I have been listening to live bands for as long as I can remember. When I
was little more than 16 years-old, my father began taking me into Los
Angeles jazz clubs in the sort of neighborhoods where food stands
offered hot link sandwiches and sweet potato pie. In other parts of
town, we regularly saw Carmelo Garcia, Mongo Santamaria, Tito Puente and
Poncho Sanchez. At the Chez Club in West Hollywood, we listened to
Buddy Rich as he recorded his album Live at the Chez. I was in Las Vegas
to watch Frank Sinatra sing backed by Count Basie with arrangements by
Later, when Matthew Ettiinger's night club--The Plush Bunny--became my
second home, I was privileged to watch some of the best L.A. bands of
the time performing live. Most memorable for me was El Chicano playing
their current hit Viva Tirado. I was at The Troubadour when John Klemmer
debuted his hit album Touch and was there to see Jennifer Warnes launch
an album of her own. I attended numerous Chicago concerts including
Saturday in the Park when they played with the Doobie Brothers and at
Anaheim when they played with the Beach Boys and I thought the stadium
was literally going to collapse. For a time, I hung out with people at
Buddah-West (the West Coast office of Buddah records) shortly after Neil
Bogart left to start Casablanca Records. Buddah's flagship act was
Gladys Knight & The Pips and I learned a lot about music in that
environment. Bobby Gaiters, who had played for the Giants and the 49ers
in the NFL, was the A&R guy and I learned a lot from him about the
Last Wednesday as we were leaving our Elysée Wednesday gathering on the
Sunset Strip, a converted school bus pulled to the curb and a gypsy
woman beckoned us onto the bus. Instinctively, I climbed aboard and the
others in our group followed me. What we found in the back of the
bus--known as the Mothership--was a three-member band called
Interstellar Transmissions featuring Gavin McGowen (guitars), Nathan
Wilson (drums) and William Jerome (keyboards). The 'gypsy woman' was
Ishani Ishaya a captivating fire and dance performer. What we experienced on the bus made every other band experience seem like 'old school'.
On their Facebook page, the band states: "We compose this music with an
intention to exalt, illuminate, uplift, and empower. It is the sound of
us saluting all of the amazing and inspiring beings that we have been
blessed and honored to know." I have read similar liner notes on albums
where you knew for a certainty that the words were PR spin written by a
label flack attempting to resonate a potential following. Such is not
the case with Interstellar Transmissions for, upon watching and hearing
them perform, one is immediately aware of their intent without ever
having read their mission statement. It is what they do. It is what they
are. They have managed to rise above all the definitions that could be
applied to them.
Although we took photos and videos of the performance Wednesday night
with our iPhones as the bus cruised the Sunset Strip, I determined to
return with a 'real' camera and record their performance for a segment
of Elysée Wednesday: Drive! So it was that the bus came to collect us in
Venice where a few of us were having a picnic on the beach and enjoying
the full moon. We cruised the streets of Venice as I filmed the
performance enjoying every aspect of the experience. An hour and a half
later, they returned us to the picnic still in progress at one-thirty in
Were I asked for my note, it would be: This transcends the experience of
a band playing on a bus--it is an alternate universe of sensual,
intellectual and spiritual pleasure...
This very special evening with Interstellar Transmissions will be presented as a segment of Elysée Wednesday: Drive! Episode 2.
In the meantime, you might want to join them on Facebook.
How to Shoot a Feature Film in 15 Days (And Survive to See Profits)
Click to buy on Amazon
Click to view on Amazon
Examples of Responsive Reactions
Click photo to see example clips from Stephen's movies
Action/ReAction at Stella Adler
Point of Departure
A Series of ONE...
Stephen and Dragonuk
Stephen Mitchell webinar for Stage 32
Ferrari GTO 3987 at speed by Yan denes
Ray D. Shosay's Journal
Dispatches from a (junior) suite in Paris
Ray D. Shosay's Journal (excerpt)
"Saturday, January 27, 2007
They say you can fool some of the people all of the time. Accordingly, I think we should concentrate on this group initially. We can move on to the people you can only fool some of the time at a later date if we deem it necessary. I hope to hear back from my agent about this as soon as he's out of rehab, as I don't think my messages have been getting through."
Ignorance is Bliss by Stephen Mitchell
Kindle or Paperback versions
Exerpt from Ignorance is Bliss
"Out of the corner of his eye, Martin saw Martha shift in her seat. She leaned forward, as though something was about to be decided. This caused her breasts to push up against the neckline of her dress in a way that couldn't be fully appreciated out of the corner of one’s eye. So, Martin turned his head to look directly into the abyss of her cleavage. He was vaguely aware that Murray was talking again."
Carrera Panamericana (1950-54)
Click on poster to buy the poster and DVD
Ferrari GTO 3987
Elysée Wednesday: Drive!
Click photo to watch on Amazon Direct Video
“You ought to meet Steve. The two of you have the same kind of Ferrari.”
Ferrari Berlinetta Lusso
One evening, I was enjoying a John le Carré novel and a glass of Bordeaux...
L'art de l'automobile
My first Lusso prior to restoration
It was only after Sinatra was gone...
Once upon a time...
Meeting Enzo Ferrari
I came across this on a late night stroll in Paris near the Louvre.
I bought Bentleys in England and Ferraris & Maseratis in Italy to re-sell in Los Angeles as a teenager. I met Enzo Ferrari, Juan Fangio and Steve McQueen. I 'grew up' on the set of Mission: Impossible and other episodic TV series of the era. For a few years, I owned a Ferrari GTO that is owned by Ralph Lauren today and valued at approximately $52M. I began my film career by writing, producing and directing Montmartre in Paris in French. I founded and ran a repertory company for film & TV for 20 years in Los Angeles. I created a TV series which had fans that included Marlon Brando. I authored the first new acting technique--Action/ReAction--that was not based on Stanislavski's Method. I am currently writing my third novel and shooting my spy thriller Exigence. If you can't make movies, live your life as though you were in one...