Volume 7 / Chapter 227
Sponsored: Sudarsan L. & James W.
While Jun Hyuk was participating in Monterey Jazz Festival, President Stern was preparing the Seoul show. And now, he is in front of the most important person in that performance.
“It was incredible, Isaac. The 1st album that a 17 year old Jun made. I got goosebumps.”
“Yeah. There’s no catch, right? All genres are in one album.”
Alvin Lee-who looks much too old to say that he is 39 years old-was admiring Jun Hyuk’s album without exaggeration.
Alvin Lee is the bassist and vocalist of a rock band that appeared like a comet in the
2000s, but released 2 albums and disappeared. He had to spend 5 years in a rehabilitation center because his drug addiction had gotten to the point where it was difficult for him to continue doing music.
There were a lot of rumors that he would reform the rock band after coming out of rehab, but his first album was surprisingly the blues. And that was solo instead of with a band, with a simple song and serene lyrics.
Alvin Lee overcame that 5 year period and was awarded a Grammy for his comeback album, showing that his genius musicality remained. But focused on making studio albums instead of concerts, and was a hermit singer who only appeared occasionally in small-scale concerts.
So it is surprising to propose a concert to him, and a large-scale Korean one at that. President Stern thinks highly of his vocals, which express his arched life, and firmly believes that he will present a great concert with Jun Hyuk.
“It is iffy to say that is an advantage. From the position of the fans buying the album, they would rather have an album full of the genre that they like. This album just feels like it’s been filled with the best of charts songs.”
“There’s a reason for that. It might not be easy to understand because the lyrics are in Korean, but it contains the 2 years where Jun started living a stable life for the first time and learned music. You know about his childhood too, don’t you?”
“Yes, I saw the lyrics. There were a lot of waves in his life.”
Alvin Lee put a cigarette in his mouth. He could not shake the thought that he was incredibly immature and foolish compared to Jun Hyuk because he spent his 20s wasting away on drugs.
“That’s why the lyrics have meaning. I had the Korean lyrics translated, so look over those first and then write the English lyrics…”
President Stern handed over the papers with the translated lyrics, but Alvin Lee did not even look at them.
“I’d like to write my lyrics based on how I feel regarding Jun’s music that on the original song’s Korean lyrics. I don’t want to force meaning on the emotions of the original song. We can just forget it if you don’t like that.”
He was a little surprised by what Alvin Lee said, but he laughed.
“Then that means you’ll do it?”
“Yes. It means a singer would be stupid to miss out on a song like this.”
“Phew. What a relief. I was worrying that you might reject because you only release your own work.”
“Ha ha. It’s not like that. I just made my own songs because there wasn’t a song I liked.
It’s not important who made it if I like it. I’m just a singer.”
“Then when can you be done working on the lyrics?”
“I’m already writing them. It won’t take long. There was something I thought of when I heard the music.”
Alvin Lee put the cigarette out and did not hide something that was bothering him.
“But what are you going to do if Jun doesn’t like the lyrics that I wrote?”
“That won’t happen.”
President Stern spoke nonchalantly, telling him that there is nothing to worry about.
“Aren’t you trusting me too much? I’m not a poet like Yates. I can’t create incredible lyrics. I just write my thoughts.”
“No, that’s not what I mean. Jun doesn’t pay much attention to lyrics. He thinks of a singer as an instrument. He places more importance on the singer’s voice than he does in the lyrics. He thinks more highly of the ability to handle a song well with the voice.” Alvin Lee snapped his fingers and nodded.
“Aha! So that’s why Laura Goldberg’s incredible voice was on that album. It’s because he doesn’t care about lyrics?”
“Yeah. That’s the music that Jun wants, and the reason why I chose you. You’re the only vocalist who came to mind when I was listening to Jun’s album.” Isaac Stern set Alvin Lee up, but he just laughed.
“No way. There are so many great vocalists. Aren’t you Isaac Stern, master of the box office? If I sing, the box office element just gets a little stronger. Reappearance of the hermit?
Isn’t that what you’re going after?”
“Well… I can’t say that’s not a part of it. Ha ha.”
He shook his head as he watched President Stern laughing slyly, but he did not stop smiling.
“Then I’ll create a demo as soon as I’m done writing the lyrics and send it over. I hope
Jun likes it too.”
President Stern smiled widely in satisfaction of the results of today’s meeting.
“I’ll be waiting in anticipation. Then we’ll meet with Jun soon.”
“Are you going back to New York?”
“No. I need to go to LA to get a bassist on board.”
Alvin Lee showed interest at the mention of a bassist because he himself is an outstanding bassist.
“LA? Who is it?”
President Stern winked and laughed as he left.
“Mr. Stern. Did you come to LA because of me? You could have just told me over the phone.”
“Would I really have come all the way to LA because of you? I came to see my 4th girlfriend who lives here. You’re just a side note.”
Colin was speechless because he could not tell from Stern’s serious expression whether or not he was joking. It seems like the girlfriend is true, but it is hard to believe that she is the 4th one.
“You can change your show schedule around, right? Jun’s concert in Korea is next month, and I was hoping you would join as bassist.”
“Excuse me? Me?”
When Colin heard President Stern’s sudden proposal, he had thousands of thoughts. “Why? Do you not have the confidence? Or does it not fit into your schedule?”
“Oh, no. It was just so sudden… Did Jun….?”
“Why? Are you thinking of turning this down if Jun had asked for it? Out of a matter of pride?”
“Of course. You have to fill the concert with the best musicians. It needs to be perfect so that no one is falling behind Jun’s standards. And not too long ago in New York, I told Jun about the difficulty I’ve been having. It might be because of that…..”
“It’s nothing. I heard you’re Jun’s friend. Then I’m sure you don’t think that Jun is the type of person to take care of such small details like this.”
“Yes, well that is true. No, no. Jun isn’t good at expressing it, but he does take good care of the people around him.”
President Stern squinted at Colin and washed him of his concerns.
“I came to know about you after Jun signed on with our agency. There was an item for arrangement among Jun’s income, so I looked into it and it was your album. I came to meet you because the way you played on that remained in my memory.”
Colin’s face became brighter when he realized that he had been judged on ability. “Then can you by chance tell me who the vocalist is?”
“What? Goodness. Alvin Lee on the vocals?”
A genius hermit with diehard fans. He was excited by the possibility of being able to perform with such a musician, but he is also surprised by President Stern’s ability to get him on board.
“Then have you decided on a drummer as well?”
Colin’s expression showed that he was expecting another tremendous musician’s name. “Oh. The drummer is the original drummer. You’ve heard Jun’s Korean album, right?” “Yes, of course.”
“Wasn’t he great? I got a file of his playing sent from Korea, and he’s gotten even better.
So we’ve decided to use him.”
Colin lightly bowed his head to President Stern.
“Anyway, thank you for giving me this opportunity.”
“Check the details on the contract. Your manager…”
“Oh, you can just give it to me. I don’t have a manager, so…..”
“What? You don’t have a manager?”
“It’s a bit complicated.”
Colin looked embarrassed and gave a rough explanation of how his music career has been collapsing ever since the drummer quit.
“Hm… Then just clear your schedule. You’ll need to keep at least 2 weeks before the concert free. 1 week of rehearsals with a temporary band. Then 1 week of rehearsals with the orchestra in Korea. Got it?”
“Yes. I’ll be preparing.”
“Great. Let me know as soon as your schedule is fixed.” President Stern shook Colin’s hand and returned to New York.