Tonight I raise my glass to an old friend. Angelo Badalamenti.
12th December 2022 | Tim
Tonight I raise my glass to an old friend. I’m sad and brimming with happy memories – Angelo Badalamenti died yesterday evening.
I spent most of 1995 working with him making the ‘Booth and the Bad Angel’ album over an idyllic year in New York. I was obsessed with the Julee Cruise ‘Floating Into The Night’ CD and hoped to make something as sensual and strange with him. He wanted to make a rock album with me, he won out!
The album flowed. I brought in the recently ex-Suede guitarist Bernard Butler who made magic happen and he brought in a pre-‘OK Computer’ Nigel Godrich to engineer the mixes. Recordings with James had been wonderful, but there was always a pressure, a pressure that was absent here. I was taking a year out from James (who had kindly stepped in to play with us on the ‘Later’ sessions).
Angelo and I worked in a studio reeking of the 50s, close to Times Square, run by his friend Artie. We worked in the times between great meals and storytelling.
His break had some writing songs for Nina Simone. The musical style he became famous for – inspired by the Cocteau Twins.
One day he played me 20 national anthems on the piano whilst talking about how each anthem reflected the national characteristics of its people.
His uncle Tony had served time as a mafia hitman and Angelo’s impersonation of him, a dead murderous glare, became a game we played daily. The winner was whoever could hold the glare longest without cracking up. We still play ‘Uncle Tony’ in our household.
He gave me the clapped out Fender Rhodes that he had created all the music for Twin Peaks on. My friend Lenny Kaye kept it in his lock-up in New York for five years, until he bumped into Angelo at a party and gave it back! I moved to America the following year and asked Lenny to ship it to me…
I insisted his name be in the album title, that he be on the front cover. In retrospect I saw him as a father figure, I couldn’t get enough of him.
It was a rich time for me, living by Central Park and pursuing my soon-to-be-wife. The song ‘Please Fall In Love With Me’ was an unabashed attempt to seduce her. She recently admitted it worked.
I’m sure I was not the only one to assume from hearing his music, that he might have a dark personality, but the man was all heart, our collaboration a rich pleasure. Angelo was mischievous and eternally young at heart.
He left a big impact on me – an impact that makes my heart smile and my soul sing.
Nothing but love.
Playground Festival, Glasgow – September 2021
2nd December 2022 | wearejames
Photos by Elly Lucas Photographics.
RIP Dick Rabel
18th November 2022 | Jim
Dick Rabel was our front of house soundman, the guy that makes the gig sound great.
Dick loved working with us, and us him.
He loved our anarchic approach and revelled in the spontaneity and unpredictability that scared off lesser soundmen.
His beaming grin appearing in the dressing room after the show to grace us with compliments, selflessly bouncing back any praise aimed at him right back at you.
A kindhearted and generous man who made the magic happen.
Our thoughts are with his family.
Sleep well friend.
From all of James
Dick Rabel by Trust A Fox Photography
Tim adds, “The very wonderful Dick Rabel has died. Dick came out of retirement to work with us and did our sound at our summer festivals for the last number of years until this summer. A beautiful big-hearted man – we will miss him deeply.”
Sneak peek behind the Orchestral scenes with James & Joe Duddell
17th November 2022 | wearejames
Photos by Trust a Fox Photography.
16th July 2022 | Jim
Such sad news hearing of the passing of Paul Ryder.
We had the pleasure of playing with the Mondays in December last year, and to think this could happen so soon.
A true legend who gave the Monday’s their groove and sculpted their sound, and as a fellow bass player, a personal inspiration to me.
The whole of James send our heartfelt best wishes and condolences to Paul’s family. Much love. – Jim
Castlefield – Sounds of the City – 2 July 2022
2nd July 2022 | wearejames
It’s you that fuels us, it’s that simple.
8th December 2021 | Jim
“What an absolutely incredible experience. That has to be the best James tour ever.
Thank you to the greatest fans in the world for giving us the opportunity to experience such unbridled joy, celebration and euphoria. It’s you that fuels us, it’s that simple.
Also, a massive big-up to the unsung heroes who make these very special events happen, our crew. Forty-two of them on this tour. Our biggest ever production. Each day requires a Herculean effort of near impossible demands. Bless you all.
Apologies to everyone who bought tickets for the two Portugal shows. Hopefully you can make the rearranged dates.
Take care everybody. Much love and see you down the road.” – Jim
Photo © Paul W. Dixon
Guitar tutorial extraordinaire! Learn To Play…Waltzing Along
4th June 2020 | Adrian
Let’s play ‘Waltzing Along’
9th April 2020 | Tim
My wife’s Father, my beloved Father-in-law, was amongst the 6,159 Covid-19 deaths in the UK on Sunday. He came off the ventilator and past within 15 minutes. We who love him, who are many, are blown open with love and grief; of course. His equally amazing wife of 54 years is quarantined alone in London. Her son and my wife live in America. No one can fly back to be with her, no one can be at the funeral but she has extra-ordinary neighbours and community; the greatest gift of these times.
Thank you for all your kind words, prayers and sweetness. There’s no need to respond to this, I’m marginal in this one story amongst many. Maybe just blow an imaginary kiss to an 83 year old widow in London, a health worker or the equivalent someone close to you.
We have so much appreciation and gratitude for the NHS frontline sheroes and heroes, for their courage, kindness and patience. Two hours before he died an Angel/Nurse held a FaceTime camera so we could say goodbye, whilst we had his wife on FaceTime our end. This kindness enabled some closure for those he leaves behind. He was coherent, funny and unafraid.
Stay safe and hold your loved ones close.
— Tim via @RealTimBooth
3rd April 2020 | Jim
Hi there everybody. I hope this finds you all well and coping okay.
I just thought I’d say ‘Hello’ and wish everybody the very best and let you know that although the members of James are scattered world wide and in our own states of lock down, we are thinking of you.
This is all a bit mad isn’t it? It goes without saying that these are indeed extraordinary times, that are impacting us all and some of you I know must be really struggling.
My heart goes out to those who have lost loved ones and for those who have family members that are ill.
Also to all of you self-isolating on your own and the issues that brings and to families isolating together and the tension and pressures of all being squeezed in a small space. This will end. It’s a pain in the hoop but we will get there.
It is great to see families and friends stepping up to help and support each other and there are some real heroes out there. (Andrew Perkins.)
And of course a huge ‘Thank you’ to all key workers who are working harder than ever. Ordinary people putting themselves at risk to help to keep us all safe and well. From the heroic NHS staff, to van drivers and shop workers keeping us fed, everybody.
Love and best wishes, Jim from James x