The Strange Prophecy of Keb' Mo's Album, "Suitcase"


In December of 2005, my friend, John Porter approached me about the availability of Shangri La Studio for the recording of a new album by Keb’ Mo’. John had produced two albums for Keb’, whose full name is Kevin Moore and I was happy to offer them the hospitality of the studio for the project, which was to begin recording in January, 2006. The album would ultimately be released under the title, “Suitcase”. The title proved to be strangely prophetic.

As we walked out of the studio on March 30, John, Kevin and I shook hands and talked about how perfect the studio had been for this project. They weren’t aware of the cancerous rumblings of ruin taking place just under the surface of the studio, but I couldn’t help telling them of my feeling that this could very well be the last session at Shangri La.

The very next day, March 31, 2006, I found myself reluctantly packing my own suitcase and saying goodbye to Shangri La, my musical home for eight years and my residential home for three. The details of the degeneration of what could have been a musical paradise are not available for discussion at the moment. I’ve chosen to take the high road until the legal dust clears. However, the story of how I came to be the resident manager of the studio is interesting, and one which bears telling.

This story will be a recurring theme in upcoming blog entries. I’ll jump from one event to another, from one decade to another as the writing mood suits me. As I look back, I can say that I’ve never worked harder than I did at Shangri La, I’ve never had more laughs than I did at Shangri La, and I’ve never received more nor been screwed worse than I was at Shangri La. This… is going to be a long story.

I’ll see you next time when I begin the journey at a converted store-front rehearsal space in North Hollywood, California.