The Babak Story

The Recording Session from The Strange Life of Jimfre Bacal

First I say “How long can you stay tonight?” and he says “Doesn’t matter I stay till the job is done.” I say “It’s not a job – it’s music! What the fuk!” And he says “I don’t mean it like that. Take it easy man.” And I say “Well fuk, this is the Ken Harris song (Gadget Insert: a poem set to music dedicated to Ken Harris) and I want it just right man so I got enough coffee here to last you till Xmas (he likes my coffee man but does he ever) and you ain’t going home till I get some Ken Harris bass so I am going go and make you a coffee so you practice.” And I leave the room and say “Put on the fooking phones and practice – you’re torturing me man! I’ll be right back.” So I go and stomp around the living room muttering to myself. Wife overhears and says “Anything wrong dear?” and I say “Yeah he better not mess up my Ken Harris song or I’ll throw him out the window!!!” My wife says “for Christ’s sake go open the beer, you’re too tight Jimfre” and I just shake my head and run right back to Babak and he is not playing the bass but putting some kind of pedal into his bass chain and I say “What the fook! Take that crap out man! I want CLEAN TONE. There was nothing wrong with the tone man, it’s your friggin’ playing! I told you I want KEN HARRIS bass” and he says “What are you talking about? Who is KEN HARRIS and why don’t you make some sense man?!!! I’ve been trying to play this bass for you for 1 1/2 hours@@@!”

“What the fook man?!! You’re driving your pick like a dump truck shovel. Lighten up do you want to break the wrist of the twist the first 5 seconds you grab her? Where’s your love technique man?!@!!”

I hit STOP, ZERO, and PLAY and say “Dump the pick man, let’s have some TOUCH man!”

And again he begins to pick out some bass line, this time hitting the strings more or less evenly, but like he ain’t paying much attention and I scream “What r u doing now? You’re dancing with 1 lady and you’re looking at another? !@! Man you are driving me out the fooking window!!” I scream “It’s all sex man you can’t play the bass like that! You going to get arrested for assault man.” “Pretend it’s someone you love no wonder you not married man come on man gentle GENTLE GENTLE” and he is beginning to laugh, lots of grins with all of this sex talk I am finally getting through at least I think so and I turn away from him and I feel kind of bad with all that I am putting him through and I think what the fook? “I need SOME bass Jimfre” I am talking to myself. Again the lack of sleep is causing my brain to run like river blood and I quickly get very depressed thinking ‘I got to have some KEN HARRIS bass or I am going to shoot this guy and then shoot myself@!@@’. Anyways he must of caught the change in my mood cause all of a sudden he starts playing real gentle. FINALLY! What the fook! Did I have to almost break down and cry to reach this SOB?@#@ (only kidding cause I am beginning to really love this guy Babak…)

I take a deep breath and say “Ok man I stay in the room with you we get it man don’t worry I get through to you someway you motherf@@cker@@@!” Ha ha! I can talk to him this way now – about 5 meetings and we are getting used to each other and I told him before we started tonight that I might get a little weird cause this Ken Harris song means a lot to me so don’t get mad at me if I blow a little. He just nodded his head at that so….

Here we are… I say “Take off the friggin’ phones and just play thru the speakers man I will guide you thru”… So as he does that I begin to dance around the room – room is real small so I am not going anywhere much but am just swaying like a friggin’ loony beside him and I say “ITS ALL SEX MAN.” Pretend that you’re making love to some women and STOP THAT FOOKING TYPICAL NORMAL BASS MAN”. So I crank up my soft lead line which is legato and not normal but smooth and flowing and I scream “THAT’S YOUR BASS LINE MAN COPY MY GUITAR” and he makes some half-assed attempt and I scream “Oh fook this!” and grab the bass out of his hands and say “LET ME TRY AND SHOW YOU” and I just hit one string and slide up and down and around searching for the notes cause I forgot he has a fretless bass and I don’t know where the notes are, not used to it, have never played one before. Anyways he kind of gets a look in his eye and I think I am finally getting thru to this bozo. “So ok you try now”, I say, and give him back his bass and he begins at last to play the Ken Harris bass line I am looking for so again I say “Great man! You practice I make you another coffee” and leave the room again and this time I am more relaxed and am not stomping around like a frenzied gorilla. I come back and what the fook? He is playing some real Simple Simon bass line but at least it is legato and in the right ball park and I don’t know what to do. I gently say “Babak, what happened to the line?” and he says “Man I can’t do that. That is you playing. I am not you. Only you can play like that. You are unique man don’t you realize that?” I say “What the fook are you talking about? I am the world’s worst lead guitar player. I am only doing that cause the guys I know are all back east and I am stuck out here with these friggin’ Vancouver goons that pass as musicians out here so????”

He just laughs and says “No man forget that!” and So I just collapse on the floor and say “Tell me when to press RECORD man I am tired” and he says “Anytime Jimfre” so I press the button, close my eyes and slink into the corner. Meanwhile he begins dancing while he is playing (he plays all his parts standing up with strap on, both bass and the guitar leads he did. Of course old man Jimfre, I sit on a stool for all of my work. I ain’t standing up “Are you kidding?!?”). Anyways he begins swaying like I was except not so nutty and lo and behold I think maybe he IS GOING to play the KEN HARRIS bass line I want and then he pokes me (my eyes are closed). I cannot hear the other instruments and can only hear his bass soft acoustic-like because he is plugged direct into the machine and I hit STOP and then ZERO (go to start point) and then PLAY and I cringe but hey the bass is fine. In fact it is better than what I thought he should play. It is way simpler but when we turn on the vocals – we both have totally ignored Keely’s vox cause it is the rhythm guitar and soft lead that I do that carry the song (at least for the bass) – sure enough when Keely is heard it is apparent that my line would have been too busy and his Simple Simon GENTLE line – at last whew@! he sure likes to rock that Babak guy… The bass is fine. I have listened lots of times since he went home and sure enough I got me my KEN HARRIS bass line Whew@! WwowW!!! ha ha ha!



by Jimfre Bacal