On the anniversary of his birth, I feel it is only appropriate to give love and respect to the incomparable London McDaniel, son of Gene McDaniels. London wove himself in to my story via an amazing record that I came across under rather humble circumstances.
London is guitarist, writer, and producer of an album called “Everything You See Is Me,” by a project called RASA. I happened upon it, honestly and truly, in the Salvation Army in a pile of records marked $.50. Always one for a good pick or crate dig, I bypassed the Roger Miller stuff (forgive me) and came across this cover bearing what appears to be a setting sun, graced by a shadow of a passing bird. It filled the cover with color, and had a simply typeset title and artist on the front. I was already sold.
But, in flipping the record over, a few names immediately caught my eye, namely bassist Anthony Jackson and saxophonist Michael Brecker. What I missed in the credits at that moment were two McDaniels brothers, Chris and London.
Later on, after many weeks or months of good listening, I was finally ready to share this burner of a record with my brother Travis, who just happens to front a pretty tight funk outfit. I shared it with the whole Miss Fairchild band and ended up discussing it with our longtime engineer Jim Begley, who offered two major points of significance. He confirmed that Chris and London were indeed related to Gene; his sons. The reason he knew this is because the actual real Gene McDaniels was a client at the very Studio we were currently working at. Stunned, I think, might be the word. The only other one that I think felt this significance out of us was my pal and outstanding DJ/producer Sammy Bananas.
The confluence of just these things; from the record, to the listens, to the Studio, to Gene… this is all astounding to me. When you start adding all of the other elements that pointed toward Gene, it became obvious and inevitable that I would meet him.
I met London at his father’s funeral, the anniversary of which I recalled a few weeks ago. While much was a blur that day, I do remember trying to offer a few words to London, never thinking that at that particular moment, I could fully share what his amazing record had meant to me.
Truthfully, there’s so much more to be told leading up to this moment, this acceleration of gravity. Years of orbits through so many people and through so much music. But, for timeliness’ sake, I had to share this story to give thanks and appreciation to London on the anniversary of his birth. For being such a great part of the story.