These 1950’s bongos with pearlized crushed ice wrap and heavy chrome hardware have been beaten on just about every song I ever wrote.  If it weren’t for their bone crushing girth they would be in my suitcase right now as I’m on my way up to northern CA. to finish six songs with Pomplamoose.


Despite having sold over 50 million records I still have never learned how to play, which always makes for a very interesting experiment when I collaborate. It’s rare that I leave my own studio and the over 500 percussion instruments that are in there because the easiest thing for me to do when I hear a melody in my head or some kind of repetitive lyric is to walk over to something like these bongos and start filling in rhythm.


I was drawn to Pomplamoose when I heard them do my song “September”.


I’ve seen trillions of versions of this song and no one gets within a continent of Earth Wind & Fire. But Pomplamoose dissected that thing like a frog and reconstructed something inventive and fun so I did what I never do, I tracked them down and asked if they wanted to make records together.


We got together for four days in December and got great starts on six songs, filming for the videos as we went.


I’m completely spontaneous. I don’t really plan anything when it comes to music or art. I just go with the first thing in my head or under my fingers which are usually these bongos and songs start to build from there.


I video everything and Pomplamoose videos every final take. Between all of us we had 40 hours of footage at the end of the four days.

I’m only taking one of my three HD cameras this trip but there’s also tripods to lug, plus enough tapes to let the camera roll for three days,  3 still cameras, my MacBook, iPad, 2 mobile phones,  6 travel drives, three digital tape recorders, cords for every conceivable configuration, not to mention my clothes –  I’m not the type who can wear one outfit for three days despite the fact that I’ll never be leaving the studio. My one regret is that there’s no room for the sacred bongos to come along.