Peace and Love and Matt Jaffe and a Jangly 12-String Rickenbacker! And puppies.

One doesn’t play a 12-string Rickenbacker guitar, as much as one wrangles it. Yes having played one a bit, I am convinced that is the verb: to wrangle. It’s a wonderful instrument but like a herd of cattle it will wander about and moo. You can’t be sure where all the strings will go and it is impossible to keep completely in tune. Sounds amazing in the right paws. One cat who can truly wrangle a Ricky-12 is young Matt Jaffe. You may know him as a singer-songwriter rock star, and he is these things, but! He’s also a Rickenbacker 12-String Wrangler to be reckoned with. And reckon I did, when Mr. Jaffe helped me finish “Smokestax” – track #2 on my EP, and the only songwriting collaboration on the record. When we sat down with guitars to play the tune, out came the shiny instrument that immediately evokes Pete Townshend, Paul Weller, The Byrds, and scooters. Matt’s jangly wrangling added just the sparkle the song needed, and we recorded it at Michael Rosen’s studio a week later. I asked Matt to play thru the solo section, because I had left it open, not sure if I wanted to put a 6-string solo there. I was curious, really. Kid nailed it properly, and I kept it! So, trivia item, there are guitar solos on all of my songs (total accident), and on Smokestax, the 12-String electric hollow-body Rickenbacker solo is wrangled by Matt Jaffe. I really love what he played.

How I MET Matt a few years ago, provides a perfect segue to my next post, which will be about Peace and Love and Matthew King Kaufman. Beserkley and Fun Fun Fun Records chief, and producer of many of the records I’ve played on, Matthew K called me in to play some gitfiddle on Matt J’s record. I was gobsmacked by the lad’s songs, and it was great fun recording with him and his super-tight band, The Distractions. Both these Matthews are my co-writers on Smokestax. We’re generations apart, yet we all share a love for guitars, especially electric guitars, in jangly and wrangly rock and roll music.

This has been my rambling jangling morning coffee-wrangling Peace and Love and Out post, from my Oaktucky outpost, on this fine day of our Lass, March the twenty fifth, two thousand billion zillion whatevers since the dawn of something. Good coffee.

Thanks Matt! Cheers all!

CD available in very small quantities thar:

Downloads infinitely cheaper and easily had, thar:

Oh, a picture. Must have a picture. Hmm. I don’t have a pic of Matt playing the Ricky, so instead, here he is with an adorable chocolate Labrador pup, a mountain bike, and what appears to be a Hacky-Sack. All good things indeed.

Tons more pics and vids of Matt and his band here: Go see ’em if ya can, they play often and they are fantastic.

Hmm. This reminds me, I need to get a proper pic of me for these solo adventures, soon. Me the record label is annoyed at me the artist for not providing a current promo-shot! Ok, ok, me, I’ll do it. Right now I’m off to teach some guitar students. One of my advanced kittykats is gonna paw a Stratocaster on a track next month. I get to have guests. It’s fun. I’m all excited about my next round of recordin. I told myself last year, I have to finish the EP by Xmas. Needed a deadline, or I wouldn’t do it. I told myself, you can’t make the second one, til you make the first one! That’s the most advanced arithmetic I can manage. But yes, it’s liberating and fun and gives me an outlet and a sense of purpose, a psychic weapon even, against the encroaching forces of idiocy and despair. I’m grateful to the muse and the elements and the shimmering vibrations of sound cascading in chaos and order and wild beauty that we sometimes call music. Ahem. Very good coffee. Here I am, precisely middle-aged (that’s 25 I think, in LA years!) and my most favoritest thing is still rock and roll music played on electric guitars? I guess I know what I want to be when I grow up.

Have a lovely weekend,


Peace and Love and Mikey Stevens

Drums! I can’t play them. Lucky for me, my good friend and UPTONES bandmate Mikey Stevens, plays them extremely well. I did this record sort of in reverse, relative to your standard guitar-rock type recording method. That is, I recorded the guitars and vocals first, then added bass and drums. The tracks actually sat for a while as I scratched my head thinking, “good lord, how am I supposed to add drums to this?!” I tried doing it myself, with a digital drum-trigger tool called a “HandSonic.” That was fun but I couldn’t get it to feel right. I also didn’t want to program the drums – even though tools to do that are pretty amazing these days – because no, Sam I Am, I do not like them on my rock ‘n roll Jams! I wanted a human baddass drumming person with limbs, ears and a heartbeat. Enter Mikey, whom I have done many UPTONES gigs and recordings with, with his sweet Ludwig drum set from like, 1950 or something. He set it up in Michael Rosen’s studio and played to the tracks, while I played bass. We rocked out and put it all down in an afternoon. Then like magic it sounded like a rock n’ roll record! It was really fun. I like fun.

Mr. Stevens runs Lost Monkey Studio in Hayward, CA, and among other amazing tricks, he’ll add live drums to your tracks and send ’em back to you via the newfangled Internets. We actually did a new one like this just recently, and I love how it sounds! So that’ll be on Peace and Love and Rock and Roll part Deux. Each track, each song in life, follows its own rules, and I have a few new ones in the works that I am excited about, including one, which started with (gasp!) programmed drums! (Huh!?) More on that later 😉

OK, I’m out! Thank you Mikey for the wonderful tracks and years of collaboration in and out of The UPTONES. You rock mieces to pieces.

Ladeeeeez and gents, Peace and Love and Rock and Roll part 1 – is available, only…… HERE!! –>



Oh, a picture! I have to add a picture or this wont play nice with the socialnets. OK, here’s Mikey onstage with The UPTONES, in 2008 at the East Bay Express “Best Of The Bay” shindig. He is shrouded in mist and fiery stage lights, but I promise you, that’s him! Bye for now, E

Peace and Love and the Horrors of Self-Promotion, a Rant

These days artists are expected to promote themselves. Be on Twitter, FB, Insta-this and that, pounding away at the Interwebs to establish their “presence” and “brand.” Not just artists – people in most fields are told they need to be their own brand, and to “sell themselves.” The best part about this is that the earth will eventually careen into the sun.

I hate it. Branding is the new death. It’s such a sad word, “brand.” It came from people burning logos into poor helpless cows’ hides with hot irons, didn’t it? So how nice can it be? But here we are, in the infinitely connected world, all of us trying to make sense of it, branding ourselves silly.

One way I cope is by writing songs. After The Uptones stopped playing regularly, I didn’t know what to do with my musical ideas for a while, so eventually started recording them on my own. One of the hardest things for me to get over, was just to decide what frikkin name to use! Yes, I’m that neurotic.

Eric Roy Dinwiddie is my given name and I thought about using it for my solo stuff. But I eventually went with my long-time stage name Eric Din because it just felt simple and right somehow. I actually spent a year wrestling with that question, after my dad died. I guess I wanted to use his name, to honor his memory. One of the songs on the EP is called “Dad,” and there’s a line about this, near the end. He would probably think my little identity crisis is perfectly hilarious. My dad was a brilliant musician, though a very private one. Far from self-promoting, he’s the only person I’ve ever known to ask friends and family to please NOT attend a public performance! Perhaps someday I’ll tell that story.

So yeah, I’m wrestling with these questions and I step back and laugh at myself. I had decided, that once I finished my wee record, I’d be diligent about promoting it, and try to be my own record label / promo dept. in the brave new digital world. I mean, one can do that now, and that’s amazing! World-wide distribution, at our fingertips? That didn’t exist until recently. But I have been remiss, just dumbfounded by current events, speechless.

I’m so impressed with artists who handle self-promotion gracefully. Seems to me that many brilliant artists are completely inept at self-promo, while some artists are full time self-promo machines. I dunno where I fall in that spectrum. But I am happy with the EP I made. It’s a love letter to rock and roll and humanity and all the creatures and plants of this sweet earth.

If you want to hear the record, read the lyrics, etc., it’s avail thru the links below. Part 2 to follow soon. Full album by the end of the year. It’s about as contrary to contemporary pop as anything could be. Guitars, bass, drums, vocals, 1st takes and no auto-tuned anything. This is me self-promoting it, apparently! Bye for now, and thank you.

Downloads here:

CDs here!->

Peace and Love and Shannon Wheeler

In 2016 I made this record. I sent the title track to my friend Shannon Wheeler, and asked him to draw a cover for it. He sent me a sketch of a dude surfing on a guitar. I was ready to use the sketch, but he insisted I send him a picture of my guitar. The result you see here! I love what he did. Thanks, Shannon!

“Peace and Love and Rock and Roll” started as an album title. I wasn’t planning on a title track. But the song came to me one night, and I recorded the guitars and vocals at home. Added my bass and Mikey Stevens’ drums and percussion at Michael Rosen’s studio.

I’ll follow this with similarly titled posts about the rest of the beautiful cats who worked on this record. And some posts about the songs. Shannon and I have been friends since high school. I was a fan of his comic, Too Much Coffee Man, before I even realized the author was my old friend! Life is full of surprises.

I ordered some more CDs, will have them soon, so have at it if you want a physical copy. The digital download version is available 24/7, and if you buy the CD, you get the download as well of course.

Downloads here:

CDs here!->

Last Call For 1st Run of CDs!

Wonders never cease, I’m almost out of CDs. Got 5 left so have at it if’n you’d like one! The download version is still avail in abundance because the little hamsters that run teh Inertnets make them to order infinitely. It’s also come to my attention that there’s no picture of me on this site, apart from my Gravatar and the lovely little likeness on the record cover by Shannon Wheeler. As such I have uploaded a high-gloss studio shot of me playing guitar on a sound stage with wind blowing through my hair. No, wait! It’s a sideways grainy selfie of me with a cat on my head! There’s a madness to my method. Here are fancy PayPal buttons. Downloads here:

CDs here!->

HUGE THANKS to everyone who has purchased this lil’ slab of Peace and Love and Rock and Roll, and for your kind feedback. Part 2 is in progress and your support motivates me to do more. There are some remixes from some of my genius mixmaster friends also in the works, and I’ll add them to the download page as they arrive!

Might I add, this is fun. Making this record helped me get through the events of 2016, personal and global, and I hope my humble contributions give some joy and fun and entertainment to you and yours.

Peace and Love and Rock and Roll forever,


Eric Din

Hot Off The Presses!

Peace and Love and Rock and Roll part 1, 4-song EP is now in my paws! You can order the digital version for instant delivery using the handy PayPal button below. Like magic you’ll be delivered to the EP page where you can stream or download the tunes, artwork, read the lyrics and credits etc. It’s $4.99 for the download / web version! Thar she blows:

Wait, you want an actual CD?!

Well if so, you’re in luck because I made a small batch. I set the price at $20, as it’s a super-limited edition, and this includes shipping & handling. You’ll also automatically get access to the EP page for instant rocking. There’s an option in the order form if you want me to sign your CD cover, I’d be happy to personalize it to you, your sweetie, your dachshund.. just let me know to whom, and I’ll get it right out to you! Here’s a PayPal button for the CD:

That’s it for now! Thanks and Happy New Year!

Pre-order “Peace and Love and Rock and Roll, part 1”

Be the 1st to hear my new 4-song EP “Peace and Love and Rock and Roll, part 1!” I’ll send you a link to download uncompressed WAV files (in glorious CD-quality) and also cuddly lil’ MP3s for yr iThingys, in mid-December of 2016. You’ll also have access to my top-secret backstage clubhouse at this here website, with song lyrics, credits, cover art and whatnot. It’s a digital world, and at least at first, I don’t even want to distribute this thru iTunes and the Stopifys etc. This is the only place in the world you can get it. Use the fancy PayPal button below to reserve your copy by magic. Your support helps me pay for the recording and encourages me to more of this tomfoolery. Thanks!! -Eric Din

Wow, how did you find me?

Hi There,

This is the homepage for my new (and probably some old) solo recordings, 1st of which to be published here in December, 2016. If you found this, wow! I am Eric Din and I’m looking forward to sharing some of the music I’ve recorded at home and at Michael Rosen’s awesome Berkeley studio. I’ve made a lot of tracks there over the years, with The Uptones, producer Matthew King Kaufman and other wonderful folks, and it’s become sort of a home-away-from-home for me, creatively.

There are so many ways to distribute music now, it makes my head spin. I’m sure I’ll use a number of methods, but this will be a “home base” of sorts. Been thinking about this a while, and decided to just start it. So, hi! Thanks for popping in. Leave a comment or drop me a line if you like, that’s all for now. Cheers!