Admiral Radley: How it all started
Members of Earlimart and Grandaddy have been friends for a long time. Well over ten years. We toured together, hung out together, visited each other’s respected headquarters, and subsequently went on to be quite close.
Who knows how these things start, but…
Some of us decided it might be fun to get together and make an Earlimart/Grandaddy album with various members of each band collaborating, constructing songs and recording them in a loose and enjoyable atmosphere. We will call it Earlidaddy or Grandimart! Yaaaaaay!
So, recording started and sure enough, it’s loose and enjoyable as expected. Sometimes it’s even hilarious and insane. Anything but dull. Which is great! One day in the studio we got stuck on a particular song. Things just weren’t coming together so after a number of lackluster performances and a lot of head scratching we decided we needed to take a break. A change of scenery of sorts.
Someone suggested the Hammer museum. (We were in L.A.) And, as luck would have it there was an exhibit by Japanese artist Heisuke Kitazawa going on. We were sure this would be just the thing we needed to reset our collective creativity.
So we went to the museum and checked out the exhibit, which turned out to be quite wonderful, and it was obvious to everyone that it had been a good idea it was to make this trip.
Afterwards we ended up in the museum cafe for French fries and red wine. It was at this time (around bottle #3 and plate #2 of fries) that a most mysterious thing occurred.
A man approached us. To this day it still seems like a dream.
He looked as if he had come from another time or from a grainy black and white documentary about some early Norwegian polar expedition. His outfit, which appeared to be once stiff and slightly royal, was now faded and well worn. He appeared to be between 50 and 60 years of age with a firm build and a confident but relaxed expression. But above all, it was this antique haze he had about him that made him so noticeable especially in contrast to all of the glossy surfaces, modern furniture, and fussy patrons in the café. So of course you can imagine how thrilled we were when he singled out our group, and after pardoning his intrusion, introduced himself as one Admiral Radley After a few hellos, nods, and handshakes, he wasted no time in asking Ariana if she wouldn’t mind helping him extract a splinter from his thumb.
After adjusting to the presence of this intriguing man and while Ariana worked at his splinter, we continued talking about the Grandaddy/Earlimart project. We offered him some wine that he accepted. Jason mentioned something about the wine having hints of raspberry and licorice. The Admiral agreed and went on to note hints of lavender, crushed rock, early morning bakery, and peeled pear.
He seemed fascinated by our talk of song structures, tempo changes, analog filters, automation, and master compression, and he listened silently as we carried on and laughed and then carried on some more.
Eventually Ariana managed to get the splinter out of his thumb. The Admiral seemed very grateful for both the medical care and the wine. He seemed to really appreciate his brief encounter with us as well. As if there wasn’t a lot of laughter, jokes, and exuberance back where wherever it was that he came from.
Our talk died down, our glasses were emptied and after a tiny moment of awkward silence, the Admiral stood and thanked us for our hospitality. He shook our hands and commented on Aaron Burtch’s “shoveler’s grip” and it was then he did a most curious thing.
He removed a battered tin box from his coat pocket and placed the wood splinter that Ariana helped extract into it. He then looked toward Aaron Espinoza and said, “If you will allow me to be candid…” to which Aaron said, “Of course.”
The Admiral said, “I have to say that Earlidaddy is a terrible name, but nowhere near as dreadful as Grandimart. I believe you should call yourselves Admiral Radley, and I believe you should go forth and play shows and spread your loose and enjoyable message.”
He then gave us the tin that contained the splinter and told us we should carry it with us at all times for good luck. He went on to say that he had enjoyed meeting us and in that short time decided he could use us to help him pull off his next big adventure.
When he rose to leave we asked him for his contact info. He just laughed a little and said, “not to worry my fair friends. Just keep your eyes peeled, and you’ll find me out in the field.”
Excited? I am.