Camel Hero ~ David Minasian

Picture sent to Rajaz by David Minasian

David Minasian ~ Camel Reflections

I first became an admirer of Camel's music back in 1977 as a teenager after hearing the Rain Dances album. Who would have thought exactly 20 years later I would be on stage with them with a camera producing and directing their first DVD release Coming of Age. Like most, I thought Camel had broken up for good in 1985. I was therefore surprised to discover a magnificent CD titled Dust and Dreams in an obscure record shop in Hollywood in the mid 90's. Shortly thereafter, I learned of Camel's attempt to salvage some amateur footage shot during their 1992 tour. I thought to myself, 'This doesn't seem right… a band of Camel's caliber working with amateur footage?' They obviously needed my help :. We got in contact and those talks led to my work on the Coming of Age project along with the Curriculum Vitae documentary and Footage I & II DVD's.

There have been so many highlights during these last few years but I must say that the most memorable has simply been getting to know Andrew Latimer and Susan Hoover. They are easily two of the most wonderful and hardest working people on the planet. Also, having the opportunity to meet and work with Doug, Andy W, Pete, Colin, Foss, Dave, Guy, Denis, and Tom has been great. I will mention one item that may be of some interest. While filming behind the scenes footage of the recording of A Nod and a Wink, I discovered a rather bizarre ritual which the band members indulged in each night. Following a hard day's work in the studio and before going to bed, the band would launch into a lengthy improvisational jam. On the night I was there, they asked me if I had any ideas for a song, something to inspire them before they started to jam. In keeping with my profession, they requested a film title, preferably a one-word film title. Unfortunately, the only thing I could think of was Arachnophobia. As soon as I said it I regretted it. But that's all they needed. An epic 20-minute improvisation titled Are You Afraid of Spiders? immediately followed. This amazing song flowed seamlessly from progressive rock to freeform jazz to country western (complete with the spontaneous lyrics "spiders on the range" courtesy of Colin). Although sounding only vaguely like the Camel we all know and love, this experience just confirmed what we've known all along… These are tremendously talented and gifted musicians.

Along the way, there have been the odd mishaps here and there as well… the endless technical glitches; having my schedule changed at the 11th hour by my then boss Mel Gibson, which subsequently forced the cancellation of the European Farewell Tour shoot; and having my prized Snow Goose LP sleeve (the original one without the 'music inspired by' disclaimer) graciously signed by the band during the Brew reunion only to have it ruined in a flood a week later. (Oh well, I suppose I shouldn't feel too distraught, there are more important things in life… aren't there???)

David Minasian

Additional information

David's Snow Goose LP Sleeve

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