Showing posts with label #Jon Anderson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #Jon Anderson. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 20, 2021



Legendary Producer

M I C H A E L   F R A N K L I N

Shares New Tribute To John Lennon

A Few Words About “John Lennon:

 A Day In His Life”

by Gregory Paul Martin

- Son of The Beatles Producer 

Sir George Martin





People from all walks of life have been affected by the music of The Beatles. They gave the world inspiration and happiness in almost everything they did. On October 9, the 80th anniversary of his birth, a new music video will be released honoring John Lennon – “John Lennon: A Day In His Life”, Grammy- nominated American producer, Michael Franklin, and Beatles animator, Alvaro Ortega teaming up to create it.

The spark of Lennon’s tribute began when Franklin awoke from a dream in which he dreamt of the Lennon song, “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” while hearing John’s voice singing “A Day In The Life”. Amazed by the similarity between the two songs’ chord sequences and lyrics, Franklin hurriedly put this combination to the piano, the next night, another similar dream awakening him again – this time the baroque piano solo bridge sped up to sound like a harpsichord dashed off by my father, Sir George Martin, for John’s song, “In My Life” from Rubber Soul while The Beatles were on a lunch break. 

“John Lennon: A Day In His Life” is Franklin’s montage of some of the most memorable moments we love from The Beatles songs, John’s vocals superimposed over a cleverly stitched together visual collage, the tribute based on an original score from the “Sergeant Pepper” album.

Franklin said, “I realized the same chord progressions are in ‘Eleanor Rigby’, as well as other Beatles songs. It was quite a surprise, and I couldn’t stop thinking about what The Beatles did. I dove right in, exploring other Beatles song bites. The music production took about three weeks to research, edit, and arrange.”

After completion of the tribute track, it was time to synchronize the video. Franklin had been aware of Ortega’s unique animations of The Beatles for several years, skillfully editing on his laptop previous bit and pieces of Ortega’s work, demonstrating to him what could be done, reaching out to Ortega in Spain, Ortega happily agreeing, the rest now history.

A tribute to John Lennon. A new music video. “A Day In His Life”. This unique musical and visual tribute has been created with deep, heartfelt loving care for one of the greatest musicians of all time.
Gregory Paul Martin - 10/06/2020

Michael Franklin, a Grammy Nominated musician and producer has worked performing producing for myriad of legendary musicians. As a musician with Brian Wilson, Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh, Bruce Hornsby, Members of The Rolling Stones, Yes, Toto, The Moody Blues and many others. As a music director for television, Hard Rock Live, Wolfman Jack TV Show, NBC, CBS Comcast and concert specials. As a record producer Reggae Tribute, Larry Coryell, Jon Anderson, Rick Wakeman, Pat Travers, Blues Image, Patrick Moraz and many others.   

His most recent production, the highly acclaimed album with Jon Anderson of Yes, “1000 Hands Chapter One”, released worldwide, on Blue Elan Records,( 

Michael is currently in production on a new album for Robby Steinhardt, the original vocalist, and violinist for the band Kansas.


Alvaro Ortega, recognized worldwide for his popular animated series BEATOONS, has parodied the Fab Four in cartoons have been enjoyed my millions for many years in video and in print worldwide.

 For more information about

Michael Franklin


Alvaro Ortega


Yes Legend 


‘1000 Hands’

chapter one



Michael Franklin


Including an all-star lineup of legendary musicians

Jon Anderson – various instruments, vocals

Additional musicians Steve Howe – guitar Larry Coryell - guitar Rick Derringer - guitar Chris Squire – bass guitar Tim Franklin – bass guitar, ukulele, backing vocals Stuart Hamm – bass guitar Brian Chatton - keyboards, backing vocals Chick Corea – keyboards Jonathan Cain - keyboards Michael Franklin – keyboards, ukulele, backing vocals Alan White – drums Billy Cobham – drums Matt Brown – drums, backing vocals Jerry Goodman – violin Jean-Luc Ponty – violin Robby Steinhardt – violin Charlie Bisharat – violin Olga Kopakova – violin Dariusz Grabowski – accordion Brian Snapp – saxophone, flute Charlie DeChant – saxophone, flute Ian Anderson – flute Tower of Power – horn section Zap Mama – backing vocals Bobby Kimball – backing vocals Solar Choir - Choir Voices of Lindahl - choir Crossover Vioelectric Orlando Symphony Orchestra - strings and horns Production Michael Franklin – producer Matt Brown – mixing Bernie Grundman – mastering







…Order yours today on Hardcover or E-book

 at and

Featuring over 45 intimate conversations with some of

the greatest rock legends the world will ever know.






-By Literary Titan (5) STARS

The Rock Star Chronicles, by Ray Shasho, is a splendid book written by a music enthusiast who has poured their heart and soul into it. It’s a story of a boy who loved rock music, and his obsessive passion of it earned himself the name Rock Raymond. He went to school but instead was schooled in all matters of music while his peers were buried chin-deep in coursework. He then became a radio DJ and has now compiled a book on all interviews he held with Rock gods who raided the airwaves back in the 70s and 80s. It’s a compilation of interviews with outstanding vocalists, legendary guitarists and crazy drummers in the rock music scene. Each interview gives a reader an in-depth view into their personal lives and the philosophies that guide their lives which all serve to humanize these great icons. For readers who are old enough to call themselves baby boomers this book will bring old memories back to life. Millennials, on the other hand, may think of this book as a literal work of the Carpool Karaoke show. 

The Rock Star Chronicles is a book I didn’t know I was waiting for. To come across a book that will talk me into trying something new. One brave enough to incite me to venture into new frontiers. This book made me a believer- I am now a bona fide Rock and Roll music fan.

 Ray Shasho masterfully gets the interviewees talking. He smartly coaxes answers from them with crafty questions designed to get a story rolling out of them. The artists talk about diverse issues ranging from music, politics, and their social engagements. Having been on the music seen all his life, Ray Shasho knows the buttons to press, how to get them comfortable about talking about their lives. 

The book’s cover is befitting of its subject matter with the leather look offering a royal background to the golden letter print. It speaks to how high a level rock music holds in the pecking order- arguably, modern music as we know it has originated from blues and rock music.  The second noteworthy thing is the use of high definition pictures to reference the musician being interviewed in every sub-chapter. This ensures that the book is for both original rock and roll lovers and aspiring new ones. Together is makes for a refreshing and consistently enjoyable read.

I recommend this book to rock music enthusiasts, aspiring musicians wondering what it takes and all readers curious to learn new things by going back in time.


Wednesday, May 18, 2016



One of the music industry's most influential figures, Miles Copeland's career in management stretches back 44 years to 1969 in London where he represented progressive rock bands such as Wishbone Ash, Al Stewart, Climax Blues Band, Renaissance, Curved Air, and Caravan until he jumped ship, landed in the turbulent ocean of punk, and worked with the Sex Pistols, the Clash, Blondie, and many many more. In 1978, he became manager of his Brother Stewart's band, The Police and shepherded them to become one of the biggest bands of the 1980s. The success of The Police and the novel methods used to break them enabled Miles to found I.R.S. Records.
In the next few years, the company had hits with The Buzzcocks, The English Beat, The Cramps, Fine Young Cannibals, Wall of Voodoo, Timbuk 3, R.E.M. and a number one album with the all-girl group, The Go-Gos. He continued to manage Sting (solo) through seven blockbuster albums and introduced Sting to Algerian singer, Cheb Mami. Their collaboration bloomed with "Desert Rose" whose worldwide success was attributed to Miles' innovative corporate deal with Jaguar. In all, Miles can rightfully claim to have been involved in the sale of over 150 million albums. Miles currently owns and operates CIA - Copeland International Arts.


Bi-weekly Monday Afternoon at 3 pm Pacific/6 pm Eastern
On the BBS Radio 1 Network
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 We Make You Shine
Contact Ray Shasho at 941-877-1552
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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Violinist Extraordinaire Jean- Luc Ponty and ‘YES’ Legend Jon Anderson Merge Creative Forces and Ask Fans to Help with Artistic Control

By Ray Shasho
-Interviewed August 8th 2014
An Interview with Jean-Luc Ponty:

Prodigious violinist/composer/ Jean- Luc Ponty and legendary ‘YES’ lead vocalist/ songwriter/ Jon Anderson have united their musical mastery to originate the Anderson Ponty Band, and with the formation of a new musical venture enters a debut album soon to exhibit new music and classics re-imagined. Anderson & Ponty are also excited to include their fans in the experience. Music enthusiasts can pledge to their Kickstarter campaign (already in-progress) entitled the Jon Anderson & Jean-Luc Ponty Project. By contributing you can receive various items related to the project including an invite to the dress rehearsal in Aspen, Colorado where the CD will be recorded, VIP show tickets, and an invitation to the post show band party.
As of August 15th …$67,576 has been pledged, but a total of $95,000 is needed to hit goal with only 8 DAYS to go! (The minimum pledge is only $1.00) The project will only get funded if they hit goal by Sunday August 24th at 1:55 PM EDT.  Join the ‘Jon Anderson & Jean-Luc Ponty Project’ and help these incredible legends reach their goal for recording a new album…  Contribute and join in on the musical journey HERE
The musical blend of Jon Anderson’s angelic vocalizations of progressive rock virtue and Jean-Luc Ponty’s awe-inspiring instrumentation of jazz-fusion & classical essence… will undeniably be spectacular!
JEAN-LUC PONTY was taught by his classically trained parents who were also music teachers. He learned to read musical notes before he learned the alphabet. Ponty was taught the violin and piano, but at the age of eleven his father asked him to choose only one instrument so he would be proficient with a single instrument instead of mediocre at several.  
After graduating from the Conservatoire de Paris, it appeared that Jean-Luc was on the way to a prodigious classical music career and eventually performed with a major symphony orchestra. But Ponty also began to establish a musical appetite for jazz music which led to Jean-Luc recording his debut “bebop” album entitled Jazz Long Playing in 1964.

Ponty’s notoriety flourished and was asked to perform at the Monterey Jazz Festival in 1967, which lead to a U.S. recording contract with World Pacific label. Ponty’s subsequent releases featured such jazz luminaries as Svend Asmussen, Stéphane Grappelli, Stuff Smith, Gerald Wilson, George Duke, and Niels-Henning Orsted Pederson.  Ponty had conquered classical music and jazz as a critically-acclaimed artist and now it was rock music’s turn.

In 1969, Frank Zappa composed the music on King Kong: Jean-Luc Ponty Plays the Music of Frank Zappa. The release featured an array of virtuosos including …Frank Zappa and George Duke. Ponty moved to Los Angeles after Zappa asked him to join the Mother of Invention tour.
Jean-Luc Ponty performing on Frank Zappa albums …Hot Rats (1969),Over-Nite Sensation (1973), Piquantique (1973), Apostrophe (1974), Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar (1981), The Lost Episodes (1996), One Shot Deal (2008), Road Tapes, Venue 2 (2013)
While heavily in demand …Jean-Luc Ponty was asked to perform on numerous projects. Ponty contributed on Elton John’s Honky Chateau album and several recordings with John McLaughlin’s Mahavishnu Orchestra  Apocalypse and Visions of the Emerald Beyond.

Ponty signed as a solo artist with Atlantic Records in 1975 and over the next decade released 12- consecutive albums reaching the Top 5 on Billboard’s Jazz charts and selling millions of copies. Ponty also became one of the first jazz artists to have a music video.
Jean-Luc scored huge commercially with … Imaginary Voyage (1976 -reaching #2 on Billboard’s Jazz charts) Enigmatic Ocean (1977- reaching #1 on Billboard’s Jazz charts), Cosmic Messenger (1978 -reaching #2), Mystical Adventures (1982- reaching #2), and Individual Choice (1983- reaching #2).

In 1995, Jean-Luc Ponty joined forces with guitarist Al Di Meola and bassist Stanley Clarke to record The Rite of Strings which followed with a tour of the U.S., South America, and Europe.
In 2005, Ponty toured with Stanley Clarke on double bass and Bela Fleck on banjo.
In 2011, Jean-Luc joined Chick Corea and Return to Forever for a series of concerts.

Ponty’s daughter is singer/pianist/composer Clara Ponty.

TODAY: Jean- Luc Ponty is as busy as ever … an exciting collaboration and album with Jon Anderson and a new album with Stanley Clarke forthcoming.

I had the great pleasure of chatting with Jean-Luc Ponty recently about his latest collaboration with ‘YES’ legendary songster Jon Anderson …Jon Anderson & Jean-Luc Ponty Project/Kickstarter campaign …. Working with Frank Zappa…  Daughter Clara Ponty …Chick Corea/Return to Forever …Stanley Clarke … Acoustic vs. Electric Violin … Classical vs. Jazz & Rock …And much-much more!

Here’s my interview with the legendary proficient violinist, multi-instrumentalist, composer, musical pioneer, former member of Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and the newly formed Anderson Ponty Band … JEAN-LUC PONTY.
Ray Shasho: Hello Jean-Luc, where am I calling you to?
Jean-Luc Ponty: “I’m in the south of France right now on the French Riviera, also touring Italy and Switzerland … beautiful weather here, a bit balmy like Florida. It looks more like California than Florida but the weather is nice here.”
Ray Shasho: Let’s first discuss the Kickstarter campaign…‘Jon Anderson & Jean-Luc Ponty Project’ which will help fund a new album of classics and new material by the newly formed …‘Anderson Ponty Band.’ As of August 15th … the project has raised $67,576 with a goal of $95,000.00 and only 8 days to go.
Jean-Luc Ponty: “The project was our manager’s idea and Jon and I went along with it. There were record labels interested but he was eager to use the tools of today and the internet. But it is great because we feel the fans are part of it and feels less business-like somehow, not having to deal with business people and record companies. This time it’s more between us and the fans. Either way, we’re still going to record the CD, so it will work one way or another.”
Ray Shasho: So what types of costs will the Kickstarter funds contribute to?
Jean-Luc Ponty: “It will cover roughly a month of work. All the expenses of rehearsing and having the band, we will all reunite in Aspen, Colorado and then the rehearsals begin on August 30th and I will arrive a few days later because I’m finishing a tour in Europe. But the band and technicians start getting together August 30th in Aspen. It covers all the expenses including recording. I think the return will be much more rewarding financially because the difference you get paid from a record company as an artist and owning the masters is very different… it’s like one to six roughly. For me it’s about having total artistic control and we own it. I saw some of my greatest albums early in my career on which I have no control at all. For example … decisions in distribution, remastering, or spreading the tracks in different compilation formats are out of my hands. I see a lot of messages from fans that would like to hear many of my songs remastered with the latest technologies and I have nothing to say about it. About fourteen years ago I started to try and control more of my productions. It involved too much of my time so what we decided was to make license deals and have them distributed by labels, but the good thing is that I am the owner of what I recorded since the year 2000.”
Ray Shasho: I was extremely excited when I first heard the news about you and Jon Anderson forming a band together … I knew immediately that the music and dynamism you both share would mastermind an incredible bond.
Jean-Luc Ponty:  “Jon and I really gel very well. It just came up like that! I was contacted a year ago to contribute a violin solo on a song that he was producing. He liked the solo and one thing led to another. Then Jon got the idea of singing on one of my songs … “Mirage.” Spontaneously he took the song and sang half way through it and then sent it to me, and I was so impressed how good it sounded and how it worked really well with my music. In a way, I thought we should have done that year’s ago … but better late than never. (Laughing)”
Ray Shasho: Will “Mirage” be on the new release?
Jean-Luc Ponty: “Yes, right now we are working on it and trying to make a new version. So we’ll see how that works.”
Ray Shasho: Jean-Luc, do you have an idea when the new CD may be released?
Jean-Luc Ponty:  “I hear around February of 2015, that’s the plan so far and what we are shooting for.”
Ray Shasho: You’ve been asked to play with so many legendary performers… including Frank Zappa. What was it like working with Zappa?
Jean-Luc Ponty: “It was unexpected for me because coming from classical music, I thought rock or jazz would be fun … just a vacation. (Laughing) In fact, I found out, and rightly so, that it was very serious and demanding. So I felt it was very similar to being in a symphony orchestra with a conductor that demands specific ways to play the music. But then I learned that this was the way to do it if you want to get close to perfection. When we were on the road, I remember comments from other musicians about our band, that we were so tight. At times it was a little difficult because Frank was very demanding, but I respected that because he had so much talent and creativity. That’s what I learned from Zappa and even Jon McLaughlin. If you want to succeed you have to be a strong leader, and I applied that when I started my own group soon after, and indeed it works, but it works if you have a strong and valid comfort, then musicians will respect you. If you don’t really know what you’re doing or the music is not up to par then that’s when musicians will not respond so well.”
Ray Shasho: Your daughter Clara Ponty is a pianist, singer and composer?
Jean Luc Ponty: “She is doing some very good music but is also struggling, like I warned her. But she still wanted to stick to music which is her passion. So what can I say? Last year at a Festival in France they invited me to play with my daughter, and we put a band together and rehearsed. While rehearsing I said wow, this is nice, it’s different because she is singing and has a few vocals and some of her compositions are very good. But it’s feminine and very emotional; it’s a lot about feelings. Although I don’t only have technique and energy in my music, so there is still some of that. It was a good contrast and worked great together. So after that I said let’s do more. In the beginning I wanted her to prove herself first, and then she got a contract with Universal in the late 90’s and released an album that was number one on New Age Radio. So she was doing very well until the music business started changing, especially for instrumental music. But she has recorded several albums and has a good following already.”
Ray Shasho: Jean-Luc, who was some of the musicians or artists that got you interested in playing the violin?
Jean-Luc Ponty: “It started with my father; my parents were music teachers in a small town in France. My father played several instruments but violin was his main instrument. My mother was a piano teacher. They both taught me to read music when I was five years old and I think I was reading notes before the alphabet. (All laughing) Then they began teaching me violin and piano. When I was eleven, my father asked me to choose one of the two so I could become really good at one instrument instead of only mediocre on several instruments. I chose violin, maybe because of the father figure… I don’t know I never spoke to a psychiatrist about it. (All laughing)”

“I think it was because I thought it was the more expressive of the two. The violin you hold up against your body and very archaic. I do love the piano too but it’s a little more mechanical as an instrument. Piano was a great asset as a composer. I would have never written all the music that I had written if I hadn’t been a pianist. The violin is not so much of a composer tool. Then in the 70’s it gave me access to all the latest technology … synthesizers, organ, electric piano, and access to all these new sounds. So it became as important as what I was doing with my violin. It was a combination of all this together that built my personal musical comfort.”
Ray Shasho: You’ve used 4, 5, and 6 string violins?
Jean- Luc Ponty: “The standard is four, but in 1978-79, Barcus Berry brought me a prototype with five strings, and it’s actually the blue violin that you might have seen on some of the covers, it was actually my first blue violin. It was a little strange at first but I loved to have the additional string in the low edge. I quickly got use to it and it became my main instrument ever since. So I’m a five string guy.”

“Then in the 90’s, there was this guy in England who approached me and was making six string violins. There was also this guy in California making seven strings …it can become a gimmick after awhile.”
Ray Shasho: Do you prefer the electric violin sound over traditional acoustic?
Jean-Luc Ponty: “Not really. After I began playing jazz, coming from the conservatory with a four string acoustic classical violin, then playing in front of a microphone and stage, as soon as the drummer played the beat loud … that was it, I was covered. So it was out of necessity that I started looking for amplification in the early 60’s. It was just to get more volume. Once I started plugging in I realized different sounds and it was no longer the sounds of the traditional classical violin. There was no way to amplify the natural sound of the violin … I was just getting another sound.  It was like putting a microphone on an acoustic guitar, you also get a different sound. But somehow I liked it and suited well to play jazz. So that’s how it went for a few years until some rock guy’s discovered me, I guess because I was playing an electric instrument, they liked it, and I got called for Zappa, and they liked the sound. Once I got to play with rock bands I needed even more volume … then I got into big amplifiers.”

“At that time, engineers would go to rock bands like Franks Zappa’s to try new prototypes and Frank would tell me to try them … Wah-wah peddles, fuzz, phase shifters, or whatever. So since I had an electric instrument, I tried them with the violin. Sometimes I loved it and other times it didn’t work. In the 80’s, solid-body electric violins came out from Zeta, and then the first Midi violin that Zeta gave me had allowed me to plug into synthesizers. I have to say after exploring so much with all types of sounds, I never lost touch with the original violin. To keep my chops, I have to keep practicing on the traditional instrument all the time. With Jon and me, maybe we’ll have some acoustic sets during the show; otherwise I’ll really need the electric sound to fit with the instrumentation of the band.”

“I’m going to record an album with Stanley Clarke in a couple of weeks and a French Gypsy guitarist and the best I’ve ever seen since Django Reinhardt. Also Stanley Love as well. The goal there will be to not use so many effects and try to be as basic as possible. So I like the idea to explore new ways with my playing on just the basic violin.”
Ray Shasho: I’m also excited about this new album you mentioned with Stanley Clarke. You’ve toured and recorded with Stanley and Al Di Meola as a trio over the years.
Jean-Luc Ponty: “Stanley and I first met in 1972. We’ve always enjoyed doing projects together once in awhile.”
Ray Shasho: You’ve also been a member of Chick Corea and ‘Return to Forever.’  
Jean- Luc Ponty: “I met Chick soon after I knew Stanley. Stanley and Chick asked me to join ‘Return to Forever’ after I left Mahavishnu Orchestra but I had started my own band and so I was hesitating because it was a great offer. ‘Return to Forever’ was doing great music, but I had invested my time and even my savings in putting a band together and thought maybe I’ll stick to that for now. I consider myself a lucky guy to keep breathing so long, still in shape to play, and being invited to do projects like with Jon Anderson in fact. Chick Corea invited me to join them again in 2011, and so I did. It was fun; no one was trying to push their egos and step on other guy’s toes at all.  It was really the experience of … let’s do the best music we can together, and everybody left their egos at the door for the sake of producing good music.”
Ray Shasho: Jean-Luc, here’s a question that I ask everyone that I interview. If you had a ‘Field of Dreams’ wish like the movie, to play, compose, or collaborate with anyone from the past or present, who would that be?
Jean-Luc Ponty: “Stravinsky, John Coltrane, Jaco Pastorius ... in fact we had talked about doing something together and he passed away too soon.”

“I was supposed to be a straight classical musician, starting with the education with my parents, and then studying in Paris. Then came so many unexpected encounters in my life, getting into jazz, getting into rock … so I consider myself happy and lucky for everything I was offered to do in my life, and now working with Jon Anderson… it was so unexpected and so exciting.”
Ray Shasho: Jean-Luc, thank you for being on the call today but more importantly for all the incredible music you’ve given us and continue to bring.
Jean-Luc Ponty: “My pleasure Ray, it was really nice talking with you.”

Join the ‘Jon Anderson & Jean-Luc Ponty Project’ and help these incredible legends reach their goal for recording a new album and give back artistic control …  
Contribute and join in on the musical journey HERE

Very special thanks to the great Billy James of Glass Onyon PR

Coming up NEXT  Don Wilson guitarist, pioneer, and co-founder of ‘The Ventures’… Keyboard extraordinaire Patrick Moraz (YES/The Moody Blues)… Al Kooper (The Blues Project, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Bob Dylan, and responsible for the success of Lynyrd Skynyrd… Country Music’s shining new star -19 year old Mary Sarah … Folk/Rock singer & songwriter Jonathan Edwards (“Sunshine”)… legendary keyboardist Keith Emerson (The Nice, Emerson, Lake & Palmer), and… guitarist/singer/songwriter Randy Bachman (The Guess Who, BTO, Bachman & Turner)

Contact music journalist Ray Shasho at

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“Check the Gs is just a really cool story ... and it’s real. I’d like to see the kid on the front cover telling his story in a motion picture, TV sitcom or animated series. The characters in the story definitely jump out of the book and come to life. Very funny and scary moments throughout the story and I just love the way Ray timeline’s historical events during his lifetime. Ray’s love of rock music was evident throughout the book and it generates extra enthusiasm when I read his on-line classic rock music column. It’s a wonderful read for everyone!”    …   

COMING SOON… Ray’s exciting new book project entitled ‘SAVING ROCK AND ROLL’

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