Top ‘o the morning to you!
I was four years out from high school and playing a lot of music. I had the good fortune to connect with the legendary saxophonist Charles McPherson and we were playing gigs around San Diego plus a little traveling too. When it came time for him to make a new record, he recruited me to play guitar. It was 1978 and I was thrilled!
We traveled up to L.A. and met up with Monte Budwig on bass and Lou Levy on piano. The record company was called Xanadu Records and it was run by Don Schlitten, who in earlier years produced recordings for Prestige Records that included artists such as Sonny Rollins, Sonny Stitt, and Barry Harris.
The session went well and to my surprise, after we were done playing, Don, the producer asked me to submit some of my original music for consideration for my own record contract. Right when I got back to San Diego I booked some studio time and recorded some demos and whisked them off to NYC with my fingers crossed.
In a relatively short amount of time I got the good word that I was in —they offered me a four record deal and this was back when record companies not only paid the artist to make the record but also paid the sideman, paid the recording studio fees, the art and design costs, the actual record manufacturing, and finally the promo push to get the record heard. Wow, so much has changed since then.
So there I went with the Xanadu years, putting out 4 records within 4 years — Dance of the Universe, The Path, The Message Sent on the Wind, and Bird Raga. It was a splendid and creative time and how could it not of been being that Xanadu is a metaphor for an “idyllic place.” Picture this, New York City, a great recording studio, Kenny Barron on piano, bringing to life my new compositions — a Xanadu experience full bore!
For this livestream we revisit the songs that still reside on the ancient Xanadu vinyl — Samba Satchidananda, Bird Raga, Pablo, Roller Skatin’ With Sonny, and many more of the hits and misses.
The band includes some of the best with Tripp Sprague on sax and flute, John Opferkuch on piano, Mack Leighton on bass, Duncan Moore on drums, and me on guitar. Our guest remote artist for this show will be Kate Sprague singing “You Make Me Want to Sing.”
It’ll be fun and I sure hope you can tune in.
Price of admission? Actually the concert is free but we will have a “virtual tip jar” complete with PayPal, Zelle and Venmo info for you to donate whatever you feel good about. Also, old reliable snail mailing checks works too. You folks have been super generous with this and it makes us happy.
(It’ll show up as Satyam Music, that’s my music company)
Be sure when asked “Paying for an item or service” to hit the Change button and select the “family or friends” option to bypass the fees.
Zelle: Peter Sprague firstname.lastname@example.org
mail checks via snail mail to: Peter Sprague
311 East Glaucus St.
Encinitas, CA 92024
Also up for this week is a live gig at Ki’s in Cardiff on Friday night. It’ll be me along with Tripp and John Opferkuch on keyboards. Music along with great food and a springtime sunset thrown in!
Look for details below.
hope to see you there, best, Peter