Friday, February 6, 2015

David Minasian Newsletter #7

Here we are in the second month of the new year already. I hope it's been a good one for you so far. Things have been speeding along at a hundred miles an hour around here and there appears to be no slowing down anytime soon.

As you may have noticed, I have been extremely busy producing/directing/editing a number of music oriented DVDs in recent months, including three for Moody Blues frontman Justin Hayward ("Spirits…Live", "Watching & Waiting", and "The Story Behind Nights In White Satin") and one for our favorite English progressive rock band Camel ("In From The Cold").

First, I was more than thrilled to be able to renew my working relationship with Andy Latimer and Susan Hoover of Camel Productions. Camel had finally returned to the stage after a ten year absence to perform their classic album "The Snow Goose" in its entirety, along with a collection of some of their most magnificent epic compositions. It was a breathtaking performance at the legendary Barbican Theatre in London, and the resulting DVD, "In From The Cold", is perhaps the best DVD yet from Camel Productions that I have had the pleasure of being involved with. If you don't have a copy, you owe it to yourself to get one!

In addition, within days following the release of Justin Hayward's "Spirits…Live" DVD which we had filmed in Atlanta back in August, 2013, the disc reached the #2 position on the Billboard video charts, thanks to all of you! And then a few weeks after that, we found ourselves in Florida filming yet another concert with Justin Hayward. Justin wanted to make sure the setlist for this new tour was markedly different from the "Spirits…Live" setlist. So I suggested the classic Moody Blues track "You Can Never Go Home" from 1970's "Every Good Boy Deserves Favour" since it had never been played live before. Justin liked the idea, and suddenly it was in, along with other such rarities as "Watching and Waiting", "I Dreamed Last Night", and the previously unreleased "No Regrets", together with fan favorites "Nights in White Satin" and "Tuesday Afternoon".

There was a magical atmosphere at the Capitol Theatre that night which I think we managed to capture on film. We also recorded an extensive interview with Justin after the show which made for a very long day for all of us. The resulting film, "Watching and Waiting", is just one of two new DVDs that feature Justin Hayward (along with Mike Dawes and Julie Ragins) live in concert. The DVD has eight songs not featured on the "Spirits…Live" DVD and is therefore the perfect companion piece to it. Two of the songs, both from the Blue Jays album, were recorded backstage in Florida with only Justin and I present and have been included as bonus tracks on the "Watching and Waiting" DVD. A private concert by one of the world's best singer/songwriters… how cool is that?

A second DVD that was just completed is a documentary titled "The Story Behind Nights In White Satin" and contains the first ever live performance of "Nights" from 1967 captured on film, which has never appeared on DVD before, along with Justin's surprising account of how the classic song wound up becoming one of the most popular recordings of the rock era.

Both of these DVDs will be available exclusively through the PBS television network beginning later this month. Make sure to tune into your local PBS station starting February 28 to catch a re-edited version of "Spirits…Live". I predict March will become Hayward-mania month here in the US.

Several other projects have recently come my way including a few big Hollywood films. However, I am committed to getting the new album done and have even ordered some new keyboards and recording gear which should be arriving any day now. I will be heading back into the studio in the coming weeks and will keep you all posted regarding my progress. In addition to getting the new album in the can, I hope to continue to work with Justin Hayward on more music and film projects, and possibly rekindle some old acquaintances... 2015 looks to be an exciting year indeed.

All my best;