful romp. Youâre going to think youâre at a parade. But just who might âThe Magicianâ be? âBorder Townâ is a sensitive ballad with a melodic hook. Be prepared to hum it for the next few years. âOuta Sight, Outa Mindâ is a song with a smile, while âI Might Be The One You Ought To Knowâ is equally as fun, with an interesting take on pick-up lines. âTomorrow Is The Song I Sing,â from âCable Hogue,â is quite simply a beautiful musical experience. âListen To My Morninâ Singâ is a gentile exploration of déjà vu, and âItâs Hereâ says exactly what it means. Whether youâre looking for the right relationship, or the right anything, often we miss whatâs right in front of us.
This CD was produced by the remarkable Steve McCarthy.
Leslie Page was the Executive Producer.
Written By: Richard L. Breen, Jr.
in partnership with CDbaby
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