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Wednesday, January 29, 2003

HAPPY BIRTHDAY FRED DRAKE SUPERSTAR! kashmir and several other of fred drake's closest friends, including the rancho dogs, duke, gary, negra, pancho, zappa, and lucky dog, marked the occasion of what would have been fred's 45th birthday at sunset on january 28th with roses, pillar candles and fred's music, around his cottonwood tree at the rancho de la luna. friends and family in houston, los angeles, new york, san francisco, and lakeland florida held their own remembrances in celebration of their beloved son, brother, friend and uncle. one friend remarked that fred was celebrating, playing drums with gregg arreguin, george harrison, jimi hendrix and john lennon, somewhere in heaven. ('playing drums because he would be far too humble to presume to play guitar with those guys.') we love you, fred.

Sunday, January 26, 2003
2003 is off to a great start in the family of human beings, if you forget about the State of the Union, as there is yet another love-child on the planet (here in the Morongo Basin). A few days prior to the arrival of Elias Knight Mueller (January 20), Madisyn Cecilia Garcia was born Jan. 16th 2003 @ 3:05 pm. She's a lovely 8lb 10z 19.5 inches long. Her proud parents are Johnny and Rachel Garcia. Johnny (Uneeda, Hermanos, Kyuss) was the first person to book time at the re-opened Rancho, where he recorded vocals for a song he called '100 days' in honor of that period of mourning after Fred Drake's departure. Mourning has broken. We will celebrate what would be Fred's 45th birthday this week (January 28) by acknowledging two new beautiful January desert babies. Fred is no doubt shining his love upon both Madisyn and Elias from his star in the big sky over the Rancho. All of us at the Rancho send a big welcome to Madisyn and Elias, as well. May you both have long, healthy, happy, peaceful, musical lives!!!

Friday, January 24, 2003
A BIRTH IN THE FAMILY Ronda and Aaron Mueller, founders of the High Desert Living Arts Center and Gallery in Yucca Valley, Family Drum and Glass makers, longtime friends of the Rancho, supporters of Dig Your Own Cactus and all around sweethearts of the desert, are the enlightened and beautiful parents of Elias Knight Mueller, born at 10:29am on January 20, 2002 (Martin Luther King Day). Elias is a healthy boy, weighing in at 7 lb 5 oz and 19 1/2 inches long. We know that his life will be filled with love, art and music. Congratulations to Ronda and Aaron, as well as to Elias for his excellent choice in parents.

Sunday, January 19, 2003
ON A FAR HAPPIER MUSICAL NOTE : THE MILLIONHEIRS are wrapping up a record-setting 8 songs in two days here at the Rancho, with Tony's 'magic fingers' on the board. This trio (James, Rebecca and Kevin) plays hard-hitting, melodic rock, with shared vocals by guitarist James and bassist Rebecca (which remind me of an updated version of vintage '67 Jefferson Airplane) and great titles like "Yes, There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom." You can catch them on February 11th at the Derby in Hollywood. Rebecca is a card-carrying member of a women-in-rock organization called Go Girls (GoGirls.com) - which, as James says, "allows the boys to ride the girls' coat-tails." We've come a long way since the days when the Go-Go's rehearsed their own songs, playing their own songs at the Masque, shattering forever the glass ceiling... (for more about the band, visit TheMillionheirs.com)

Wednesday, January 15, 2003
another great musician and friend has left this earth to join the celestial choir. dear, sweet gregg arreguin. we had no idea when greg and his family were here for fred's memorial that greg would have only seven months left in his life. he was diagnosed with liver cancer just a month or so after fred passed away. fred loved greg, jill and sophia dearly. he was an amazing guitar player who worked with fred and dean chamberlain in hollywood back in the 1980's. at the end of that decade, i had the honor of hearing him play at the world financial center arboretum in lower manhattan as part of the jon hassell group, with brian eno mixing the live sound. i remember sitting in the giant lobby three nights in a row, listening to the dreamy sound filling the room, with eno's one hundred hidden speakers, mixing the live music with sounds of the amazon, plus some of the eno/lanois ambient music. one couldn't tell where the music was coming from, what was being played live and what was brian eno's manipulation. guitars and trumpets sounded like alien animals and jungle atmospherics. in recent years, greg toured with kd lang. he and his wife, jill, were married in a location in the joshua tree monument selected by fred. anyone who met greg knew him as a warm man with a giant heart and a great sense of humor. he was devoted to his wife and daughter. in his last months, fred created an instrumental piece around a guitar part greg recorded in the living room of the rancho. as i sat with fred in his last days, he named that piece, 'arreguin'. we will miss greg terribly. all of our love and sympathy goes out to jill and sophia.

In Memory of a Grievous Angel
Brenda McClintock
6/7/59 -1/10/03

The high desert musical community lost one of its'
most precious, unpredictable, generous and loving
spirits this past week. Brenda McClintock was a true
believer. As her friend Randy Stone said, "Brenda's
whole life was about music, art and Native American
As founder of the Gram Parsons Federation, Brenda
brought countless musicians and fans to Joshua Tree to
pay honor to one of her musical heroes, long before
the ascension of an entire counter culture known as
'alt.country.' As the designer of authentic Native
American clothing, she founded Pocahontas Leather as a
teenager in 1977. She continued making her beautifully
detailed leather and beadwork pieces until her last
days. Meanwhile, she turned down many invitations to
go out on the town, saying she didn't have anyone to
watch her ailing mother.
Born June 7, 1959, she was endlessly proud of the
Rolling Stones' song, "Tumbling Dice," where Mick
sings about rolling "Sixes and Sevens and Nines..." -
like it was her own little wink from the Glimmering
Brenda will be missed for her laugh, her love of music
and musicians and for the wild sparkle in her eyes.
Brenda was one of that rare breed of rock and roll
women who lived on the edge of ragged glory, always
with feisty charm, self-effacing humor, raw power and
a heart full of soul. I will remember her as a
supporter and friend who always wanted to give a nice,
long hug and who always made me smile.
My mates from Dig Your Own Cactus, Tony Mason and John
Schreiver, will join with me and others of her friends
in a musical tribute to this beloved flower child and
warrior. The musicians and friends she knew and loved
are welcome to participate. As a believer in Native
American spirituality and the spirit of rock and roll,
she would want her friends to celebrate her life the
way she lived - with music.
Friday, January 17th, 8pm at the Beatnik Cafe in
Joshua Tree (760) 366-2090.

Ted Quinn

P.S. Please forward this information to anyone who
knew Brenda.

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