Whom did what?

Most of what is heard here I wrote, played, sang, programmed (the usual drums and keys fakery & fraud), and recorded myself, so these notes cover mostly what I had help with, that is, the hard bits (while I played much guitar herein, I can’t take credit for the LEAD guitars - the solos or any part that moves very lickety-split - though I made many clever suggestions to those who CAN), and some other points of possible interest.

The songs were recorded in my home studios at various times on either a Tascam 238 (an eight-track cassette machine) then later, on an ADAT, and most recently on a Macintosh running Logic Pro. Moreover, all of them were copyrighted at one time or another so don’t try anything, or, if you do, please send me a check or otherwise notify me that I’ve become a success.
_____

Paul Revere - As part of a composition exchange program, Lyle Workman gave me the verse tune for this one, and I added the chorus and bridge to that and wrote words for it all. Lyle also played the choral sitar and some Scandinavian type of autoharp on the recording and the very fancy bits of guitar at the very beginning and end of the tune. (Thanks also to Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding for 'Mayor of Simpleton', as without it I wouldn't have known what to do with the bass on this tune.)

Man of His Word - Nothing to report in the way of collaboration as there was none. By myself here, trying to do some James Jamerson (& Pino Palladino) on the bass, and singing about the seeming dearth of principle which seems to reside in so many people. The melody is faintly inspired by 'Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead.'

When We Were Two - A reasonably interesting tale (maybe only for me) and chance to name-drop on this one. Before he entered the pantheon of rock guitar gods, Joe Satriani played in an excellent pop/metal group from the San Francisco area called The Squares. A power trio that was sort of a cross between The Beatles and Van Halen. At the time of this recording, however, The Squares were long finished and I was living with Andy Milton, sadly now deceased, who had been The Squares bassist and primary singer (trivia note: he and Satriani both appear on the first Crowded House album as backing vocalists). The Squares former manager Neil Sheehan had come across an old Squares' rehearsal tape of Satriani playing the verse of this song over and over, very slowly and very heavily, and thought it showed promise and that Andy should have a shot at it, since Joe was already on his way to the rarified air of his burgeoning solo career. Neil also wrote some lyrics for The Squares, so he brought the unfinished tune and his words to Andy, who asked me to help finish it with him and record it. After speeding it way up and making some slight changes to the chords, we added the bridge melody and I some lyrics, and then recorded it the same day & night. I played the bass, acoustic guitars and faintly heard organ on this, which is all there was, and Andy and I both did a lead vocal, mine happening by accident at the spur of the moment because I decided it would make a good song for Paul Carrack, and I did a better impersonation of him than did Andy (though it sounds more like Tilbrook than Carrack, I reckon). I liked it when done, and so added that version to my catalog (which I don't think Neil appreciated at the time - sorry Neil!). That's also Andy singing background with me on the choruses (we're trying to evoke McCartney's 'Helen Wheels'). Andy is long gone now, rest in peace, but he had a great voice and a greater smile, and is still missed by all who knew him.

Echoes of a Prayer - The other half af the composition exchange program with LW. This time I gave him an unfinished tune of mine (inspired by an orphaned guitar chord progression of Doug V's), and he added the chorus tune/chords, which in turn inspired me to write a lyric and add a bridge. Lyle played all the guitars (except bass) here, especially nice being the 'And Your Bird Can Sing' type solo (and the inspired spoken line of intro, "I buried Saul"). Lyle is a player's player, and this was child's play for him, and he's also a nice guy, so it was my privilege to have him in my orbit (or to be in his) for a time.

Apron Strings - A song about all the men I knew at the time I wrote this who couldn't stand to be single for even a New York minute (I was alone on this one, maybe not ironically). I'm left-handed musically, and I knew another lefty bass player at the time who owned a Hofner violin bass, and he let me borrow it for this one (I usually play a Fender Precision), which was fun, and that's a righty 12-string electric I struggled to play upside-down long enough to get thru the tune.

Safe & Sound -
I wrote this for a close friend's second wedding ceremony. The chimey electric guitar is played by yet another of the ace guitar men I've been blessed to know, my long time associate and master tunesmith, Tom Fleming (Tom and I scratched an old itch and recorded some new tunes together in 2009 as The Dawdlers, all of which are heard elsewhere on this site).

Life in a Round Room - There was this fellow I hung around with in San Francisco in the early 80's, David Blood, who was always playing the acoustic guitar riff heard in this song, and one day, I started humming a melody to it. I finished and recorded it several years later, without David's guitar help, alas. The rhythm is supposed to conjure Gabriel (Peter, not the Archangel), and is a sort of cross between 'Solsbury Hill' and 'In Your Eyes.'

Another Man - This song was written specifically for submission to Ringo Starr, whose people had called around the industry looking for songs for an album he was then doing. I was under publishing contract with Virgin Music at the time so I heard about it, and decided to write one for Ringo! Too rangey for him I was told, but I think he heard it, so that's my Fab close encounter. Not very close, really, but closer than most, I imagine. Probably too much like his Beatles offerings, but I thought it captured him pretty well even if he couldn't or wouldn't sing it. Maybe I'll sell it yet.

I Wish I'd heard the Whispers - My attempt to write 'Good Morning Heartache' and practice composing with key changes. It was my goal with this to change key and then back again without jarring the listener, or better yet, even have him notice, and I think I achieved that. Jeff Tamilier (of Starship, Mickey Thomas, P.B. & E./Tower of Power affiliation, and general S.F. Bay area stalwart) was another great guitarist I got to play for me, and he did the jazz electric rhythm and solo guitars on this, and very well. I love his solo. That was a good session. This is also one where I did have a little real drumming, or scraping might say it better. Because it wasn't loud and I could get away with it in my house since it wouldn't flatten the neighbors,
on this one Jeff Campitelli (for many years Joe Satriani's regular drummer, and before that The Squares' ) dragged his brushes around a snare for me for authenticity (the machine just wouldn't do it).

Peace of the Pie -
Thinking of Finn's 'Now We're Getting Somewhere' or 'Sister Madly' when I did this one. Lyle played for me again, as did Tom, who played the Rickenbacker 12-string, while Lyle played both acoustic and electric 6-string rhythm (I think both of them may have helped a bit with the writing too, but I can't remember, so I'm going to hog all the credit - see you in court boys!), and those lovely soloes, and Jeff played some more real brushed snare for me on this too. In fact, I didn't play anything on this tune, just sang it, because keyboardist Ed Goldfarb played the organ and upright bass sample, which left me nothing to do but sing through my stuffy nose (a not uncommon companion).

Forsaken Me -
After many years of playing it wrong, I'd finally happened upon the actual way that McCartney strum/picks 'Blackbird' and was doodling around a lot on that when a song of my own popped out. I'm not particularly religious, but the title and tag line didn't feel contrived so I left it alone.








/
  1. 1 Paul Revere 03:54 Info
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    /
  2. 2 Man of His Word 04:17 Info
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    /
  3. 3 When We Were Two 02:32 Info
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    /
  4. 4 Echoes of a Prayer 04:35 Info
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    /
  5. 5 Safe & Sound 03:06
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    /
  6. 6 Apron Strings 05:20
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    /
  7. 7 Another Man 03:23
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    /
  8. 8 Life in a Round Room 05:24 Info
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    /
  9. 9 I Wish I'd Heard the Whispers 04:23 Free
    /
  10. 10 Peace of the Pie 04:20
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    /
  11. 11 Forsaken Me 01:51
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    /
Copyright 1985-2018 ©