chronicles of the hardest working painter in show business
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Christmas on their faces
I had everything I needed on Sunday afternoon to get some work done, my ukulele, Sony cassette recorder, beautiful weather (most important of all!), kids gone (I take that back! This was MORE important!), Modelo with lime, my lappy and my cell phone with a batch of lyrics sung in it. So I just hung out and keyed in idiotic ideas for me to sing later to all these tracks we’ve been recording. MOST of the lyrics are written already but there are a few that I’m still concerned about. And to add to the work, Jack sends me a text Friday night wondering if I had a Christmas song. Well no, at the time I didn’t but that didn’t mean I wasn’t up for the challenge. I told him I’d simmer on it a while. Now as you can imagine, late on a Friday night I was in no condition to start on a new song, and a Christmas song at that! But as I tossed around first thing in the morning, I let the idea of it seep in while I was still vacillating between awake world and dream world. A little melody begins dancing around up in there, next there’s a lyric that gets the ball rolling. And the next thing I know that ball is headed down a big hill and I got to get the hell up and start writing this shit down. In less than five minutes there’s three verses sitting there all scribbled down on an unpaid bill waiting for a chorus. I’ve learned over the years that there are some songs I start that I have no idea where they are going, and there’s no way to consciously sit down and think of what the chorus is gonna be. I just have to let it develop on its own, and that’s what I had to with this one. I mean, I would never sit down and say “I want the chorus to end with the line: ‘Christmas on the faces of all the children of the world”. That’s just where the flow of the lyric led me and it ended up being perfect for the sentiment of the song. So, I’ll just live with it and take what is given to me. On Sunday, I keyed in those lyrics and dolled’m up with a cute dress and some make-up and got’m ready to take out and meet the guys for our Monday night recording session. I knew the music would be a bit of a bug-a-boo though as I wrote it on the uke and sometimes the chords on the guitar may sound more or LESS like what I’m hearing with the uke. Since we had decided to spend the whole night on this one song, for reasons I will explain later, we took our time getting the chords in line and the structure arranged perfectly. For a while there it sounded like a meeting of Tourettes Syndrome patients with all the expletive blurting going on up in there but we finally nailed it. Jack had the most work to do as I told him he would. But he also had the bigger payoff, pushing and rolling the tune along beautifully. Once again, we butted heads but it’s all for the good of the song and we all still come out being friends and NOW we have a really great Christmas song to show for it. And what, pray tell would we do with a new Christmas song you ask? The plan is to get that SON OF A BITCH! (oooops! There goes my Tourette’s again!) on a 7-inch vinyl pressing along with the 3 songs from “National Champions” that we added horns to (with real live professional horn guys!) and sell a 4 song EP on Christmas night at my birthday party. Now, how you gonna beat that? You can’t! You can’t beat it with a stick!