Saturday, September 11, 2010



Yup, that's the transliteration of my evil laugh as I fly to the Philippines to produce an album and assume creative control of someone else's musical aspirations.

This sadistic desire dates from the days of 'group learning' projects in high school where, much to the delight of the rest of my group, I would often complete the entire assignment myself to make sure it was done, and done right.

I also take charge of my wardrobe. I iron my own shirts, but I don't fold my underwear. Nobody folds my underwear.

This may be news to some of you, but I also like to dominate grapes. I love popping the hapless fruits between my lips so that they snap back against the roof of my mouth, sometimes two or three at a time. In grape-tossing situations, I also prefer to be the 'pitcher', not the 'catcher', despite the large size of my mouth.

It was this desire to call the shots and exercise creative control, while in the studio with my hard rock band Silversafe, that initially led me to record (and produce) my first solo album, and embark on my career as a solo artist. While working on Crown Point's new album in Vancouver, BC, it was this same desire that caused renowned producer Jeff Johnson to, I imagine, want to pat me on the back at times. By 'pat', I mean 'slap', and by 'back' I mean 'face', of course.

Now, for the first time, I've been hired to produce an album. The artist? An up-and-coming singer/songwriter from Guam, Cara Flores.

As a result, I find myself sitting in seat 29G on Korean Air Flight 20, headed for Seoul and ultimately Manila.

I have one word for you. That word, of course, is Gochujang.

Never heard of it? You will. It's the Korean hot pepper paste that, for an afternoon at 35,000 feet, made my mouth very, very happy, salvaging an otherwise blandtastic meal of rice, seaweed soup, some chili pickle concoction, and of course honeydew.

To be honest, Gochujang and honeydew were meant for each other. It was a beautiful thing. Brought tears to my eyes, tears which had much to do with the fact that I emptied the rest of the 20-gram tube on the hapless honeydew before inserting the whole mess in my mouth amid the polite giggles of my seatmate.

Little does she know that I'm only laughing because she smells like baby powder. Did she just have her diaper changed? I have no idea.

Two thumbs up for Korean Air and their extraordinary hospitality, by the way. If I had been blessed with a third thumb, it would be up as well.  Honestly the most courteous and helpful flight attendants I've ever seen.

In any case, I couldn't be more excited to work with Cara. Her songs are lyrically-driven and stand on their own with nothing more than a piano and vocal, which always makes a producer's job easier. Little does she know that I'm about to find a way to sneak the words "oily discharge" into every single song.

Who knows? This could be the start of an unexpected career path for me. Long after I've passed the age of commercial viability as an artist, and long after my face has been repeatedly steam-pressed by the ubiquitous Botox iron, I could still be lending my creative input to young artists who are thankfully too young to remember and remind me of the 'other' John Davidson, not to mention the landmark embarrassments of my time: New Coke, Darfur, George W., and, of course, Three Doors Down.

There's an ad in the Korean Air in-flight magazine that declares: "2010-2012: Visit Korea Year."

Here's hoping that these next three years will be one amazing year.

I've slept for four hours in the last 40, and delirium is starting to kick in. We're starting to descend into Seoul, and it's a gloomy day. I was just informed over the loudspeaker that it's 25 degrees Celsius on the ground, which, I'm told, is equivalent to 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Hmm. Probably just the exchange rate.

I've got a two-hour layover in Seoul, and a four-hour flight to Manila, followed by an hour taxi ride to Makati City.

Annyonghi kasayo.