💥 Everything matters and that applies to you too
This story goes way back into the late 1980’s something but ends up somewhere in 1990 something. Confused? Don’t worry, hop along for the ride for it’s 5am and you are out of bed, and I hope you are not off to the living dead. 🤔
💥 How does everything matter, and why would it apply to you?
In late 1980 something I was living in a walk in closet, that isn’t a metaphor, I literally was living in this huge walk in closet under some winter coats and laying on a cot. 😳
💥 One morning I woke up, and again literally, at 5am jumped out of bed (off the cot) and turned off my alarm so I could get a shower before the guy who was renting this space to me would get up. We worked out a deal where I would shower first.
Do I like getting up that early? Not particularly, but I also like to shower daily, so I did what I did and that morning for some reason on a scrap of paper; pretty sure it was the back of the instructions for that alarm clock, I wrote down these two lines “5 am and out of bed, once again off to the living dead”.
💥 The living dead was obviously a metaphorical reference to my dead end 9-5 job at the time, where I smoked cigarettes all day, sat in an office and pretended to be “working” on stuff. As I looked around at the older guys in the offices, I knew I didn’t want to be like them.
Fast forward now into the 1990’s and I was in southern California and somehow I had cobbled together a band as a “guitarist”. I use that term lightly, as I’ve never been fond of my guitar abilities, but of course like any rocker back then, we had “guitar heroes” that were always larger than life or so it seemed. When I say “not fond” of my abilities means I wasn’t the next Eddie Van Halen or even close.
💥 Making this long story short now – we kicked out our lead singer and I ended up being the frontman.
And now we go full circle, this is how everything matters.
💥 Once the lead singer was out of the band, and I forgot to mention we didn’t do covers (well we did one. Lol… ) I had to write lyrics. Thank goodness that my drummer at the time was a prodigy as well as now (2020) an award winning lifetime Ventura county award winning musician (he wrote or co-wrote a lot of the lyrics), I had it easy for our first few songs.
But as in life anywhere, when you are part of a team, you have to your part. You don’t want to be the weakest link.
💥 One Sunday I sat at this rickety old kitchen / dining room table that my wife(ex) and I had purchased at a thrift store (can you say 1960’s something bad looking!) and sat there and started at my notebook of lyrics and ideas.
Crickets. Nothing came to mind, then I remembered that piece of paper, the note of the song I wrote in the past decade something and jotted them down. “5am and out of bed, once again off to the living dead”
💥 In literally, not metaphorically, 15 minutes I had the entire song from beginning to end written. I don’t believe there were many edits in the lyrical content from the time we started working on it as a band, to when it went on our first demo that we sent out.
Now I cringe. I have a copy of that demo (the link below is NOT that demo version!) that I archived off of cassette to digital before I lost my last cassette deck, and wow. Talk about crapola on a stick. Lol. But here is the thing, I had been talking to a producer in the hills (Hollywood hills) and I sent him the demo.
💥 Of course this is why a producer matters. Every musician today brags about “Oh yeah, I can record my own material, and the old school stuff doesn’t matter, we don’t need to do it like that anymore!” And I laugh to myself as I know that, but I also know I’ve listened to a ton of crapola on digital over the years.
This producer calls me back and says he wants to sit down at a restaurant. The band and I were all excited and we did our sitdown. And he tells me that he hears a hit song, and of course (because musicians can record their own stuff without a producer, and should know what is “a great song”) start to talk about what WE thought was the “hit song”.
💥 Spoiler alert, I kind of led you all with the post the other day… remember “future is past, the past is gone, forever and a day” – yeah lol. That was actually the first line of the song called “Forever and a Day” – and the band and I agreed that would be track 1 on the demo we sent. That was our “hit song”.
There I was babbling on about it, and I’m getting a dead stare from the producer and he goes, no I’m talking about that one song, “Off to the Living Dead”. That’s going to be your hit song. I think I buried that on track 4 or something.
💥 You know how they tell you to quit being the smartest person in the room? Even as a musician, that is something you need to learn for sure. You can write your own songs and record them, but having a producer will make your songs better.
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💥 BONUS: Here is the IUMA archive version of “Off to The Living Dead” – this was on a demo that came out of our sessions with that producer. Remove the [space] to go to the URL.
https:// [space] archive. [space] org/details/iuma-infected_messiah/Infected_Messiah_-_Off_To_The_Living_Dead.mp3
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