Taxi Road Rally 2006, Day Three

Another bright blue November day on Sunset Boulevard on the way to the Taxi Rally. In LA, you don’t have to look in the newspaper to see what movie is opening soon. Gargantuan movie posters take up the entire sides of tall buildings, as well as enormous billboards, and the sides of buses and bus stops.

I could hardly wait to hear Nancy Moran’s lecture “Alternative Markets and Outlets for Songwriters and Artists Who Don’t Fit the Commercial Mold,” and I was not disappointed. I took six pages of notes, dense with information about alternative performance venues, radio stations, sales venues, and song markets.

I met Adam Rauf, mathematician, guitarist and percussion player, and Eric Belcastro, drummer, percussionist and guitarist, of the Pittsburgh instrumental group Kalon. Eric bought a copy of my book, Living on the Earth, which endeared him to me immediately. He said he wants to live off the grid someday.

Adam and Eric gave me their CD “Dark Sky, Bright Sun,” with a wonderful cover painted by Eric’s father Mario Belcastro, which amazed me because of its similarity to two of my CD covers: Music From Living on the Earth (a naked goddess smiling at the sun and the sun at her) and What Living’s All About (a girl waltzing with the moon over the ocean).

I cruised around the Music Biz Bookstore in the Silverlake Room, where the teachers and mentors offered their books, CDs, DVDs, and brochures. This lovely girl with rings through her upper and lower lips had devised a simple marketing strategy, which I know worked well for Lawrence Welk.

At the end of the day, I bought a Boss Dr. Rhythm DR-3 Drum Machine for one third off at West LA Music’s booth in the Grand Ballroom. My 1984 Roland TR 505 had exceeded its dotage, and a replacement had been on my shopping list a long time. It’s the second time in three years I’ve bought a piece of equipment from Noel Gould, their friendly and astute sales manager. And, yippee, he bought a copy of Living on the Earth, too. Those two books paid for my first three days of parking at the Hollywood and Highland mall.