August 31, 2018
Friends and Neighbors,
Many challenges have risen this week. That being said, I pushed through and tried to maintain my positive outlook on life. It seems to be a common theme to complain and spread negativity in these modern times. I’m not saying I never complain, but I try to keep it at a minimum. Anyway, I’d like to touch base on a few things that I discovered and encountered this week. I was deeply effected last weekend by watching the documentary on Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers entitled “Runnin Down A Dream.” I guess subconsciously I’ve been in denial that Tom Petty is no longer with us. The documentary was so well done. Tom Petty was a man who truly lived his dreams. I learned a lot about the band and their journey to rock n roll royalty. The way Tom spoke about his career and musical history was truly something to behold. He appeared to be a man who knew exactly what he wanted in life and took the necessary risks and steps to achieve his goals. “I Won’t Back Down,” truly was the song that best described Tom’s attitude toward the world. I also realized after watching the documentary and listening to several of the Heartbreakers’ albums over the past week that Mike Campbell is one of the best lead guitarists on the planet. I love the best friend type relationship that Tom and Mike had. That had to be the coolest experience ever to play in a very successful band with someone you're that close with. “Listen To Her Heart,” has been on my mind a lot this week. I’ve heard it a thousand times, but revisiting the song this week has been a pleasure. I bought a very clean vinyl copy of “Full Moon Harvest,” a few weeks back. It was my first Tom Petty vinyl purchase. I’m definitely gonna try to get my hands on all his albums after watching this documentary. I listened to the entire “You’re Gonna Get It,” album this morning and was blown away by the creativity displayed on the 1978 album. There are songs on the album that I wouldn’t have been able to guess were Heartbreakers’ songs. Which is super cool considering I’ve been a fan for the majority of my 36 years on this planet. Back to “Full Moon Harvest.” I totally forgot that this was Tom’s “solo” record debut, without the Heartbreakers. It does explain why the record sounds so different from the earlier Petty albums. “The Apartment Song,” is a hidden gem on the album. It’s such a fun song. I think it really shows how much fun Tom was having recording that album. I’ve also done some reflecting this past week or so. My good friend Eric and I are about to do some recording together for the first time in quite some time. We’re planning on recording “Into The Mystic” by Van Morrison. The “Moondance” album is an absolute work of art. Anyway, the significance of the song “Into The Mystic” is that it was our dear friend Daron Holderfield’s favorite song. Daron passed away almost 2 years ago. Daron was an inspiration to Eric and I and a great friend. He had lost his right hand many years earlier in an accident. But don't think that it affected the way he played music. Daron continued to play and develop a sound on bass guitar that was truly something to behold. Anyway, we would have these 3 or 4 jam sessions in Daron’s garage/music room. He was constantly teaching us new things and jamming along even when his health was fading. Rather than try to record all the tracks for “Into The Mystic” at once, I decided to record the vocal and acoustic rhythm tracks first this past weekend. I got it done and emailed it to Eric so he could critique and practice along with the track this week. The next day he brought something to my attention I was completely unaware of. Keep in mind I’ve been playing guitar for over 20 years. I recorded the acoustic track in 440 hz tuning. Apparently, the original Van Morrison recording was in 432 hz tuning. Now I encourage you, even if your’e not a musician to research and watch a couple of YouTube videos on the comparison of 440 and 432 hz tunings. It’s fascinating how different the vibe is when using the 432 hz tuning. We shall see if we can do this legendary song justice and our dear friend as well. On to other things, I’m developing a slight obsession with Giorgio Moroder’s records. He was so out there man and such a pioneer in what became the signature sound of 80s pop music. His use of the Moog Sythnesizer was so ahead of it’s time. I know, I know I’m supposed to be a guitar guy. I can’t lie or resist the temptation of the layers of sonic delights on Giorgio’s records. I’m also finishing reading Graham Greene’s “Orient Express.” I can’t begin to describe how much I love his writing style. So colorful and he really captures the emotions of the characters in his books. This is the second novel by Greene I’ve read. “The Quite American” was phenomenal as well. Anyway, after a 50 plus hour work week I think I’m done for this Friday night writing session. God bless my wife for taking care of me and our two furry sons. Much love to all.