|Posted on March 14, 2016 at 1:10 AM||comments (0)|
31 years ago i heard a song that would help shape what I wanted to do with my life. 'A Criminal Mind' by Gowan. I remember the first time I heard it, Much Music (The Canadian answer to MTV) was still a fairly new station in Canada and they were offering a free preview in order to get people to subscribe or order it. Being that I was only 10at the time I really can;t say if it was part of a package or what, but I am pretty sure it was a month long preview.I became exposed to music I had never encountered before. The Killer Dwarves, Ratt, was completley floored that a song called 'Balls to the Walls (by Accept) could be played on TV, and then other music and sights that helped to broden what was previously a pretty sheltered musically world I lived in. But I would watch whenever I could. After school when my ho,ework was done I would go into my parents room, we only had to TV's with cable and the one in the living room was normally taken, and watch for a few hours. Then I started to watch in the mornings as I would get ready for school on the living room TV. That's when I first saw the video. I was hooked. The story thevideo told, the oiano led music, and of course Gowan's unique voice. Every morning after the first veiwng I would watch for it. I would sing what I could remember on the way to school. I would sing it (againwhat I could remember) during recess. After 3 years of organ lessons this song sparked a want to create like that, and become a rock star. It was shortly after that I saw the video for 'Strange Animal' on a CBC show called Video Hits. That sealed it foe me. I wanted to be a rock star like Gowan. He was the center attraction, the star and he played piano, which in my mind was close enough to an organ that I saw no difference. I of course knew some Billy Joel and Elton John songs, and I think I knew they played piano as the lead as well. Hell my brother even owend Styx's 'Kilroy was Here' and as much as I loved that album and had read the credits everytime I played and knew Dennis DeYoung was the keyboardist, it was something about this Canadian rocker that truley awakend the music in me. A few months before my birthday I was at a friends house down the street. He had just gotten a new tape and was playing it outside. It was the 'Stange Animal' album. I raced home and told my parents that was all I wanted for my birthday that year, and I did get it.
Fast forward now toNovevber 2015, I had come across a piece of fan art that tagged Lawrence Gowan. It is a page from a comic, the Criminal Mind still in his cell asking if he is still that bad?. He answers himself 'I AM'. I knew right then what my next song would be. A continuation of that story. The idea rolled around my head for a few days until the story started to fill itself in. After 30 years, he would be getting out and would stiil be as bad as he was when he went in. It took me until January to come up with my finsihed lyrics and arrangement. I have an entire verse crossed out and changed on the lyric sheet, and was still wrestling with how I had written the music. I had decided, that if this was to be a continuation of the original song, then the music should be similar so they could tie in together. After working the arrangement through January and Febuary I recorded the rough piano and vocal tracks as my starting point. I was still wrestling in my mind with my writting of the music. It wasn't just that the chord pattern and timing were the same. The lead lines themselves were fairly close (written that way on purpose), and there would be no mistaking where I had come up with the music. I happened to share my concern's with the artist who's work insipred the song and came to the conclussion, just ask if I should proceed.Which I did that night through a Facebook private message. Three days later Mr. Gowan not only shared his encouragement to finish the project, but also has asked for a link so he can hear it when it is done, and now I have writers block....
When I write a song or instumental piece I am writing it for myself. I am thankful for those who have listened to my work and enjoyed it. But from the time I start writting until I finish recording I assume that I will be the only one outside of the friends I sucker into listening to hear it, or want to hear it. I am always surprised when I get feedback, and positive or negative I think it is great and am thankful because I know that someone has heard MY music. It is that mind set that I started the new song. It is for me, it will be my ideas, and thoughts for me and hopefully someone will hear it (or many someones) and they will like it. But my main goal is something I like and am proud of. So to find out that the man that not only wrote the original, but who happens to be my biggest musical influence wants to hear the finished version, I am, to say the least not only honoured, but a little worried that it won't be good enough. Now I don't feel as if I am writing this just for me, but alsofor Gowan, and the ideas I had for the other parts have completly slipped my mind. This, for me, has now grown from being 'honoured if someone else listens' to being an honour to write a song that will be heard by someone famous. I couldn't have dreamed this chance would come true, but now that it has I really don't want to dissapoint. The hours I have invested so far seem like nothing compared to the last week trying to figure out the best way to (as Lawrence Gowan said) 'Continue your creative endevours with the 'A Criminal Mind' saga.
As always when it is done I will share it proudly for myself, and hope and behonoured whensomeone else listens, but I will also know that at least one person is waitin for me to finish it.
Be safe and let the music play...
|Posted on January 15, 2016 at 12:00 AM||comments (0)|
Hello and welcome to the new year everybody. while there has been a slight change in focus for me from learning the bass, to taking said skills and applying them in a band setting, the drive to write is still there. It is this drive that has at times kept me calm. A coupke of months back on Facebook I came across an original comic page done by a Lawrence Gowan fan. It was of his 'Criminal Mind' character sitting in his jail cell asking himself if he going to stay being so bad? That started the creative juices flowing full speed in my mind. With my last song being a tribute of sorts to Alice Cooper, it struck me that I had the stepping stone to start work on a tribute of sorts to LG...
I am going to leave it hanging right there (what a jerk) with no more clues or hints, but I will say that since I beganworking on it in November I feel the closest I have to being ready to start the recording process. I have been as much as I can not only practicing, but playing with different arrangements with just the piano in order to get the song to feel right to me, and hopefully work the best it can for the idea. That being stated I have no clue for the first time I have written a song, how I want the other parts to play into it. Normally by the time I have the lyrics written and the chord changes done, either on guitar or piano, I have some idea what I want the bass, drums, lead and rythm parts to sound like. When I wrote 'An Alice Cooper Song' as I penned the lyrics I could hear the various parts and knew what I wanted them to sound like. This time all I have is the piano line (which would work fine for a solo preformance, but I feel for the recording it needs more...oomph) and maybe an idea for the drums.
Maybe I just need to focus only on it, and not the fact that within the next few months my home studio will be moving to a larger room where I will be able to host people (such as the band mates) and possibly film a few more videos.
With that I guess I have rambled long enough. I sincerly hope 2016 is a very good year for all of you and until the next time Let the Music Play!
|Posted on July 19, 2015 at 9:50 PM||comments (0)|
Hello all, Seems to be Bi-Annual trend for me to write to you all but hey guess what I have some new news....???? I have been gifted a bass and amp from my family, as well as joined SLG from Dark Pirate and the Mystic Warrior in a bigger project. We two of our other good friends we have started to practice some songs that they have written. I will have more info later (and before the six month mark), but for now it looks as if I will be primarily playing bass for Instruments' of Chaos.
Let the music play
|Posted on January 4, 2015 at 9:10 PM||comments (0)|
Happy 2015 everyone!!!!!!
I hope that you have all had a good transiton from 2014 to
2015. For myself the transiton was a welcome one. With a new year comes new hope, prospects and a chance to make better on the previous year, and while around this same point last year I was contemplating a complete abandonment of music right now I see a chance to mark some special anniverseries.
The first and most notable one is that in 1990 I wrote my first two songs and began what has been a 25 year journey of writing, learning and sharing my music. In the summer of '89 I turned 15 and with the help of my older brother got my first job. In December of that year I purchased my first key board, a casio CT-470 and proudly placed it on top of my Technics E-33 organ. In January 1990 I wrote the first lines of music for what would be the second full song I would write. It was a slow piano ballad that at the time I thought was an incredible song, rivaled only by the fast bass driven rock song I had just finished that in my mind only needed a guitar (at this time the thought of me being a gutar player was nowehre in sight I was ready to embark on ,y path to become as big, if not bigger than Gowan). As I write this, I have the original lyrics for the piano ballad 'Eighteen Hours" beside me and while some of the lyrics are good, others seem a little disjointed, and well, imature. Hey I was 15 and this was only my second set of lyrics (The other song "Darkest Hour" suffers the same lyrical issues). But musically I still go back to both just to feel the comfort of playing them again. Within the next two months I purchased a microphone, a 4 slider audio mixer and some cables and began arranging the songs so I could record them. I had everything (okay a multi track recorder would have been awesome but I had never even heard of one in my begining days). I selected the rythm and chord patterns for the keyboard and sang while I played live and recorded. Much of how I do things now is from years of recording this way. If I make a mistake, I start from the top, not part way through. For me, although I know this adds a fair amount of time to the recoding session, since I don't pay studio time I like to get the whole groove right from the start. By the end of March I had fully recorded my first album titled 'Darkest Hour" after the first song I had fully written. 10 songs and I had a given myself the name Andrew B.
While most of the what was on there I would now never proudly proclaim is mine and share it, (I was just learning to sing as well), I am proud of the first step I took and hope that I can find some time this year to revisit those old friends, maybe tweak them a bit and share updated versions as I had originally wrote them in my mind.
1990 also marks the 25th anniversery of what is probably my favorite album, but also the album that was the final spark to start the writting fire in me. Gowan's 'Lost Brotherhood'. While I am not going to go in to a lot of detail about the full influence this album really did have on me, I am going to try to pay tribute to it as I have with 'Strange Animal', and 'Great Dirty World' and record up a couple of tracks with a little Bonish Flair to them.
With that I bid you all adieu for now and whish you the very best in 2015.
|Posted on December 27, 2013 at 3:20 PM||comments (0)|
All the best in 2014, and good-bye?
Well as 2013 comes to a close, and we near 2014 and the wonders it will bring I am feeling that a decision has to be made, and I am not looking forward to it. When I was 15 I wrote my first song and something amazing happened. I saw the world differently. Musically and lyrically most of what I wrote the first couple years weren’t great, but they were my songs. A lot written about my life and experiences (or what I imagined they would be like). Being trained only on a Technics E-33 and trumpet with no real recording equipment I started a journey writing for myself, with a small hope I could get out and play, maybe hear my music on the radio. As the years past my writing became better, I wrote less about direct experiences and I began to find a blend of sound from my major influences that has become my sound. I learned guitar and updated my recording gear and got to the point that I was producing my own music and releasing it on-line. I have never played my music live though, or for that matter any music live (although hosting karaoke did give me great practice in singing) and I think that is the only regret I have when it comes to my music. But as I look forward I do not see where I can devote the needed time to my music that I need, even to just write and record for myself let alone produce something to upload. Even the last couple of years since I recorded 110709 in 2012 I have not been able to afford the time to it.
So it is with that in the front of my mind that I must decide what to do. Do I try to fit in a couple minutes here or there, or do I just walk away and take solace in the fact, that I did achieve my dream from 25 years ago and got my music out there? This is by no means an easy choice for me as music has always been my main avenue to express myself or work through both good and bad times. By trying to continue I will still have that avenue to explore what’s in my mind, release my creative nature. But I will constantly fight with having projects sit barely started because I cannot commit to them. Yet if I lay the dream to sleep for good I have to wonder how I will change. For now though I think the only course of action is to take a step back to let everything sink in. Over the next little bit I will be thinning out my on-line presence, keeping for now my website, Facebook, Twitter and Reverbnation. These are the only places I have been able to spottily maintain from the start and I think I can still keep up on those ones since they are all interconnected. I will however leave my youtube channel as it is and not remove it as the tutorials have been helpful to some and I think it would be a shame to deny anyone the chance to learn a song they wish to learn.
I now close, with Gowan’s song ‘You’ll Be With Me’ rolling through my mind and thank-you for taking the time to bring me into your life…..
Let the music always play
|Posted on July 6, 2013 at 12:30 AM||comments (0)|
Just testing posting with my new phone. Doesn't look pretty on my end but I think it can blog from my phone now.
|Posted on January 17, 2013 at 7:55 PM||comments (0)|
What do some Italian and Japanese style mobsters, a Mexican drug family and an old man in a nursing home have in common? They are all part of the book I won an advance copy of, Axel Howerton’s ‘Hot Sinatra’. They also all want a rare record and they want P.I. Moss Cole to find it. Throw in a foul mouthed Irish punk- rocker and a drop dead red head and you have the ground work for a great story. Axel Howerton combined all these characters and a healthy dose of other memorable personas to keep the story light hearted and gripping at the same time.
From the time I started reading I could hear the mournful trumpet of those old black and white film noir detective movies playing in my head mixed with some classic Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and a half dozen other tidbits of music from that era. His straight forward story telling easily brought visuals to mind of each scene without the heavy page long descriptions so often used by other writers to create a picture. Axel is also straight to the point with his character development and by the end you feel like you have known some of these people for longer than just the read of the story. Axel Howerton’s writing can be likened to a steak and potatoe dinner cooked by a master chef. Plain and simple while at the same time being elegant and absolutely delicious.
My only regret is that I tore through the book faster than I anticipated and I am left wanting more. Not just of the main character Moss Cole, but all of them be it in a continued story or on their own with independent stories. Congratulations to Axel Howerton on this great book
You can buy it here http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00B0QTUIQ
|Posted on December 24, 2012 at 4:55 PM||comments (0)|
Just taking a moment to wish all of you a very merry Christmas and Happy New Year. It has been a wonderful year, and although I may not have been as productive as I may have wanted to be, I have no complaints. So here is to hoping that the new year brings more music and enjoyment for all.
May your hearts be filled with love and happiness and that you have all you need and get many of your wants
|Posted on August 20, 2012 at 6:45 PM||comments (0)|
Hello every one I hope this finds you all well in the waning days of August.
It has been a fairly hectic last few months for me, although I have not completley forgot about music. I have had a few opportunites to play with some close friends, I have seen a few local bands and I have written a couple songs. That being said howevr, I have not put much focus on actually being productive. It has been a time to focus on family, the house and just being, which has relaxed me and I find I am not worrying about getting any writing or recording done. With that realization, the few times I have been into my studio, it has felt a lot more natural on both the playing and recording sides. This, to me at least is really good news since in September not only will the 24/One film event happen but I will be off work for a little with lots of time to focus on just music.
Wishing tou all the best for the last weeks of summer
|Posted on April 4, 2012 at 10:55 PM||comments (0)|