Thursday, October 28, 2010

I didn't quit Tae Kwon quit me!

You walk into a grocery store, pharmacy or veterinarian where nobody smiles, shares a nice warm hello or asks if you need help locating the Jelly Belly’s or power bars with 32 grams of protein. If there’s to be any kind of connection it’s usually performed at the cash register by an employee that’s having a difficult time understanding the order of importance salesmanship or texting. You physically feel invisible, yet you return two sometimes three times a week because it’s convenient to the daily path taken to or from work.

You don’t need an on-air radio disc jockey to tell you that today’s business world is more interested in numbers than fans. On the other end of the manager’s cell phone is an upper level department head banging his head on a desk wondering why counting heads is an extremely difficult task for the employee standing next to the spinning turnstile.

I’m embarrassed to admit my parents had it better.

Banks, restaurants, dentists and movie theaters were once finely tuned to the incredible craftsmanship of commitment and interconnection which led patrons to a plate of quality.

Author Seth Gobin paints the picture of a current society that’s no longer interested in developing a relationship with clients in the way of gathering fans.

Fans? Only Justin Bieber and The Black Eyed Peas have fans. Why would Mike’s Hot Dog Shack on 55th street require fans? This isn’t a football game! Exactly…and that’s who we’ve become, a mass of wanna be thinkers locked on to the idea that we can gain access to better numbers by getting em in then getting em out.

I’m not in love with my neighborhood gas station. I was once a fan of their coffee selection but they tell me corporate has a new policy. Have I stopped going there? Nope! The next station is a quarter mile out of the way.

I recently switched dentists because the name on the corner building kept telling me that it was more convenient to my busy schedule to use them rather than the doctor I’d been with for eighteen years.

First day there, “You need a root canal.”

“Really?” I sharply questioned before being surrounded by the head dentist and a coworker who wanted me to sign a piece of paper to get the work done by weeks end.

Being a nonbeliever in quick decisions I stood up and they closed they door. Literally! I was locked in a room with someone needing a signature. Being in radio I understand the power of inflection and use it well without ever lifting my vocals or using fowl words of not so much wisdom. In two days I had an appointment with the original dentist that explained nothing is wrong with my teeth and getting a second opinion not only saved me but the insurance company.

It’s all about numbers! Businesses are no longer required to create a fan base.

Seth explains the partnership and why it’s a valuable asset to your continued success in his book Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us, “The goal is to get one fan who knows two or three more people. People talk. People follow each other.”

Seth uses John Mayer as an incredible example calling him one of the most successful people to develop a true fan base during a social networking revolution. He relies on sharing a quality experience on stage, on the web and through Twitter with those in attendance which opens the door for future followers to step inside.

Not every fan has to be a mop top Bieber fanatic who screams at the first sight of your business logo. True fans can change the world you wanna rock but they are so hard to find. Begin the journey by performing quality. It gets people to fall in love with your purpose.

If I honestly had to break down the physical reasons why I continue to use the same gas station…I have to admit I dig the employees. I use their experiences behind the counter on my radio show. If I ask the right questions, their answers reflect real life at real times of the day that others depend on them most. I need them to make my product better.

I’m in the business of you and if I stop being your fan it’s going to turn me into a radio jock that’s stuck on one thought per break usually saying something about wrapping up another twenty five songs in a row without talk. Oh I’m talking now…pretend you don’t hear me.

Be aware of what you’re doing at work—if you instantly become irritated by mall store kiosk owners constantly connected to video games and Face Book pages, make sure you aren’t doing the same at your place of play. If sharp distinct managers with egos the size of Texas haunt your reasons for not wanting to take up martial arts then reposition yourself at work in a way that doesn’t make you better than a coworker.

I laugh when fellow equals land decision making positions and the first thing they do is let it go to their head and heart. I nearly lost my job in the 80's because the person I assumed I knew no longer wanted to hear the affirmation styled fun I enjoy bringing to everyday. He was down, I popped in with an Arroe-tude and he quickly went to his people who invited me into an unexpected face to face conversation with fate.

I was no longer his biggest fan…at yearly evaluation time it showed up in a handwritten note that read, “Had a bad year getting along with others.”

Today I love everyone! Giggle giggle snort snort snicker snicker

Long story short: I didn’t leave Tae Kwon Do because my Master was evil and uncaring. I was forced out by an insurance company and doctor who stared me down for over a year claiming that I was too young to have a heart attack and taking all these pills was not the lifestyle for someone my age. They were brave enough to tell me…get more cardio. We’re talking hours a day. We know you love your martial arts but you won’t heal properly taking forty minutes out of your day to learn a new Kung Fu move. You need cardio now! To which my Master replied………………..silence. Now how can I be a fan of that?

Work it people! Put yourself back on the winning train and get people to fall back in love with what you do or please get off the tracks and give the true leaders below you the opportunity to make America great again.

I will always believe in you first…

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Why do you always come in third place?

It doesn’t matter how many times you comb your hair, brush your teeth, tie your shoes or tap a palm print into the forehead of your pet…there’s always going to be something in your corner of the world that isn’t going to get the loving attention it deserves. Time moves too quickly; like a vicious rollercoaster zapping the fear from the depths of your chest Monday’s instantly become Sunday’s robbing the hump right out of an innocent Wednesday.

I no longer measure time by the uncaring hands on the face of an ageless clock. Who needs ticks then tocks, sunrises and sunsets when insurance enforced ninety day supplies of meds taken before bed line the top shelf of the kitchen cupboard?

I know more about the pharmacist than my Mother. I can almost pinpoint what magazine she was looking at in the store to grasp a fresh new look because sometime during the process of waiting for the prescription to be filled I too had my nose buried in the same print. I can quote People magazine but can’t tell you if the Stock Market is up, down or in existence.

Time is a speed demon in hot pursuit of something new to chew. And it’s not just this generation that’s had trouble keeping this one eyed monster with long creepy fingers covered in green sludge under control. Your parents and those before them battled the clock over and over including famed author Mark Twain.

In 1896 he told his family and friends, worldly magazines and publishers, “I’m going to write an autobiography.” Zonk! Biff! Boom! Bam! Think again! Being a southern boy with a solid curve in every word couldn’t slow this creative king down to a single note. As brilliant as he might have been with a pen was how weak he proved to be when releasing what he declared was his best story yet.

Time didn’t befriend Twain; it actually became his enemy. First he wanted to hire an accomplice to rob his experiences from the darkness of his soul only to learn they were never quick enough to return. Then a colleague declared, “You need to speak into a microphone! I will invent a box that records your thoughts.” So Twain invested tons of money into the hot prospect which went out of business forcing the author to move he and his family out of the country.

The century turned and there still wasn’t a book. He kept telling people, “Its coming! I promise! I have honest stories to share that’ll bend the truth on what others have prepared; untold facts about figures and unheard of adventures after Tom and Huck Finn.” But the book never came.

Why? Why? Why?

From this writers point on a rounded hill…it hit me; this coming from someone who doesn’t read books but finds tremendous pleasure in studying an author’s behavior. In Twains presentation of thoughts, the books he wrote then shared with an always waiting world of imagination travelers a single sentence paints what might be the reason why so many kept waiting and waiting...Samuel L. Clemmons used real life experiences to be his guide, changing the names of the characters to keep them innocent while still being extremely real. Therefore every book written by Twain was in fact his autobiography.

The imagery was genuine because it happened. The strong southern accents extremely present because he physically met the keepers that would inspire the steps for his words to take on pages once blizzard white.

So the autobiography he dreamt of releasing waited 100 years after his passing because each brave moment he sat down to put into play the lyrics of the songs he carried always came with an incredible excuse not to do it. Clemmons wanted to be frank. He wanted no fantasy, no trail of tales which he had become known for. His biographical sketch was to be about a man that was blessed with heart felt feelings combined with opinion.

Writers, authors, musicians, poets, painters and fancy chefs constantly set aside the key ingredients to that single magic moment that loudly bleeds incredible curses during every attempt of shaking it free to find someone new to grow on or within. In 1977 I penciled into place what became a three hundred page high school notebook novel which was later rewritten in 1994, 2001 and finally completed in 2010 when the editor inside of me took a large pair of scissors and cut it in half.

Along the way it became my passion to study the hands of other creative’s, hearing about what outsiders call easy attempts physically became long term bouts of mental sickness because fate won’t allow you to shake, so you shiver instead like an addict needing a fix and all you ever had to do was create.

Twain was miserable. Constantly pushed into corners of several worlds he wanted to live between, each was a sheet that required writing which he fulfilled except in the name of releasing an autobiography. And he wasn’t alone…General Ulysses S Grant leaned hard on Samuel to help him with his chapters because every unknown corner presented a reason to say, “Not today…so go away.”

So what are you keeping from reality? What stank can’t you wash free? No matter how many chapters you live or how old the dog and cat are getting. Your everyday seems like time is stealing it until you stop to realize you haven’t moved an inch on your true calling.

Stop reading books for entertainment and study the habits of the man behind the curtain. Look deeper into your favorite author, painter, chef, lawn mowing expert or king of all garages and work the path they laid for others to follow. Not only will you respect them more as a creative but in return your dreams are one step closer to coming true.

I will always believe in you first…

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

How to stop a blizzard on a hot day...

It doesn’t have to be winter to snow. It snows everyday at work, at home, at the grocery store and while standing in line at the bank or movie theater. Don’t even think about blaming this on Mother Nature or seizing control of your boss by snagging an excuse to skip a full day to play.

We are the they and them’s that whip the world of lets pretend from under our stinky toes refusing to grow and snowball the affects of what is to be, shall be, will become whatever day the calendar says it is.

Come clean with the thinking machine…how often do you become extremely uptight while bathing in something as simple as a thought?

We’ve made it too easy to be negative. We’ve given permission to anyone, everyone, including the self looking back from the mirror to endure zips, zaps and things that go splat; combing it over with, “Everybody has a bad day…”

But it invites insecurity.

One thought jumps into the shoes of the next then the Scooby Doo Underoos of another and everything that should be is nothing more than a tangled up mess of miscommunication, not only with your self but each and every itty bitty teeny weenie piece of the pie that comes near you. Even Evil Knievel would’ve never attempted to leap over your mood swings.

How do we keep landing in this same predicament? If it wasn’t for bad luck you’d have no luck at all. Research shows late night wake ups lead to multiple seed planters that you tend to carry far into the next day. A phone call you forgot to place, a conversation you had on the web that might have crossed the line, a coworker that challenged and you continue to allow them to always be right. It piles up higher than a mountain begging the heavens for snow capped peaks.

It called Thought Attacking. Negative vibrations combined with endless amounts of horrid tingles created by insecurity create an energy source that requires endorphins to move through. Endorphins are a natural drug to your body. If you aren’t producing them, common sense becomes a mind trick and your new natural becomes a fix on excitement. The cheapest way to get fired up is to pick a fight.

How can you stop Thought Attacking? By becoming aware of how you act then react when it’s taking place. An alcoholic, drug abuser or gambler rarely knows the damage they’ve created until the truth is set free inside their process of thinking. The goal is to catch yourself in the act of snowballing your day, it’ll be easier to shut it down.

Being from the Big Sky Country where things are a little more open and free I have a mouth and a mind of my own; it gets me in a lot of trouble. Put my sister and I in the same room and you might as well have invited Rick Flair and Ivan Koloff over for dinner. Forty six chapters into the book we’ve learned a better path to travel…admit that we’re different, agree that we’re never going to agree and no matter what at the end of every conversation say, “I love you.” It’s a cute little way of saying, “You’re such a bone head and there’s nothing we can do about you being this close but ok…we have one thing in common…you freak.”

Having an obsession with next day events is an addiction. Did you know that Marvin Gaye was obsessed with fear? He feared everything. That fear led to other addictions which fed into several streams of change leading to a serious lack of trust in family and friends.

When consumed with an obsession you need to step up to the bar and lay it on the line with a solid, “Wow! You’re doing it again!”

Stop freaking out and get to know the freak inside. Rather than sitting up in bed worried about an event you can’t change be thankful that you care enough to want to correct it. A meeting took place the other day, not everyone attended it. Those that did wanted to blast the silent figures. I chose not to take that route deciding instead to write a letter to everyone that attended linking the names of those that didn’t. Everybody wants to hear a solid, “Thank you!” But when your name isn’t on the list…um oh boy, please don’t call my parents!

Being busy is what we do in America these days…filling your head and heart with thoughts steals the steam from your engine making the little engine that could a contender for couldn’t. Stress is created by obsession. Personally, I’m obsessed with making sure everyone around me is up beat and positive and if you aren’t I’m going to say things that put a fire in your shorts…even if it upsets you so much the principal asks to see me. I meant no harm…I just want everyone to feel like a winner.

It snows everyday but this is one storm you’ve got the power to control. Become aware of how you become in the eyes of others. Know where your footprint sits before squishing your body weight into the mud.

I recently took home every thread of art once on display at work—people seemed shocked but I didn’t. If what you preach is change and change is every second of everyday…how can you lead if art keeps your feet stuck in the past? I know what went into every mark on the canvas…to hang them visible to my naked eye kept my positive attitude exposed to doubt, fear and reasons to no longer believe in the creative way a river flows.

Basically meaning…clean your desk at work; what you’re holding onto is that invisible something that reminds your inside self to take cover.

Welcome to the snowball effect.

I will always believe in you first…

Monday, October 25, 2010

Remove judgment and you might learn something...

Designer and architect R Buckminster Fuller once said, “Faith is much better than belief. Belief is when someone else does the thinking…”

I’m almost afraid to write such influential presentations of gathered words. The power of computer pages, text messages and emails meeting the openness of ones set of eyes can often become a blurred vision of assumption which in part robs the instructor of his heart felt intension.

The maker of the book dubbed Tribes We Need You to Lead Us; Seth Gobin invites readers to stop managing and start leading. To a manager that might come across horribly offensive igniting a reason to shoot a quickly penned out reaction to Human Resources, “I think we have an unstable staff member.”

I constantly laugh at the number of people who fear Big Brother is watching when in reality it’s we who can’t stop locating the weaker points of coworker’s or family member’s.

Rollingstone Magazine recently went undercover in California to search out the elements of what could be a seriously out of control cult following; martial arts. “Not all but some schools break the barriers of everyday pressure and growth by becoming tremendous leaders in lives that might have become lost or required a partnership in building a stronger foundation to live by. Students who truly study the path of a martial artist show their respect by vowing to obey their Master, Sensei or Grandmaster and in doing so they sacrifice many of their belongings, time and energies required to create new ideas and or personal ambitions that might in fact make them an individual.

This isn't new...through Native American studies I learned the Chief and or nation leader was the most giving person; he vowed to give away everything to make his people stronger. Through his leadership they became a single unit of growth and achievement. Unlike the martial arts investigation it was never looked upon as being a cult. It was an incredible way of life.
Is it misunderstood circumstances based on spiritual beliefs and travels? There’s got to be rules and guidelines that investigators and law abiding citizens must follow. I did what most do, pulled out the ever trusty Google search engine and came up with too much information!

Broadcasting legend Larry King says, “I’ve never learned anything as long as I was talking.” A man who’s been paid handsomely to talk for nearly four decades confesses that talking less is more. Might this be the reason why The Beatles continue to sell millions of compact discs forty six years after their introduction? How can you ever say too much in a two minute song?

In trying to discover where music comes from I set out on a journey in May of 2009 that’s taken me from chicken scratch lyrics to hardcore extremely talented yet undiscovered musicians, into the constant blaze and hum of a recording studio that patiently waits for art to be given sound. After the first song was laid out, I quickly wrote to music producer/songwriter Alan complaining about how I wanted more guitars and a solo that rocked to which he replied, “My goals are to influence listeners to do something they stopped performing years ago…reach for the repeat button.”

If what R Buckminster Fuller proves to be correct, “Faith is much better than belief. Belief is when someone else does the thinking…” Where within the thinly cut pages of the books we mentally write does your history begin?

Like Larry King…I’ll shut up and listen…Paducah you're on the air!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Dream a little dream...

If you could…would you return to the days when dreaming brought you incredible amounts of hope? Back to the moments when holding onto a wish was what you did while sitting on a school bus, day dreaming in science class or pictured in your itty bitty thoughts while sitting silently in your bedroom while the rest of the family sat glued to the television screen.

As a child I believed dreams came from interns wanting to one day be angels; before they could land the gig they were required to inspire the kid.

Where do dreams go when they are let go? More importantly why is it so easy to turn a dream free? Different visions are brought to the surface of reality through the works of those who make money motivating massive amounts of lost travelers. Anthony Robbins and John C Maxwell enforce the foundations of limitless dreams while bosses and coworkers take what you think and smash it into the face of tar stained ashtray or they pull off what I call the Aunt Louise who used to drown her cigarette butts in coffee, water, warm coke or your unfinished glass of milk.

Seriously! That’s how we treat dreams and those who have them. Unlike Doritos, it’s not so easy to keep making more.

In his new book actor/comedian and soon to be husband to Katy Perry; Russell Brand explains how tiny impossibilities become giant strands of reason as to why the numbers continue to rise in the world of drug and alcohol abuse. When you stop believing in dreams your body doesn’t stop making rivers that require an outlet. People feed that outlet with false connections.

I physically can’t figure out how I got into radio; my parents did everything to hoist a can of tar and feathers over the idea, to wash it free from the daily dream showers I took in the middle of everybody’s nonreturnable day. Aunt Louise shot me out to Seattle to brainwash my waves in an attempt to separate the child from the soon to be freshly graduated adult; to give me focus on what Pacific Northwestern residents truly do to keep a roof over their head. I’ll never forget my Grandma Bakken sitting across from me in Bozeman, Montana telling me that was time to stop showing off, “You should’ve been over this by twelve or thirteen. I’m worried.”

As much as you want to believe its school teachers with giant red pens that silence the fingerprints left where your imagination has been…the authentic newly designed wet blanket is always parental figures and family members who think they know best. It’s their behavior that puts your dream catcher in the closet to later be found by an older not so wiser you at a time when letting go of everything has made you numb. Searching is meaningless, how could you return to a moment when being in love with a dream was everything?

The Camaro is back…why? Because has been teenage boys love to dream, it requires nearly forty years and 2.5 marriages to finally say, “This time I’m going to do it.”

I can’t figure out how to let go of a dream therefore everyday is disappointing because who has the time to chase down what you should’ve let go at twelve or thirteen? The change of life is happening to twenty five and thirty year old men and women. You get so far along the path of expectations and you realize, “I used to do this. I wanted to do that. I need to but can’t because this is standing in the way.”

Tiny impossibilities become giant strands of reason as to why the numbers continue to rise in the world of drug and alcohol abuse. When you stop believing in dreams your body doesn’t stop making rivers that require an outlet. People feed that outlet with false connections.

People Magazine recently printed a story that exposed the haunting truth about stay at home mother’s…alcohol abuse is through the roof. If you aren’t tipping bottles and popping pills there are other ways out; divorce, food binging, work-a-holic or even worse the acceptable I don’t care attitude at a place of business that requires your full attention because it affects the livelihood of others.

Dreams aren’t just for kids! Dreams are what we should be doing everyday. When you don’t dream you’re pretty much telling those eyes looking at you in the mirror, “You’re fired.” How many times have you replied, “What the heck do you care?”

Video games, IPods, Face Book, Twitter, endless emails to friends you haven’t seen in twenty five years. Legal ways to say, “I don’t have time to dream. You should’ve been over this at twelve or thirteen.”

What you don’t know is how I replied to Grandma Bakken…which serves as the deepest root I hold tightly as to why after thirty one years I ambitiously continue to say yes to radio. At the age of seventeen I swiftly stood up at her beautifully designed kitchen table and uttered a single thought, “I love you and it was always you who said be me even during days when the me inside of me hates me really bad. That meant that it was time to be a better me which would open a new door for me to walk through.”

Let me put it in English: Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars…thank God for Casey Kasum!

I will always believe in you first…

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mark Twain would've liked me...

Here’s a word you never hear any more Stenographer; someone skilled in the transcript of speech. A key player inside a courtroom often called a court recorder.

In 1905 famed author and American literary genius Mark Twain hired a stenographer to make a mark in history by feverishly typing into an itty bitty machine with extremely short keys the words, thoughts and brave opinions of a common man from a common background who just happened to light up the imaginations of multitudes of generations beyond his physical presence.

The Autobiography of Mark Twain took five years to layout, is made up of two hundred fifty separate meetings that required thirty five years of editing only to be released to the public one hundred five years after it was originally thought of. One of the most important reasons why Twain elected to keep the breaks on was because of a whispered guarantee to his daughter, “I will not bury you alive.”

It was Mark’s vision to vocally deliver a free form autobiography that couldn’t be released for a century saying, “It gives the writer a freedom which he could secure. Man cannot tell the whole truth about himself, even if convinced that what he wrote would never been seen by others.”

Even if it meant his words wouldn’t be heard until years after his passing Mark Twain wanted to speak his mind.

My…haven’t we changed. Today…social networking through mediums such as Face Book, Twitter, texting and the ever popular but common email allows the famous and those not interested a guaranteed power to open ones mind as it speaks out too fast and often out of control.

Verbally in public we’ve become what we shoot through computer and cell phone screen. No editors, no stenographers or twenty second radio station delays; if it’s on your mind current American Culture and fad give you permission to express whereas Twain felt one hundred years after the big departure would be safe enough grounds to walk on.

In the weeks ahead, it’s my goal to study the writing and speaking habits of this writer. I’m not the typical who fell in love with his work; if Huck Finn were to walk by me right now I’d have no clue. Not my kind of writing or story so I chose to write my own way in the classes that demanded we read the books in high school.

Why so much interest in someone I don’t care to read? Two weeks before my heart attack in July 2009 I was asked by a museum in Mississippi to be the voice of Samuel L. Clemmons; a unique alignment of words based on what Twain saw as a child then painting the picture of the mighty river and its boats while wearing shoes located in the adult section of the department store. How he spoke woke me up. How he drew pictures with southern words and phrases invited every reason to continue telling my editors to leave how I speak the way it is…from the streets of common living.

A month ago I came across Andy Warhol’s personal journals studying his points of direction while wallowing through meadows of hidden journeys. I’m expecting the same from Twain; the state of our current being is filled with too many actors only to learn those before us were too and it’s taken decades after their passing to learn their truthful curves.

But is it? Man cannot tell the whole truth about himself, even if convinced that what he wrote would never been seen by others.

It reminds me of my first book; the editor and publisher demanded five rewrites, each one becoming thinner and thinner of its main purpose. By mistake I released the book in digital form in 2010 only to yank it from world because what’s been written paints too many colorful pictures creating an overflow of assumption and isn’t that where danger is constantly located?

It influenced me to be extremely real in the follow up Another 1,021 Thoughts where the editor was told with extreme bluntness, “Do not change my style. Do not pull back thoughts that seem too strong. Do not put yourself in the shoes I wore.” The book deals with September 11, 2001 and the events thereafter and to soften its edges wouldn’t be truthful.

My exact words were, “I want to be Mark Twain and William Shakespeare!”

She replied, “You are far from that…”

Look beyond what I said and seize better control of the entire view, I want to speak from the street the language of real people. It’s like learning Spanish, what you learn in high school cannot be compared to what’s being shared, slang with all its improper comma’s and quotations, question marks and back slashes is the difference in a country where every city has a Toby Keith, Target, Old Navy and Wal-Mart.

Mark Twain came from the south and writes like he’s from the south. No fake accents required and it’s become my vow to learn how he really thought then share it with you by way of taking the acting out of your steps and hopefully locating true peace in the art of being you.

Wouldn’t life be happier if people would just accept you for being you? It’s time to take off the mask of lets pretend and reveal who you are to a world waiting to uncover the next best thing…you! Please don’t be like Twain and wait 100 years.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

There are no drugs that cure your addiction to being perfect...

The parental figures fed it into your daily teen diet. You’ve heard it from teacher’s, preacher’s, best friends and pocket protector ink pen loving computer geeks that took the time to show you Geometry, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”

Yeah right…

Maybe it’s because I’m a Cancer, artist, creative type A, B, G and whatever other letter scientists are developing but everything I come in contact with, think of doing, dream of making a reality or invite into the universe is always going to be much larger than what other’s describe as being small.

No matter what’s taking place I’ll locate drama or create it.

Seriously! What is the small stuff?

Getting up at five in the morning requires unheard of amounts of preparation. I program myself to wake up at 2:30 knowing by five I can physically locate the bathroom shower without tripping over rubber dog bones, socks the dogs pulled out of the dirty clothes hamper, squeaky toys or a bird that might have figured out how to escape their Love Shack during nap time; then dry off with a towel and not a fresh roll of toilet paper.

Three minutes with me in a large lonely room created for radio people designing commercials and instantly you’ll figure out, “Everything is important.”

During the 1980’s when Def Leppard, Duran Duran and Jon Bon Jovi were stuffing your ears with harmonic hair band rock vibes, my on-air journals and programming notes were blistered by the hands connected to my soul leaving messages behind that read, “You’re a fricken idiot! How will you ever make it to major market radio disconnecting from listeners? That last break was stupid! Don’t you dare look in the mirror; I’m not in the mood to deal with failure.”

Perfectionist…it’s when our imperfections tend to be anything but small.

Artist Way author Julia Cameron writes about perfectionists never being happy—not even when the project is finished. A perfectionist tires themselves out leading them to finally accepting whatever gets them by.

You cannot be a perfectionist and hold hands with inner peace at the same time. It’s rare to locate a moment of content because to a perfectionist that means it’s still not good enough. Now toss in a co-worker, friend or family member who doesn’t share the same work ethics; the weight of the world multiplies by twenty five.

It increases your level of anger because your heart and mind are easily convinced that being a hard working, dedicated performer deserves to be recognized and for some odd ball reason it’s always the talkative, elbow rubbing, two hour lunch brats that latch onto the trophy for employee of the month and year.
A perfectionist isn’t always a work-a-holic. How many people do you know that freak out when a new scratch is found on the car door or dashboard? If the magazines near the sofa aren’t perfectly stacked or a coaster isn’t used under that nice tall icy cold sweet ice tea, who pays the price?

Perfectionists are described as individuals that find discomfort in the way they look, behave or live their lives. Once you’ve become focused on imperfection, all that once was kind and gentle is gone sometimes forever.

The solution isn’t easy because it requires honesty. First you have to become aware of how you act and react during bouts of anger, sadness, disappoint, lack of self trust and hatred toward the self you’ve allowed to be displayed in public. Although you believe being a perfectionist is what turned your work into a quality performance rather than the typical get it done to get by way currently plaguing this country; your outwardly presence is no different than an open journal with juicy stuff written on the inside.

I began my process of better understanding this disease in martial arts where we are surrounded by floor to ceiling mirrors. I’ve yet to meet the student that doesn’t spend more time staring at themselves than physically perfecting the form. I understand! A master that compliments you feels far better than a raise from your boss or you’re parents suddenly saying, “I love you.” To reach that acceptance level you have to look great.

The day I took my eyes out of the mirror and onto the floor changed my world. It was no longer important to me to please my master but rather better understand the depressed self he created. By making a pact with my self, “Don’t sweat the small stuff…” the journey toward healing began. The first thing that had to go…the multitude of colored belts a martial artist collects. They served as reminders of how much energy was dumped into trying to be a perfectionist.

The first time you appear in class with no belt, instantly you’re nobody. There was nothing more gratifying than leaving my ego at the door. I didn’t quit martial arts I was forced out by a cardiologist that put focus on my future, “Kicks and punches are fine and it will keep you centered but it’s doing nothing for your heart. If you want to get back to living, you need endless amounts of cardio from running, riding, pulling and pushing at a level that doesn’t allow you to take a break in the action to learn a new escape or form. If you want off the drugs then give me what I want…a strong heart.”

Try telling that to a perfectionist. The first thing that had to go was judgment. The moment you eliminate judgment from the project, you’re one step closer to locating inner peace and solitude. Slowly you’ll begin to decrease your passion to want everything perfect.

If everything created between the clouds and biggest oceans was meant to be perfect how do you explain the giraffe?

Why am I a perfectionist? I’m convinced our generation sucks at being great. I honestly can’t look my parents in the eyes and ask, “How was that?” I won’t be able to handle their reply.

Success is incredible when you take the time to enjoy it. Let me know what it feels like… Is it bigger than the Grand Canyon, taller than the Tetons in Wyoming, much wider than the butt I carry? Can I say that? A true perfectionist would erase it from the records…

We’re growing together…I will always believe in you first.

Monday, October 18, 2010

What if you returned 100 years after you left?

One day, a few chapters back, the ink spilled from the well onto the inside circle of the trees that which catch the thoughts I think. I wrote, “How far does an echo flow? The wind whispers out your name…wouldn’t life be more fun just eating ice cream?”

My insanity begins the moment I give permission to a passing thought to live longer than a nearby memory.

While the question inspired me to write a song for The Ronald McDonald House in Charlotte, NC…I continue to be plagued with the failure of locating the answer it reached out to snag like a fishing line scraping the bottom of a lake for an old tree stump.

I might have been given a partial answer yesterday; CBS’s Sunday Morning featured Mark Twain’s self delivered and heavily anticipated autobiography—the Southern Master of stories to be told sat back one day and pasted his vocals and fingerprints on recording tape and paper.

Some one hundred years later the echo has grown…to which I chuckle about, the way it sprouted leaves in the forests I keep is nothing like what the author could foresee when putting air in the lungs of a young Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn; the new wave doesn’t comes with a page but rather a screen called Kindle, Nook and IPad.

I won’t write about the book. I’ll take thoughts from it and pour them into your wandering eyes but it’s never been my goal to become radio’s Oprah.

The literary makers of pages like Amazon, Barnes and Nobel and whoever else is participating in the book sales race make big enough waves. It’s my ambition to find a seed and plant it somewhere on the paths you keep.

A great example! In this age of bit by bit tips and taps into cell phones and keyboards connected to computers that once took up entire rooms…communicating no longer needs face time; faceless beasts and creative monsters munching down on tiny villages without leaving the comforts of a weathered sofa or oddly shaped kitchen chair that was nominated to sit next to a desk you call your escape and yet you do more running around on the web than through the neighborhood.

I must admit and it’s totally an ego gone wild is this worldly quest to locate he, she, it or they who shall be named the first in everything. As much as I’d love to know who the first person was to eat a chicken egg…it really doesn’t matter today because most eggs come from boxes.

Blogging has lifted its fame to everyday. Julie and Julia starring Meryl Streep continued to introduce the average Billy and Sami to visions of sharing which enables visitors from far away places to be influenced to create movement. Walls stand straight and still because they are told, but what if they began to listen to those of us who want to move them?

While some believe Mr. Samuel L. Clemmons (Mark Twain) was our nation’s first blogger, I scream foul play! Writer, poet, motivational speaker and inventor Benjamin Franklin born in 1705 put motion into the value of a thought two hundred years before Twain. Benny without his jets would wake each new sun, wrap his tiny fingers around a goose feather and pen out hundreds of letters only to quickly run to the nearest printing press then hand each point of view to a growing uninformed world.

I can hear my Southern Baptist Mother who grew up in Northern Wyoming shouting over the volume of the TV, “What about the great book?” Yes Mother…

Blogging, writing, chicken scratch into a notebook meant to take notes in high school later turned into a love letter handed through two rows of other students to the person sitting third back from the door is, was and will forever be blogging.

Did you ever get caught handing notes to someone that bounced your heart around like a red rubber ball on hot summer’s day? Might you have been one of the lucky ones who developed a language teachers didn’t understand? Before LOL and BRB there were signs and squiggly lines and if you were connected to me the way the letter was folded was also part of the message.

Twain’s words, wisdoms and unique styles are what make a writer accepted or an object tossed aside. This voice though is his. No fancy ink to serve as a paint brush designing boats that kiss the shores of a muddy mile wide river. Not even a love story of two that should’ve never met but once they did all that could be felt was witnessed in the eyes of a world pushing our imaginations through their windows in the way of sneaking peeks off each evening while the sun set.

Twain…who was he? A book club this isn’t but there could be a sip of something that envelopes your method of madness and softly whispers, “You aren’t alone…” and isn’t that one of the seven things the human requires in order to survive? To be accepted…

“How far does an echo flow? The wind whispers out your name…wouldn’t life be more fun just eating ice cream?”

I will always believe in you first…

Friday, October 15, 2010

Johnny Knoxville isn't the only J.A.

I invite you to take a pen or pencil while using your opposite hand to reach for the backside of a sheet of paper that could’ve gone into the copy machine trash but you saved the planet while thinking, “I will use the other side and dedicate it 100% to myself!”

Take that pencil, pen, chunk of chalk or needle in a haystack with tiny teeth marks nibbled into its edges and make a box, rectangle or any shape that resembles what we assume is a box…long, tall, skinny as a nail or big and fat like Humpty Dumpty before he fell off the wall.

Being this close to Halloween you have permission to sketch into the barely seen veins of what keeps a sheet of paper together really cool but extremely scary teeth…make it look like its got cryptic blah blah blah blood dropping from what looks like a Twilight vampire appeal; give it a trash compacting, Godzilla destroying, Freddy Kruger presence that makes you wanna jump like a fish for flies and skeeters.

Now hang the doodle up near the office phone, the locker that protects your belongings or next to the computer... it has a purpose that will turn this day and everyday into an incredible release party.

When bosses and co-workers say things that invite feels you can't bare to hold... look to the picture and place the thought in its mouth. Let the monster have it. It lives off ugly words and evil feelings. When you’re being hateful toward yourself put the energy into the sketch. Yummy! The faster you free your mind of the weight that brings you down…the more air you’ll locate in your lungs, freeing the body that begs you daily to run away and get lost in a new world.

I constantly hear, “The best way to enjoy a day is to make sure everybody is happy.”

Yeah? How many people are saying that about you? Ohhhhh! Boom! Pow! Biff! Zoom! Kick! Sha-bang!

It totally reminds me of Michael Jackson talking to Paul McCartney in the song The Girl is Mine, “I’m a lover not a fighter…” Or me physically admitting, “I’m on vacation from work when those around me take a vacation.” There’s absolutely nothing affective in either statement except a mental picture of Richard Gere telling his drill sergeant in An Officer and a Gentleman, “Thank you very much sir! May I have another?”

Books may teach you how to change but ultimately it’s always too easy to go back because making others feel unforgettably incredible and wow, zoom, whaw-ka a do is what you do. Once you get in the car, put on the seat belt, lock the door and hear your favorite song those eyes swell and the heart begins to skip beats because how dare anyone do this to you but they do over and over.

When I write, “I will always believe in you first…” to whom is the message really going to? The owner of these ten fingers, a booger collecting nose with radio dream that will never be reached because all those years ago I was taught broadcasting is what you do in radio… Not true…31 chapters into the book we learn through communication we broadcast.

It's my hourly goal to remind you to never turn off your transmitter.

Drawing what seems to be a stupid picture of monster with big hairy teeth is what keeps the sea bugs off the bottom of your ship. I really will believe in you first...its my ego that always puts these honking big boney feet always at the front of the line. Positive energy comes in a major supply...there's always more where it came from.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

The mirror reveals what you're up to...

Motivate, connect, leverage…

Words you’ll never find carved into a tree or an ancient wooden table at a frequented local pub and yet these three words serve as the missing keys to making a busy business life happen in 2010.

Common law relationships on the workday front are fed by over the limit expectations with two maybe three employees responsible for meeting the constant demands of decision makers just trying to make a buck.

Admit it! Failure has become more popular than Christmas; its the new acceptable. It’s just that we keep it decorated in Halloween costumes.

Where do we fail? When we physically allow enormous loads of work to reach out and bite our dreams, we give permission to vacations no longer being wild childlike adventures in nearby historic cities and skyscraping mountains; time is taken off to run away from reality inside the comforts of home or the nearby mall because the sight of your house no longer inspires a willingness to accept it as a safe zone.

We are forgetting to lead.

Constantly I’m told to back off my energy; nobody’s in the mood for it. People take the time to reroute their journey through offices so they don’t have to connect with me in the hall. How much energy are we talking about? The heart doctor refuses to take me off blockers because the system can’t handle the overload. I’m not going to change and I never expect anyone to take anything less than the long way home.

Motivate, connect, leverage isn’t an Arroe term; it grows from the writing instrument that was laid next to a clean sheet of paper sitting in front of author Seth Gobin. He was hired to mastermind a plan to generate a video game with sight and sound, which seems easy until the due date is Christmas and your staff stands three people strong.

Twice a week Seth motivated the other departments with nothing but incredible news about the progress of the project. Through his words he connected to masterminds of computer geeking who couldn’t keep away from participating. It gave Seth leverage therefore he met the demands ahead of schedule making the entire company and not him come out a winner and not the typical 15 to 35 minute late employee just getting by.

The Pyramid effect of the business plan only works if the single most important thing you want to succeed in is failure. Being on top sets you up to fear everyday that those below you are coming after your job.

We’ve been forced to accept smaller paychecks with fewer team players. One time business offices were flooded with talent whereas today you’ll find professional atmosphere’s blanketed with individuals doing whatever it takes to get by. Why aren’t they motivated? Where is the heave ho and the gung dee dung dee that once made being part of a team unstoppable? Due to the lines constantly drawn in the sand, your job versus my job, their job and our job has stolen from the American scene the equal right to create as a company. We’ve become an ear of corn…a lot of little kernels hidden behind the husk.

The invitation has almost never been extended. You can’t take on the world and expect to make a national monument.

Motivate, connect, leverage…

Seth says, “Stop managing and start leading…getting by is no longer the hip cool thing to accomplish.”

Outsourcing has proved one thing…they can do it cheaper, faster and sometimes with better quality. We became addicted to going places and forgetting faces. Stand up! Wipe the dirt off your pants and get motivated about connecting. Put yourself in a position of leverage and start making a difference.

Schools and libraries are closing. Nobody seems to be questioning the amazingly high amount of money superintends continue to make or where the educational lottery money is going…its almost like doing the Electric Slide, its four to the left then to the right, four to front, four to the back, rock then rock, turn with the rest. Lemming is a disease.

Motivate, connect, leverage…or get caught on the dance floor doing the Chicken Dance.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My blonde Rock n Roll roots are beginning to show...continued

Follow the entire journey...

I've been playing the part of the radio disc jockey for 31 years and I have no clue how the music gets here. So I challenged myself to write the lyrics, find musicians, a studio producer and become the artist pressed onto the surface of a compact disc or make a big splash on ITunes.

Goal number one: Locate as many insiders as possible. Use their experiences on the wild roads of Rock n Roll to help forge a path toward a final product that may or may not be listened to by the decision making ranks of radio.

October 13, 2010

Put a paint brush in my hands and I’ll slop colors in every place then where it should be. Ask me to produce a radio commercial and instantly it becomes a visual for a medium that doesn’t require pictures. Why should recording music be any different?

4/4 time isn’t a measurement of space that invites you to participate even during times when creativity doesn’t always best fit the mood.

Every song no matter the listener, from poetic expressionist to hardcore nationally recognized talent; each have told me, “Your timing is off and not just a little.”

Even with a click track, I’m having enormous amounts of trouble putting focus on a rhythm that remains consistent to drums, guitars and the insane producers locked in a studio room behind amazingly thick sheets of glass.

The solution to the problem was to put another person in the studio with me tapping on my left shoulder as the song made its way toward the horizon. Tap, tap, tap, tap. It worked! Rather than spewing words, it generated emotion at an even pace…rather than something that resembles a rap tune honking down the freeway of love at 200mph.

Twelve songs deep into the project, the latest is a visitation back to my true heyday of high school garage bands; a tune called The Ultimate High which was originally written by Gary R. First thing required, get permission from past band members to give it a more modern spin. It was penned out in the 70’s…the terms used are oversaturated with B movie potential.

Renamed Gary’s Song…producers Jimm and Alan gave it an extremely haunting appeal with a giant choir that resembles a group of spiritual Monks gathering to honor my fallen friend and from out of the chants a storyteller is given permission to openly share the journeyman’s travels.

But it had to be in 4/4 time or the visual music tends to create would plop down on an empty plate and be left for free to which nobody would take.

Once the vocal expectations were met we spent hours revisiting the other songs—each carrying with it an oddly shaped memory. I’d hear Taima on the guitar and instantly be reminded of the day he laid down the track. A bass beat or a funny twist of the piano and like a true listener of radio the memories raced so fast it became a game to catch up to them while reaching to hold another then another.

With the majority of the instruments in place and enough scratch tracks to give a cat something to toy with…the next step is to begin the process of fine tuning the vocals. One lyric over and over until it’s molded into a state of submission without sound forced or too broad to accept.

Recording music isn’t anything like holding the keys to 31 years of radio broadcast. It’s not what I expected and without a doubt is proving to be extremely challenging due to vocals that either show up or take hours to warm up because I might have recorded too many screaming car commercials during the week and anything less than clear is a recut over and over until it becomes pure.

Your lungs hurt. Earphones dangle from your head as you for acceptance from the producers slowly shaking their head from side to side followed by their ideas of how the words should be delivered. The music starts the vocal is sang…missed it again. Its not that I’m rushing to free the concept from prison, it’s the emotion that has to paint the picture that requires a listener to take the entire journey through a 3:30 song not a sixty second commercial selling carpet.

The long trip back into town is always quiet. I never want to speak. The radio is turned off; I hear only the air outside the windows attempting to ignore the songs it sings. I relive every vocal take like it just happened hoping to better understand. It’s killing me that Jimm and Alan are forced to hear me do it again and again and again. Only to hear them reply, “We wouldn’t have it any other way.”

September 13, 2010

We’re all creative…you don’t have to be a musician to be an artist nor do you have to have a pristine garage to be a mechanic. I spent my childhood buried in Rock n Roll dreams but couldn’t figure out a way to get my head above pages of lyrics…so I decided to pick up a different stage called radio.

All too often we set our childhood hopes and wishes aside for what we assume are bigger and better times or just easier tasks.

Ten songs deep into this current returned visitation Alan came to me with a guitar piece and said, “Write me lyrics…not for this song but for many more to come.”

There are too many of us that wanted to be more than what we got in life and sadly too much of it continues to be sitting in boxes locked away in closets or attics. Grab the flashlight and rediscover your true artist self. Whether you’re a writer, poet, gardener, speaker, undercover preacher, chef or professional bowler with thirty year old shoes that stick at the fowl line…let go of your fears and believe in you again.

I’ve waited 48 years to get into a real recording studio doing real music with real musicians and the end result is really really fun. If I can do it…so can you. Then lets meet somewhere for coffee and chocolate and talk about each others adventures.

The current recording project is a tune originally written 33 years ago now modernized. A rose may die but art lives forever…it’s up to you to keep replanting the seeds and or soil. Give something you create enough attention and the end result is a life being touched well away from your nearest touch.

August 10, 2010: I've been Toto-ed

I'm a planner...nothing is put into motion unless it's laid out with a quick execution. That might be the way the world of radio works but not the music industry.

Remember the group Toto? How about Boston? Let's toss in Luther Vandross, Melissa Manchester, Richard Marx and Barry Manilow...their roots shine bright in the history they made being studio musicians.

When you get the perform. When there is no're on the road. Musicians don't take one week trips to the beach...put into play are musical projects that involve small towns and bars, large towns with smaller lounges and movie deals.

What I assumed would be a summer of musical love has turned out to be a true experience in the fine art of everybody's busy doing their own project. My producers were hired to make music for an independent film while rushing from stage to stage stretching from New York to Texas.

When they were available I wasn't. When I located enough space to race to the studio they couldn't make it. The only thing you can do is keep it positive and keep practicing the songs over and over again. One problem, I call this the Stevie Nicks approach to music...sound changes with every breath of wind. The musical landscape of ideas once held onto have reached a different place of display; tossing my imagination into a harder edge guitar with earth shattering drums and vocals that reach into the back of your skull and rip the knobs off.

A music project that began in April 2009 from writing to producing is evolving sending the musicians into lands of bewilderment, "Oh my God he's changing his mind." I can do that right?

A tune I call "Here we go again" which was inspired by my book Halloween 78 will totally drop its scorching rock edge and take on a more campfire appeal.

The song "Wanna get Back" a storyteller with total focus on the piano no longer inspires me and I feel its needs a hair band of the 80's crushing guitar riff that sends shivers through your Poison, Bon Jovi and Cinderella way of listening.

The good news is, the producers see no indifference. They nod their heads up and down and smile while saying, "Cool! Lets do it!"

Seriously...what do I have to lose? It's only music not banking.

We're finally back in the studio this Saturday.
June 14, 2010

A single note can change the entire landscape. Was in the studio late, late Saturday night dropping tracks on what can be described as a hardcore blues yet spiritually driven harmonic piece that embraces the edges of the circles we keep.

The origin of the storyteller presence was blanketed with a piano that took its time building up with a conclusion that forced you to wipe the sweat from your heart and calmly say, “Where the heck would we be without a good true friend?”

While studying the individual tracks Alan accidently kept the acoustic guitar up…vocally, it didn’t mix…but instantly I shot to my feet running out of the room toward the quality designed studio to revamp the shape. His mistake instantly rocked a newer idea into place. I moved quickly, fearing that I’d lose the harmony handed to me the very moment the speakers spoke out.

A Led Zep paint brush full of blues that mysteriously slides into a rhythm that fantastically chases the skips and flows Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac made famous on Rumors. Pull in the listener then give them reason to cherish the visit. Everything that was laid out before the flub up is null and void…for the first time I feel as if Alan and I have fallen witness to what unravels through our individual listening habits while working toward an angle of sound unique by way of teaching the mind to escape before the world catches up.

June 2, 2010

When a song arrives, it first comes to me in the shape of a wandering hum. It becomes my choice to follow it or let it dwindle back into the world it came from.

Music is my life. I find it extremely difficult to keep anything creative in. It has to rush from my fingertips, touch the sky then bounce off a wall before materializing into a chunk of something other than a thought.

To write lyrics facinates the depths of the soul but nothing brings an explosion of the inner core to life than watching the musical notes you feel come to life on paper, ever word, every note, whatever it takes to give other musicians a path to follow and through that journey harmony is born.

Song number six of ten is sliding into its share of the presentation field. I know where it was first introduced to me. I can give you the stories that led to each wild line that unexpectedly fit together. I can still hear Allan tell me how Richard reacted when the chords of the piano began to martialize and then to offer a smooth six string guitar with no amplification.

If you think standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon has the ability to swipe the air from your lungs...take that moment and give it a title, a melody, a rhythm and then share it. Take your God given talent and create a mountain fully capable of moving someone's thoughts. What you've been given has a willingness to expand beyond the tiny circles you keep and its within that curve that you begin to realize how important creativity is to everyone, especially those you'll never meet. They have no clue who you are therefore the judgment will be less...leaving them plenty of room to enjoy your art.

Monday May 24, 2010

We live in an age where being handed something quickly is the constant demand. The thought of having to wait is completely 1977 and before. Humbling is the act of turning a thought into reality, especially when it involves music and the process required to turn what you hear in your thick skull into a melody someone chooses to shake off or carry.

After being away for nearly a month, the studio finally cleared the way for my return. In the world of radio, I walk into a studio and drop tracks all the time…how spoiled am I to think the rest of the planet is run that way?

My latest piece has so many music changes it required Alan to methodize a musical bridge he would’ve never tried if it wasn’t for a radio station ego maniac constantly knocking on his door saying, “Come on! We’ve got to do it!”

I grew up during the storyteller generation and find tremendous pleasure in locating the right pattern to latch onto a listener’s attention span and taking it for a ride. Is it impossible to attain inside a landscape of give me a song hook to sing or I’m going elsewhere? It is if the only you’re interested in doing is creating plastic songs.

I’d like to be part of the reincarnation of album rock. Arena rock gets old when the teams using your songs ignore what the lyrics are really about.

Thursday April 22, 2010: Wanted...serious attitude

I must admit, not having a band opens the door for me to explore options. Studio musicians leave marks without having egos to crush the origin of the vision. For orchestrated pieces we hire pianists with enough elbow room to tune a fork—something with an edge, you walk right up to the ax carrier and hold open the door for them to send shivers through a slice of music whose hook isn’t going to rely solely on the vocals but the entire presentation of loyalties.

Song five requires such a level of existence—strongly suggested was rock guitarist Taima Steadman who fears nothing with six strings and candidly admits the beast he carries screams like a warrior on a path leading toward victory. His roots dig deep into the Cherokee Nation, a strong willed artist whose aim is set on masterminding a raw un-tame delivery that’ll force listeners to slam their index finger into the button that reads repeat. They’ll keep coming back first to see if what they heard truly moved them only to learn after 9 listens they’ve become addicted to the concept of the anthem-esque mask that which trades their calm identity in for a deafening retreat.

True Rock n Roll was meant to be lived by the writer then hauled around in a heart made of stone before being dumped onto a table where music makers push into place chance and risk never realizing what’s been unearthed is in fact an echo a passerby chooses to grasp as if to seize a single moment of recognizing a portrait assumed available only in the depths of the paths they’ve personally controlled…and without warning a song arrives by way of speaking through the clutter of everyday life and somehow some way memories attach themselves to it like magnets making out with metal.

Thursday April 15, 2010: Vocal sessions canceled

It's become my quest to not hear the 2:45 AM alarm shattering the unspoken morning air. A swift switch in the makeup of the average day limits the presentation of anything looked upon as being a hobby.

Writing and recording songs fit on that hook.

One of the main reasons why I chose the recording studio I did was because it physically forced me to leave town. Being committed to a music project wasn't going to be an easy task. My goals were to encourage an already tall mountain to move an inch never realizing it would move me instead.

Constantly accused of over is the drive to be in all places at the same time. Then one day it all catches up to you and once again the first to be set aside are the sessions saved for late night.

Not being in the studio cleared the way for the guitars to vamp up my fourth song, a haunting piece that combines the sharp edge of RAW strings with a nearly hidden orchestra whose hidden kiss puts focus on the value of invading a listeners decison to stop in for a visit.

I've always wanted to write a rock opera...Freddie Mercury attacks with carefully marketed drafts that make it commercial enough to be two steps less than bubble gum.

Click Here No vocals, extremely unperfected in the way of birthing a new idea. But this is how it begins. Sometimes a lyric drifts into place and you're stuck bending and shaping and then there are days when a tap tap slide becomes your ride.

Click Here The storyboard mix prepared for the studio. This is the at home version of the game.

Friday April 9, 2010: No echo! I want real not fake!

I’ve never been a fan of reverb. I don’t like it in the commercials I produce nor do I find faith in its presentation in music. I fail to grasp the idea that it makes the sound of a voice wider and more fulfilling. What I hear is a reason not to get up close and personal.

Growing up in Billings, Montana I was introduced to Western Music before Rock fed into the veins of an act to do or not to do. Whispering Bill Anderson didn’t have reverb. Buck Owens sang with us not at us. When Donna Fargo sang that she was the happiest girl in the whole USA…her vocals weren’t drowned by something aimed at enhancing.

I bumped into reverb on my first Marvin Gaye song. Marvin knew how to use reverb though. He created a relationship with the listener without having to over produce the willingness of wanting to say this song is about me. George Michael on the other hand…whoa…too much!

The human voice was meant to cut through you. Its strength is hidden when mechanical devices are cranked to levels the ear instantly decides to turn off. The poet and or writer in me are being difficult by way of saying, “This is not the way my writing hand laid it out on paper.”

But…I have to remember…I relinquished creative control. Trust is everything in the creative world. What Jimm and Alan are doing is no different than a client coming to me and asking to help develop a commercial campaign and the words I offer are, “I’ve got an idea.” They have to relinquish creative control. I’m just practicing what I preach.

Click Here Snippet of the song Rebirth. We go back into session Tuesday to soften the vocals and to add more harmonies. I've begged them to release control of the reverb.

Click Here Snippet of Not Even a Morning still in production. I want to make the instrumentation longer and the producers believe for me to remain loyal to The Beatles and their style it requires every reason to hit repeat. Making a song too long steals from the hearts ambition to wanna do it all over again.

Now my mixes...the original mixes I produced that scored the recording sessions. You decide if reverb is a way to go.

Click Here Rebirth

Click Here Not even a Morning

Wednesday March 31, 2010: Learning to walk away before it's too late.

Being back in the studio captivated my imagination, sending overloads of energy toward the door that read: This is for real

I got into this project for a stupid reason, I wanted to know where music comes from. American Idol is a shortcut. Rascal Flatts and Boston took a road caked with mountains with too many trees and oversized leaves. Each lyric fed a stream without a passerby realizing what it took to put motion into the lips vowing to harmonize and or remember why they were singing.

That's where I wanted to be. To take my inexperience to the court. To play a game of basketball that Jordon fine tuned and my job was to do nothing more than learn how to respect it.

Unlike karaoke...being in the studio requires focus as well as determination. Putting your vocals through unheard of demands forces fatique and horrible bouts with self doubt. Every chorus poured into a machine made to make music attacks your inner being in ways that rip down the mountains you assumed were built to withstand hurricanes.

After an extremely rough night in the studio I sharply questioned the masters who've been there hundreds of times before me. Janey Clewer my closest connection wasted no time to write back:

Hi !

I am about to go the airport to leave for South Africa.
Just have a minute but, it sounds like you "over did"...pure and simple.

The voice is delicate. You can't push for long and expect to win the race. You have to pace yourself, take breaks and don't push over the volume of the track. I know you want to feel the music loud, but you can't do that and not suffer vocal fatigue. There is a middle ground.

Yes, you can end up questioning yourself....probably time for a break....don't listen for a week...get away....whatever.... and then come back to it. You can lose perspective. It's natural.

Gotta run.
Chin up!

Eddie Zimmerman
People have NOOO idea how difficult it is to spend a few hours in the vocal booth under a microscope. Welcome to the world of making records!

Tuesday March 30, 2010: Maybe I should've listened to Dad.

I think all budding musicians go through it, from my neighbor learning to play the flute to violinists and those addicted to the keyboard of a piano...parents who find massive amounts of importance to shout, "Can you please turn that stuff down so we can enjoy a little piece and quiet!"

I totally believe it stunts the growth of a wandering imagination just as much as school teachers with red pens.

You never forget the moments that brought on the demands to stop exploring. Once you've aged, other ways and means lend a helpful hint to offer silence. My first night in the recording studio was plaqued by a seriously out of control sinus infection...last night was canceled due to a tornado.

You can't help but think....hmmmm maybe the parents were onto something. Or...take the high road and think of it as...the parents taught you a great lesson...things change. If you want something bad enough, allow the paths to cross on the journey to achieving it.

Monday March 29, 2010: What came first the chicken or the egg?

If life impersonates art...where does art get its energy? This video showcases one of my original pieces called The Storm. So easily it fits into the description of what music does to ones imagination and drive...not for five minutes or during the current American Idol fad but through an entire journey where every hum isn't a tune swiped from the radio or MTV but something original you can't shake until you've agreed with yourself to let it go for others to hum along.

Click Here

Wednesday March 24, 2010: Reignited by an attempt to get a laugh

Nationally recognized comedian Pam Stone put my tail back on the music track—she wanted movie reviews with a twist. I remember sitting in Nashville scratching half witted thoughts into a notebook to the rhythm of I Walk the Line from Johnny Cash. For the song to stand out, it required an edge. Learning how to make one of our countries funniest people laugh was an unforgettable but worthwhile adventure.

Doing movie review parodies challenged the assumed silent writer to open the door to giving a heave ho to jingles. I remember Barry Manilow saying, “Jingles are hit songs just with fewer words. The goal is to get to the hook quicker.”

One of my most successful jingles came while creating with Rick at Harley Davidson. I had just seen Wild Hogs with John Travolta and Tim Allen. Rick needed a catch, something Harley riders could whistle while they slept. In the film I heard someone says, “Let it ride.” Instantly my connection to Rick took off. I couldn’t call him fast enough. That Let it Ride jingle has since been a part of several Harley dealerships across the country.

I can’t imagine what people think while walking outside my production studio. Whoa, did you hear that? Sounds like a donkey and a monkey got together. On the outside all you hear are the vocals. It’s what’s in the earphones that puts motion into a listeners hands to reach for their wallet and buy the product the jingle is singing about. Making that connection between a business and listener is a never ending quest.

Like doing movie parodies…if someone just tuned in and my bad impersonation of Johnny Cash isn’t making your day better…the show is without….you.

Harley Jingle: Click Here

Elevation Church hosted an Egg the City campaign to help collect food and clothing: Click Here

A local carwash needed an extra punch: Click Here

Wednesday March 17, 2010: Creating a monster

Taking a single thought then putting energy behind it has the strength to influence the imagination of people who can take that thought and make it stronger for others to use as a reason to crank it up while tuning out the realms of reality that make our everyday world complicated.

Nobody knew this musical side of me because I’ve never been willing to shake hands with the idea of sharing it.

Music producer Jimm openly responds to the project I call 15 Pieces from a Faceless Beast:

Hey dude

I'm sitting here listening to your songs. I'm really digging trk 2 the one where you talk about you don't need a credit card. It’s really cool. We can make this song a huge rock opera.


As a writer, I constantly search for newer ways to keep focused on large projects. While re-writing Halloween 78 in 2003…I found tremendous amounts of energy in utilizing my poetic side by way of creating a musical theme to the story. Once I had a theme, I used it as a place to return when the story unexpectedly twisted or my dedication to it went left rather than right.

In May 2009 I kept the same work ethic while writing Conversation with the Devil. It needed a hard guitar theme…I chose to pour in a Rock Opera style made famous in the way Freddie Mercury of Queen sharply unmasked the vibrant power behind storytelling. Never once did I talk to Jimm about creating a Rock Opera. To physically read his views showcases how far an echo travels.

A ten song deal with five already in motion—vocally I return to the studio March 29th and 30th to revamp a couple choruses then its full steam ahead. It’s a project that chased me…becoming more clear on a chilly late spring Saturday morning at 4am. I looked into the rearview mirror and said, “I have an idea…you’re going to utilize everything you are from a published author, to producer, to showman to fan of music and you aren’t going to stop until you’re told. Which means you’re about to walk on a path that doesn’t have pounded down dirt and leaves…to make it you’re going to have to create it.”

Sunday March 14, 2010: Everything else seems more important

Conflicting schedules have stalled the music project until March 29th and 30th. I’ve spent the past three weeks promoting the new film Hot Tub Time Machine and will instantly leap into helping Tyler Perry get the word out about Why Did I Get Married Too?

“Momentum is everything,” says Alan the producer. “I know you’ve asked us to set aside a year to help you get your music fully recorded but…you’re making it too easy to lose interest.”

Four of the ten songs have been tracked…missing are the vocals. Commitment is everything to me until it involves me. This is exactly how I got into this mess in 1979 when Tony and the band elected to move forward without my efforts. I put everything but the music first.

Artist Way author Julia Cameron would have a field day with this…looking deeper into the canals leading to the oceans of creative flow. As much as I craved being live on stage then hidden away in garages practicing the same harmonies over and over again, what distraction kept me from achieving higher grounds as a musical artist?

It couldn’t have been the heavy amps and oddly shaped guitar cases nor the parents who stood in the door with hot cups of coffee shaking their heads in disbelief. Performing in front of twelve people at Rose Park was embarrassing but I found it to be more inspiring than dream wrecking. Don’t even think about blaming it on being too much hard work…my morals and ethics on the work front are my strongest muscle.

I walked out of chorus in the 10th grade laying claim to the idea that four part Barbershop Harmony wasn’t my thing and yet today, a complete piece from my writing instrument exudes the limits making each sliver of vocal hooks combined with guitar licks empty unless there’s a background sound listeners can get extremely lost within with no hopes of locating Johnny Depp or Alice In Wonderland to show them the way out.

Blame that on Fleetwood Mac. The combination of Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks and Christine McVee was born to tease travelers wanting more than a simple chorus. I flat out love it when my wife Lee searches for a key of her own to harmonize with. Even the Andrew Sisters will tell you that harmony is born when you want to add to the dynamics of art in motion.

So why am I set on throwing this away? The musicians have done their part on four pieces; little did I know that it would be me holding up the dream. Trust me…I’m not shocked.

Monday March 8, 2010: Relinquishing my art

Original ideas last about as long as you throw them. Gaining the courage to bare your art is 1/100th of the journey; in the moments that follow, everything that once made the effort unique no longer falls under the self protection act.

To relinquish means to no longer call it your own. No wonder people love to hide their crafts or never grow outside the circle of doing the same piece over and over again. With change comes opinion and that completely sets you up on a blind date with fate.

I can live with the idea the vocals need tweaking on Not Even a Morning and Kisses. Being an on-air radio talent sharing emotion over a song intro is miles different than expressing a feeling or mood throughout an entire piece of music. I knew the moment it fell from my lips it wasn’t right.

I was physically shocked though to hear a total revamping of the song Rebirth—a song intro that takes weeks to get through followed by music changes that require me to seek different shapes of harmony. I’m a stickler on background connections…every part of a song has the ability to be someone’s favorite. Hiding harmonies isn’t my signature. I became addicted to this plan during chorus class in Jr. High. Mr. Anderson guaranteed sound throughout the entire selection of music not at levels where you’re imagination is left wondering if it heard something. If a song doesn’t have a hook, it’s not worth calling it a favorite.

Being this far from the project completely competes against my willingness to share art. Being laid out are the individual tracks for guitar, piano, drums but not vocals. I feel as if they can’t capture what I foresee and by not being there how would they know how I roll a chord or mismatch a harmony to create an almost attractive flat? Laying down their parts first means I have to bend their direction and that’s why hearing this long intro on Rebirth is killing me.

Relinquish or fight for my right to party?

Alan responded with:

We are going to have to coach you through that.
Richard did that because of the edits. He made it musically correct.

We'll coach you through to make it perfect.

Thursday March 4, 2010: Finishing before getting started

I’ve always believed life is nothing more than another 24 hour period blessed with the opportunity to take creativity to every corner of the clock. If I’m snoozing…I’m losing. Being on the go eighteen to twenty two of those hours seven days a week is a feather for my collection.

But it has to change…now. Everything important no longer sits on the top ten list of things to accomplish. I was supposed to test for my 3rd Degree black belt in October. It can’t happen. My heart is elsewhere. I challenged myself to get my 2nd and 3rd books fully prepared for 2010 publication…the pages sit in dark places on a map blocked by too much to do and not enough ticks on a clock to tock.

Having such drive has started taking its toll. Nothing injures me more than disappointing someone. A ten song project faces a disastrous conclusion due 100% to other obligations. I got the speech yesterday, “The longer you wait to return to the studio to perform the sooner we’re going to lose momentum.”

The song Kisses has to be revamped because of a seven week old sinus infection. There’s no computer brilliant enough to wipe the snot from the canals. A set back I didn’t expect when shaking hands to make this music a reality. Wanna Get Back and Rebirth have both been instrumentally prepared for me to drop vocal tracks. Jimm and Alan need six more songs by tonight so they can prepare the musicians. They said, “Go through every song you’ve written and bring me the best of the best.”

Completely taken back I wanted to argue. This project has nothing to do with where I was in 2003 and earlier. A piece of music is a portrait painted by a moment. Why resurrect the makings of something let go nearly ten years down this long and winding road?

“We’d love to write new stuff with you but can’t…you don’t have the time required to make it work.”

With martial arts already off the map, the next leap of faith is to take this midlife crisis of an idea to record music and put it in a box with everything else I’ve created.

I’ve turned to my childhood band leader and guitarist Tony who’s pieced together an incredible riff that electrified my writing instrument. Two weeks ago I told him to get his act together and not get weighed down by other events in life and here I sit in the same puddle of mud.

If I set the music project aside tomorrow…will life give me another 47 years to think about coming back?

Wedesday March 3, 2010: The second ruff cut begins to take the shape the writer intended.

Staying true without having to hear Simon Cowell or Randy Jackson scream, “Hey dawg…come on man, it’s ok to wanna sing like the best…but you gotta keep it real by putting more of you into the tracks.”

Two remixes deep into Not Even a Morning and what instantly attracted me to a Beatles song is beginning to surface. I loved the idea that George Martin didn’t allow Sgt. Peppers to be weighed down with a four minute Hey Jude chorus. I remember getting screamed at by a program director in Lewistown, Montana because I faded out of Hey Jude three minutes into it. I used the excuse, “I was tired of the na na na’s.” So every song I touch is like an on-air radio break…if I can’t get your attention in seven seconds we’re switching gears.

Allen calls my approach to writing weird and fears how something like this could be marketed or even worse set into motion on a compact disc. Is it really? How many times did the Black Eyed Peas sing Boom Boom Pow and still make a billion bucks? People love the hook of a song. The 70’s were boring because too much of a story was shared and by the time you get to the end of the tune you wanna play the telephone game and change the outcome of what really took place.

Not Even a Morning is nothing more than a seed planted by John Lennon. I didn’t set out to copy the Beatles…this is what happens when the songs we hum suddenly become someone else’s reason to let go. How far does an echo travel?

A visit to Strawberry Fields Click Here

Monday March 1, 2010: This river is in full motion

I thought I worked like a multitasking monster. While my determination and addiction to being a perfectionist is still locked on the first song, the musicians and producers are three songs deeper into the long and winding road.

I can’t stop thinking about building a better bridge to lengthen Not Even a Morning. I love the harmonies and feel it could be the hook of the song. Alan keeps telling me, “Leave it alone.” I didn’t have this sort of leadership with my art on canvas…inside sixteen seconds I can take a beautiful paint covered masterpiece and turn it into a glob of wet ink. Alan’s being the protector…doing everything he can to keep it out of the hands of the man who overproduces everything including the air he breathes.

Jimm and Alan have blasted the door wide open with the musicians on Kisses, Rebirth/Without My Friend and Wanna Get Back to Living. I love all three but Wanna Get Back was the fuel to this fire…the moment it fled from my fingertips I knew this wasn’t going to be just another hobby that I’d easily set aside. Not only is it haunting but serves as an incredible release to anyone who faces daily battles and requires a sip of something special to lift their already pronounced dead day and makes it one of the best they’ve ever lived.

I don’t hear voices in my head…I see music. I don’t sleep because the songs keep playing over and over. So to watch them transform my insanity into physical sheets of music makes going crazy unforgettable.

Alan wants me to keep my hands off adding more to Nor Even a Morning Click Here

Allan talks about Wanna Get Back Click Here

Is this proving to be a Garage Band reunion? Raw tracks from Tony Boehm have arrived on what's turning out to be the first collaboration since 1980 with my first ever guitarist/songwriting partner. In those days we had the hours to fine tune a fork.

If we weren't jamming as loud as we could in a cabin in the mountains of Montana we were asked to perform at high school parties and city parks. In those days it wasn't about standing in front of a television set trying to score points on a Wii game system...we were the real deal and making music was nothing more than crashing a bike into a wall and getting back up to do it all over again and again.

Three seconds inside Tony's demo today and the writing instrument began to dance. How can 30 years go by so quickly and yet our inner ears haven't skipped a beat? It's amazing what happens when caught in the middle of chasing dreams...

Saturday February 27, 2010: When is too much too much?

Being on the Barnes and Nobel book tour for nearly three years I was introduced to writers and poets who kept their art hidden in far far away places. The fear of criticism from the people you love is more damaging than what the average person can personally deliver to themself.

Opening my song writing world to my wife puts me mentally back on the book tour. I've lived a silent creative life meaning 98% of it has been shoved in boxes and enjoyed only when people aren't around. But for this project to work...I've had to let go of my extremely shy self and invite people into a world I once assumed protected.

We listened to the first draft of Not Even a Morning...although she was in the studio the night we recorded, to hear what Jimm and Alan mixed with outside harmonies and heart pounding drums ignited an accepted smile from my biggest critic.

Together we pose the 2 minutes in length is the song too short? Jimm and Alan believe if I'm being true to my John Lennon inspirations it's not too long. It reintroduces music lovers to the repeat button. So I've posed the question on multitudes of social networking sites and will share each reply as they arrive.

Like the days of being the one in the front of the Barnes and Nobel...I stand here at this moment encouraging you to be creative. I know how difficult it is to include loved ones whose words hurt more than anything but remember this: Things happen and in the process of the happening, we either accept or toss aside the elements leading to the other events that happened. One day we're going to be invited to the "did happen" dump and from out of nowhere someone will give you a note that reads, "You could've been....but chose not to be."

Be creative, be protective but never stop sharing. You were born to write.

Friday February 26, 2010: First draft rough mix arrives

I have to keep telling myself, "Being a radio station commercial production director doesn't make me an expert in mixing music."

I feel like Simon Cowell when listening to the first draft of the rough mix of Not Even a Morning. This was the tune that Jimm could hear how John Lennon and David Bowie have influenced me.

As a producer of radio art...I tend to make the vocals the star. A music producer brings out every feature while bending sound to reach areas the imagination hasn't explored. This has nothing to do with enertaining me and everything to do with attracting the attention of a person place or thing that has never heard of me.

The most difficult thing for any artist to deal with, be it in music, on canvas or in the backyard with a flower garden is relinquishing the project to a different power and newer set of rules. Trust has to become your guide and it must remain intact or spirits and dreams will be injured in the way of never resurfacing again.

Rough means...pieces parts not final mix. Vocals will have to be added, they want to add more radio we call this a spec. Or to put it in a more easy way...this is a test, this is a test of the hey I did a song network. This is only a test... Click Here

Wednesday February 24, 2010: Pictures from a studio connected to a world not yet met.

You can improv on a radio stage but inside a music studio we're all on the same page. This is the sheet music for our third song titled Rebirth

7 months ago this project was nothing more than chicken scratch in a daily journal...Aritst Peter Max taught me, "Once it's out...your art no longer belongs to you." These are the map makers taking a poets thoughts toward an approachable horizon.

Each time you speak, sing, whistle or hold your breath it takes a shape of its own...the producer walks inside each expression and creates a path for others to sing along.

Jimm drops drum tracks on song Kisses Click Here

I didn't say I was great at this...I just want to say I did it. Click Here

Can you say recut? Do it again...pick it up from... Click Here

Tuesday February 23, 2010: Studio time...

Jimm and Alan feel its extremely important for me to be in the studio tonight when they lay down the drum tracks. Two reasons why this is important...Native American studies have taught me how the drum plays a major role in the rhythms we walk and live by. Not only is this spiritual but I have to be very particular. Must be something I picked up from Mark and Tony during the high school garage band days...while the rest of the members impatiently waited to get started, they'd harmoniously combine their gifts of performance into a single vision by making sure the final sound included unforgettable drumming.

Seven months went into laying out this idea and tonight becomes the first step of turning it into a reality.

Click Here

From my creative place in the world songs look incredibly different:

Click Here

Monday February 22, 2010

First session could be canceled: Click Here

The best and fastest way to heal is to take it to those who've been here. Studio producer and nationally recognized musician Alan G quickly responded, "Drink plenty of pineapple juice. Starting now!!!!!!!"

Herb Gross who fronts The Invictas who's been on tour with the Beach Boys while holding down a solid following for nearly five decades replied," I'm not a specialist but yes you can over due it. I've never taken singing lessons but I hear that helps. Also singing from your lower gut might help. "

Tina Gibson who manages musicians and groups wasted no time to repond, "I've been working with bands most of my life. To answer your questions, yes it is possible to go too far and damage your vocal cords. Your vocal cords are just like any other muscle, they need proper exercise and you can push them too far. I would recommend a throat specialist to be examined first to make sure they haven't done any serious damage. Whatever type of singing you are doing it's always best to do warm up exercises. You can go online and research those. If it's just a person that sang alot at one stretch and they are not used to that, they can be a little horse for a few days. I think you can tell when it's something worse, if they feel like they are swallowing razor blades they need to get to the doctor right away."

Radio station music director and Drop D front man DZL, "I am sore pretty much every Monday. I do vocal excercises now...I have a vocal warm up cd that has been awesome!"

Recording artist Janey Clewer, REST! much as possible and hydrate your body. Talk as little as possible. I would postpone your vocal sessions. You will just come away frustrated, not as pleased and you may injure your voice. Performing with a sick body and a tired raspy voice is very bad for your voice and can do permanent damage if you just try to plow through it. DO NOT numb your voice with those sprays. DO NOT get a cortisone some Drs. may suggest. All bad choices.

The world won't end postponing a the end, if you rest and get recover, the outcome will be better and you will be healthy!


I'm creating the injury Click Here

Colleen Brennan Ross February 22 at 4:06pm
Absolutely NO throat sprays or lozengers. They will cover any serious damage you might have and would cause more damage if u continue to do use any of them. Hot toddys are the best thing I have found or sip on some warm jager. Hot toddy is hot tea, irish whiskey (half shot), honey, and a splash of lemon. It will warm, soothe, and actually help heal. Before you start tonite, make sure you warm up slowly and thoroughly.

Sunday February 21, 2010: Taking the voice too far

During the 1990's the vocal talents who bring life to our favorite television cartoons went on strike asking to be respected for the amazing amount of energy required to keep Homer and everyone in tune and constantly moving into the unwritten future.

I didn't understand that side of the voice-over business until I took it on full force nearly a decade later. The voice is a simple tool that can be easily damaged...overworking it ends up costing the talent not only money but it can lead to serious imperfections. After a few bouts with much too loud car commercials heard in California and or character roles for books on tape or motivational reads like The Secret I've been left in situations of vocal damage.

I'm quickly learning that putting together music is no different. Holding notes beyond normal breathing patterns then bending them at the end to create a lasting soul filled hook shoots your inner system into overload and if not properly taken care end up colliding with ambition forcing your goals to take a NASCAR pit stop.

I put so much into wrapping up the first level of recording the tracks or as Jimm calls them, "The storyboard," that I've been vocally ill for five weeks with the first recording session set up for this Tuesday night. Dr. Chris has filled my body with three powerful antibiotics and none of them are working which has led him to sending the journey straight into the office of a specialist.

I finally land a recording project and because I over produced the final moments of the I sit in a pool of self pitty begging for the vocals to return.

While Jimm and Alan work one on one with the masterful musicians my part could end up being silent until the medical world comes up with a solution as to how and why I'm getting hurt holding a note.

Friday February 19, 2010

The most difficult part of this project isn't writing...that comes natural, I've been doing it longer than my 31 years in radio. I wrote my first song in the first grade with my neighbor, a Sunday School teacher who patiently sat with me writing every note, lyric then harmonizing with me. I love makes my knees weak. Once finished, I wanted more and more. It didn't matter how loud I got with my demands Mom never helped me with the piano that I dreamed of one day playing. So my musical outlet became 45's and 8-track tapes.

My sister Susan has watched these musical aspirations rise and fall. She was there for the days when I'd stand on hay stacks in Wyoming pretending I was in concert...singing as if there were 100.000 people watching. She watched the garage band days and nearly hated the moment when I chose a pair of radio station earphones over chasing through the city to the next stage.

I honestly believe I completely shut down the dream because of a cassette tape where you can hear my stepfather yelling at me to shut up. The sound of the Fender guitar screeching because my fingers gave up rings through my head everyday. You can physically hear me walk over and turn off the low hum of the amplifier. I've never thrown it away because I used it as a reality check...give your soul to radio not the creation of music.

So gettng the guts to reveal the musician to the rest of those involved in my life has been silent even to my wife who comes from an extremely successful music background. It's never been my goal to compete...its been my dream to do nothing more than release stuff from my imagination that might help someone smile even if it means laughing at me. My job is done.

My best kept secret almost went to the grave with me on July 21st. The moment I walked out of Mercy Hospital the engery surging through me was no longer about research and ratings. I wanted to get back to living.

To make this visible to the unknowing ear is killing me. Co-workers and family members had no clue...siting in front of them sharing my ideas is far worse than judgment day in the sky. Now toss in the tracks Jimm and Alan have recreated in the studio and practicing becomes a nightmare.

I can talk to 30,000 people in an oversized auditorium dressed up as the radio man. Ask me to sing and you'll find me hidden under the bed. This project has nothing to do with ego and everything do with finally letting the image in the mirror have a little air to breathe.

People keep asking me, "Where are you taking this?"

I never answer...the words haven't fallen from my writing instrument yet. It could be another 25 years before they do. Until then...I'm just listening to the wind.

Wednesday February 18, 2010: Rough mix of raw background tracks arrives

I remember sitting in the studio alone the night "Kisses" came to me. A tremendou amount of time was spent bending notes and chords, I was dead set on creating a welcome mat for the lyrics...a story based on placing a phone call to someone you truly love and the moment you hear their voice nothing comes out...everything stops. The only thing I wanted to say was, "Thank you."

My original raw background tracks created in January were shaped by the radio man in me who produces commercials and it came across as nothing more than the vocals being 1/8th higher than the music with some reverb to make it attractive...Jimm and Alan opened the musical presentation of the song by exposing its soul. The guitar is harder with a touch of Americana which fits so well with whom the song was written about and for.

Having the original idea ready for Jimm and Alan was a positive move in the right direction. By taking them my already laid out vision introduced a landscape of ideas that helped them bridge their professionalism to areas that take a garage band idea to an accepted presentation of performance.
I'm glad I spent nearly a year preparing what Jimm calls the Storyboard. That's so over prepared for all things that could happen.

Alan keeps telling me, "Do not sing this song any where but on our microphone. I don't want you anywhere near a radio station microphone. You'll hear things that you feel won't belong and that's going to take you away from our vision. You've got to let us do our thing. Trust us! Bye!"

He never says, "Goodbye or catch you later...." Alan will be in the middle of a conversation then its, "Bye!" I love conversations like that! Why butter up the night with blah blah blah when you can end it with, "Bye!"

11:15 last night...their raw track arrived. I went completely silent. Just like the day that inspired this song to come to life. That's what I truly want is a tune that swipes from your lungs a sip of air and the only place you're going to pick up steam is in a memory of someone you love and the only thing you want to do is say, "Thank you."

Thursday February 17, 2010: Truth

Over producing a project has always been my weakness. From painting on a canvas to performing on the radio...I tend to give way too much when something simple has a better impact.

Alan says,"You aren't going to recognize the music. We've re-written the guitar and bass tracks behind your vocals. It was too busy and the first thing that had to go was the keyboards. It made us feel like you were trying to stuff too much into a single thought."

NOTE: Could this be what Janey was talking about...

If I had to make one suggestion it would be to pay attention to the timing of your vocal. There are places where you are very ahead of the beat and it is sometimes distracting.

Alan closed with, "Your vocals are unique in the way they carry someone listening from the beginning to the end. I refuse to let the background take away from the story you're sharing."

Tuesday February 16, 2010: Canceling the first session took it to Face Book

Arroe Collins It took me 47 years to earn the right to perform music in a recording studio and what did I do but say no to the producers who wanted to share an incredible idea on one of my songs. I chose Tae Kwon Do over my music. Am I a Diva or destined to be a Martial Arts Master?
Blanca Delgado Bonsangue
Martial Arts is your passion Arroe!

Todd Harris
Definitely a martial arts master

Chris Beck
Nothing says you can't be a Martial Arts Diva...

Ron Blanchard
You are a Martial Arts Master!! You are also a Master of your own Outcome of what ever you choose to be!! You are "Da Man"..... lol

Sunday February 14, 2010 Valentines Day: The Introduction

I thought radio station aircheck sessions with the programming department was a difficult pill to digest. It's nothing compared to an unrehearsed meeting of individual musical views, thoughts and unscoped destinations.

While Jimm sat behind the massively oversized control board with the studio monitors cranked at full volume, Alan positioned himself in the corner with a guitar. Every note displayed on the two songs shot through the room like arrows begging to hit a target Alan instantly copied my demo. He seemed pretty proud of his efforts to parody the song so quickly. Jim didn't move. He reacted to nothing. No head bobbing, no tapping of the toes, not even a quick turn to see if I cared about why he was doing nothing.

As much as I wanted this to be about me...I quickly learned its more about them. Everything they touch represents their business. My failure is dead weight on their path.

"Bowie..." Jimm interupted my assumption. "Lennon maybe. You switch vocal styles a lot. I can easily see who you've been inspired by. You tend to be them rather than yourself. I can change that."

The plan:

1. Sing my songs music
2. His writing team will harness the emotion and feel of the message.
3. Musicians will be hired to recreate my storyboard
4. I'll be invited back to the studio to start the process over

Sent quick notes to Janey:

Hey if they want to help you that's wonderful. Just don't get in too deep too fast. I suggest starting with 3 songs and see how it goes. Don't forget to have fun. That's extremely important.

Let me know how this all progresses.

Song lyrics scratched into notebooks become a journey worth chasing...

Every person you are. Every mood you swing. Everything that makes up you is based on one thought: You were born to create.

Then one day something says, “Take it to a different playground.”
And that I will…a journey that began in early September 2009 has evolved into a project that now includes singer/songwriters and music producers from Nashville and beyond—a vision quest of sorts…to take my passion to write to the very stage Shel Silverstein once played. A writer who took from his fingerprints the words his mind spoke and made it into music. It’s become my mission to find out why Dylan is looked upon as being one of our greatest poets but not vocalist and to sip on the presence of performance just like Neil Young, Van Morrison and even Dave Matthews.

Record producers Jimm and Alan

September 2009

You never have to agree with yourself but life becomes fun when a side of you suddenly wants to do something different. I challenged myself to write and vocalize fifteen songs—grabbing something completely raw from the air and swish it around in someone else’s ears.

Being honest with your creativity invites you to share it with the rest of the world.

George Benson with Janey Clewer

The fuel behind the life has been blessed with an incredible opportunity...

Janey has had the honor and privilege of singing and working with the best of the best in a variety of settings. Some of those artists include Luther Vandross, Ray Charles, David Foster, Elton John, George Benson, Harry Connick Jr., Chaka Kahn, Julio Iglesias, Gladys Knight, Kenny G, Jay Graydon, Patti LaBelle, Bill Champlin, Michel Colombier, Richard Marx, Wynton Marsalis, Sarah Brightman, Peter Cetera, Trevor Horn, Paul Anka, Olivia Newton-John, Eric Carmen, Patty Austin, Michael Bolton, Rick Dees, Lara Fabian, Cher, Rick James, Isaac Hayes, Kenny Loggins, Denise Williams, Michael Lington, Nick Lachey, Pauly Shore, Mel Torme and many more.

Janey responded to the song The Final Dance based on the creation of true love here and every place we travel beyond today into tomorrow.

How sweet of you to send this to me. You are such a poet.
I think it is wonderful you are trying to express your self outwardly and it does take a lot of courage to take the first step and share it with others.

Your song is very artistic on many levels. You have lots of cool imagery and the production is very adventurous. It has an epic kind of feel.

The best teacher I find is listening to your creation back. Get out of yourself and listen for what it may need to make it better. Listen to it like it is someone else's. Knowing how to make the presentation better can then become clear. If I had to make one suggestion it would be to pay attention to the timing of your vocal. There are places where you are very ahead of the beat and it is sometimes distracting. That is all fixable and usually just needs you to be aware of it to remedy it.

Keep going. There is nothing like doing to get better. Every song is a learning experience and a therapy session. You have a lot to say and you are brimming with artistic talent.


The Hit Music studio where a single thought will become my new reality.

"Reality" That's a pretty big word inside a book called chance. By exposing what I've kept hidden for 31 years I'm setting myself up for truth.

What started out as a visit to the Levine Children’s Hospital to record voices for an upcoming radio-a-thon. I locked onto a sound I couldn’t shake and the only way to communicate it was to find a musical outlet. It was time to turn my writing into something a child could sing while sharing a smile that said, “I’m going to live.”

The producers view of a poet on the loose...

My blonde Rock n Roll roots are beginning to show. I set out to write, produce and professionally record music. To walk the line of those who’ve made radio unforgettable. To create the hooks that turn your horribly bad day into something you can sing with. To captivate your imagination at the moment you realize the piece of music playing through your car was written about you.

It has become my vision quest to speak from the street.

Over the next several months…I’m dedicating myself to play the game, expecting to get deeply hurt and tossed out of many places, laughed at, pointed at and damaged to the point of non-repair.

And thus begins the journey.

Music Director DZL

"It's extremely different..."

DZL will be used on the project because he knows radio and what it takes to grab spins while performing live with his own set of dreams on stages requiring musicians with passion.

Our tastes in music are two decades a part

You'll meet the words and wisdom of his and other music directors I speak with. You’ll read the constructive criticism from Nashville and other cities willing to play along—just like writing, my long term investment in something like this has everything to do with one day inspiring any silent artist to take from their closed off world every musical secret they’ve kept hidden and give it purpose in the winds that change our everyday.

I believe in you…

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