shania diary

2/4/12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I just unearthed this, a gig diary if you will, from 1995-96 when I played guitar with Shania Twain. I had just gotten the latest Apple PowerBook (which would garner looks of amazement these days for its archaic B&W screen and rollerball mouse) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAM1HBbUsvs and was dying to put it to use. We kept using different band configurations, and i wanted to remember all the show details (who was on the different talk shows and awards shows with us, what hotels we stayed at, etc.) So here it is:

4/6/95 Albany, New York

It was a dull, gray Thursday, close to the end of an impossibly long and miserable winter. The band I was playing for just had a string of gigs canceled (even though there were contracts) and I was appalled that they wouldn’t enforce said contracts (as to not to rock the boat for future gigs) so I felt compelled to look for other, better work.

So I came back from the local newsstand -Coulsons on Broadway- with a fresh copy of Metroland magazine (an alternative news and arts weekly in Albany, NY) and crawled back into bed, right around the crack of noon. Skimming through the classifieds, a certain ad caught my eye:

I dialed the number. A perky voice answered; “Twain Zone”. It was in fact, Sheri. I told her I was responding to the ad, and she said I was the first to call. She said the artist was someone named Shania Twain and she was on Mercury Records. Sheri said Twain’s 2nd album had just been released (February 7, 1995) and she had written all the material. Sheri happened to be Shania’s personal assistant.

Even though I was impressed, the name didn’t ring a bell, and more importantly, I was a bit puzzled-why would a country artist be looking for musicians in Albany? Had she run everyone off in Nashville?

I decided to call my ex-roommate in Kentucky, amazing guitarist Tony King, (now living in Nashville and playing with Brooks & Dunn). Tony said a friend of his, (songwriter Randy Thomas) had done shows with Twain, and that she was very cool. He also said the Bo and John Derek had worked on her photos and videos. And then he dropped the bomb…

“Do you know who her husband is?” Tony queried.

“Nope” I admitted

“Mutt Lange” he replied

Yikes!

Mutt is a legendary producer: AC/DC, def Leppard, the Cars, Foreigner, Bryan Adams, Michael Bolton, one of the biggest in the world. I knew then that this was going to be a world-class project, and not just another gig.

The album had just been released, and the first single was just making it’s way onto the charts (“Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?”). Sheri was impressed I had toured with CBS artist Janie Fricke, and wanted to know more, so I over-nighted a resume to Twain Zone, and headed to the record store to get the album. Her self-titled debut album was a snooze, but from the moment I heard “Home Ain’t Where His Heart Is (Anymore)” off the newest one (the Woman In Me) I got goose bumps. And when the big beat and power chords kicked in on “Any Man of Mine,” I heard a different sound that was very infectious and intoxicating. With the gorgeous ballad “The Woman In Me,” and the rockin’ hook-filled “If You’re Not In It For Love (I’m Outta Here)” I knew this was not just another country singer…

Yes, it was on this seemingly ordinary day, that I entered the Twain Zone…

4/7/95 Albany, New York

Sheri calls me back and leaves a message on my machine: “Got your resume, looks great, you aren’t by any chance, playing in the area this weekend? If you are, leave me directions on my machine”

I was, and I did… she called back-there was a slim chance that they might come and check me out Friday night…

They didn’t.

4/8/95 Burlington, Vermont

It was a small nightclub, near Burlington, Vermont. The first set slipped by, no Shania. At this point, I had no expectations of them showing up at all – it was getting late, and it had to be more than an hours drive for them.

Then a tall, ruddy looking guy with long blond hair, and a short, almost petite girl with dark hair arrived, both bundled up for cold weather. She was casually dressed, and wore her hair up. Nah, it’s not them, I thought to myself. They took some seats by a railing, and quietly checked out the band. They didn’t seem to know anyone, didn’t dance or drink, just watched. After a song or two, the girl looks right at me, then smiles and waves…

eeeek, it was them all right.

After watching for almost an hour, Mutt Lange walks up to the side of the stage (while I’m playing) and whispers in my ear: “I’ve seen all I need to see, you’re great, I’ll call you.” and then they left. Not one person in the club knew who they were, or what had just happened (including the band I was playing with).

The first thing that goes through my mind was, he knows Angus (AC/DC guitarist) and he thinks I’m great! After we finished the set, the doorman walked up and handed me a beer coaster. Mutt had written a note to me:

4/15/95 Albany, New York

A few long days later, I wake up and there’s a message on my machine: “Hello David, this is Mutt Lange calling, I’d like to talk to you about putting a band together…”

Though Shania records for Mercury Nashville, she lives near Saranac Lake, New York, and wanted a regional band. Mutt wanted me to help him with the auditioning the musicians who replied to the ad (they got 500 tapes). that said, I already had a mental picture of the band, with friends Gary Burke (Bob Dylan, Joe Jackson) on drums, bassist Graham Maby (Joe Jackson, Freedy Johnston), Shane Fontayne (Lone Justice, Peter Gabriel, Bruce Springsteen) on guitar, and Allison Cornell on fiddle keyboards (Joe Jackson) when I suggest these musicians to him, Mutt replied “I know Shane, he worked with me on a Bryan Adams album,” then he paused, and said “why don’t you put the band together?”

Why, sure…

6/14/95 Argyle, New York

Venue: Sweetfish Recording Studios.

A million phone calls later, the band is: Gary Burke, Graham Maby, Shane Fontayne, Allison Cornell, Mark Muller (pedal steel), Phil Skyler (keyboards) and me. We rehearsed the day before at the studio, and worked up three songs: “Any Man of Mine”, “Whose Bed  Have Your Boots Been Under” an “The Woman In Me” with friend Margaret Valentine singing, so we could practice singing harmony too.

On Thursday, Mutt drives up from Michael Bolton’s house in Connecticut, and Shania flies in from England. We were all outside in the parking lot when the two arrived in a Maserati sedan.

Mutt is 6’3”, Shania is 5’2” … to say they adored each other is a vast understatement. soon, the demonstrative duo walked in the studio and said a quick hi to everyone, and then it’s time to play.

Mutt sits near the far wall and leans forward putting his head close to his knees, to listen. Shania sits facing us, on a stool. We perform “Any Man of Mine” first and really hammer it, with a rocked up outro that wasn’t on the record. When we finish, Shania gets near hysterical, laughing with delight “that was great! Those guys in Nashville, they can’t rock out” …

At that moment, I knew we had the gig.

Next up was “Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?” and after a false start (Shania missed her entrance …) we groove out, really swung, and covered all the harmonies, and the end, was the sound of four hands clapping and Shania giggling at our nifty ending. As the sun went down behind the west-facing window, we began “The Woman In Me,” now she decides to get serious, and delivers a powerful, emotional take of the song. After we finish she says, “Terrific, great, you play very well together”.

We hang out and chat for a while, the plan is, that we open for someone (probably Garth Brooks) for a few months, to promote her album. Shania implies that it might take a while for the act to break, as it’s quite different, and she says ” I’m never gonna win any awards.” as we all part, we feel very good about the afternoon.

5 long days later Sheri leaves a message “Shania loves you guys and wants to use you.” they decide not to use Phil on keyboards, but instead Eric Lambier, an old friend of hers from Ontario. A week later Mary Bailey (her manager) calls, and invites me to the UK for a week to join Shania on a promotional tour. I grab my guitar and my passport. And we’re off…

You wanna hear it?

7/5/95 Glasgow, Scotland

Venue: Renfrew Ferry

Hotel: Copthorne Hotel, George Square

Band: Randy Thomas, Eric Lambier, Allison Cornell, David Malachowski

Set: “Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?”

“Any Man of Mine”

“the Woman In Me”

“If It Don’t Take Two”

“If You’re Not In It For Love (I’m Outta Here)”

“Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain”

Notes: 1st show – no sleep! Someone made a mistake booking the flights and dealing with the time zones. Allison and I are not picked up at the airport; we can’t call Polygram in New York, or Mary Bailey Management in Ontario, because it’s not even daylight there yet. So we hang for 3 hours, eventually taking a cab to the hotel. We then received urgent messages from the label; we had a show to rehearse and play in 1 hour…which basically means that I play my first show with Shania Twain minus one night of sleep… I quickly showered and left the hotel. Shania had just flown in from Egypt, where she had just shot the video for “The Woman In Me”

The first thing she does is show me her ankles; she cut them badly riding a horse between the great pyramids during the shoot. We do get a brief rehearsal, and then do the show, which went remarkably without a hitch Someone impulsively yelled out “Willie Nelson!” between songs, and we spontaneously do “Blue Eyes Cryin’ in the Rain.” During dinner, she admitted Shania wasn’t her name (her real name is Eileen), and that she was wearing hair extensions. We were chauffeured around in a Daimler limo … the other guitarist for this trip was Randy Thomas, Tony King’s aforementioned friend … after the show (and a serious nap) Allison and I went out to a wonderful Scottish pub. When we left at 11pm, it was still light outside (as it was July, and Scotland is very far north).

 

7/6/95 Manchester, England

Venue: La Gitaine

Band: see Glasgow

Hotel: Ramada hotel

Set: “Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?”

“Any Man of Mine”

“The Woman in Me”

“If You’re Not In It For Love (I’m Outta Here)”

Notes: a small, jammed packed basement club. Before the show, Shania has me read the menu to her – which had goofy names for each of the sandwiches – and have her guess them, testing her photographic memory. She gets 95% right… during our set, people craned their necks to see, and you got the feeling you were witnessing a piece of history. After the show we went out after with the record label for dinner. A label exec comes over and says, “We love country music, you, and Sheryl Crow.”

Huh?

7/7/95 London, England

Venue: Venom

Hotel: the Savoy Court, Granville Place

Band: see Glasgow

Set: “Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?”

“Any Man of Mine”

“the Woman in Me”

“If You’re Not In It For Love (I’m Outta Here)”

“God Bless the Child”

Notes: a very cool, dark rock club – the show was filled with media and record people. During “The Women In Me” Shania stopped the song (cause someone was out of tune) a tense moment. But what could have been an awkward eternity, just made Shania look like she was in control, and wanted it to be just right. Later, Randy and I recreated that famous photo crossing at Abbey Road… later Shania calls “We’re gonna do our first band show!” Great I said, where? “The Tonight Show! Next week.” oohh … when will we rehearse “Oh, we’ll play the song at song check …” oh boy …

7/12/95 Los Angeles

Show: the Tonight Show with Jay Leno (NBC)

Venue: NBC studios, Burbank, CA

Hotel: Beverly Hilton

Band: Gary Burke, Graham Maby, Shane Fontayne, Allison Cornell, Mark Muller, Eric Lambier, Steve Dudash, Jeff Allen, David Malachowski

Song: “Any Man of Mine”

Guests: Rosanne Barr, Natasha Hendridge

YouTube: http://youtu.be/g–9IMJ5w0c

Notes: it was our first gig with the full band. I end up flying out from Albany with Shania, just the two of us. Shania was dressed in jeans and sneakers, with a black hat that said bad hair day (a quote from any man of mine) as we are boarding, and older woman sitting in the first row whispers something to shania, who immediately bursts into laughter. When I ask Shania “What did she say?” she-still laughing-says “I’ll tell you later.” finally, as we take off, she tells me the woman had seen her hat and said “give the hat to him!”

ha ha ha …

She talked non-stop during the first leg of the flight, and we napped during the second. The next day, while we were at camera blocking at the studio, Kevin Lane (Mercury Records) informed us the song we were about to play (“Any Man of Mine”) had just gone to #1. The performance went well, Jay Leno came over and shook hands. Later, the band had dinner with Shania post show. I got to sit next to Shania, and she showed me wedding pictures of her and Mutt (at the time, no one had seen them) Mutt (watching it before us on the east coast) gave it thumbs up over the phone, and said it had “good energy!” as we left the restaurant, Shania gave us each a warm good-bye hug, it was a really nice start.

7/26/95 New York City

Show: Live! with Regis and Kathy Lee (ABC)

Venue: ABC studios

Hotel: Righa Royal

Band: Allison Cornell, David Malachowski

Song: “Any Man of Mine”

YouTube: http://youtu.be/BHkbC5a7Sjo

Notes: when we pulled into the studio at the crack of dawn, we were taken by surprise by a dozen fans. Shania, not anticipating this, still had her hair up and there were folks with cameras. eek! Shania-mania was just beginning.

Yvonne Perry (from As the World Turns) was my guest for the show, we later went over and checked out the set to her show …

8/30/95 Laguna Beach

Show: Mercury Records PGD showcase

Venue: Ritz Carlton ballroom

Hotel: Ritz Carlton Laguna Nigel

Band: Allison Cornell, Dan Schafer, Eric Lambier, David Malachowski

Set: “Whose Bed Have You’re Boots Been Under?”

“The Woman in Me”

“Any Man of Mine”

“If You’re Not In It For

Love (I’m Outta Here)”

Notes: Nashville guitarist and singer Dan Schafer (whose nickname is “Benderguy”) joined us for the first of many shows. When I was handed my rooming list (a list of room numbers for everyone in the band and crew), I saw at the top “Eileen Lange” it took me a few hours to figure out that was shania…(back then, her real name was top secret)

I took Eric Lambier (who is blind) to the beach; he was fascinated by the feel of the waves and the sounds. The beach (next to cliffs) was simply stunning.

For about a month, we had been on the phone with Gillie Crowder at Mary Bailey management, arranging details for the upcoming tour and rehearsals. The plan was, rehearse October, November and January, and go out on tour with either Neal McCoy or Wynonna in February. We were going to live up at Mutt and Shania’s house. When we were about ready to play, Mercury Nashville president Luke Lewis got up to introduce us. He then announced “Shania has just turned down a lucrative tour with Wynonna, to concentrate on her next album….” not only was it bad news, but we heard it in public, just as we were getting ready to play. Again, the tour had been postponed…

9/21/95 Vancouver, British Columbia

Show: Shania Twain with the Vancouver Symphony

Venue: General Motors Place

Hotel: Hotel Vancouver

Band: Allison Cornell, David Malachowski

Song: “the Woman in Me”

Guests: Sarah MacLauchlan, Michelle Wright, David Foster, Jordan Hill, Blue Rodeo, Bass of Base, Olympic ice skaters.

Notes: I rented a bike, and rode all over town and completely around Stanley Park (which was border by the ocean on three sides). The show was like a circus (literally, there were aerialists) during our song, the sold out crowd of 25,000 screamed at each chorus (a first). And the 60-piece orchestra behind us was an enormously beautiful sound. While riding in the limo with Shania, we were talking about wardrobe. She goes “I really like a vest with no shirt on a guy, too bad you don’t have any muscles Dave…”

huh?

10/2/95 New York City

Show: the late show with David Letterman (CBS)

Venue: the Ed Sullivan Theatre

Hotel: Righa Royal

Band: Allison Cornell, Dan Schafer, Eric Horner, David Malachowski, CBS Orchestra (Paul Schaffer, Anton Fig, Will Lee, Felicia Collins, Sid McGinnis)

Song: “If You’re Not In It For Love (I’m Outta Here)”

Guests: Mandy Patakin, Andy Dick

YouTube: http://youtu.be/fZJIapYCybI

Notes: a few days before the show, Paul Schaffer called and we went over who would play what, and the arrangement of the song. He had really done his homework, and knew all the parts etc. when I got to soundcheck, guitarist Felicia Collins says, “you don’t look like a country guitarist,” I quickly replied “you don’t look like your from Albany! (NY)”

Playing with the mighty rhythm section of Will and Anton was a ball (Sid and Felicia too). Yvonne Perry was my guest, again.

Muscle update:

After doing push-ups and pull-ups and sit-ups since Vancouver, I show up at the Ed Sullivan Theatre wearing my new suede vest (and “muscles”), I walk up to Shania at sound-check, and say “well?” she laughs, and goes “awesome, you look great!”

Thank-you-very-much…

11/16/95 New York City

Show: Biggers and Sommers (Lifetime) hotel: Crowne Plaza

Band: Dan Schafer, David Malachowski guests: Matt Lauer

Song: “If You’re Not In It For Love (I’m Outta Here)”

YouTube: http://youtu.be/C7CZIqOh52Y

Notes: Dan and I rehearsed with Mutt and Shania at Sony Studios while he was mixing something. Michael Jackson was in the building rehearsing too, we didn’t see him though …

12/6/95 New York City

Show: BillBoard Music Awards (Fox)

Venue: New York Coliseum

Hotel: Michelangelo Hotel

Band: Gary Burke, Graham Maby, Allison Cornell, Mark Muller, Russ Taff, Dan Schafer, Chris Rodriquez, David Malachowski

Song: “If You’re Not In It For Love (I’m Outta Here)”

Host: John Stewart

Guests: Hootie and the Blowfish, Stevie Wonder, Michael Bolton, Goo Goo Dolls, Tina Turner, Al Green. In the house; Faith Hill, Notorious BIG, Shaquille O’Neil, Joni Mitchell, BB King, Peter Gabriel

YouTube: http://youtu.be/1u99sikEXHM

Notes: we rehearsed at SIR the night before. Russ Taff (who has his own Warner Brothers deal) joined us for the first time, as did session singer Chris Rodriquez (Amy Grant, Kenny Loggins, Keith Urban).

Jimmy Archey from Gibson Guitars came to rehearsal, and brought Shania her J-200-it’s gorgeous and she loved it. During soundcheck, I learned we were one of the only bands playing live. That would be the case for most of the awards shows we were to play. I talked with old friend John Michael Montgomery for first time in 6 years, and reminisced about the old days in Lexington, Kentucky, when he used to sit in with the Greg Austin Band, and we all played on his first demo …

During camera rehearsal, a woman in the front row was rockin out in her seat, swaying and grooving, her hair flying and all. When the song ended, I could see it was Tina Turner. I walked over to Gary Burke (drums) and said, “If Tina thinks we’ve got a groove, then that’s got to be the highest authority!”

Just before we went up, Shania asks me to gather the band, and come over to her trailer, and play the song (with me on acoustic and everyone singing and clapping) just to warm up. We soon realize all of us aren’t going to fit, so we all gather just outside and launch into “Outta Here.” No sonner had we started, but the door of the trailer across from us opens, and out walks, floats rather, Joni Mitchell.

AAAHHH!!!

Joni is certainly one of my all time favorite artists, and there she was, nodding and smiling as we played. She clapped and walking on just as we finished, and i never got to say hi, but …

This was our last show with Mary Bailey management (Shania’s original manager)

1/30/96 Los Angeles

Show: the American Music Awards (ABC)

Venue: Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA

hotel: Westwood Marquis

Band: Gary Burke, Graham Maby, Allison Cornell, Mark Muller, Russ Taff, Dan Schafer, Chris Rodriquez, David Malachowski

Song: “If You’re Not In It For Love (I’m Outta Here)”

Hosts: Sinbad, Jeff Foxworthy

Guests: performing: Mariah Carey, Smashing Pumpkins, Garth Brooks, Reba Macintyre, Neil Diamond, Lionel Richie presenting: Tori Spelling …

YouTube: http://youtu.be/9WU2O3rsADA

Notes: Mutt came to rehearsal (at Center Stage) again we were just about the only band playing live. Sinbad came over and went “you guys are bad, you the only ones playing live, and you’re bad!”

During camera blocking, I noticed out of the corner of my eye, that Dick Clark was walking toward the stage. Then I realized he was walking directly toward me. Next, I hear “Dave” (here comes Dick Clark, and he knows my name!) Dick came over, shook hands, and suggested that when I go out front, and rock out with shania, that I should stay out 10 seconds longer-that it looked awkward me running back to the mic to sing. So we did the song again. He walks over and gives me thumbs up, and says “great!”

eek!

He then looked over at my two Vox AC/30 amps and said “Vox? I remember them.”

Of all the shows we did, this was the most relaxed and best overall performance. Shania wore an amazing black vinyl outfit and we rocked!

Graham and Gary and I visited Marilyn Monroe’s grave (near the hotel in Westwood), we went and saw the film Leaving Las Vegas later that night (and decided afterwards that our next movie would be a comedy). We did cheer ourselves up by going to the nearby Westwood memorial cemetery, which was fascinating. Everyone from Billy Wilder, Dean Martin to Marilyn Monroe were buried there, as well as musicians Roy Orbison, Mel Torme, Frank Zappa, Carl Wilson and even Buddy Rich (musicians, insert your own joke)

2/26/96 New York City

Show: the Late Show with David Letterman (CBS)

Venue: Ed Sullivan Theatre

Hotel: Parker Meridian

Band: Gary Burke, Graham Maby, Allison Cornell, Mark Muller, Dan Schafer, Chris Rodriguez, Paul Shaffer, David Malachowski

Song: “You Win My Love”

Guests: Fran Dresher

YouTube: http://youtu.be/OVfbypdph58

Notes: Mutt came to rehearsal, as did a journalist from New Country magazine, which wrote a piece about rehearsal and the show (it ran in the April 1996 issue) and with pictures of the band. At show time, as i walk out and plug in my guitar during the commercial break, I hear a familiar voice… “Hi there!” It’s David Letterman, and he’s sitting at his desk – which was about 4 feet away- and he wants to chat. I squeak out a “hi” he continues, “Glad you’re here”. “Thank you, me too” was the best I could come up with. I adore Dave, but still, talking to Dave was not my idea of composing my thoughts before a performance…

3/6/96  Los Angeles

Show: Blockbuster Entertainment Awards (Superstation)

Venue: Pantages Theatre, Hollywood CA hotel: Le Parc

Band: Gary Burke, Hugh MacDonald, Allison Cornell, Mark Muller, Dan Schafer, Chris Rodriquez, David Malachowski

Song: “You Win My Love”

Host: Kelsey Grammer

Guests: Celine Dion, Coolio, Tim McGraw performed, Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks, Nicole Kidman, Sandra Bullock, Cindy Crawford, Alicia Silverstone were in the house.

YouTube: http://youtu.be/4T42szd3nz8

Notes: checking into the hotel, we all were greeted by a copy of Los Angeles magazine, with Shania on the cover. Shania-mania was in full force. Graham was out with They Might Be Giants, so Hugh MacDonald flew in from England, where he had just finished shows playing bass with Bon Jovi. During the show, I chatted with Kelsey Grammer, about the view (of Shania) from my vantage point on stage.

Kelsey: How do you do it?

David: Do what?

Kelsey: play the guitar while standing two feet behind that ass …

3/10/96 Hamilton, Ontario

Show: the Juno Awards

Venue: Copps Auditorium

Hotel: Sutton Place, Toronto ONT

Band: Gary Burke, Hugh MacDonald, Allison Cornell, Dan Schafer, David Malachowski

Song: “If You’re Not In It For Love (I’m Outta Here)”

Guests: Alanis Morrisette, Jan Arden, KD Lang, Ann Murray host

Notes: Hugh and I made the rounds of all the record stores, but it was so cold, we stopped and bought really ugly caps- to keep from freezing! After a few days of rehearsal, Shania got sick just as we were leaving the hotel to go to the show. At the last second, as we were leaving the hotel for the show, she bailed. We were whisked out of the country in just a few hours.

6/11/96 Nashville

Show: Fan Fair 96 (now called CMAfest)

Venue: Tennessee State Fairgrounds, Nashville, TN

hotel: Holiday Inn

Band: Gary Burke, Graham Maby, Allison Cornell, Mark Muller, Dan Schafer, Chris Rodriquez, Will Owsley, Terry McMillan, Mark W. Winchester, Steve Dudash, David Malachowski

Guests: Billy Ray Cyrus, Terri Clark, Sammy Kershaw, Kim Richey were on the bill for the Mercury Records show.

Set:

“Any Man of Mine”

“Home Ain’t Where His Heart Is (Anymore)”

“You Win My Love”

“No One Needs to Know”

“If You’re Not In It For Love (I’m Outta here)”

Notes: it was our only live public performance of the year, and it was Shania’s year. We rehearsed extensively, at Soundcheck in Nashville, but as we prepared to go on, Shania’s earphone monitors jammed, and didn’t (and wouldn’t) work. She did the entire show, in front of well over 25,000 folks, without monitors, walking out front on the wings to hear the mains (while we tried to read lips onstage).

Since it was Fan Fair, I decided that maybe I should get an autograph too. So I brought with me a copy of New Country magazine, with the cool 1/2 page color photo of us (during the guitar solo) on letterman. She signed it with: “Dave, it’s been a blast, keep on rockin’ –  love, Shania”

The band went out to see Ben Fold’s Five at 321 Performance Hall, and Junior Brown at the Exit Inn while we were in town. (Thumbs up for both shows).

 

6/17/96 New York City

Show: Rosie O’Donnell Show (ABC)

Venue: NBC Studios Rockefeller Center hotel: Westbury

Band: Mark Muller and David Malachowski

Song: “No One Needs To Know”

Guests: Martin Short

YouTube: http://youtu.be/cqAlhjZC1Fs

Notes: we lip-synced (Shania sang live) Shania and I both play our matching black Ovation Vipers (thanks to Dave Vincent and Ton Lanahan at Kaman) and spent a great afternoon in central park the day before the show. Martin Short came over for a chat, as did Rosie.

8/29/96 New York City

Late Night with Conan O’Brien (NBC)

Venue: NBC studios, Rockefeller Center hotel: Westbury

Band: Gary Burke, Graham Maby, Hugh MacDonald, Mark Muller, Will Owsley, Ed Roynesdal, David Malachowski

Song: “No One Needs To Know”

Guests: Yasmine Bleeth, Ed Burns

YouTube: http://youtu.be/vyVDbVwAvwY

Notes: we did this show in place of the today show, from which we bailed on short notice. Shania walked into rehearsal, came over and gave me a big hug…. we rehearsed at SIR the day before the show, which was Shania’s birthday (8/28) the second of her birthdays that I spent with her. I brought her a birthday card that Lindsay made (she loved it) and the band played happy birthday for her. Shania played the Gibson j-200 for the first time on TV (it was never seen in public again)! The show went extremely well, a very relaxed, honest performance.

We didn’t know it then, but that would be our last show. In December, I received a Christmas card from Shania and at the beginning of the year a “1099” tax form…

A call from Jon Landau Management on 9/16/97 revealed that Shania was going ahead with a different band configuration for the new album and tour and ultimately only 2 people from the current band would continue (Allison and Mark).

UPDATES:

I went on to join Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, a band I loved when I was younger. After 3 years of roadwork, I was given the opportunity to join another band from the 70’s I was a fan of: Savoy Brown, which I did for 5 years. I also tour from time to time with the great Garth Hudson (The Band) and now tour with Broadway star Anthony Rapp (RENT). A one-off concert with Rapp’s former RENT mate Adam Pascal turned into a full-blown Adam Pascal / Anthony Rapp double bill tour with theatre dates all over the world (including Japan in 2010), in September 2013 i joined the Mamma Mia! North American Tour, which I’m still on. More and more, I’ve been producing, up & comers at world-class studios in the area, and still write as a music critic for the Times Union in Albany, NY. I also have a CD review column in the Kingston, NY paper the Daily Freeman.

 

oh, and i released an EP where i produced, played all the instruments and wrote all but one song:

https://www.davidmalachowski.com/album/

THE OTHERS:

Gary Burke is now with Woodstock band Professor Louie and the Crowmatix featuring (sometimes) Garth Hudson, I have been fortunate enough to played a dozen or so shows with them. Graham Maby now works with Natalie Merchant,and often Jon Bon Jovi but still tours with Joe Jackson when he goes out. Russ Taff is singing gospel, Chris Rodriquez put out a Christian record, and tours with Keith Urban, Will Owsley put out a great pop record on Giant Records (sadly, Will passed recently). Dan Shafer still performs in Nashville, Hugh McDonald can still be seen with a little band from Jersey called Bon Jovi, Randy Thomas co-wrote the smash hit “Butterfly Kisses.” Shane Fontayne only played the one show with us, but went on to tour with Johnny Hallyday in Europe, and now plays with Marc Cohn. Allison Cornell and Mark Muller stayed on with Shania, and were often seen wearing funny hats and outfits.

Wait, is that my iPhone ringing?

On a personal level, Shania and Mutt moved out of upstate NY to Switzerland and had a baby named Aja (congrats!) but surprisingly (to all of us who had seen them lovingly interact) divorced after 17 years.

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Copyright David Malachowski 2012