“Women can be kings.”-Little Simz, The Guardian
It was bound to happen one way or the other 🤷🏽♂️.
In 1977 the group L.T.D., (Love Togetherness and Devotion, recorded Back in love which made it to number one on the R&B charts where it stayed for two weeks and became a gold record. The song was also number four on Billboards hot 100 singles. Back in Love was written by Len Ron Hanks and Zane Grey, with Jeffrey Osborne singing lead. This song became the dance anthem that summer in my neck of the woods and more than likely all across the nation, and holds a special meaning for me. Every party that I attended for about a year played Back in love at least once and everybody would get on the floor.
There is a song that plays for the darkest parts of my soul. If you're thinking "wow, that's dramatic", you could not be more right. So was I when the end of 2017, beginning of 2018 when I heard it for the first time. It was the year after the summer of a lifetime for most of the generation I should have graduated with. I had officially dropped out of high school and was spending all my time asleep on my father's living room couch. I was an angsty seventeen year old riddled with anxiety and stress about the future. If you're wondering, that last part doesnt go away.
When I write music for a short film, a movie or an orchestra, I usually take one of two aproaches. The first being the approach of gathering materials and doing reserch on the project, weather its a film or a story needing to be conveyed through the music. The idea is essentially to just gather as much information as possible. Talking to the director (film or musical) about their vision and how my work is suposed to fit into the larger picture. These conversations take the form of lots of meetings and cups of coffee. The second apporach I take is, and quite frankly I literally mean this, to "wing it". As rediculous and obscure as that sounds, music is based on inspiration, well informed and reaserched inspiration or wotherwise. Occationally, things will just come to you. And it is under these circumstanses that I will dive into a project head on. Of course there are things you can do to aid in spontanious inspiration.
I think the title and the photo say it all. I'm a musician. A struggling one at that. I sometimes fail to realize the difference, or the distance between my vision of my life and the facts.
When news started trickling in that iconic Rush drummer Neil Peart had passed, I didn't believe it. Working at home from my office, a friend of mine had sent me a message to alert me of the news, but I had been through this before. In fact as early as the early 1980's, there were always rumors that Neil Peart had contracted any number of debilitating cancers or had died. But this was disturbing enough for me to check into. Then upon my own investigation on the internet, I started seeing announcements of his death from some other music websites that I hadn't heard of before. More suspiciously, Nick Mason's (drummer of Pink Floyd) picture had appeared where a picture of Neil was supposed to be so I had further doubts as to the validity of this announcement. I had also read that a week or so earlier Neil's first drum teacher, Don George, had passed away so I was sure that somehow, the wires had been crossed and Neil was fine enjoying his retirement, his family and his life. In fact, I even wrote back to my friend with the headline saying "False Alarm".
Nicolas Farmakalidis, better known as NicoTheOwl, is a Los Angeles, CA producer, currently making some pretty huge waves with his recent production methods.
Oh what a night it was, New Years Eve 1975 and about 15 minutes before midnight. I had no idea my life was about to change, and that Frankie Valli's current hit would be a part of the process. December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)" is actually a song by the group the Four Seasons, with Frankie Valli as their leader. This recording was written by Bob Gaudio, the original keyboardist for the group and his future wife Judy Parker. The song featured drummer Gerry Polci on lead vocals, with Valli singing backing vocals and the bridge sections. Don Ciccone the former lead singer of The Critters played base and sang the falsetto part of "And I felt a rush like a rolling ball of thunder, spinning my head around and taking my body under." December 63 reached number one in both the UK and the United States. I recall that during my senior year in high school there was a barn dance in the gym, complete with bales of hay. Just as I walked in and sat down December 63 began to play. I'm not certain, but this may have been my first time hearing it and I loved it right away. According to Wikepedia, this was the last hit for the Four Seasons as a group, but as a solo artist, Frankie Valli had another record breaker with Grease.