|Welcome to my demo download page. hope you dig these ditties.|
FYI - in the old days, songwriters would sit all day in little piano- equipped cubicles grinding out tunes. if a creation had promise, their publisher would arrange for a quickie recording session (usually just piano, bass & drums...maybe guitar) with usually the writer grunting out the melody. these recordings were called ‘demonstration records’ (hence ‘demos’), which were then trucked around to record label A & R men in the hopes of getting a signed, famous vocalist to record the song, have a hit and let everyone (er...except the writer, of course) retire to Southern France.
there is something wonderfully fresh and exciting about these inchoate recordings - that first blast of inspiration captured when the idea was still warm/the paint still wet...choose your metaphor. some of them were even deemed good enough for release - Little Eva’s recording of Carole King’s ‘The Locomotion’ is an example of this. CK needed a vocalist, grabbed her kid’s nanny and had a hit.
that was then. today, there is no such thing as a demo - the first recorded version of a song usually turns out to be the definitive version. publishers and record execs don’t have the time to imagine what something can be...they want finished ‘masters’ that can be released ‘as is’ (i.e. - they want you to do all the work!). this is not entirely laziness on their part - it is extremely hard to capture that early vibe on a re-recording of a tune. also, home/semi-pro recording technology has advanced to such a high level that it is now considered laziness on the writer’s part not to turn in a releasable version. also also, the record business is dead - the big consumer of new music is film and television...and they want stuff they can use right away. plus, there is an extra fee for a master use...
...but I like demos - it is great, great fun to get caught up in the moment of creation and not sweat audio quality or whether or not I am the right singer for a particular tune, etc.
|"better than I ever was - a soul song written for my old high school rock band - The Disciples. in the '60's, we were a greaseball, hot rod + R & B band, playing surf instruments and James Brown tunes for the Italians, blacks, hoods, thugs, etc.. we were the band of choice at wakes in the Cleveland area whenever someone killed themselves on a Harley. well, we still play together from time to time, and so i thought it would be fun to record us in a garage on an 8-track analog machine for Volume II of the continuing Museum of Me project (looks like we might do this in Sept. '03). all we needed was a song... and this one seems to capture our collective amazement that we - despite our old age, brushes with the law, various substance abuse probalems, etc. - are still ambulatory!"|
|"late for work - it's summer, and all women are dazzlingly beautiful. 'bout time i wrote something all lusty and worshipful. i love the Syd-era Pink Floyd wash at the top, and the "nice job, God" line was an ad lib that cracks me up everytime i hear it."|
|"new enemy - taking that old saw 'honey, you're beautiful when you're angry' to its extreme...the quiet pleasure of needling someone until they get really annoyed. i was noodling on a guitar when i stumbled across the fingering for 'Little Johnny Jewel'. might find itself into the Tin Huey canon one day."|
|"Chapter 74...in which our hero continues his musical odyssey through the inspirational Rolodex...stopping at "T" for T. Rex this time. always loved Mambo Sun's thumping throb, and always wanted to pinch it for one of my tunes - it's every bit as 'important' a rock beat as Bo Diddley's. and i think it's pretty punk for a 54-year-old to lyrically raise a middle finger (or two fingers, depending on your geographic location) to the adult world."|
|"Wind In My Shoes (Trynka was supposed to be doing this, but she got caught shop-lifting again... her version coming) |
a/k/a Dromomania ("running sickness")
in memory of the travel writer, Bruce Chatwin."
|"N.G.D. (National Geographic Daydream)" |
- THE YOUNG FARTS - the first song i ever wrote...
boy oh boy...you have no idea how much hand-wringing went into the decision to put this out for general consumption. it's the first song i ever wrote and recorded... and i'm equal parts proud and ashamed. factoids: recorded at Rick Daily's house in 1977 (or possibly '76?), with my friend Al Milburn singing. me on bass & rhythm guitar, don't remember who the drummer is (might be me, might be Galen Studebaker), who the sax player is (might be Tim Maglione from 15-60-75, might be Ralph Carney from Tin Huey)... but the lead guitarist is Liam Sternberg (who later wrote "Walk Like An Egyptian"). file under: shows promise?