Of all the people I've met over the years with great stories, Frank Simes has definitely got one of the best. There are so many interesting details about his life. Like the fact that his father worked for Gen. MacArthur in Japan, where he met Frank's Japanese mom. Or the fact that he's got a 27-year-old daughter getting her Ph.D. at Harvard—while she's also in a punk rock band. I guess these are the kinds of things that happen when your dad's been a touring musician with people like Mick Jagger and Stevie Nicks. I met Frank around 2008, when I was hired by Frank's producer friend, Nigel Sinclair, to come up with a fresh concept for a David Bowie documentary. (Nigel had produced, among other films, Scorcese's amazing Dylan documentary, No Direction Home.) Frank was brought in to school me on the musicality of Bowie's genius. We ended up meeting a few more times—once at his house in the hills of Southern California to discuss a Led Zeppelin project I worked on, then again at the Whiskey Bar in Hollywood, where we met Nigel and Roger Daltrey to discuss me writing some storyteller/stage banter material for Roger's upcoming solo tour. I even saw Frank's Zeppelin cover band play at a small bar in Long Beach a few years ago. (I still remember getting the chills when he pulled off a Page-perfect rendition of "Heartbreaker.") And I saw Frank play with Roger at a downtown LA gig not long before I moved to Austin in 2010. (When that crescendo hit in "Baba Riley"—an all-time goose bumps concert moment for me.) I even saw Frank in Cedar Park, just outside of Austin, when he was the musical director for Roger's big solo tour, during which they played "Tommy" in its entirety. Cut to 2015. A few weeks ago The Who are playing at the Barclay Center—5 blocks from our apartment. I send Frank a message on Facebook to see if he had time for a chat or a ticket. A day before the show I still hadn't heard back, so I decided to text Frank—which I should have done from the beginning. He got right back to me, said he could've gotten me into any of the 3 shows The Who were playing in New York City if I'd reached him sooner. He did, however, agree to meet me at his hotel for a chat. So on a Friday afternoon—a night after he'd shared the stage with Daltrey and Townshend and Springsteen and Billy Joel and a few others I'm forgetting—Frank and I grabbed a cup of coffee and walked to Central Park, where this happened. For those of you into the wonderful world of podcasts, check out our very first episode of the 2 Degrees of BOB podcast, featuring the great Frank Simes—musical director for The Who. Rock 'n roll!
Do I know you? One man's attempt at a lifelong head count.
NOTE: If you think I might have a photo of you—most likely at least one great photo of you—don't be afraid to ask me to post it (firstname.lastname@example.org) along with a brief entry about how I know you. And if I've met or known you but don't have any photo evidence, feel free to send along YOUR favorite photo of you. (I'm fascinated by what that slideshow might look like.)