March 15, 2001

Where: Encino, CA

Let me tell you about the Harmony Hut. We moved out of the Hollywood house about 5 years ago and moved to Encino. In the backyard of the Encino property was a tiny 11×27′ gardener’s house. The house itself was vacant for 10 years before we bought it, but there’s two acres of land so we saw the potential. There was a gardener that lived in the little shack out back while the house was vacant for 10 years. The poor guy died out there and was not discovered for 2 weeks when the neighbors noticed a funny smell. Ah, a perfect place to make beautiful music, right? Unfortunately there are no ghosts or weird stuff. They wouldn’t dare disturb me!
Well, this happened long before we moved in and when I stuffed that little hut with all my gear I was going to name the studio “The Dead Gardener.” And then I thought of designing it like an old English pub and calling it “The Fiddling Cock.” Finally I opted for “The Harmony Hut.”
It was very small, so while I was on the Ultra Zone tour I had some renovations done. I added a small room to it and bumped out the front and put in a huge window, so now when I work at the desk I can look out over the backyard and see the kids, the sun, etc. It’s a very comfortable environment with various fabrics on the walls and colored tiffany-type lamps that set the room in a warm glow… oh, and it doesn’t smell funny anymore.
My seclusion is delicious. In an attempt to finish the live CD on time to have it out in June, I have basically blocked all calls, interviews, and wanderings off of the property. I wake, meditate, work, eat and sleep at whatever hours I can keep up. The only outside calls or e-mails I take are for Favored Nations. The drag is that the only time I see the kids and Pia is when I come in to eat. Other than that this is a beautiful working schedule for me, I feel I was built for this kind of focus and being absorbed in something. There are two things that basically need to be addressed and that’s sleep and exercise. I’ve tried to go without either but it doesn’t work. Without decent sleep you get slap-happy and your judgment gets distorted. Without exercise the body starts to atrophy and cramp and that affects the creative element. So unfortunately I have to address these things. Good thing I don’t have to eat often. The only problem with that is that I get gaunt and very thin. I get so thin that when I stand naked I look like half of the letter “h”.