Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Dreaming was the motivator as well as the killer. Dreaming dreams was what I did. Seeing myself where I believed I was supposed to be, no matter where I was at the time. I have talked about this before, and the redundancy of the subject is purposeful.

I envisioned the things necessary to achieve the goal, which in this case was to write and record new songs. Not songs aimed at commercialism, but songs I wanted to work on for personal reasons, outside of other's opinions or likes and dislikes.

I had to have a tape deck, an amp, a keyboard with multiple voices, an electric and an acoustic guitar, an equalizer, speakers, an effects box, microphone, recording tape, and last, but not least, a place to work when I wanted, which turned out to be at Carol Paulus's apartment.

I set out to get these things by loan or by gift, it didn't matter to me which it was. I didn't have to own the stuff, I just needed to be able to use it for as long as it took to accomplish the end result.

Piece by piece, I accumulated each of the items needed for my project. I was obsessed with the goal, and pursued it as a last ditch effort to fulfill a need inside me.

My quick smile, my staged look, each little detail, was geared to facilitate the progress of the plan. I would get what I wanted, and pursue my own self-interests with abandon. Everything and everybody was fair game at that point I believed.

In my mind I had to do it...I had to have a goal...a place to head for... I needed the discipline of concentrating on the work.

I would write it, engineer it, play it, and sing it. The entirety of it rested on me alone. I did not want anyone to work on it or help me. It was deeply personal in a way that I had not known before.

It was to be a private endeavor, one that I would make all the decisions about, right or wrong. A work done on basic equipment with my whole attention given to it, rather than in a studio with others and all the confusion that accompanied that.

I was too volatile, too emotional, to work with anybody. I didn't want input or debate about how to do it, or when. I didn't want to try and figure out which song somebody else thought would be better than another.

I had worked alone before in the past, but not like this, not with this kind of mindset and desperation to feed off of.

I set parameters that were conducive to me rather than to someone else. I would work all night, if I felt like it, or not at all.

I planned to eat and sleep with it, envelope myself in it, give myself to it, and most of all, I told myself, "I don't even care if anyone likes it."

That last point was total freedom for me, because I did not need to get approval for it. I could do it simply because I wanted to. It was one of the only times I can remember not trying to record a hit.

The first thing I decided to work on was a song called Life Of Crime, about an incident where I seriously thought about holding up an armored car because I was sick of being broke all the time.

I wrote it in a notebook on the hood of my car while waiting for my clothes to dry at a laundromat on Sunset Blvd. I'd watched a Brink's truck picking up money at a market across the street.

Carol did not like blues, and would frown every time I'd play them. Because of this I purposely chose a blues songs to start with. It was my way of claiming my own territory within the confines of her apartment.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, if that was the first piece from the new endeavor, you must certainly have been inspired to keep up with the project. The fact that you didn't go for a "hit" has allowed this song to remain ageless. It could have been produced this week—not for the pop charts, of course, but as an album cut on any number of fine contemporary musicians.

    As I've mentioned to you many times, i often prefer the sparse, songwriter versions, to the "full studio" productions.

    I also really like this video for its unified effect. The single-themed, cross-hatched photos with their "blue" tinge really fit the feel of the song.

    Can't wait to hear more,