$4,848
pledged of $28,000 goal
15
backers
17days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, August 2 2018 9:25 PM UTC +00:00.

The Brooklyn PizzaiolosBy The Brooklyn Pizzaiolos
First created
The Brooklyn PizzaiolosBy The Brooklyn Pizzaiolos
First created
$4,848
pledged of $28,000 goal
15
backers
17days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, August 2 2018 9:25 PM UTC +00:00.

About

      My Grab A Slice recording project, ten original songs of mine, performed by my act, The Brooklyn Pizzaiolos, is approximately 90% complete. I began recording in 2013. I stopped in 2013 when I ran out of money. I began again in 2017, & stopped because I ran out of money. I've assembled these videos & KickStarter hoping to raise the funds to finish the project. Details about many aspects, why I set the fiscal goal I set, & my personal musical history / who I am (Jeff Alexander), are in the presentation. Instead of describing & effusing about my songs to you, I'll let my songs speak for me.

   You'll hear three more full, mastered tracks from the project, and see videos for them. You'll hear two full length ROUGH mixes of tracks, & snippets of rough mixes of 4 tracks. There's two more pizza songs & videos,The Brooklyn Pizza Blues & Grab A Slice (NYC), You'll hear Inner Pigeon too. The physical rewards, including some of my unique Grab A Slice™ T shirts are offered at uninflated fair pricing.

     I'll boast about the performers that I assembled, & their performances. There's great musicians all over the world. After a lifetime of chasing music, & two decades in music, I know many of the best of the best. From the finest that NYC has to offer, I think I assembled the best appropriate to my songs. I couldn't be happier with the results, and I bet you'll agree.

    I held two different sessions, with two different groups of players. The first was in 2013. The four mixed and mastered tracks you'll hear & see videos for, were from the 2017 sessions. I'll discuss some of the evolution of the project, & what led me to write some of these songs later. You heard Grab A Slice (Universal) already, in the opening video. Here is The Brooklyn Pizza Blues. This is straight out of my life. As one of my songs goes," No matter how far I roam, I still have Brooklyn In My Bones."  I've lived and worked  in some great places. Though I never lasted living more than three years at a stretch out of Brooklyn, I spent decades in The Pizza Diaspora, LOL. Without real pizza. I had a bad case of

The Brooklyn Pizza Blues:

 project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

   In NYC, when we're looking to eat pizza, we say things like: Let's go grab a slice. Or: Wanna grab a slice?  Maybe: Yo, I'm gonna grab a slice, c'mon.

Grab A Slice (NYC)

 project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

     One day during the spring of 2017, I took the Q train to W8th street, to catch the F.  Entering the subway car via the second door from the top, I looked to my left. There was a pigeon standing right square in front of the pole, looking out the open set of doors. Appraising the situation, deciding it's next move. Then it flapped it's wings, & flew up & away, out the doors.There were a few occurrences that day before this one. When I related the day's events to a friend the next day, he said: That pigeon was a bad omen. I responded: "Hell no! That pigeon set my soul free. That was my inner pigeon!" Then I wrote the song. It took me a short while to perfect it, but I like to think that I did.

Inner Pigeon

 project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

    Here's the band on those 4 tracks you already heard. Left to Right: Kenny Aaronson, Eric Parker, Arthur Neilson.

Schmoozing. L to R. Kenny Aaronson, Eric Parker, Arthur Neilson. Nevessa Studios.
Schmoozing. L to R. Kenny Aaronson, Eric Parker, Arthur Neilson. Nevessa Studios.
Kenny
Kenny
Arthur
Arthur

    My good friend La Rita Gaskins is  the vocalist on Grab A Slice (Universal), Inner Pigeon, & The Brooklyn Pizza Blues. La Rita is one of the finest singers anywhere.

   Maria Muldaur is the vocalist on Grab A Slice (NYC). Known worldwide for her 1974 smash hit Midnight At The Oasis. Maria has a five decade long career in the blues & American musics. Maria was an integral part of the early 1960s Greenwich Village music scene. As a Greenwich Village born & raised NYC Italian, Maria has a sound I wanted for this song..

     Inner Pigeon called for a Hammond Organ, so appropriately I called Rob Clores, formerly in the Black Crowes,& brought him in to overdub.

      There'll be more photos & info about these players & vocalists, who they are, the greats they've performed with, & the session, later.

      Here's some really cool Pigeon Music / Pigeon Video that I assembled using part of a pigeon inspired take by Rob.

 project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

     Let's go back in time to 2012. I was 54, working in St Louis, in the construction industry. After over thirty years of hard labor & various injuries, my body was breaking down. And my songs piling up. Some really important songs that dated as far back as 2001, 2002, & 2003, were burning holes in my brain. In 01 & 02 I had produced & released former Blues Brother frontman Larry Thurston's School for Fools recording, with 12 of  my songs. In late 04 & early 05 I produced & released Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Member & Chuck Berry's uncredited songwriting partner, Johnnie Johnson's final recording, "Johnnie Be Eighty. And Still Bad!" with 6 of my songs. After making a record I was always tapped out, broker than broke, & needed to head right back to work. So my songs piled up. Even after this record gets out, I'm sitting on enough quality material for 4 or 5 full length records.There's also one still in the can from the School For Fools sessions in 2001 & 02. Then there's the many dozens of  pieces of songs in progress that are accumulating in notebooks, suitcases, & elsewhere. By December of 2012 I had no choice anymore. It was now or never.

    In January 2013 I boomeranged to Brooklyn to record my masterpiece, with Brooklyn In My Bones as the title track. Under the act name that I registered, The Natural Born Schmoozers®.  I assembled a killer ensemble for the session, & here's the results. Bear in mind, these next 6 songs & snippets of songs are NOT MIXED. What you're hearing are rough mixes we tracked vocals to.   

     It's important for  possible supporters to  hear the breadth & scope of my songs & project. Normally I would never publish or display less than a stellar mix of any of my songs, but these ain't normal times for music. And I need this to count.

     I've been sitting on these great tracks  since 2013 You'll hear  two start to finish, 4 just snippets. Bare Naked Soul is a full track that right now is a rougher than rough mix.. But a song I want you to hear. Vaiolene is a much better ROUGH MIX.  Vaiolene is also important (all these songs are heavy), & I really want you to hear Angel Rissoff sing my song. In my book as great a performer as any, I consider myself lucky to have been a friend of his for even four years, & lucky to work with him.  Angel connected strongly to my songs, his performances are proof of that. Last November 9th Angel died of liver cancer, & it's a huge personal & musical loss to anyone who knew him or worked with him.  Listen to Angel on Vaiolene (& a snippet of another).

   Hit play for two full length rough mixes with lyrics & snippets of four.

 project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

    Meet the players. As stated, back in 2013, the name was still The Natural Born Schmoozers.

 project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

   Aloysius (pseudonym), one of the three vocalists, & Andy Falco were not pictured. Felix's performance will actually be on another project, but his cameo was too funny not to include...

   After the session, & the vocal and vocal comp sessions, I released a simple acoustic demo of Brooklyn In My Bones. It's linked below if you want to hear it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1GUkO-LnyE

    I also made available my  Brooklyn In My Bones® clothing brand. Ts, hoodies, tanks, sweats, hats.I felt I had to establish the brand then, or someone else would beat me to my own idea.

Polar Bear Swim, Jan 1 2014
Polar Bear Swim, Jan 1 2014


    By then, I was tapped out. Didn't have money to promote anything with, & didn't have the dough to mix & master the 6 songs as an EP. Though I had another 5 or 6 songs i really wanted to record for this project, (never got to those) I'd have been happy to get the 6 recorded songs out. I hired a supposed e commerce professional  I knew to add e commerce to my website for the clothing, but did not receive what was discussed. I didn't have the tech savvy myself to put up a real e commerce page for the Brooklyn In My Bones clothing. When Brooklynites saw the clothing most loved it, & some bought it. But without real quality internet exposure, or the ability to work street fairs, it wasn't happening. I couldn't figure out SquareSpace, still can't, but over a two & half year period, I have set up Shopify. @ www.grabaslice.nyc 

    The Natural Born Schmoozers one performance in June 2014 was a strong indication of how great a live act this can be. Players of this magnitude have to get paid properly for rehearsing & performing. Building an audience to come out today, money doesn't fall out of trees. Clubs don't promote much anymore & in most 100 - 200 capacity venues, bands are expected to bring their own audience & play for a portion of the door. The gigs that are available to a new band pay a minute fraction of what it should cost to fairly pay a band of players of this caliber to rehearse and perform. Till it's performing semi regularly, for new material to become ingrained, a band needs to rehearse a few times before shows.Sponsorship can go a long way. If there's a  good reason for it, sponsorship can make a big difference.

     NYC Pizzeria Owners, Nationwide Pizzeria Owners, I hope you're all paying attention.In the REWARDS Section, & at my www.grabaslice.nyc website, there's many ways you can sponsor the band, the recording, or band performances.

      Today You Need A Video and A Miracle.  There's things that are  always in my mind. One is how Brooklyn, & all of NYC have changed.  Growin' up here, then in & out for decades, I saw it happening. But now we're an occupied city, & those first few years back full time I regularly thought about the changes & what they mean. For all the hype, the food really has taken a hit. I really felt it hard, & how the only thing we still have a significant amount of left that's still great is the pizza. And some true Brooklynites. Looking at probably about 150 years worth of culture, all that's really left  in significant amounts & quality are us old Brooklynites, our personalities, our attitudes and accents, our expressions & sensibilities..And to a good degree, our pizza.

      Today, to promote anything, especially music, you need a video. It dawned on me that to drive people to & ignite a Kickstarter to fund the completion of the  Brooklyn In My Bones recording, i should make a video of Brooklynites eating pizza, wearing my Brooklyn In My Bones® t shirts.

    Now we're up to early 2015. When I could work it out with friends, I began shooting photos of them eating pizza in pizza places, wearing Brooklyn In My Bones® shirts. And I took photos of pizza for the video. I also had realized I had Pizza Songs to write and Pizza clothing to make. The Brooklyn Pizza Blues was my life, I began writing that one pronto. And thinking of pizza T shirts. I thought: well, we "grab a slice", that's what goes on the shirt with the pizza photos. And that's another song. I was writing all three pizza songs at once:  As soon as I started writing Grab A Slice I realized it was two songs. I was writing one Grab A slice song for Brooklyn & NYC pizza, another for rest of the world pizza.

    In the spring of 2016 I had the first  few hundred Grab A Slice™ T shirts manufactured in all three designs. They've been in sealed containers in the living room all this time.

    Of course, I also realized that now the best name for the act  was The Brooklyn Pizzaiolos. And I asked my IP attorney to file the application for registration as a musical act. (Huge thanks to Thomas Zutic, Alberto Zacapa, and Suzanne Abel @ DLA Piper).

     All through this, since before the beginning, I was dealing with significant heath problems.That is the root reason, the root of the reasons that it's taken five years to reach the homestretch with this project. Then again,  besides me :-), who's to say it's taking five times  too long? Maybe it's all happening just right, when & as it's supposed to. But I'd prefer to have had an extra hundred grand or two for a bankroll, or Clive Davis, Mike Bloomberg, or Daymond John for a partner.

      Supportwise: The physical rewards are music & really cool clothing, offered at great values. I've priced physical rewards the same or less than what they would be in everyday life. I chose 28K  as the goal, because:

     If Supporters stick to physical rewards, the net left after the very reasonable Kickstarter fee & my fulfilling of  Rewards will be about 50% of the gross, the least I need to complete the project.

I Believe In Music. And Pizza.™   Kickstarter Official  T
I Believe In Music. And Pizza.™ Kickstarter Official T
I Believe In Music. And Pizza.™  Rear,  Kickstarter Official  T
I Believe In Music. And Pizza.™ Rear, Kickstarter Official T

    To complete the recording, I have to track one vocal & a violin performance, mix the 6 songs from the 2013 sessions, master the whole project, do graphics,&  manufacture discs. Since the 2013 sessions were recorded through an SSL analogue console  with the great Al Houghton at the fine Dubway Studios, I prefer to stay in a great studio with a great analogue console, etc. And of course, mix with a great engineer. Or two. Six ears are better than four. So the costs will be significant. There's at l likely four studio days, then mastering. Odds are I'll mix upstate, so there's hotels. There's graphics for the EP, and  graphics for the 10 song CD. Then manufacturing at least a thousand of the Promo 4 song Right Outa Da Oven EP, and  at least two thousand of the full length 10 song  Grab A Slice cd, with an eight page booklet. And that might leave some money to mail some cds to the radio jocks that I know from the past. $14K (the possible approximate net on 28 gross in Kickstarter, if mostly physical rewards are chosen) burns up faster than you imagine. These figures do not include any real paid for promo or publicity.

Grab A Slice™ T. KickStarter version will have a REAR print similar to that of the I Believe In Music T.
Grab A Slice™ T. KickStarter version will have a REAR print similar to that of the I Believe In Music T.

    Your financial & promotional support are really valuable & appreciated. These songs,& the clothing should have massive worldwide appeal & impact. I've taken plenty of risks in life, but know the reasons when & why. And I've known the risk factors. If you dig the project, Music & I really need your help promoting it. Sharing this with your friends, talking it up in person & on social media, will go a long way. Posting the Kickstarter or the You Tubes of the  3 Pizza songs & the Pigeon song on your social media, in your food groups, your music groups, your Brooklyn or NYC groups, will help tremendously too..

NYC Grab A Slice™ T. KickStarter version. REAR  print will be similar to that of the I Believe In Music T.
NYC Grab A Slice™ T. KickStarter version. REAR print will be similar to that of the I Believe In Music T.
NYC Grab A Slice™ T. KickStarter version. REAR print  will be similar to that of the I Believe In Music T.
NYC Grab A Slice™ T. KickStarter version. REAR print will be similar to that of the I Believe In Music T.

      Do you believe in music? How people spend their money is their call. But if you really dig these songs, or the shirts, if music matters to you, if you Buy A Reward, you're helping music you like survive & get heard.This is a whole conversation, but, there practically is no music industry today.

      People buying music upfront, & sponsorship by businesses & individuals, has become increasingly important to fund of a lot of great recording.

   Streaming is the devil. Streaming sites pay between 1/10th and 9/10ths of a penny when songs are streamed.  I'm deciding if I will be a friend of the devil. I may not allow streaming of this project & hold distribution to physical purchase or download. Of course, in the very odd case streaming gets a recording enough exposure that it gets significant radio play, or sync licensing deals in film & TV, that's not bad. But, the general situation sucks. The streaming sites & the labels that eventually went cahoots with them keep almost all the subscription & advertising income, mostly shutting out the artists & songwriters. Don't forget, when you stream music the sound you hear usually sucks and lacks real feel. So I ask once again: Do you believe in music?

      I'm into the project for over 50K. I've hired the best, and paid correctly. The best get paid for being that great. And they should. They have to live.Everyone and everything got paid correctly. Out of my pocket. Or on my plastic, often using zero per cent cash advances on  credit cards. You've heard the project. And you're still reading. Put yourself in my shoes: How could I not make this project?

      One More Time: Pizzeria Owners Everywhere: Check out the unique sponsorship & advertising opportunities in the Rewards Section here, or at www.grabaslice.nyc  There's many ways you can sponsor the band, the recording, or band performances. Other businesses and regular people can sponsor too.

    Shipping. Some of the Physical Rewards packages involve two shipments. The Reward description will indicate. For example, if you bought a EP, & a CD, the EP will ship in August. The 10 song Grab A Slice CD should ship in October..

   Add Your Country For Shipping. Instead of charging one price to ship anywhere in the world, add your country & we'll calculate shipping.

     The Players.

     For musical performers, their musicality, feel, tones, styles & abilities, are sometimes almost everything they have. It is a lot of who they are.

     Here's the list of performers on the 2013 sessions:

      Neil Jason: Bass. Some of the artists Neil's toured & recorded with are John Lennon, Paul McCartney,Billy Joel, Roxy Music, Bryan Ferry, Hall & Oates, Mick Jagger, Pete Townshend, Michael Jackson, Charlie Watts, Carly Simon, Paul Simon, Kiss, Harry Chapin, Debbie Harry, Joe Jackson, Diana Ross, Gladys Knight, The Brecker Brothers, David Sanborn, Celine Dion, John McLaughlin, Michael Franks, Cyndi Lauper, , Dire Straits, Eddie Van Halen, Pavarotti, ..........

 .   Clint De Ganon: Drums Some of the artists Clint's toured &/or recorded with are Tony Bennet, Dionne Warwick, Phoebe Snow, Mark Cohn,,The Blues Brothers, Bob James, Tom Scott, Michael Franks, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Art Garfunkel, Billy Preston, Cornell Dupree, Cissy Houston, Edgar Winter

    Andy Falco:  Guitars and Mandolin Is a member of one of the most popular JamGrass acts of the last decade. Has toured or recorded with artists as diverse as Joss Stone & Alecia Nugent. Andy was on my Woodstock session with Levon Helm for Larry Thurston: School For Fools project.

    Jeremy Baum: Hammond B3, Wurlitzer & Piano. Toured & recorded with Shemekia Copeland, North Mississippi Allstars, John Hammond Jr., Bill Perry, Richie Havens, Jim Weider, Melvin Spark, many others.& was part of Larry Thurston: School For Fools recording session, with Levon Helm.

    Erik Della Penna: guitars & Lap Steel. Toured & recorded with artists including Natalie Merchant, Joan Baez, Susan McKeown, Joan Osborne, & Yazbek. And he's a member of Hazmat Modine. Erik is very active on Broadway.

    Angel Rissoff: Vocals. The Bronx Bomber of Soul.. Angel was a member of & toured & recorded with Little Isidore & the Inquisitors, Kenny Vance & the Planotones,. The frontman for Rascal Gene Cornish's GC Dangerous. Countless over acts. Angel released several solo recording. unfortunately the breadth of many hundreds of other people's recordings he sang on is not well publicly documented...Angel died on Novemeber 9th 2017. I've heard many amazing singers. And I'm more than particular. For my money Angel Rissoff was one of the greatest singers of all time. And as a person, he was aces. May his memory only be a blessing.

    La Rita Gaskins:Vocals: some of the artists La Rita has recorded & performed with are Aretha Franklin, Steve Forbert, Debbie Harry, Debbie Gibson. Vanessa Wlliams. Walter Duda. The Broadway Inspirational Voices. & she was on my Larry Thurston: School For Fools project. Simply put, La Rita is an astonishingly great vocal performer, as great as they come, and a fine person.

La Rita. Tracking vocals, gliding with her Inner Pigeon.
La Rita. Tracking vocals, gliding with her Inner Pigeon.

    Aloysius: a pseudonym I thought of for one of NYC's favorite singing / playing wildmen. Aloysius's voice always makes women swoon. Vocals on two tracks..

   Here's the list of players & vocalists from the 2017 session.

    Kenny Aaronson, Bass: A Brooklyn native. Kenny's toured &/or recorded with Bob Dylan, Billy Idol, Hall & Oates, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Brian Setzer, Rick Derringer, the Yardbirds, Stories, Leslie West, Mick Taylor, Foghat, Edgar Winter, Dave Edmunds, Dust, Blue Oyster Cult, Billy Squier....

    Eric Parker, Drums;some artists he has toured & recorded with are Joe Cocker, Orleans, Ian Hunter, Steve Winwood, Bonnie Raitt, Lou Reed, Jon Pousette - Dart, Cornell Dupree, Mick Taylor.

Kenny and Eric
Kenny and Eric

    Arthur Neilson:Guitars. A Queens native, & one of the greatest guys I know. Some of the artists Arthur has toured & recorded with include Shemekia Copeland (18 years now), Blue Angel ( w/ Cyndi Lauper), Billy Hector, Benny Mardones, Felix & the Havanas, & has solo work of his own. Arthur is as good as they come, musically & personally.

Arthur, Kenny
Arthur, Kenny

    Maria Muldaur: Vocal. Known worldwide for her mid 70s hit, Midnight At The Oasis, Maria is one of the iconic NYC native vocalists of the 60s and 70s, Maria has had an amazing career in folk music, the blues,& pop music. Maria started as member of the Jim Kweskin Jug Band, has been a solo artist since the 70s, released over 40 records,& still performs..

    La Rita Gaskins: Vocals. Info already listed with the first session credits.

La Rita, tracking. Area 52 Studios.
La Rita, tracking. Area 52 Studios.

     Rob Clores: Hammond organ on Inner Pigeon. Rob has toured &/or recorded with the Black Crowes, Tom Jones, Alejandro Escovedo, Colin Hay, Little Steven Van Zandt, Southside Johnny, James Maddock....

    Who Am I?: Jeff Alexander.  I'm a lucky son of a gun. I'm lucky to have grown up when & where I did, and though sometimes I have to remind myself, lucky to have done many of the things I have. I was lucky to be born in 1958, and be old enough to grow up during what was still the hay days of modern music & other great cultural things. In relation to the music of those times, I'd have preferred to be another 5 to 15 years older, but, I'm still really fortunate. Being 10 to 15 years younger woulda been a catastrophe musically, LOL. In my time, great music, & great sounding music was everywhere. Like many other kids of the period, by the time I was 5 or 6, I was picking out and getting albums and 45s.

    Great music was like air & water. Great music surrounded us. We breathed & drank it. And it sounded great. You could feel the music in your bones. It became cellular. Music nourished us.

    When I was in my midteens, if people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I'd answer a songwriter.

   Some memories that stood out to me when they happened & always:

1) Songwriting credits got & kept my attention at a young age. And who the people in a band were. Who did what. Who was who. Who was responsible for what, what it meant, who played what, sang what. I remember by the time I was 12 or 13, being fascinated by songwriting credits. Even wondering about the why of it- why one name had more credits than others, why you never saw some, why some names in songwriting credits weren't performers on the record....And then I'd go on to find out about those songwriters music. Bandwise, though I loved hundreds, the two most important bands to me when i was a teen were The Band, and Poco.

2) And adolescently (12,13) sitting at the piano, practicing Johnny B Goode between piano lessons with Lottie Lefkowitz, thinking about those lyrics. To my young mind, the chorus and the verses didn't jive, didn't line up. Why was that guitar player singing "Go go, go Johnny go go........Johnny B. Goode."? What did that mean, why did Chuck Berry write that, why was he singing it?

     Many zigs,zags,and about thirty years later I'd be a for real songwriter,  a close friend & collaborator of Johnnie Johnson (Johnnie B. Goode), and friends with members of The Band and work with Levon.  There's more full circledness to this, to be discussed another time.

Johnnie called me Alexander. ( School For Fools, St Louis, tracking live)
Johnnie called me Alexander. ( School For Fools, St Louis, tracking live)


Jeff, Larry, Levon, 2002. School For Fools. Listening back to roughs after Larry tracked vocals @ the old Dubway Studios.
Jeff, Larry, Levon, 2002. School For Fools. Listening back to roughs after Larry tracked vocals @ the old Dubway Studios.
Jeff, Larry, Levon
Jeff, Larry, Levon

    I worked in home improvements as a teen, and during my third year of college. Then I worked for contractors for two years, and was a self employed siding, window, and roofing contractor for over thirty years.

    In 1996, I was 37, 38, my old lady and I were living in Gardiner, NY, outside New Paltz. We split up, and my two dogs and I were living in The 87 Motel in New Paltz. I had a thought, said whoa! that's a blues, wrote the song, and never stopped writing. (Thank you, Georgia).

    The first recording I produced &  released was School For Fools, in 2002. I wanted to hear my songs properly & eventually realized the only way to do that was to record em. Talk about on the job training. I got a megillah to tell ya some other time. In the evolution of how things went, I recorded enough for a double cd with four vocalists. Even though I had  cashed in my IRA and sold my stocks, I only had enough dough left to mix & master one disc. So I put it out as a Larry Thurston record, with all the songs featuring Larry. Larry is one of those rare, great singers. One of my favorites.He had fronted The Blues Brothers with Eddie Floyd before he retired from the road to go home to St Louis.

    The second day of School For Fools sessions in St Louis, Bruce Bramoweth picked Johnnie Johnson up and brought him to the studio  before we were about to track the last two: Happy Hour and Warning Shot. I track live. Can you imagine what it felt like having Johnnie & Levon  recording in the same band, live in the studio?

     It was the second time that Johnnie & Levon met. Take a look at their faces.    

Levon, Johnnie. School For Fools,  February 2002, St Louis.
Levon, Johnnie. School For Fools, February 2002, St Louis.

  I knew Johnnie & his wife Frances before, but after that session our friendship took off. I was in NYC when I released School for Fools.in August or Sept 02. Of course I sent Johnnie a few. discs. Johnnie really dug the record.

      I returned to St Louis on Memorial Day weekend of 04.There's an amazing story that took place involving myself & Johnnie in the in between period, I'll tell another time.. but round the end of October, beginning of November, Johnnie, Frances, & I met in the original Sweetie Pie's to discuss the Johnnie Johnson recording project I had hinted at two months prior. I had songs, a plan, and a proposal. They had some  questions. Johnnie told me: "It's your baby."  A few weeks later we were in the studio.

       Johnnie Johnson was one of the Fathers of Rock & Roll, one of the most important musicians of the 20th century, & is a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. They created the Sideman Category so they could get Johnnie in..  And Johnnie trusted me with what he absolutely knew was very likely his last recording project. Johnnie Be Eighty. And Still Bad! is the title I thought of for the record. I did not shop the record. I knew how much he loved the recording and how much he wanted that record. So I drove the tapes back to NYC, mixed in Sear Sound, mastered, (flat transfer) and manufactured.. I received the shipment of cds about 11AM on April 12th, 2005. Johnnie died in his sleep, about 7AM, the next day April 13th 2005. 

One of the most meaningful things I've done.
One of the most meaningful things I've done.

            http://cousinmoemusic.com/jphoto.htm

            http://cousinmoemusic.com/jreview.htm

       These first two records I produced never got properly promoted or live support.In both cases after production I was broke, life was on the edge, and I had to go back to work. After School For Fools was out, Larry was concentrating on ministry, and I was in NY for two years. There were no live shows at all. I did a little radio promo to blues radio. Sirius and XM gave a couple of the songs significant airplay for quite a while. The record got great reviews all over the world.

    In the case of Johnnie's record, I didn't want Johnnie to tour it. He was 80 years old, and his health had been up & down. I loved that man and wanted him to live a much longer time, as easily as possible, & stay put, at home, in St Louis. I did hire one radio promoter for a small campaign for I think 8 weeks. There would have been many ways to promote the recording had Johnnie not died in his sleep the morning after the shipment of cds arrived. The personal blow was staggering. Simply regarding the recording, what mattered was Johnnie had the record he loved and knew it was out, and that people would hear it.

   Johnnie & I first discussed working together in October 1999. Between  '99 & finishing production of School For Fools in August, 2002,"I took the course", so to speak. Johnnie knew it.  And Johnnie trusted me with what he absolutely knew was very likely his last recording project. "Johnnie Be Eighty. And Still Bad! was meant to be made. There's a lot more to the background, the meant to be ness of it,.. to be told another time.

     Surpassing The Goal

  I'll be happy to reach the goal, finish the record, and fill rewards.

   Surpassing the goal, there's a whole lot of things I can & would do. After finishing the recording and fulfilling EVERY REWARD, I'd be able to pay for very significant radio promo, a real publicity campaign. I'd be able to pay the band to rehearse and perform. With a bankroll, getting the band through some gigs to build an audience so we could get better paying gigs is possible. Then there's a van to tour with.

     I'd be able to hire the right ( Ann Marie) website deveoper to rebuild cousinmoemusic.com properly , & do all my website updates. and to hire a digital marketer for the clothing line.a digital marketer,..I'd rent a space to run the Grab A Slice clothing line out of. And a  staffer to fill orders, keep inventory.  There's much more.

   Of course, I'd pay off my outstanding debt from this project.  And it would also be great if I could pay myself back.

   You can spend a fortune putting a record or a band out in the world.

   My real, or "secret" goal is that KickStarter catches fire & I finish the recording. Grab A Slice is a smash, several of the songs become hits, and I get to spend the rest of my life writing songs and producing records.

...

Risks and challenges

I humbly hope that after my presentation you agree that you, the potential supporter have no risk. If you like what you heard musically & songwise, or saw T shirt & hoodie wise & you Buy A Reward as long as I hit my goal (which I hope to surpass in multiples), you will receive everything you pledged for. Everything will be top quality. Every sponsorship reward that involves my websites will be fulfilled in style, for the full period of time offered. Every REWARD will be delivered.

The risk & challenges are all mine. And there were plenty & some still exist. Meaning, it is still a lot of work. There's scheduling, there's sometimes other glitches. Going back to 2002 & School For Fools, the first time I had discs replicated the manufacturer made two thousand discs with some one else's ON CD artwork on the disc. It was for the Music of ________. Born A Fool. My 8 page booklet & the rear tray artwork were printed correctly. The factory did replicate my music on the disc. Obviously that disc had to be replicated anew. There's far worse things that can and do happen. I had one engineer record two days of sessions out of speed once. Though he promised he'd calibrate his tape machine, obviously he didn't, or he hit the variable switch at some point. We heard it when I moved the project to another studio. The solution was we verispeeded everything into key, dumped it into protools, perfected pitch and time in protools, then recorded vox in protools. Mixed back to tape.

Almost every thing that could occur to complicate a project did on School For Fools. That was in 02. I dealt with everything, seen it all. Nothing surprises me.

I have a track record - I always cross the finish line running.

I left some room / time in the estimated delivery dates to be able to live up to them. If something occurs to set a date back, I'll let you know. As discussed, I've already printed a run of these pizza shirts without the KickStarter official rear print. I have a 5 year relationship with my Clothing Printer.

My clothing manufacturing pipeline runs smoothly..

As demonstrated, I'm about 90% through this project. On my own money. I'm into it for well over 50K already. If that isn't RISK FOR ME, I don't know what is. A few of these songs I wrote 15, 16, 17 years ago. I began the recording project 5 years ago. It's time for it to graduate magna cum laude. I want this project to go get a job already, and move out into the world. I want it to be heard on radio, & my songs to be used in commercials, films and TV shows.

Most of all, I want people to walk down the street singing these songs. I want people to know the songs by heart, and for these songs to help people forget themselves for a moment.

That's a big challenge. There's still a lot of work to do.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Make a pledge without a reward

    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Right Outa Da Oven 4 song download.

    Download the 4 song Promo EP. The pizza & pigeon songs. Delivered when Kickstarter closes after reaching the goal.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $7 or more About $7

    Grab a Slice™ Postcards

    7 Mouth Watering Grab A Slice™ Postcards.
    Durable 5 x 7 unique postcards, on 16 pt stock.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $9 or more About $9

    Right Outa Da Oven Promo EP

    Limited Edition Physical 4 Song Advance Promotional EP, & the download. You're able to hear these songs (as videos) in the Story Section now & they'll also be included in the 10 song CD.. This EP will go out for limited advance radio promo of the full length Grab A Slice project, but I doubt I will ever offer it commercially as an EP. Ships in very late July or August. ADD YOUR COUNTRY FOR SHIPPING!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $11 or more About $11

    Grab A Slice 10 song download.

    The full 10 song recording.Delivered after mastering. September or October. Download only.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Grab A Slice Full Length CD

    The full length 10 song Grab A Slice CD and the download. ADD YOUR COUNTRY for shipping!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $23 or more About $23

    A Slice & A Square

    The Limited Edition 4 song EP. the full length 10 song Cd. downloads of both. The EP ships August, the CD, October. Downloads come before the discs, asap. ADD YOUR COUNTRY for shipping!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $28 or more About $28

    A Slice & A Square, Extra Garlic

    #6 plus #2. The EP & postcards ship in
    August.The full length CD, in October. ADD YOUR COUNTRY for shipping.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $28 or more About $28

    I Believe In Music. And Pizza™ T Shirt

    The I Believe In Music. And Pizza™" Brooklyn Pizzaiolos Two Sided KickStarter Official T. Adult Sizes Printed on Anvil 5.4 Oz
    or Gildan Hammer 6 oz 100% Ringspun Cotton T shirts. Youth Sizes on Gildan ,
    Anvil or Fruit Of the Loom 100% Cotton Tees, 5.3 to 6 Oz. Image of the T shirt is in The Project story. Ships in August. ADD YOUR COUNTRY for shipping!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $31 or more About $31

    Grab A Slice™ T Shirts

    Choose Two Sided KickStarter Official versions of either the Grab A Slice, or The Grab A Slice NYC Pizza T shirt. Images of the T shirts are in The Project story & the music videos...Black only. Adult Sizes Printed on Gildan 6 oz or Anvil 5.4 oz 100% Ringspun Cotton Ts. Youth sizes on 5.3 to 6 oz Anvil or Gildan or Fruit Of The Loom 100% cotton ts. ADD YOUR COUNTRY for shipping!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $43 or more About $43

    Lotsa Red Pepper

    The 10 song CD, & the Kickstarter Official " I Believe in Music. And Pizza. T shirt. Download only of the 4 song Promo Advance EP, sent after project is funded,,Download of the 10 song Cd soon after it's mastered, T Shirt & CD ship together in Sept or October. ADD YOUR COUNTRY for shipping!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    Vodka Slice

    The " I Believe In Music. And Pizza." Two Sided KickStarter Official Hoodie. Same design as the T shirt, printed on a White Gildan, Jerzees, or Fruit Of the Loom pullover hoodie. ADD YOUR COUNTRY for shipping!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Pepperoni Sicilian

    Limited Edition EP, Full Length CD,Downloads of both, and the I Believe In Music. And Pizza™ KickStarter Official T shirt. EP & T ship in August, Cd in October. ADD YOUR COUNTRY for shipping

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Honorary Pizzaiolo

    Your name on the Honorary Pizzaiolo List when the new cousinmoemusic.com & grabaslice.nyc websites are built in August. Plus everything in the Pepperoni Sicilian Reward. EP & shirt ship in August. Full length CD in Oct. ADD YOUR COUNTRY FOR SHIPPING!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  15. Select this reward

    Pledge $110 or more About $110

    The Paisan

    One on one pizza hang. A couple of slices and about an hour long kibbitz in Brooklyn with Jeff. A t shirt and we'll shoot some photos. Pizza, beverage included.. these will take place starting in September, we'll work out a time & pick a pizza parlor..

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited (3 left of 3) 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  16. Select this reward

    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    Pizzeria Owners Only

    For Pizzeria Owners. Your pizza place, name address, and a link to your website will be listed on the Pizzeria Sponsors page of my www.grabaslice.nyc website & one other, likely my cousinmoemusic.com site.. USA sponsors will be listed by state, and in NYC, by Borough. If there are sponsors from other countries, they'll be listed alphabetically by country, then alphabetically within their country. Website sponsor listing will last two years & will be renewable after two years...

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  17. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Mini Pizza Tour for One

    250. Mini Pizza Tour for one with Jeff. We'll hit two pizza places in Brooklyn and/or Queens. I'll bring you one T shirt and one hoodie, we'll take a few photos. With your approval, the photos will appear on our websites, in a dedicated location. September, or October- as soon as we can work it out., after the Full Length is released. 3 available

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited (1 left of 3) 2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  18. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    NYC Pizzeria Owners Only

    For NYC Pizzeria Owners only. Our Websites Sponsorship listings per Reward #14 plus 20 Limited Edition Right Outa Da Oven EPs to give your favorite customers.. The Delivery Boy (me) will bring em in August.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  19. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    The Big Macher

    You love the project, you got deep pockets, you believe in music, & because you can, you want to help great music get heard. A Macher is Yiddish for some one who makes things happen. Unless you don't want pubic recognition, your name will appear on two of our websites, and the full length Grab A Slice Cd as a Big Macher Contributor of a thousand bucks to the project.Also, you receive the EP, The Full Length CD, downloads of both, the Official Kickstarter I Believe In Music. & Pizza T Shirt, a Grab A Slice Shirt™ , & offer of admission for two to two live performances. Shipping included.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  20. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    The Pizzaiolo Extraordinaire

    Same as the Big Macher. just a different title. You love the project, you got deep pockets, you believe in music, & because you can, you want to help great music get heard. Unless you don't want pubic recognition, your name will appear on two of our websites, and the full length Grab A Slice Cd as a Pizzaiolo Extraordinaire Contributor of a thousand bucks to the project. Also the Limited Edition EP, Full Length CD,Downloads of both, and the I Believe In Music. And Pizza™ KickStarter Official T shirt & a Grab A Slice™ Shirt.. Plus offer of admission for two to two live performances. Shipping included.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  21. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    Sponsor A Live Show

    Pizzeria Owners, Business Owners, or People can sponsor a live club performance . We'll display YOUR banner you provide or project the image you provide of your logo or Pizzeria at a live performance in a NY Greater Metropolitan Area Venue. Your sponsorship can be mentioned in advertising or media. If you opt for this the Shows will be booked from September on. if not sooner... You'll get up to 20 tickets to the show, as needed. (This is not hiring the band...Hiring the band is different).

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  22. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,600 or more About $2,600

    I Write A Song For You. Bare Bones

    We talk three or four or five times. I'll ask questions, and you'll also freeform tell me about yourself & your life, or what's on your mind these days.. Maybe you already have potential subjects you want the song to be about. Maybe i'll think of one, or an angle you like. Anyway, i write a song for you, and record it with one or two instruments and a great vocalist. Give me till Dec 31st 2019 to deliver. It could happen a lot sooner, but then again, it could take that long. You'll receive WAV files of the recording , also a hundred duplicated discs,

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  23. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Executive Producer

    As stated. You'll receive an Executive Producer's Credit in The "Grab A Slice" CD Credits and the Project Page on our website. Plus 6 t shirts, 2 hoodies, a copy of the EP, 25 copies of the CD, admission for two to club dates indefinitely. Shipping within the U.S. begins in August with the EP and T shirts. Continues as products are completed. Shipping outside the U.S will be one time shipping of all REWARDS, after the CD is manufactured.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  24. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    NYC Pizzerias, Customized 4 Song EPs

    A Photo of Your NYC Pizzeria will be on the back of this custom run of 1,000 (one thousand) of the 4 song Right Outa Da Oven EP. You receive 950 copies of the EP. Use em promotionally, you can give them away to your best customers, various ways, over certain bill amounts, only on certain days of the week, as seasonal presents, etc etc.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited (5 left of 5) 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  25. Select this reward

    Pledge $7,500 or more About $7,500

    I Write A Song For You. Deluxe

    Same as #21 but with a 4 or 5 piece band. And I have a thousand discs manufactured. I keep 100, & 900 are delivered to you. Give me till June 2020 to deliver, but it could happen anytime in between. Outside of the U.S, & Canada you pay the cost of shipping.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  26. Select this reward

    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    Hire The Brooklyn Pizzaiolos™

    Private Performance. A 6 or 7 piece The Brooklyn Pizzaiolos™ ( 4 or 5 instruments, two or three vocalists) will perform two sets,( up to 60 minutes each) for your friends. Locations within 150 miles of NYC. You provide the locale. we'll work out a date, from Mid September on.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  27. All gone!
  28. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $4,000 or more About $4,000

    Brooklyn Pizzeria Full Page Photo in CD

    Full Page Photo of the outside of your Brooklyn Pizza Place in the booklet in the full length Grab a Slice CD. Available to one Brooklyn Pizzeria. You'll also get featured prominently in the sponsors section on our websites, cousinmoemusic.com, & grabaslice.nyc. And you receive 50 copies of the CD.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.