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Fellow Gentle Giants,
I'm Arlo West, a 38 year old guitarist hailing from the state of Maine and father of two sons, both of whom are devoted Gentle Giant fans. My two-year-old's favorite CD is Three Friends.
I remember my first GG experience being the Octopus album. In particular, it was The Boys In The Band that I played over and over again and again. This gentle brainwashing was so blissful an experience that the practice has stuck with me throughout the years. Although now I do let the entire album play.
For many, many years I lived in a desolate, cold, abysmal world, where only a few survivors had managed to hang on to their 70's vinyl and were still playing decaying, scratchy... well you get the picture. ALONE,in my musical hovel with no one to share my Gentle-Giant world... not even my loving and understanding woman. In fact, this was a secret way for me to piss off my first wife by playing In A Glass House very loudly on the stereo. Needless to say we were divorced 10 years later; she got the Queen and Ted Nugent records, and I got the GG!
So that brings me to the discovery of my computer pen pals on On-Reflection, the Gentle Giant Internet mailing list. You can imagine my utter exuberance at finding not 10 GG fans on the Net but 400!! (I think the list is about 700 now) Be they a million miles away, they were real GG fans, and it was exciting, like surviving a nuclear holocaust and finding other human life after 14 years ALONE.
Then there was this idea of making a tribute CD. It was a brilliant concept from the start, so how could I possibly pass a chance to play Gentle Giant music?
I'm Turning Around was recorded on my Tascam 488 8-track at home. I used a minimal amount of equipment and made it as simple as I could. I wanted to incorporate my Swedish-bought, Russian-made Balalaiaka and used a Godin acoustic/electric guitar.
If you are interested in checking out my homepage for further info about my music and me, you can do so at this URL:
Guitar: Godin, semi acoustic/electric, L. R. Baggs (pick-up sys) model. It has a black Telecaster shaped, thin body; bolt-on Strat-style neck; 3 band EQ; with a set of GHS boomers size 11 guitar strings.
Balalaika: Mandolin sized, Russian made, "Green" triangular shaped, 3 stringed instrument. It uses 2 nylon (drone) strings and a steel lead string. Very Gypsy-ish sounding. I bought this little gem in a music shop in "Gamla Stan" (Old Town), Stockholm, Sweden, 1989. The owner of the store was eager to get rid of it because of the color. It seems no one wants to own a "Green Balalaiaka" except a crazy American. He gave me a hell of a deal though, under 100 dollars. I drove the band crazy learning to play it on the tour. My first song was "Fat Man" by TULL! I have written many songs using this instrument and am planning on releasing a "Celtic Style" CD this year featuring this and other similar instruments.
Vocals: Electro Voice PL20, a pleasant, warm, FM DJ's favorite. (Only wish I had a compressor.)
Effects: Alesis Microverb.
Recording Equipment: Tascam Portastudio 488, DBX nr, Maxell tape. Sony 670 DAT, DIC DAT tape, Optimus DCC (digital compact cassette) for mastering at 44.1K, Alesis SR16, clock.