Tuesday, April 15, 2008

the dream song

i walked over to billy's house around noon
only 15 minutes by foot
(it's only 2 by car)
it was another perfect day
cool and sunny
not even the slightest breeze
what were the odds that L and L would live so close
to the only guy in texas i'd want to make a record with?
when i got to billy's house
he was playing a beautiful finger picked song
on his couch
"it's not finished..." he smiled
it was really cool
i'm looking forward to hearing it when it's done
"so what do you want to do today?" he asked
i got out the scrap of paper with the dream song's lyrics
srawled on it
and laid it at my feet
then i played it for him
quietly singing the high soft melody
my dream friend had sent me
i felt kinda self-conscious
wondering what on earth billy was gonna think of this
was it just silly
or totally gay?
after i finished he immediately said
"i think we should record this!"
i was pleasantly stunned
so then i told him the story
about the dream and this strange kid
who taught me his songs
i also realized it was weirdly symbolic
that in the dream i was my current age
yet fumbling around nervously not knowing anything
agitated about performing
and the kid was calm cool and relaxed
teaching me how to play
assuring me the whole time that it would be ok
billy said it was a great melody
at first he was taken aback by the high vocal
but agreed that we should leave it in the original key
and not over-think it
we could layer the vocal in a wall of sound
he also smiled and said
"guess what? i hear drums on this one!"
so then we got to it
big dumb acoustic guitar strums first
then layers of vocals
billy set up the drumkit in the control room
and played the hell out of it
then i put down some bass in about 15 minutes
which is significant for me
because i resisted the urge to over-analyze it
normally i work on my bass parts for at least an hour or two
after that billy played the castanets
some harmonies
then at the very end
added a little wurlizter bit on the last chorus of the song
we both felt very satisfied
and happy with all of our progress
so we decided to knock it on the head
and call it a day
it was a fun
totally spontaneous experience
that could have only happened here
with billy's encouragement
i know i would have normally ruminated on something like this
for months
tinkered with the key
and the words
waiting for the right moment to strike
well today the right moment was NOW
i'm glad we just went for it

it made for one of the most memorable recording experiences
i've ever had


Blogger Ron said...

Some of the best records I've ever worked on have been, "Let's just do it!"


9:34 AM  

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