|Posted on March 14, 2016 at 1:10 AM|
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...