April 2015
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healing heart grooves

Healing Grooves once again 4.24.15

Pathways of healing grooves


LSD is acid. They are the same thing. This is a realization that many in the current generation of young adults do not grasp; that LSD and acid are the same entity; and what it really was to the Sixties generation. The opening of consciousness is now taken for granted. Without the mind expanding qualities of LSD this understanding of our own operating system would have taken amuch longer to evolve. This nudge to our intelligence was what brought us into a state of universal awareness. The perspective changed from national to global, then to cosmic. These jumps in thinking needed help. The brains that were activated and capable of handling the new ways of perceiving reality were the ones that created the world we live in today. If you were to ask the innovators from the sixties generations, if they had taken LSD, they might lie and say no, but they also might admit that it was a stimulus to their evolution as a person. LSD was legal for a long time, over ten years. It was being used in psychotherapy and subtle energy research at prestigious academic establishments. It was used by Dr. Lilly in his search for dolphin intelligence interface. It was also used as a political tool. The musical world was transformed by the chemical, creating a huge canvas of colorful alternatives to conventional thinking about basic structures of musical form as well as articulating cultural roadblocks to higher evolution. It was like a crowbar on the sewer lid of our consciousness. It had to be pried open. I am not advocating, because this is a different time and the drugs are different and our consciousness is different. When Ram Das left Princeton and journeyed to India, his guru insisted on taking all of the LSD that Dr. Alpert (Ram Das) had brought with him. The guru showed no change in behavior after the large dose. He had control of his mental functions so the drug did not become the dangerous instigator that it has been labeled as. We are looking for a subtle energy that transforms us, that is a yearning in all humans. The Drum has always been a form that uses this subtle transcendental energy. The side effects are nil.

Spring drumming

celebrate with the drum

Donate your neighbor’s car to KCSN

Bored with your neighbor’s bad attitude? Donate HIS car to a worthy cause:

“Sure. Come and get it. It doesn’t run and I lost the keys, So you just have to tow it out of the driveway. Sure come on by tonight, after dinner. Don’t even bother to ring the doorbell. We probably will be asleep by then. Good luck with your pledge drive. I listen to your music all the time. Great radio station. Great deal you got, just donate cars.. Cool.

Way of the Drum CD

Way of the Drum CD now available!


Tom Waits? He stole my whole act, man!

Tim Buckley was gone. Killed by a complicated plot made to look like a suicide. I was sitting in Tim’s former keyboardist, John Herron’s apartment, who was currently on the road with Wolfman Jack in Canada. I watched over his collection of antiques and musical instruments in a two story apartment above a garage on a shady tree lined residential street in Sherman Oaks. By default I also watched over his newest girlfriend, young and fresh from Albuquerque, who was staying in John’s master bachelor bedroom. Tonight there was a scruffy looking fellow sitting on John’s bed. The girlfriend had picked him up at a club or a rehearsal studio. He knew John. So she was no doubt considered fair game by this stranger. I had seen his motorcycle outside at the foot of the stairs when I got back from doing a session in Hollywood, so I was not completely taken by surprise. He began to explain himself as I was sizing him up to throw him off the side of the balcony. He said a few things that made me hesitate from launching him into the dry San Fernando Valley night air. He was from New Orleans, and he was a drummer. Claiming to be a drummer born and raised in New Orleans can be a dangerous claim. It would be like some stranger going to Camp Lejeune and claiming to be a special forces soldier. You had better be able to back up your claim. Chuck E. was a colorful character and his voice was authentic. He knew what Second Line rhythms were. He was a blues singer as well as an accomplished drummer, and no doubt a real ladies’ man to boot. As per usual I ended up listening to his story. He told me about meeting this young folk singer upon arriving in LA. “He was a folk singer, man!… From the Valley!” Chuck E. growled, whiskey words through strands of dark unkempt long hair hanging over his pale racially mixed hound dog face that resembled the blacktop on Highway 41, at Clarksdale, Mississippi, the Crossroads, midway between Memphis and New Orleans; weathered, worn, cracked, finely laced wrinkles from late nights of alcohol and cigarettes even at his young age.  But his voice was what entranced. He had the greatest low rumble flow of New Orleans patois, with impeccable timing of phraseology seasoned with down home gumbo bittersweet wisdom. He was for real, trying to get his place in the sun playing his music. But he was going off about some kid who had befriended him. “Maaannn, When I met him, he was sangin’ “Five Hunert Mailes, Five Hundert Mile… He didn’t know shit. Played goddam folk music. Next time I saw him, he was talking like ME! Mutherfucker copped my whole act, man.” Chuck E. Weiss and the Goddam Liars became one of the greatest bar bands in LA and the beautiful, sweet and talented Rickie Lee Jones wrote the huge hit song;”Chuck E.’s in Love”.  The folk singer became Tom Waits.

excerpt: “History of the Groove” Russell Buddy Helm ©2015 all rights reserved buddyhelm.com

Tom Waits??? Who is that?

Tom Waits??? Who is that?
I was fed up with the pablum the producer was forcing Tim to sing. “Martha” was a tepid love ballad and was not what we were developing on the road. It wasn’t why I came to LA to play music. Tim Buckley’s band was getting hot. Tim’s voice was soaring, riding my pummeling rhythms. The band was an afterthought during the encores. It had come down to just Tim’s ecstatic vocal yodeling sounds with my driving Afro Cuban Southern fried rock n roll soul Voodoo hitting hard. The grooves drove the audience into a cheering frenzy. I knew where this act should go. But here we were sitting in a cloistered rehearsal room at Bizarre/Straight Records at 5830 Sunset Boulevard rehearsing some boring slow love song that Herb wanted us to do. The politics of making an album can be the most frustrating and disheartening part of music. It is no fun. Herb had signed Tom to a publishing deal, so by having Tim Buckley cover Tom Waits’ songs, Herb was making money from both artists. We cut “Martha” in New York after performing at Max’s Kansas City. It was a single and it stiffed. The producer had no idea what to do with us. One live album came out of that era called “Honeyman”. That was proof of what we were doing then. I didn’t know who Tom Waits was then because I was isolated. Touring meant not being in LA and hearing local music. The world of the touring musician was totally different than staying in town, looking for the new up and coming acts and hitching your wagon to a rising star. I didn’t hang out in LA. There were no coffee houses, like in New York or Coconut Grove. I didn’t feel much of a connection to the talent on the street. I had not heard Tom’s song, “Searching for the heart of Saturday Night”. That would have been a good one for Tim to cover. Herb and Zappa collected acts that were like exotic butterflies; non commercial exotica. They would put them on needles under glass in their own little private collection. Then they would gradually let the acts get exposure. micromanaging every little detail of their creative quirkiness. That was their identity with Warner Brothers record company who distributed their albums. They put out the weird stuff; like Captain Beefhart. They were so locked in to this outsider mentality that when Herb and Frank signed Alice Cooper, they refused to put out Alice Cooper’s first album because Frank thought it was too commercial. Tim was not really commercial yet he wasn’t really esoteric either. He had been a folkie. He wanted to push the levels of Soul music as well as go into trance and yodel in some foreign language. It was a paradox that we even got to work with that music at all. But there were angelic influences watching over us. I could feel them. It reminded me of Coconut Grove. This was important music to be playing. Herb not withstanding. He was making it possible, even though we had no control over anything other than what we played on stage.
excerpt: “History of the Groove” Russell Buddy Helm ©2015 all rights reserved buddyhelm.com