Session Start: Wed Nov 10 20:48:58 1999
<WotanCCC> The progressive world has been abuzz with news of a Happy the
Man reunion to record a new album as well as a live performance already slated for next
year's Nearfest! Three members of the group will be on hand to discuss the latest goings
on and to answer your questions.
Get your questions in early using the following format;
<WotanCCC> Type /msg ASKHappyTheMan Your question here.
<WotanCCC> After all these years, the wait is finally over. At least it is for adventurous music fans who rightly regard the two albums Happy the Man released on Arista Records more than 20 years ago as a holy grail for aural gratification. Hailed then and now as two of the finest progressive rock albums ever made, 1977's self-titled Happy The Man and 1978's Crafty Hands are both filled with wondrous, genre-leaping music that transcends time, place and easy categorization.
Now, thanks to One Way Records, which had been inundated with requests from Happy The Man fans, for the first time these two classic releases are each available in this country on CD in their entirety, with the same art work that was featured on the original vinyl versions.
<GaryArtistShop> Hi, Frank and Stan
<Canefire2> Stan and Frank here as Canefire2
<GaryArtistShop> Rick will hopefully be joining us soon.
<Canefire2> hello Gary, yes on Rick
<WotanCCC> To send a question to our guests use the following format;
<WotanCCC> Type /msg ASKHappyTheMan Your question Here.
Or if you are using EZTalk just enter your question in the field at the top of your screen and click on SEND
<GaryArtistShop> Just to clarify things for the audience, although you can see our guests comments from the stage, they can't see yours from the audience. So don't be offended if they don't reply directly. When you submit a question according to Wotan's directions, that'll be visible from the stage.
<WotanCCC> That would be correct. In this setting you send your questions into the question queue, and our screener will send them to the stage for the group to answer. You will be identified as the person asking the question. We're just waiting for one one more band member to join us, then we'll get started. Might be a good time for that last trip to the refrigerator. Once the conference starts we will moderate the arena room, so those that just wish to chit chat wont be interferring with the conference dialog.
<WotanCCC> We're just about ready to start folks. If you have questions to submit, get them in now. To send a question to our guests use the following format;
<GaryArtistShop> Ok everyone's here
<Canefire2> Hiya Rick!!
<RickytheK> howdy!!! How ya feeling?
<WotanCCC> . Welcome to tonight's Artist Shop
<Canefire2> Stan-I's excited....where's da questions?
<WotanCCC> . Featured Artist Conference. Frank Wyatt, Stanley Whitaker, & Rick Kennell of Happy The Man. Presented by @Music and TalkCity
<WotanCCC> Happy The Man is considered by many to be one of the finest American progressive bands. Their Arista releases, Happy The Man and Crafty Hands, have long been sought after by their fans and reissued by One Way Records.
Gentlemen, we appreciate you taking the time out to speak with us today. Welcome to @Music and TalkCity!
<Canefire2> Thanks from Stan and Frank
<ASKHappyTheMan> GentleGiant says: So, where have you guys been all this time?
<GaryArtistShop> Stan and Frank are joining us from the same computer.
<Canefire2> Wow, we been all over. Frank was in Hawaii for 13 years or so.
<RickytheK> I've been in New York.
<GaryArtistShop> Have you been active musically in this interim?
<Canefire2> Stan here, I've been in L.A. the past five years tryin' to be a rock star!
<WotanCCC> Who are you playing with Stan?
<Canefire2> Stan again, I've had numerous musical ventures. I just moved back east with
Frank to put the band back togehter.
<ASKHappyTheMan> watcher_of_the_skies says: /msgASKHappyThe Man Any plans
for a concert tour? We miss you in Reston.
<RickytheK> we will be playing dates for sure, but not until next year
<Canefire2> Frank-- Reston!!! wow, been a long time since we were in Reston. We are going to play at Nearfest 2000 in Bethlehem, Pa in June of 2000. No further plans as yet, but we do plan to play more live for sure
<RickytheK> North East Art Rock Festival
<WotanCCC> What exactly is Nearfest?
<Canefire2> Stan-Nearfest is a progressive music festival that features prog bands from all over the world. Check out their website.
<WotanCCC> Cool. Thanks.
<ASKHappyTheMan> MrMXR says: What bands/artists do you guys listen to for enjoyment?
<Canefire2> Thanks, ricky!
<Canefire2> Frank- I love lots of jazz and classical music, Stan has recently turned me on to Faure and Delius, great stuff there. We have always loved Debussy and ravel, and the great progbands like
Gentle Giant and King Crimson, Van der Graf, etc.
<RickytheK> I've been getting into Ben Neill, Mutant Trumpetist.
<GaryArtistShop> That's a new name for me. I'll have to check him out.
<Canefire2> Stan- I also like Nik Kershaw and Neil Finn.
<RickytheK> Yeah, he has this amazing midi mutant trumpet with six valves and a trombone slide for pitch changes.
<GaryArtistShop> I've always felt the Happy the Man's music seemed to have a strong connection to the whole Canterbury scene and is mentioned a lot by Canterbury fans even though there doesn't seem to be a real connection.
<Canefire2> Frank....truley mutant<vbg>
<RickytheK>Ii think that is because some of us met in Europe and were very influenced by the prog europeon bands, gong, egg, hatfield, gentle giant, yes, crimson, van der graff,
<Canefire2> Stan-yeah, I never quite got that connection either, although I(we)have always loved Hatfield especially.
<GaryArtistShop> Definitely a fav!
<ASKHappyTheMan> rpchew says: I love Franks compositions, are you writing some of the new material?
<Canefire2> Frank-thank you, and yes, I have about 6 new tunes, not sure which ones will be on the new album yet. Actually we have a whole pile of new material songs from Stan, Rick, myself , Ron Riddle, and David Rosenthal.
<RickytheK> Frank and Stan especially have been busy boys
<GaryArtistShop> So will Ron be back on the drums, then?
<Canefire2> Frank-Definitly, Ron is the man.
<ASKHappyTheMan> prognut says: I have to say that the release of Death's Crown is going to be on top of my 1999 list - 25 years after it was recorded. Do you have more stuff like this? Is the new music going to be in the same direction?
<Canefire2> Stan-To me, it's like we're picking up right where we left off!
<Canefire2> Frank---I agree...same direction and vibes, like riding a bike, but the technology has made it so much better now, I believe the live shows will be completely mind boggling!
<Canefire2> Frank-pedaling Giant Animals<g>
<GaryArtistShop> Did the release of Death's Crown do well? I wondered if a good reception to it influenced your decision to get back together.
<Canefire2> Frank-we really have no idea how many sold yet, we'll find out next month, so that had nothing to do with our reunion, we're on a mission from God<haha>
<ASKHappyTheMan> JohnKrout says: When you record, will you be collaborating remotely, as Kit and Coco have done?
<Canefire2> Frank-We like to be in a room sweating together! The music just evolves so well with the personal interaction, we love it. At this point, we are swapping cd's of the rough ideas, but we will be practicing and refining the tunes together.
<RickytheK> kit and coco did a great job of working that way, but it isn't for me!!
<ASKHappyTheMan> stereosteve says: What can we expect from the new album in terms of length of the compositions?
<RickytheK> good question! Wish we knew!
<Canefire2> Frank- Our roughs vary from 3 min to 8 min at this time but it is all subject to change.
<ASKHappyTheMan> JohnKrout396 says: /msg ASKHappyTheMan As you see it now, what was the downside of your experience together in the 70s, and what will you do now to avoid it? Is the Internet going to be an advantage for you?
<RickytheK>Frank keeps combining songs
<Canefire2> Frank-Hey I heard that Rick<g>....Downside??/, well dealing with the major record industry, with a very small market for our type music was the bummer. The internet will be a great plus for us now.
<RickytheK>Yeah, direct access to the fans is a gas.
<WotanCCC> The Net seems to have been a boon to the progressive movement in
<GaryArtistShop> I can honestly say that Happy the Man has done well in The Artist
Shop. And the demand for the Arista reissues was just explosive!
<RickytheK>That is great to hear!!!
<Canefire2> Frank-Cool beans!
<ASKHappyTheMan> countfloyd says: Your reemergence is such great news-what
brought all of you back together?
<Canefire2> Stan very cool beans!
<GaryArtistShop> For the first month my biggest problem wasn't getting them, but keeping them in stock till I got the next shipment!!!
<RickytheK> Fate, destiny and intense love for what we were methinks brought us back
<Canefire2> Stan-I was in L.A. playing with a prog group called Ten Jinn, and doing these prog festivals, and I discovered serious Happy the Mania and immediately got in touch with
Rick and Frank. It was the obvious thing to do.
<ASKHappyTheMan> dayat says: The way I see it, Happy the Man has composed two types of songs. The first are those that are slow, serene, and dreamy. But my preference is those of the second type, in which you guys very often just show off your musical skills within the complex and melodic composition frame, such as "Stumpy meets the firecracker". So this is just a request, please make more music like that in your new album.
<Canefire2> Frank-mid life crisis<g>
<RickytheK> There will be burnin intensity on the new album guaranteed, huh stan...lol
<Canefire2> Stan- don't worry. more stumpy's on the way!
<ASKHappyTheMan> MrMXR says: I also love your compositions Frank, question on writing, do you work out melodies first, or chord progressions or is it whatever comes to you?
<Canefire2> Frank-I write almost always from chords first....melodies later
<ASKHappyTheMan> rpchew says: What has changed in 20 years, why now??
<Canefire2> Frank-life just happening , time is a helix of (fill in the blank)
<ASKHappyTheMan> prognut says: When was the last time you played on stage together
<Canefire2> Stan-This era (millenium madness)seems to have brought out the proggers! 1979 was our last time playing together.
<ASKHappyTheMan> DrPhibes says: What exactly is that on the cover of the first album?
<RickytheK> ha ha ha ha
<Canefire2> Stan-ah, the eternal question...
<RickytheK> SUPPOSED to be a broken open cocoon, not broken open.
<Canefire2> a butternut squash?
<RickytheK> or other unmentionable items
<Canefire2> Frank-rofl ....subject of much speculation even among the band members
<WotanCCC> After not playing together for 20 years how was the first jam? I have my own thoughts on the thing on the first album, but I can't really address them on Talk City.
<Canefire2> Frank-David came down and played with Stan and I last weekend. It was amazing, it was wonderful, we were Happy men<g>
<RickytheK> Delirious men!
<Canefire2> Stan-O.K! I can see we've opened pandora's box. David Rosenthal is an old dear friend we first met in New York, and he had every HTM song fully transcribed.
<RickytheK> He was Steve Vai's roomate at Berklee and while Steve scored Zappa, David scored Happy.
<ASKHappyTheMan> stereosteve says: Speaking of cover art...Are you gonna let Kit design for the new release? Some of his releases had neato stuff on the cover.
<Canefire2> He is our new keyboard player presently touring with Billy Joel. Kit just wasn't into the live thing at all, and we all wanted a band again!
<RickytheK>Haven't really discussed cover art yet, we have so many artists submitting stuff, who knows?
<GaryArtistShop> So how will the new album come about. Do you have label interest? Or will you be putting it out yourselves?
<Canefire2> Frank-take it Rick!
<RickytheK> We have to take it a step at a time; we are prepared to put it out ourselves, for sure!!!
<ASKHappyTheMan> prognut says: /msg ASKHappyTheMan What do you consider your "crowning" achivement: album, track - won't let you get off easy - outside of what's to come?
<RickytheK> crafty hands
<RickytheK> crafty hands
<RickytheK> crafty hands
<Canefire2> Stan-crafty hands has always been my favorite album but song? forget it!
<ASKHappyTheMan> JohnKrout396 says: /msg ASKHappyTheMan How were the Arista tapes rediscovered? They were lost in the vaults for a long time.
<GaryArtistShop> Yes, the HtM Arista reissues - I've had customers asking me about these albums for years! What finally happened that brought it about?
<Canefire2> Rick did that.
<RickytheK> We were only able to find safety copies from arista, and we were lucky they
found them for retrospective. SOMEHOW, god intervened and found the original masters somewhere. When I went up to one way and mike kraft put on Service. I immediately
knew it was the original. We got em to kit and he put his ears and final touch on em and presto!
<WotanCCC> Is there anything else you would like to mention before we conclude today?
<RickytheK> Just thanks so much for all the support and for hangin in there with us!
<Canefire2> Anyone wanting to reach us can email us at Happythestudio@webtv.net
<WotanCCC> Wow. Cool. Looks like our time is up.
<Canefire2> Stan-god bless Happy the Fan!
<WotanCCC> I'd like to thank everyone for joining us today. Guys, we appreciate your taking the time to come and chat with us today, and hope youšll come back to Talk City again soon!
The transcript of this event will be posted within a few days on the @Music discussion boards on Talk City
<Canefire2> Frank-Thank you all
<WotanCCC> and on the Artist Shop web site http://www.artist-shop.com
<WotanCCC> To purchase Happy The Man or for information on other Happy The Man recordings, please visit The Artist Shop Online at http://www.artist-shop.com
<WotanCCC> Finally, thanks to the Artist Shop for working with us on this conference. We especially appreciate the efforts of Gary Davis in giving us the opportunity to speak with members of Happy The Man.
<WotanCCC> . http://www.artist-shop.com
<GaryArtistShop> You're quite welcome.
<WotanCCC> If you would like to provide feedback on this chat,
<GaryArtistShop> It's always fun
<WotanCCC> please send us email to email@example.com
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<WotanCCC> If you'd like your own home page and web site, please go to http://home.talkcity.com
<WotanCCC> Tonight's show has come to an end. We thank you, our great audience, and extend a very special Thank You to our guests Happy The Man. We look forward to seeing you again soon.
<WotanCCC> @Music Featured Artists is produced in conjunction with @Music, The Artist Shop, & Talk City (tm), a production of Talk City, Inc.
<WotanCCC> Copyright 1999, All Rights Reserved
<GaryArtistShop> And Bruce, let's not fail to mention Talk City's new channel <#music-
<WotanCCC> Join the @MusicUnderground, Keep on top of all @Music events - www.talkcity.com/atmusic
<WotanCCC> Please join us in the Music-Progressive room to continue talking about Happy The Man.
<WotanCCC> Thanks guys. Its great hearing from you.
<RickytheK> and thanks to you!
<GaryArtistShop> Maybe some of our audience would like to come over there after the
chat. Perhaps Frank, Stan and Rick would like to join us there as well.
<Canefire2> Sure where is it?
<WotanCCC> By all means, you would type /join Music-Progressive
<GaryArtistShop>Just join the channel music-progressive
Session Close: Wed Nov 10 22:42:03 1999