Paradise Lost

Some time ago, I fell in love with California.

It was literally within 5 minutes of driving away from LAX Airport in a rental car.

It was January, the sun was shining, the palm trees glistening, and I proclaimed with fierce determination:

“I’m moving here.”

In the shuttle from the airport to the rental car place someone had asked me “Are you from Canada?”

“Yes!” I exclaimed. “How did you know!”

Then I realized I was wearing a parka.

My trips to and from L.A. began with a certain Raine Maida, singer for the band Our Lady Peace… somewhere amidst years of making solo demo recordings, he heard something he liked and asked me if I could get myself to L.A. to record. I lied and said yes.

It turned out to be the greatest lie I could have ever told. You see, the best thing about working with Raine Maida, was being introduced to Randy Cooke.

Randy was a sought-after session drummer who Raine liked to use when he was producing… you can find him on Kelly Clarkson, Hilary Duff, Ashley Tisdale, Natasha Beddingfield, Five for Fighting and Chantal Kreviazuk albums (to name a few) as well as onstage with the likes of Ringo Starr, Dave Stewart (The Eurythmics), Leonard Cohen and Raine’s solo project.


Before Randy arrived at the studio for a day of tracking for my upcoming release, Raine made him a “Reserved For R. Cooke” sign to place in his parking spot. Randy had just done a bout of television shows like Larry King Live, Late Night with Craig Gilmore etc with Ringo Starr, and I guess this was Raine’s way of ensuring his ego hadn’t gotten too big. Having known the guy for about 2 years now, I can say with confidence that this could never happen. He is the sweetest, most down to earth man you will EVER meet.

Awhile ago I stopped coming to L.A. just to record. In fact, after I fell madly in love with Randy Cooke and he became my favourite person on the planet, I could care less about recording! I just wanted to spend time with him and finally, as of a couple days ago, I’m back in his arms surrounding by sunshine, the ocean, and glistening palms.

Flight consisted of World’s Smallest Plane and a layover in Utah. This is going to sound terrible but, although I haven’t been gone for long, I had forgotten how overweight Americans are becoming… The percentage of morbidly obese travelers in this one airport was MIND SHATTERING. Maybe the people with the money to travel in today’s economy are consuming more than their fair share in multiple categories…

My guilty pleasure when traveling is to pick up one of those terrible entertainment magazines, you know, the copies that are only worth about $2 and as soon as you carry out the embarrassing sin or purchasing one you instantly regret it? Within seconds I found myself on a page which highlighted to cost of several celebrity’s wardrobe’s. $1200 for a purse. $950 shoes. $2500 dress. The list went on and on.

$1200 for a frickin purse in a gad-damn recession on a planet where half the population is hungry or living far below any decent standard???

Sudden I began to feel very guilty. Why was I holding this magazine? Why do I do this? All over the place we’re a nation of guilty, guilty people justifying our good and bad deeds. And here I was, obese with frivolity.

Lesson learned.

One more plane. So excited. It’s been far too long since I got to spend time with my favourite person on the planet and when you live lives of traveling, distance, web cams and long distance phone calls, you truly savour every tiny moment together.

After a couple hours of disbelief and ecstatic happiness, we ended up at one of my favourite restaurants in L.A.: Pure Luck.
Pure Luck is an all vegan restaurant which somehow makes a curious invention of Mother Nautre’s called “jackfruit” taste like bar-b-q pulled pork. Maybe you’re the kind of vegan who thinks that’s ridiculous, hell, maybe you’re a carnivore who thinks the same…either way, I’ve been vegan for about 13 years and LOVE to discover new and exciting ways to make fruit, vegetable, soy products, nuts…WHATEVER, taste like carnivorous bi-products! Haha. I ordered the fiesta plate and Randy had the beet salad and jackfruit carnita wrap (all vegan).


The other great thing about Pure Luck is the fantastic beer menu. They have all sorts of great micro-brew and mini-brewery/indie type beers that you won’t find in most places. I had a heavenly Hefe and Rnady had a “Blue Dot” made by Hair of the Dog (the one and only beer I like more thank Granville Island Winter Ale. True Story.) Oh, and it’s across the street from Scoops, a great vegan ice cream joint 😉

So here I am, back in paradise, with the man of my dreams… and I couldn’t be happier.

Little Known Fact About Me Day Two: The two major injuries of my whole life resulted from a bass in the head at Call the Office in London (5 stitches) and a teeter-toter at my elementary school in grade 2 (6 stitches). What can we determine about me from this fact?? 😉

On A Mission

I’m on a mission.

And so help me, I’m gonna do it.

For sometime, I’ve made plans to “blog”.

“Blogging” is something I used to do, mainly on the ol’ Billy and the Lost Boys site (see: Tour Diaries) more recently, on the Billy the Kid Myspace page.

Finally, the combination of having an actual website and and actual real live space to write and create, here we are… on a mission.

My mandate for this mission will be twofold, for the time being: First, pulling inspiration from one of my favourite people Adam PW Smith, I will hereby post something, anything, at least once per day.

See, I was hanging out with Adam PW Smith the other day and we got talking about a remarkable thing he does. Adam has a photoblog in which he posts one new photo per day. Yep, one per day.

He was telling me that this process has been very helpful in keeping him motivated as well as inspiring him to go out, see new bands and experience things he might otherwise not have experienced (gotta get that new photo up).

I thought this was an incredible idea and immediately saw how so many unpredictable benefits could come from this.

So, I’m stealing his idea.

Every day I’m going to write something, anything, in hopes that I can get over this surprisingly long bout of writer’s block that I’ve been experiencing. Yep, that’s right… I haven’t written anything in far too long. The other thing I’m hoping will happen due to this new game plan is to create a dialogue between myself and you reading this. As you will see at the bottom of this post, there is a Comments section. I sincerely hope you will post your comments and, if you have any, questions as well. Anything. I’m making it a priority to respond to everything and everything that you the reader has to say/contribute. Let’s all start creating and contributing and remind ourselves, while we sit at these computers, that there are other people in the world that we can converse with about anything and everything, and in the process, perhaps become better, more thoughtful people.

The second goal of all this will be to post something new about myself once per day…something that most people don’t know about me. This is for both you and I, to hopefully learn something about me/you and in the process, become better at this “life” thing.

Thanks for reading, and I hope to hear from you 🙂

Billy

Daily Something That (Most) People Don’t Know About Me:

I skipped grade 5 and to this day believe it was part of some sort of experiment to see what would happen to a totally average kid if you told him/her that he/she was exceptional in some way or another.

OLP Hearts Lost Records

Check out Steve Mazur from Our Lady Peace sportin’ a Lost Records shirt while recording their new album:

http://ourladypeace.net/

Billy on the Radio

Breaking news: Tamara Stanners from the Peak 100.5 will be playing Billy’s song “Just Trying To Get By” at 12:45 TODAY and there is rumour of a phone conversation as well.

Listen/call/facebook/comment/email in and give us some feedback! http://www.thepeak.fm to stream live.

Make sure to tune in tomorrow at 7pm PST as well as Billy will be co-hosting and performing live.

Billy the Kid Live on the PEAK 100.5

Billy the Kid will be performing live and appearing as a Guest DJ on The Peak 100.5 Friday, May 8th between 7 and 8pm PST. Make sure to email the Peak and thank James, Laurie and Tamara for supporting Canadian Independent Music!

Listen live at http://www.thepeak.fm/ Friday between 7 and 8pm.

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO POST COMMENTS TO ANY AND ALL BLOGS 🙂

Ladies and Gentlemen, Welcome to Toronto…

“Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Toronto”.

A collective sigh of relief as the Air Canada 747 comes to a slow stop. The tension, hovering in the Economy cab since take off…Releasing.

I reach for my phone. Before I can even scroll through the list of contacts, organized by city in case I happen to be in your town, I realize:

“Shiiiiiit…”

The adorable elderly woman sitting beside me jerks her gaze in my direction. I instantly feel embarrassed. If she had ever owned a cell phone in her life, I might be able to explain, perhaps garner some sympathy. Not this Grandma…

It troubles me to think about how many phone numbers I’ve had in the last year. It scares me to try and explain why. Even the amount of PHONES I have owned is ridiculous, to say the least.

The repercussions of this devastating fact were soon to be felt, as I scrolled in vain to find my ride from the airport’s name.

I guess it was in my American phone. Nope, must be in the old Blackberry. Gosh has it really been THAT long…

There’s a saying that has stayed close to me in the past few years and I couldn’t help but smirk as it ran through my mind:

“Well, if that’s the worst of your problems…”

I collect my small backpack and, guitar in hand, walk past all the shmucks who insist on checking luggage. A two week tour with ten shows? No Problem! I can fit all I could possibly need in one backpack! Besides, I had a show to play!

Onward and outward.

Through the airport. Double glass doors open automatically. Insert every swear word you could possibly imagine.

See, in Toronto, it’s cold. Cold is an understatement. If you grew up in BC and had just spent about half a year in California riding your bike around in January in nothing more than a t-shirt, it’s the kind of cold that slaps you in the face and makes you want to walk RIGHT back on the plane. In that moment, I was glad I’d booked myself a show in Cambridge that was set to start in about 2 hours. Sense of purpose, I guess.

There’s really no interesting way I can describe how brutal the next hour was. I did it though, I stood outside, hoping that my friend John would drive by and see me shivering like Paris Hilton’s Chihuahua.

I called everyone I could think of. I went against my better judgment and hopped on Facebook, in hopes that someone there would be able to help me (fast forward: $500 in data roaming charges in two weeks. Oops). Finally, after the YVR Security Guard’s third attempt at “humour” (‘Gee you’ve almost been here as long as I have!”) I bailed. Inside I went.

Double glass doors. Heat wave. Warmth smacking you in the face and wrapping all around you like a blanket. Tingly wollen mittens of Toronto Airport heating system. Feeling…in hands…slowly…returning…

More phones. More expensive internet with no data plan. Long distance calls to boyfriend in L.A. to see if he can track anyone down.

“John!”

“Billy!”

Glass window. Nose basically pressed up against it. John walking by. Victory.

We get to the venue in Cambridge, an hour away. I can say it was the first time I’ve ever walked in to a venue while the headlining band was onstage setting up and heard “Oh, Billy…we thought you’d be here earlier…”

I set up. Tuner in guitar case. Harmonica in the backpack. Try not to pull all my underwear and t-shirts out on to the stage while I try and squeeze the harmonica free from in between scores of CDs, cables and clothes. Try to take my guitar out of the case without people seeing all the socks I have stuffed in to the case all around it.

While onstage my friend Sean Ashby goes: “Billy the Kid has clothes in her guitar case. Tell THAT story at the Junos.”

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO POST COMMENTS TO ANY AND ALL BLOGS 🙂

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CONTACT

Twitter

http://www.twitter.com/billypettinger

Facebook

http://www.facebook.com/billythekid

Email Billy
billy@billythekidonline.com

Label:
LOST RECORDS
6447 133 A Street
Surrey, BC
V3W 9Y2

http://lostrecords.ca/

PRESS

“Precociously gifted.” The Georgia Straight

“One of Canada’s rising stars.” – See Magazine

“Prolific and incredibly talented.” – The Leader-Post

“Billy is a DIY poster girl.” – Vue Weekly

‘Lost – a phenomenon, not a trend.” – The Cambridge Voice

“It’s not enough to say that Billy The Kid is a talented artist. It isn’t enough to say she’s successful. It isn’t even enough to say that Billy and her band of Lost Boys have a stage–presence worth seeing over and over again. Billy the Kid exemplifies the essence of the independent spirit, charisma and inspiration for artists on the rise or for those hoping for the chance to make it that far. ” – Echo Weekly

“Always stood apart from the pack with true street-level integrity, an almost Mennonitish indie-rock work ethic and outstanding musicianship.” – Nerve Magazine

“With her popularity spreading and in no sign of waning, her many musical endeavours are beginning to pay off and no one deserves it more. After a chat with this winsome pixie, it would be difficult to dislike her.” – The Gauntlet Magazine

“I bought her independently produced CD on the spot and have been trying to find out as much as I can about her because I know she is going to be huge one day soon.” Canoe Live

“One of the best female guitarists I’ve ever met.” – The Daily Nar

“(Billy)’s the kind of thorough, do-it-yourself poster girl that will go to hell and back in order to put out a good record.” – Beatroute Magazine

“Bespectacled singer/songwriter and D.I.Y. poster girl Billy the Kid possesses an impressive arsenal, including an enchanting voice, strong musicianship, and well-crafted tunes. Expect Billy to wear her heart on her (tattooed) sleeves.” – A Lawyer

“If you need any inspiration to keep your New Year’s Resolution “I shall cast off the shackles of procrastination and actually do something with myself…” look no further than a young lady who goes by the name of Billy the Kid.” – Chartattack

FRIENDS

Booking Inquiries
Joel Baskin – The Pilot Agency
joelbaskin@thepilotagency.com
http://www.thepilotagency.com

All Other Inquiries

Todd Arkell – Cool Planet Entertainment
todd@coolplanet.ca

Publicity
Dawn Dwyer – 2 Degrees of Separation
dawn@coolplanet.com
(416) 540-3411

Email Billy

billy@billythekidonline.com

Billy and The Lost Boyshttp://www.billyandthelostboys.com

Billy the Kid MySpacehttp://www.myspace.com/billythekid

Billy the Kid Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/BillyTheKid

Billy Pettinger Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/billypettinger

Billy the Kid YouTubehttp://www.youtube.com/billythekidofficial

Lost Recordshttp://www.lostrecords.ca

Lost Records Online Storehttp://www.lost.bigcartel.com

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