Friday 31 August 2012

Santana Trumpeter Bill Ortiz Celebrates Consciousness with Hip-Hop, R&B and Neo-Soul Full Length CD “Highest Wish”

August 27, 2012 - San Francisco, CA - A longstanding member of the Santana band, Bill Ortiz is proud to present his new full-length release titled Highest Wish. A follow up to his “Winter in America” EP released earlier this year, this new album project features conscious emcees such as Casual, The Grouch, Zumbi (of Zion I) and K-Maxx, as well as fellow Santana member (and 11 time Grammy® Award Winner) Tony Lindsey, and iconic poet/vocalist Linda Tillery, featured with a spoken word performance of Dr. Martin Luther King's Nobel Peace Prize speech.
“Carlos has always used music to inspire and bring people together,” explains Ortiz. “I try to follow in that tradition. I’ve been really inspired by some of the Bay Area hip-hop artists like Casual, Zumbi and the Grouch who make music with enlightened lyrics,” Ortiz adds of how he chose his featured guests. “We often celebrate ignorance in our society, so I wanted to celebrate consciousness.” On his EP, which charted in the top 10 on CMJ’s hip hop charts for over a month, Ortiz covers Gil Scott Heron and Brian Jackson’s 1973 hit on the track “Winter in America” as an homage to the recently departed Heron. The concept video for this track has been featured on many mainstream hip-hop websites.

And while Ortiz is known over the past 12 years as the trumpeter with Santana, he’s been involved in the Hip-Hop and R&B movements for as long as he’s played music. He played trumpet on the classic hip-hop Souls of Mischief album “93 til Infinity” and has worked and recorded with Tony Toni Tone’, En Vogue, Sheila E, TLC, among others. Born in San Francisco, California, Ortiz began his mastery of the trumpet at age 10. While in school he was first chair trumpet in the San Francisco All-City Band, and by his mid-teens he was playing at local dances and clubs with a number of R&B and jazz groups, giving him an early and varied start to his professional career. His horizons were broadened even further during his college years with his first exposure to electronic and Latin music.

In the nineties Ortiz began working with R&B/Hip-Hop group Tony Toni Tone’ as a touring band member and featured soloist. He performed on five releases from the multi-platinum selling group, as well as toured the US, Canada and Europe. He accompanied Tony Toni Tone’ when they joined Janet Jackson on her "Alive" tour and made numerous TV appearances with them. This exposure led Ortiz to recording with Destiny's Child, En Vogue, Souls of Mischief, Sheila E, TLC, Total, and Johnny "Guitar" Watson, among others.
Following his stay with Tony Toni Tone’, Ortiz toured and recorded with the legendary Boz Scaggs, and began a long and fruitful association with highly acclaimed jazz vocalist Lavay Smith (with whom he still works), recording two CDs and touring the US and Europe yet again.

Presently Ortiz is recording and touring with Carlos Santana, work which includes his performances on the Grammy® Award winning singles Smooth and The Game of Love. In addition, he has been very active as a studio musician playing Hip-Hop, R&B and Jazz. In 2009, Bill Ortiz released his debut solo album “From Where I Stand,” which charted on Billboard and garnered huge success among critics and fans alike in the USA and around the world. Bill Ortiz is endorsed by Rebel Spirit Clothing.

Bill spends a good amount of his time and energy getting involved in music education, both as a clinician and private instructor. He enjoys mentoring younger musicians and spreading the experiences and diversity of his musical background, which he tries to bring to all of his own playing and recordings.

"My musical upbringing contains a wide variety of styles, including Jazz, Hip Hop, Latin, African, R&B/Soul, and Blues,” he states. “What I am trying to do with my musical voice is reflect all of those elements of who I am as a musician and a person. I'm not a purist; I try to bring all these elements of who I am musically into one voice."

Ortiz will celebrate the release of his new album with 2 performances (8pm and 10pm) with his All-Star Band at Biscuits and Blues at 401 Mason Street in San Francisco, CA (415) 292-2583 on October 19th, 2012

A music video for the song "Winter In America" is available from the link below. This song, featuring Tony Lindsey from Santana on lead vocals and The Grouch from Living Legends is a tribute to the late great Gil Scott-Heron.

Highest Wish will be available September 4th, 2012.
For more information


Rob Ayling writes: "Thom the World poet, is an old mate of mine from way back in my history. Even pre-dating Voiceprint, when I was running "Otter Songs" and Tom's poetry tapes and guest appearences with Daevid Allen, Gilli Smyth, Mother Gong are well known and highly regarded. It just felt right to include a daily poem from Thom on our Gonzo blog and when I approached him to do so, he replied with in seconds!!!

Thom is a great talent and just wants to spread poetry, light and positive energy across the globe. If we at Gonzo can help him do that - why not? why not indeed!!"

word is alive and well!

but it has morphed and spawned many children-
text and Tweet for newbies/Ritalin Generation/dyslexic/ADHD
HALLMARK greeting cards for the nominally emotional
Country and western for the sentimentalists
Novels for airport reading/ebooks for instant messaging
Magazine articles for leisure and dentists offices
Poetry for teardrops,loveloss,departures,fragments and moments
we share with intimates-a private/public language
that whispers to each prisoner"YOU ARE FREE!"
and this is where the door is-as it swings open(in imagination
it is not the rules or cages set us free
it is the lilt of our magic and music underneath...

as soon as your voice reaches cadence and resonance
you are alive as well!

and this is why we sing

LINK: Erik Norlander review

Erik Norlander – The Galactic Collective Live In Gettysburg (CD/DVD)

Erik Norlander

Erik Norlander’s biography on his website starts by saying he is a progressive rock keyboardist, composer and producer from California that has written and produced over 30 albums since 1993 with his chanteuse spouse Lana Lane and his band Rocket Scientists. Is that enough to impress? I would think so if you have never heard of the artist or any of his work. Erik’s band consists of Freddy DeMarco (guitars), Mark Matthews (bass), Nick LePar (drums) and his lovely spouse Lana Lane (vocals).

I can you tell you he does back up that initial statement with a solid back log of recordings and most recently this 2CD/1 DVD collection Live In Gettysburg distributed by the folks at Gonzo Multimedia.

This is a beautiful set that gives you the option of popping the CDs in your stereo or iTunes or kicking back and watching the entire concert and listening in surround sound. I enjoyed both experiences completely. The thing about a guy like Norlander is that he does not stand out in the hall of legendary ivory ticklers such as a Wakeman, Emerson or Rudess. After listening to all of his music I think it may be time to look a little harder at this great musician and all of the tremendous contributions made to the development of keyboard advancements and the great progressive rock he has produced.

It takes a set like this for it all to sink in entirely. I found Norlander’s music moving, majestic and powerful. It makes you feel like you are getting ready to go into battle with King Arthur and his court at times or at the other end of the spectrum with the thought of the “Galactic Collective” term in mind, you have visions of deep space exploration or floating amongst the stars via the spacey notes emanating from his very large keyboard set. He has that monstrous wall of equipment similar to what Keith Emerson used when he was with ELP.

I find it difficult to single out any one track as being a stand out from the rest as the entire collection is outstanding. Visually there is not a lot going on with the DVD, it is just the band and Erik talking about the songs, the equipment and how the band came together. Things like that can be of interest to a listener. If you looking for a visual presentation you will not find it here, however if your only concern is what you are hearing then it takes no more than shutting your eyes and letting Erik and his band take you wherever you please. I also enjoyed the vocals of Lana Lane. She has very powerful set of pipes and a good stage presence.

By the time this entire experience was complete I found myself looking at all the releases Norlander and Lane have available. Everything is listed right on his website so it is worth exploring if you are interested.

Live In Gettysburg is a must have collection if you enjoy keyboard music and or progressive rock. Don’t miss out on this release.

4.5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Secrets of Astrology, Trantor Station, Sky Full of Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck

And check out the dedicated Gonzo artist page for Asia featuring John Payne, and for Erik solo

LINK: Rick Wakeman Book Review

Caped Crusader-Rick Wakeman In The 1970s

Author: Dan Wooding
Paperback Book: 190 pages
Publisher: Gonzo Multimedia (April 12, 2012)
I have always found Rick Wakeman to be one of the more entertaining chaps in the music business. And I do not mean with his music alone, which is what made him the legend he is. It’s his off the cuff humor and the grumpy old rock star attitude that has always made me chuckle. I love reading his monthly article in Prog Magazine and have watched him entertain crowds at his solo concerts with his piano, stories and jokes on DVDs. Wakeman is quite a unique combination of an entertainer and I was very interested to know more about how he came into prominence in the 70s.
Caped Crusader-Rick Wakeman In The 1970s is one of the more interesting and fascinating tales of a talented musician and his rise to the top of the music world. This story takes you back to when Rick was a child prodigy, a musical genius in the making. It is not hard to understand now after reading this book why Rick Wakeman has accomplished everything to date in his career. He was born with gift and started using it at a very early age.
From church to The Strawbs, Yes, and a fantastic solo career, Wakeman covered a lot of ground in the 70s and a few times it nearly killed him. With the stress of his work, the demands on his time and his well-documented partying with his mates, his heart could not take it and he consequently developed health issues early in his life. Eventually he had to slow down a bit (but not much) and put the booze on the shelf before it destroyed him. Many lessons we learned over that amazing decade and now the great ivory tickler lives to this day to tell all the tales. He is one of the lucky ones that survived the lifestyle of the rock star.
In 190 pages you get the real scoop of how Rick Wakeman became the man and musician he was and eventually turned into. I have always been fascinated with his music and whit and this book put it all into perspective for me. I found a new appreciation for the genius of the man and his sense of humor. To look inside the head of a musical genius is one ride you will never forget. From his time with Yes and how his relationship evolved with all the members, how he created his solo masterpieces Journey To The Center Of The Earth and The Six Wives Of Henry VIII to his movie soundtrack work, this account gives a great deal of insight into his creative process.
Caped Crusader-Rick Wakeman In The 1970s was a very enjoyable read about a not so typical life story and life on the road under the Wakeman big top. I look forward to reading more volumes that are available about this fascinating and talented character that became a music legend so many decades ago.
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-Founder
Check it out at Gonzo

Thursday 30 August 2012


Check it out...

Michael Des Barres & BP Fallon by & © Aaron Lee Tasjan

Michael Des Barres & Miss Pamela

BP Fallon & Michael Des Barres USA 1972
by Andrew Tribe from the Ist Silverhead album cover

Gyl Owen-Corrigan & Michael Des Barres & Iggy Pop
& Coral Shields, Rodney’s English Disco, LA 1973
by & © BP Fallon

Danny B Harvey & Michael Des Barres & BP Fallon
& Nigel Harrison & Jimmy Quill on Red Horse Ranch,
Austin, Texas by & © Little Deb

BP Fallon & Michael Des Barres, Viper Room, Hollywood
by & © Michael Dee

LINK: Jefferson Starship headlines this year's Beatles festival

Photo -

Abbey Road on the River, the annual tribute to all things Beatles that returns this Labor Day weekend at National Harbor, is mixing it up a bit.

This year, Jefferson Starship headlines. With roots deep in the '60s, Jefferson Starship reflects a similar zeitgeist from the era.

"I love Beatles music," said Paul Kantner, founding member of Jefferson Starship's predecessor, Jefferson Airplane, which was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. "It was one of the first musics that sparked me into rock and roll from folk music. I draw from them just like I draw from science fiction."

The five-day Abbey Road on the River runs from Thursday to Monday. Jefferson Starship performs Friday.

Read on...

...and check out the Gonzo Artist Page for Jefferson Starship you know it makes sense.

LINK: Motorhead biography

The new Motorhead: Live to Win by Alan Burridge is a true rarity in the world of rock and roll books. More often than not, these oversized books are filled with pictures, very little text, and come with an astronomical price tag.

True to the spirit of Motorhead though, this is a book made with the fans in mind. While it contains a many rare pictures, it does not skimp on the history, and is priced at about half of what I expected it to sell for.

Like a lot of fans in the US, I first heard of Motorhead in 1980, with theAce of Spades album. I later discovered that Lemmy had started out as a roadie for the Jimi Hendrix Experience. He then joined Hawkwind, only to be kicked out after being busted for drugs in Canada. Lemmy has always maintained that it wasn’t the fact that he was doing drugs that got him canned. It was the fact that he was doing the “wrong kind” of drugs that did him in. He claims to have formed Motorhead so that he could never be fired again.

LINK: Interview with Trevor Rabin

This interview was conducted by e-mail in July 2012 and my thanks to Trevor, and to Ron DeVivo for organising it. We focus on Trevor's recent solo release, Jacaranda, later in the interview, but we start with some broader questions, looking across Trevor's long career, from commercial success with Rabbitt in South Africa, to his time in Yes, and writing film scores.

If the questions seem a bit odd(!), I was asked specifically for questions away from the usual, so I took this opportunity to quiz Trevor about a variety of topics from some unusual angles. To improve readability, I have re-arranged the order of questions and done a bit of editing.

Henry: You went from being this huge success with Rabbitt in South Africa to coming to the UK and a less commercially successful solo career, and then back to huge audiences with Yes. What was that journey like for your self-esteem? Do the periods of big success carry you through the other times, or do they just make you more frustrated when every album doesn’t sell as well? Do you think of the fans of different parts of your musical life – Rabbitt, Yes, film scores – as being separate groups, or are you keen to pull them along with you as your work evolves?

Read on...


Rob Ayling writes: "Thom the World poet, is an old mate of mine from way back in my history. Even pre-dating Voiceprint, when I was running "Otter Songs" and Tom's poetry tapes and guest appearences with Daevid Allen, Gilli Smyth, Mother Gong are well known and highly regarded. It just felt right to include a daily poem from Thom on our Gonzo blog and when I approached him to do so, he replied with in seconds!!!

Thom is a great talent and just wants to spread poetry, light and positive energy across the globe. If we at Gonzo can help him do that - why not? why not indeed!!"
second hand world

luminaries flicker through front doors

sharing Tales Of Brave Adventures-
they were there in Golden Times

i listen like a microphone
to stories from another time
transport them through rhyme
witness second hand

too many wars tub thumping hate
when we need more to relate
tales of peace and harmonies
art,music,love in poetry

so this reminds our warring times
we all may live in different minds
Solutions we have yet to find
A garden we are growing in..



I'm not sure how Rick Wakeman, who is a devout Christian feels about being described as a 'God'. In fact I don't know how I (who am also a Christian, albeit of a rather Zen type) feel about describing Rick as a 'God' despite the fact that he plays keyboards like an angel (oh dear this is getting confusing...)

30/08/12 Prog Magazine who recently announced the first annual Orange Amplification presents the Progressive Music Awards, in association with, are to honour the legendary Rick Wakeman as the first ever recipient of the Prog God Award.

Rick Wakeman is one of the most respected and celebrated keyboardists in the world of music. An innovator of the instrument, a composer and songwriter, he is best known as a member of Yes. Having sold over 50 million solo albums alone including the classics of ‘The Six Wives Of Henry VIII’, ‘Journey To The Centre Of The Earth’ and ‘The Myths And Legends Of King Arthur And The Knights Of The Round Table’, he also co-wrote and performed on seven Yes albums including ‘Fragile’, ‘Close To The Edge’, ‘Tales from Topographic Oceans’ and ‘Going For The One’. Consistently touring through his career as a solo performer and with bands such as The Strawbs, New English Rock Ensemble and ABWH (Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe), he has played some of the most extravagant and groundbreaking live shows ever seen, to millions of people around the world.

From the beginning of Wakeman’s musical career straight out of college in 1969, he became one of the most sort after sessions musicians in the world. He played on Cat Stevens ‘Morning Has Broken’ and David Bowie’s ‘Life On Mars?’, ‘Changes’, ‘Oh! You Pretty Things’, ‘Space Oddity’ and ‘Absolute Beginners’. Other artists he has recorded with include Black Sabbath, T. Rex and Elton John.

Rick Wakeman on winning the first ever Prog God Award: “I’m very proud indeed. I’ve always believed that these days there is hardly a band or musician anywhere who haven’t used some element of prog in their music. It’s all about freedom of expression, which in my case is often in seven different time signatures! I am genuinely very very proud to get this award.”

Prog Magazine has gone from strength to strength since its launch in 2009, and has had a market-defying three years at the forefront of the prog scene. Originally part of the Classic Rock Magazine brand, Prog became its own entity this year and continues to find success, and The Progressive Music Awards are a credit to this. Having been embraced by prog’s affluent and notably dedicated cult following, the magazine has established itself at the heart of this most unique and underground of rock scenes.

For more information please contact Ben Pester, Communications Manager at or 0207 042 4035 and 07737 138 384


Editors Notes:

About Future plc:
Future plc is an international media group and leading digital publisher, listed on the London Stock Exchange (symbol: FUTR). Founded in 1985 with one magazine, today we have operations in the UK, US and Australia creating 200 special-interest publications, apps, websites and events. We hold market-leading positions in Games, Film, Music, Technology, Cycling, Automotive and Crafts. Our biggest-selling products include T3, Total Film, Classic Rock and Official Xbox Magazine. Our websites include,, and (the UK’s number one consumer technology website). Future sells 2.2 million magazines each month; we attract more than 40 million monthly unique visitors to our websites; and we deliver over 100 digital editions and bespoke apps on tablet. Future exports or syndicates publications to 89 countries, making us the UK’s number one exporter and licensor of magazine content. Future was named Consumer Digital Publisher of the Year for the second year running at the Association of Online Publishers Awards 2012.

About Orange Amplification:

Founded in 1968 by Cliff Cooper, Orange Amps have always been a pioneering force in guitar amplification and built their reputation on delivering high quality without compromise on construction and tone. Known as the best British guitar amplifier manufacturer for both design and build, the company were awarded The Queens Award for Enterprise and International Trade in 2006 and 2009, the highest award that the Queen can confer on a UK company and it is recognised throughout the world.

Check out Rick's Gonzo Artist Page

HAWKWIND: Whatever happened to ....Stacia

Did you ever wonder what happened to Stacia when she put herclothes back on, and left the band?

Wonder no longer. Check this out

Wednesday 29 August 2012


Miuchael Des Barres did, indeed appear on the Andy Dick Show again. I am very much looking forward to any videos which emerge..

If you have not done so already, check out Michael's Gonzo Artist Page


Rob Ayling writes: "Thom the World poet, is an old mate of mine from way back in my history. Even pre-dating Voiceprint, when I was running "Otter Songs" and Tom's poetry tapes and guest appearences with Daevid Allen, Gilli Smyth, Mother Gong are well known and highly regarded. It just felt right to include a daily poem from Thom on our Gonzo blog and when I approached him to do so, he replied with in seconds!!!

Thom is a great talent and just wants to spread poetry, light and positive energy across the globe. If we at Gonzo can help him do that - why not? why not indeed!!"

what is sweetest of all

is adaptation to adventures-
to turn in the moment as opportunities present themselves
Travel is wearying/exciting simultaneously
as we grow elder,guided we need be-
that solo spark fire becomes a warm bed and breakfast
that hike through the hills a rest in a room
May your steps take you to bright new sparklescapes
May your eyes delight in astonishing scenes
And if the walk is too hard,may you be well rested
in the cradle of gentle sweet traveling dreams...


My fandom for Annie Haslam and her band is enjoying somewhat of a Renaissance (cue drum rolls, and those cymbal noises that crappy seaside comedians always have when they tell a particularly awful joke). On my birthday I received a spectacularly lavish CD/DVD package of the current version of Renaissance live courtesy of Howard from Howling Wuelph. I enjoyed it massively, and was therefore inspired to look around for more Annie Haslam interview thingys for the Gonzo Daily...

Since her induction into the band in 1971, Annie Haslam has been the voice of Renaissance, one of progressive rock’s oldest and best loved classically inspired bands. Her astonishing vocal range and dazzling delivery on top of Renaissance’s memorable songwriting have ensured that she become arguably the foremost female in a male-dominated genre. The band released a string of classic records in the 70s, including Scheherezade and Other Stories and A Song for All Seasons before folding in the 80s. In 2009, the band reunited with a new line-up and have been touring with their old classics ever since. Not jaded after years of being with the band, Annie is more than confident that this new version of Renaissance will go far, starting with a new album next year.

Read on...

Annie Haslam's artist page


I have been a fan of Gordon's for years and have about a dozen of his albums. I used to know him vaguely, but haven't seen him in a long time. It is very gratifying, therefore to find out that not only is he still active but that he is just about to go out on tour with Rick Wakeman's son...

August 2012 News Update

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Gordon Giltrap and Oliver Wakeman Poster

Giltrap and Wakeman

Well, the tour is now booked and you have all had sight of the dates by now, but in case you've not seen them I've included a full list below.

I’m currently preparing material from my and Oliver’s repertoire for the tour and must confess to be pretty terrified by all this. This will be my very first foray into progressive rock for many a year and of course I want it to be perfect. Oliver is a joy to work with but as yet we haven’t been in a proper rehearsal situation. I shall report back at the end of August because that is when we plan to start rehearsing in earnest for the tour and of course the album.

We shall be playing material from our respective back catalogues and of course some of the new pieces from 'Ravens and Lullabies’ I just hope I can keep the energy levels up to keep up with this outstanding and vibrant young Wakeman. He has DEFINITELY inherited his father’s genius and more. Scary or what!

Ravens and Lullabies Tour Dates

22nd Sept
Huntingdon Hall, Worcester - 01905 611 427

27th Sept
The Playhouse, Western Super Mare - 01934 645544

29th Sept
Trowbridge Arts Festival - 01722 321744

2nd Oct
Band on The Wall, Manchester - 0161 834 1786 or 08452 500500

12th Oct
Guildhall Arts Centre, Grantham - 01476 406158

13th Oct
The Wesley Centre, Maltby - 01327 310088

17th Oct
Farnham Maltings, Farnham - 01252 745444

18th Oct
The Brook Theatre, Chatham - 01634 338338

19th Oct
Ashcroft Arts Centre, Fareham - 01329 223100

26th Oct
The Junction, Goole - 01405 763 652

giltrap 3169

London Acoustic Guitar Show September 23rd

I have been invited to play at the London Acoustic Show at Olympia on Sunday September 23rd. My spot will take the form of performance and masterclass.

Newton Faulkner is headlining the Saturday night show. Other artists appearing include Thomas Leeb, Andy Mckee, Sandi Thom, Nick Harper, Jim Moray and many more. I’m sure other names will be added as the date approaches.

This is going to be a great show and I look forward to seeing you there!

Call 01926 339808 for tickets,or go to for more info.

What happens when you mix what is - arguably - the world's most interesting record company, with an anarchist manic-depressive rock music historian polymath, and a method of dissemination which means that a daily rock-music magazine can be almost instantaneous?

Most of this blog is related in some way to the music, books and films produced by Gonzo Multimedia, but the editor has a grasshopper mind and so also writes about all sorts of cultural issues which interest him, and which he hopes will interest you as well.