April 2014 MMM

April’s Musical Medications:

Some tropical sounds to get the chilly winter out of our systems and look forward to the heat of summer.


PARADISE Cyrus Faryar

I met Cyrus during the “Sixties” in LA.  He was the paterfamilias at “The Farm”, a notorious, barely-rural enclave in a gulch sandwiched between Hollywood and Burbank.  The Farm was a magnet for musicians and movie actors who were really glad to be a part of the Sixties (Let me put it that way.). After we finished a gig with The Electric Flag, John Sebastian brought Harvey Brooks and me to a party at The Farm that lasted until noon the next day.  I fell in love with the vibe there.
Cyrus, who had been a member of the Modern Folk Quartet, had an invitation from Jac Holzman, president of Elektra Records to record a solo album. Cyrus and I got along so we decided to collaborate on it. A studio was set up in his house on The Farm and, except for later string overdubs in NYC, the album was recorded there.  It was nice and primitive: the musicians in the living room, the recording machines in an over-sized closet.
“Paradise” was written by Harry Nillson. If you happen to be on a tropical beach, sipping a cool beverage-of-your-choice, it’s a good soundtrack.  The steel drum sound is not a synth; it’s a steel drum.



Rich is a talented guy, presently based in New Orleans. Having grown-up as an “army brat” in Japan, he is fluent in Japanese and supplements his income as a translator. In fact, in the 90’s he had a long-running TV segment in Japan called “New York” in which he introduced Japanese viewers to the delights of the city where he made his home at the time.

I’m skipping around chronologically like crazy here but I’ll continue. Rich and I were concurrent activists in the music scene in Woodstock, NY in the 60’s but never knew each other then. I met him in the mid 90’s when a mutual friend, Manny Moreira (more about Manny in subsequent MMM’s) told me that Rich was looking for a producer for an album of his own material. Prior to that (jumping around in the timeline again), Rich had become quite successful in the Madison Avenue world of advertising (jingles and all that). But he still had these songs he wanted to get out there.

He’s a fine singer and pianist. And the arrangement of “Pink Flamingos” is mostly his. I’ll just take credit for the “croaking” horns.

The lyrics are funny too and reflect his keen sense of humor.


Both of this month’s entrants should put some warmth in your bones.